Author: Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: August 5th
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.It is no surprise that as a born and bred Southerner, this book was almost perfect. Perfection belongs to titles such as Gone With the Wind, and while that mega classic that houses the heart of the South still comes first in my book, Magnolia was beautiful and oh so fantastic.
Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.
But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.
Let's start with the setting - Magnolia Branch, Mississippi. This is a quaint little town that definitely is heavy on the southern charm. The Cafferty's and the Marden's have been cozy since the Civil War, but they have never been able to join their two families.
Finally they have a boy and a girl born together, unfortunately these two seem to not be quite as cozy as their family would like them to be.
This story is really the opposite of Romeo and Juliet, and the comparison is one that can be seen throughout the book. Each chapter is an "Act" and there are even a couple quotes spotted throughout that bring the whole idea together.
Jemma and Ryder (love this name) seem to dislike each other for the sake of disliking each other in the beginning. The reasons come to light gradually throughout the novel, but there is always something more between them. You can just feel it.
I loved the storm. There are scenes between them during the storm where I literally could not turn the pages fast enough. They play off of each other so well, and the familiarity between them even while they're trying to deny their feelings is fantastic, and so worth reading.
Jemma and Ryder are wonderful together, and I loved every scene they shared. Their relationship grows so much over the course of the book that I was constantly eager for more. The only complaint I have, is I wish the ending had a bit more explanation to it. I wanted to see more of their family towards the end, and was sad that one ending was still slightly in the air.
This book is full of heart break, humor, and a dose of southern charm that leaves you wanting more.
Overview: If you're a fan of the South, or swoon worthy reads that leave you wanting more - Magnolia should be on your list.