Every Bride Has Her Day: Magnolia Brides #2 by Lynnette Austin with Giveaway

Welcome to my stop from the latest in Lynnette Austin’s Magnolia Brides series. Please read on for an excerpt, pick up a wedding tip from the author and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win one of five Paperback copies of THE BEST LAID WEDDING PLANS, But first, read on for my review of

Every Bride Has Her Day 

The second in the Magnolia Brides series from Lynnette Austin returns to Misty Bottom and focuses on Cricket and Sam: arriving with their own dreams and intentions.

Cricket has always wanted her own floral shop, and her move has made that dream come true. Kind-hearted and open, Cricket is a glass half full girl: not afraid to step out of her own comfort zone if that means she will make someone else’s day a bit brighter.  With her new space and plenty of work to do, the last thing she expected was a grumpy hot neighbor with a ‘stay away’ attitude.

Sam has retreated to Misty Bottom to regroup after an undercover operation gone horribly wrong. He’s less trusting and more wary of new people, understandably. The town is a childhood favorite place filed with summer memories and laughter when he was with his aunt. She has passed, and left the house, desperately in need of refurbishment, to Sam.  Unused to finding anywhere that feels like “home”, Sam is confused by the lack of ‘you need to move on now’ that he has when Cricket is around.

The relationship between these two, aided by moments and gentle nudges from characters met in the first book, develops gradually and organically.  Cricket isn’t pushing to insert herself into Sam’s life, and he’s softening – even assigning her the nickname of Bug…. A bit of a mixed smile here – she ‘bugs’ him and makes him face things and changes he’d rather not, and of course her name.

When you add in a wandering and homeless dog who has adopted them as his own, and has particular quirky traits, the growth for Sam in realizing that Cricket and the town have opened his horizon to more than just moving on, and a wonderful sense of community and friendship that oozes through the pages, this story holds strong for fans of romances that are plausible and possible if you take the time to slow down.

Every Bride Has Her Day: Magnolia Brides #2 by Lynnette Austin with Giveaway

Title: Every Bride Has Her Day
Author: Lynnette Austin
Series: Magnolia Brides #2
Also in this series: The Best Laid Wedding Plans
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1492618004
Published on: 3 May, 2016
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 384
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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Second in the Magnolia Brides series of charming, heartfelt Southern contemporary romance

Can love revive a wilting heart? Cricket O'Malley can't wait to plant roots back home in Georgia, where she's returned to restore an abandoned flower shop to its former glory. The only blemish? Her neighbor's house is even more neglected than her old flower shop, and its occupant seems as surly as he is darkly handsome.

Devastated body and soul after a tough case went south, New York City detective Sam DeLuca thought he'd have no trouble finding solitude in the quiet Georgia town of Misty Bottoms, but his bubbly neighbor seems determined to shine happiness into Sam's life. Sam is equally determined to close himself off, but his heart says otherwise...

See the Magnolia Brides series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Lynnette’s Tip for the Perfect Wedding

A wedding to plan? Fantastic! One of the first things you might want to do is decide what kind of wedding you actually want. This would be a great time for you and your fiancé to sit down and individually answer the question “What do I want at my wedding?”.  Then compare notes and do some negotiating with each other. It’s important the wedding day is a reflection of both of you. Getting there will undoubtedly necessitate some give and take on both of your parts, but neither should take a back seat.Will your wedding be large or intimate? Indoors or outside? A beach or a church wedding? Do you want formal or informal? The answer to these questions will help you narrow down your choices. If it’s formal, you can ignore the Pinterest pictures of barn weddings and most outdoor venues. Informal? An al fresco meal of pulled pork and salads might be perfect! Once you have the big picture decided, you can start filling in all those details.

 

Excerpt 

“Hold on a sec.” Sam raised a finger and headed back inside. Grabbing the small radio he’d found tucked inside a closet, he placed it on the ledge above the sink, dialed up a station that played a lot of Frank Sinatra, and opened the window. The music drifted into the twilight.

In another cupboard, he found a stub of a candle in a squat holder. His aunt Gertie’d probably kept it in case of a power outage. It would do. He lit it and stepped outside to find Cricket curled up on the back porch swing, Hobo at her feet.

“So you decided to come home,” he said to the dog. “You’ve been gone half the day.”

In answer, Hobo thumped his tail on the porch.

“Yeah, I know. You heard steak was on the menu for dinner.”

The tail thumped harder, and Cricket laughed, a warm, sultry sound.

Sam set the candle on a small side table, his system on high alert.

Cricket O’Malley. The girl-next-door meets sex goddess.

He didn’t understand it, but that didn’t seem to matter. Chemistry fairly sizzled between them.

He cleared his throat, then leaned down beside the fire circle. After he got a nice little blaze started, he pulled an old bench close. “I know we don’t need the heat—” He broke off. No, they sure didn’t. If they got within ten miles of each other, they generated enough of their own. “I mean, uh, I thought it might add a little ambiance.”

“Nothing I enjoy more than sittin’ around a campfire.”

“Have a seat then, and I’ll start the steaks.”

After he tossed them on the grill, he inched down beside Cricket.

The woman smelled like heaven. Or sin. He couldn’t decide which and slung an arm over the bench back. Hobo jumped up beside him.

Sam slid closer to Cricket to give the dog more room.

Hobo took it and more.

“You’re crowding me, boy.”

Those big eyes stared up at him, then Hobo threw his head back in an ear-piercing howl.

“Stop that!”

The dog answered with another mournful cry.

“Oh, for Pete’s sake.” He tried to move the dog off the bench, but he’d become a boneless, dead weight.

Cricket laughed. “I think we both know what he wants.”

Sam let out a half-laugh. “You up for it?”

“I can handle it if you can.”

“Oh, yeah, I’m up for it.” He rolled his eyes. “Wrong way to put that, but—”

He broke off as she laid a hand on the side of his face, leaned into him, and gave him a taste of heaven.

“Not enough,” he muttered, pulling her closer, dipping his lips again and angling them to take more. He trailed kisses along her neck, then moved back to her mouth.  His hands moved down her arms, brushed the sides of her breasts.

A log dropped and sent up a loud popping and a shower of sparks.

He drew back and laid his forehead against hers, noticed, thank you God, her ragged breathing matched his own. “Cricket—”

“Shhh.” She laid a finger over his lips. “Let’s just accept that for what it was.”

“What was it?”

“Darned if I know.” She laughed. “But Hobo’s quiet.”

Sam looked at the dog who, job done, had hopped off the bench and rested in the grass. “I’m liking that dog more every day.”

 

 

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About Lynnette Austin

The luxury of staying home when the weather turns nasty, of working in PJs and bare feet, and the fact that daydreaming is not only permissible but encouraged, are a few of the reasons middle school teacher Lynnette Austin gave up the classroom to write full-time.

Lynnette grew up in Pennsylvania’s Alleghany Mountains, moved to Upstate New York, then to the Rockies in Wyoming. Presently she and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. A finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest, she’s published five books as Lynnette Hallberg. She’s currently writing as Lynnette Austin. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody...and all their business, for better or worse. Visit Lynnette at www.authorlynnetteaustin.com.

Every Bride Has Her Day graphic

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4 responses to “Every Bride Has Her Day: Magnolia Brides #2 by Lynnette Austin with Giveaway

  1. Jennifer Craig

    I love small town romances because everybody knows each other and gives their opinions.