On Magnolia Lane By Denise Hunter A Blue Ridge Romance - Book 3 Publisher: Thomas Nelson Release Date: November 6, 2018 Reviewed by PJ
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.
This is a sweet, humorous, and heartwarming Christian contemporary romance set in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of northern Georgia. It's the third book in Hunter's Blue Ridge Romance trilogy but, while characters from previous books make appearances and I'm guessing Daisy and Pastor Jack have evolved over the course of the series, I had no difficulty reading - and enjoying - this third book on its own. One of the things that brought this story to life for me is Hunter's depiction of Daisy and Jack. Both are fully dimensional characters, rooted in their faith, but oh, so human, with all the insecurities, challenges, frustrations, and errors of judgment that encompasses. Jack, in particular, is such an endearing character. I liked him so much that I found myself giving him encouragement and advice as I traveled his journey with him, especially during those scenes where his shyness with women - Daisy, in particular - is on display. It took me a little longer to embrace Daisy. In the beginning, I wondered if she and Jack really could be a good match but the growth she exhibits during her journey, especially as it relates to an unexpected obstacle life throws her way, brought me into her cheering section as well. In the end, I happily embraced them both, individually and as a couple, with the confidence that their HEA will be filled with laughter and love - of each other, of their families, of their small community, and of their Lord.