Title: The Merriest Magnolia (Magnolia Sisters #2)
Author: Michelle Major
Publisher: HQN Books
My rating: ★★★
Carrie Reed has always been known as her hometown Good Girl, yet she still loves Magnolia, North Carolina—after all, this is where her newly discovered sisters, Avery and Meredith, live. But Christmas is on its way and with it, her first love. Dylan Scott is back in town and planning on changing everything she’s ever loved about Magnolia with his real estate development project…but not without a fight.
Returning to Magnolia was never in Dylan’s plans—it holds too many reminders that he would never be good enough, and memories of the girl he left behind. But when a tragedy leaves him guardian of a grieving teenager, Dylan returns, ready to remake the town into something only money can buy, small-town traditions be damned. But with Carrie determined to stop him, he finds himself wondering if redeeming his teenage reputation is worth losing out on his second chance at love.
Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me a finished copy!
The Merriest Magnolia is the second book in the Magnolia Sisters companion series! This book follows a different set of characters, but ones who did appear in the first book. I definitely recommend reading The Magnolia Sisters before jumping into this story!
I absolutely loved The Magnolia Sisters! It was a fun & sweet romance story. One that I didn’t want to put down. So obviously I was very excited to pick up the next book. When I started The Merriest Magnolia I was immediately drawn in. I was really loving it at first. Unfortunately, as time went on, my interest started to fade. This book didn’t quite meet my expectations and I’m so bummed. It is not a bad book by any means. I did enjoy parts of it. Overall though, it just wasn’t what I was hoping for.
I really love Carrie. I honestly think it is because I see a lot of myself in her character. She is kind, loving and always willing to help. She puts other’s needs before her own, which definitely interferes with her life dreams. She is a talented artist but with her past she doesn’t practice her skills much anymore…well that is until Dylan comes along. Carrie’s growth throughout the story was perfect! Now Dylan on the other hand, I wasn’t a huge fan of. He definitely had his cute moments but overall, I thought he was too much of a Grinch! Dylan is a moody & impatient businessman who doesn’t like the holidays. I feel like he walks around with a chip on his shoulder and it annoyed me. He is the guardian of Sam, a teenager who lost his parents in a accident. Dylan may be a jerk but he is a great father figure. He loves Sam and wants to do whatever will make him happy.
The romance was a mix between enemies to lovers & second chance. Carrie and Dylan were each other’s first love, but when Dylan unexpectedly left town, Carrie was heartbroken and confused. Several years later, that hurt is still very real and the couple have to work through their issues if they want to be together. I definitely didn’t hate their relationship, but I didn’t love it either. The chemistry between the two was a bit off a times so I was never fully invested.
I’m so happy that we got to see characters from the first book! It was nice to know how everyone is doing. Carrie, Avery and Meredith’s sisterhood is even stronger in this book and I was here for it. I love stories with sibling relationships and this one is the best.
While the ending was sweet, I do think it was way too abrupt. I almost feel like I missed a huge chunk of the story because things wrapped up so quick. It was kind of bizarre to me. Now. I’m not completely sure if there will be a third book in this series, but I’m crossing my fingers that there will be. I desperately want to learn more about the third sister, Meredith!