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Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers' Favorite
Once a Civil War soldier and plantation owner, Rhys had his whole life ahead of him, until an accident on the way home took his life and left him a ghost, only visible to the talented in his own home. Centuries later, Fiona is in need of a place to hide out from a crazed stalker, and Magnolia House seems to be the perfect spot. Fiona comes from a long line of Irish people with some talent of the supernatural, either healing or seeing auras. Although she welcomes the talent in her sisters, she has never acknowledged any talent in herself. Her time at Magnolia House will challenge her belief in herself and set her on a new path in life that just might be more rewarding and happy, that is if she can stay alive. A couple of casual dates and one kiss were enough for Fiona to know that she didn't want anything to do with police officer Derrick Morris. Unfortunately, he wasn't ready to give up on Fi and had begun stalking her. When she returns from her father's funeral to find her home vandalized, she turns to the only person she can think of, Mike, a retired cop, and her family. Together they make a plan and get Fi to safety, they hope. When the Magnolia Blooms is the story of love lost and found, of purpose found and of living a fulfilling life. Author Annaliese Darr has created a compelling world and a story that keeps the reader engaged and wanting more.
When the Magnolia Blooms is the story of family, or traditions and history passed down. It has elements of some supernatural talents, yet the way these are woven into the story is believable and feels right. It is the story of leaning on your family in a time of need, and this is a strong family that is amazing and that everyone dreams of having in their corner. The relationship between the ghost, Rhys, and Fi is strong, but it is more about them both learning to forgive and love again. Author Annaliese Darr has created a setting in this remote southern corner of the world that feels passed over by time, but at the same time is comforting and safe. For the most part, the book is relatively clean, so I can recommend it to teens and adult readers alike. At the same time, the family dynamics in the story have me wanting to read the stories of Fiona's sisters, Maeve and Spring.