The Magnolia Inn by Carolyn Brown is a Texas-sized romance that takes place in Jefferson, which is home to many B&B’s and antique stores. If you like the Hallmark Channel or romance novels in general, then you will probably enjoy this book. It is pure fluff.
Jolene Boussard is given the gift of one-half of a B&B just from her Aunt Sugar and Uncle Jasper, who then leave town in their RV. The Magnolia Inn is outdated but could be profitable after an update. Jolene is tormented with the emotional effect of her father’s death when she was 16 and her mother’s death from drugs and alcohol. Even though she is a teetotaler, Jolene worked full-time as a bartender for the ten years leading up to her being given the interest in the Magnolia Inn.
Tucker Malone was a Dallas Police officer. After his wife is killed in a car accident, he begins drinking. He leaves the force and moves to Jefferson, where his deceased wife is buried and where her parents still live. Tucker is now a carpenter who drinks heavily on the weekends. He doesn’t want to get over his wife and 2 years later is still wearing his wedding ring. The deceased wife speaks to him on a regular basis. Consequently, he is stuck in the past.
Tucker uses the money he received after his wife’s death to purchase the other 1/2 interest in the Magnolia Inn after Jolene’s cousin puts it up for sale. Tucker and Jolene both move into the inn during the restoration. They hit it off, except when Tucker drinks.
One of the bright spots of the storyline is the warm friendship between Aunt Sugar’s friends. They welcome Jolene and Tucker into their circle. The rest of the story is full of the two main characters asking themselves questions or listening to dead people speak to them as they try to get over their pasts. Will they have a happy ending or end up only as business partners? Obviously, you already know the answer.
Pet Peeve Alert:
One thing that made me cringe were instances involving a local real estate agent. She was representing Jolene’s cousin who was selling his half interest. The agent told Tucker to make an offer lower than he did. Then the closing of the sale was held in her real estate office instead of a Title Company or a Law Firm. The realtor just produced the legal documents and the sale was closed. The author does a disservice to the real estate industry by making these unethical situations a part of the plot.
3-stars. I listened to the Audible version.