On Magnolia Lane – Denise Hunter – Blue Ridge Romance #3 – Thomas Nelson – Published 6 November 2018
Pastor Jack McReady has secretly carried a torch for Daisy for two long years. She’s a member of his congregation, after all, and she’ll never see him as more than a trusted counselor. Jack’s best friend Noah has taken every opportunity to encourage his lovesick friend, but when Noah catches wind that Daisy has joined an online dating site, he takes matters into his own hands and orchestrates a meet-cute of the most unconventional kind.
Owner of the local flower shop, Daisy Pendleton is content with her small-town life, but she’d sure like someone to share it with. After several disastrous first dates, she’s about to give up—and then she finds a seemingly wonderful man online. Daisy gets to know TJ through a series of messages but finds herself spending more time with Pastor Jack outside of the church at the same time. What she doesn’t know is that her online prospect and Jack are one and the same.
Just as Daisy’s love life starts to look promising, a mysterious woman appears in town. Daisy is faced with a revelation about her family that turns her world upside down, and she looks to both TJ and Jack for help.
Jack must find a way to reveal himself as her online suitor without breaking her heart and losing her trust. As Daisy faces Jack’s betrayal, she’ll have to learn to extend grace to herself, her family, and the man she’s grown to love.
On Magnolia Lane is utterly delightful. A story about grace and forgiveness in the face of betrayal, of falling in love even if it’s a little unexpected, and of community coming together to support and protect, On Magnolia Lane is so very easy to savour and enjoy.
Daisy Pendleton doesn’t mind being single, but she’d really rather like to find a wonderful guy who can love her and she him. That’s why she has joined a dating site and suffers through blind date setups. Jack McReady has been in love with Daisy for years, but knows she doesn’t see him as anyone other than her pastor. When Jack’s friends create him an anonymous profile on a dating site, Jack has a chance to show Daisy another side to the man she thinks she already knows.
The whole I’m-the-same-person-who’s-been-talking-to-you-online,-whoops-sorry-I-didn’t-tell-you-earlier thing is not my favourite romantic plot line but it’s impossible not to fall a little for Pastor Jack and enjoy his love for Daisy. He is a man desperate to gently show her his love for her -even if that means keeping a secret online identity. Jack is kind, awkward around women and head over heels for Daisy. Watching him love her in any way he can was incredibly sweet. Daisy, on the other hand, sees Jack only as her pastor and counsellor while she searches everywhere else for love. Watching Daisy and Jack connect on deeper levels, both on the dating site and face to face as they work together, is sweet, romantic and uplifting.
Yet while Daisy struggles to reconcile her growing feelings for Pastor Jack and her enjoyment talking to TJ online, she also faces a revealed secret that shakes the beliefs she had about her family. This betrayal from those she loved most dearly is the perfect backdrop story to the story of grace and forgiveness. Daisy also struggles with self-doubt and her journey through On Magnolia Lane helps her to explore this. Familiar faces from the other books in the series and a charming small-town setting give On Magnolia Lane a wonderfully welcoming feel.
Coupled with a story of community coming together to support the young foster girls in their midsts, On Magnolia Lance combines family and friendship and messages of grace, love and worthiness with a delightful romance. It is a wonderful addition to Denise Hunter’s Blue Ridge Romance series and easily my favourite of the three books.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Romance, family, online relationships, pastors, faith, relationships, friendship, therapy, foster children, florists.
Published: 6 November 2018 by Thomas Nelson.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 320 pages.