Review:  Magnolia Drive

MAGNOLIA DRIVE - Rochelle Alers
Grand Central/Forever
PRINT | EBOOK
August 2014
MAINSTREAM FICTION
REVIEWER:
Misherard Brown |  RATING: B+
SYNOPSIS: After a taste of Broadway stardom and a failed marriage, Francine Tanner is rebuilding her life back home on Cavanaugh Island. She's done with acting-and anyone who isn't genuine about real life and true feelings. But the mysterious newcomer who's bought land outside her hometown of Sanctuary Cove is as down-to-earth as he is handsome . . . and he may be her second chance for the real thing.

REVIEW: MAGNOLIA DRIVE is the fourth book of A Cavanaugh Island series by Rochelle Alers. We get another look at the laid back and settled life of the residents of Haven’s Creek, Sanctuary Cove, and Angel’s Landing. This time we watch Francine Tanner who is called Red by the townspeople act in the greatest scene of her life.  She left the island to go to New York to act but when duplicity hits her she quickly retreats back to the Sea Island but she realizes she can’t out run her past when she meets Keaton Grace, a well versed writer/director and he recognizes her from her past. Now, they both must overcome their past to embrace their future.

Francine Tanner has settled into her life as a hairstylist, assisting her mother with running the Beauty Box, the island’s only hair. No one on Cavanaugh Island knows the true reason why she left the stage other than her parents and her best friend but when someone from her past comes into her life and attempts to get her to return to the screen she quickly declines; however, she doesn’t realize that the decline simply opens the door for something bigger between her and him.

When Keaton Grace walks through the door of the Beauty Box, every female is impressed by him; however, he’s fascinated by Francine. He recognizes her as the one he wrote a whole script for and realizes that fate may have sent him to South Carolina. Keaton Grace left his home in Los Angeles after realizing that in order to gain the freedom he wanted in his career, he simply has to cut all ties; however, once arriving in the Lowcountry and beginning to build his future on the Island, he realizes how much of a connection he has to the islands and finds himself wanting more from Francine.

As Keaton and Francine continue to work to build their relationship, Francine is hesitant to really let him in. Keaton is determined to win her over but, as with anything, all facts have to be put on the table. MAGNOLIA DRIVE is a great read that not only brings out the culture and history of the Lowcountry and its Gullah culture, but is versed in historical facts. While I enjoyed MAGNOLIA DRIVE it took about fifty pages before I could fully emerge into the story and the plot picked up enough to allow the story to flow however Mrs. Alers writes a romance that is full of passion as well as history and is family-based, making it a great read. Not only can the book be read as a standalone but it can be read without having to really revisit any other books; however, I do recommend picking up the other three.


5th September 2014 | romcol@caribsurf.com