Magnolia Road – Review

img_8987Many thanks to J. Lynn Bailey for providing an ARC for an honest review.


On the outside, Bryce Hayes is satisfied with the structure of her life, her demanding career, and a series of no-strings-attached relationships, but her brother bounces in and out of rehab, her mother thinks she can beat her son’s addiction, and her father is simply doing what he can to keep a semblance of “normal”. When Bryce’s father, Congressman Hayes, orders her to Granite Harbor, Maine, due to a string of threats to their family coming from an unidentifiable source, she doesn’t expect Ethan Casey, the sexy soldier who slept with her, then walked out, without so much as a goodbye, to be her landlord.

Ethan’s past is riddled with chaos, bullets, and loud noise. After returning to his small town after the war, he’s determined to get back to his roots. Peace, quiet, and working as a game warden for the Maine Warden Service sounds right as rain. But with Bryce in Granite Harbor, staying in his house on Magnolia Road, Ethan can’t stop thinking about his future—and that includes Bryce. But to make things right with the love of his life, he’ll have to open old wounds…and risk losing her forever.

The last few weeks have been filled with me getting lost in Granite Harbor, Maine as I caught up on J. Lynn Bailey’s books Peony Red, Violet Ugly, and now Magnolia Road. It’s been a long time since I’ve voraciously read a series and enjoyed sticking with the books throughout in rapid succession. Though each book in this series has enough similarities to make each book feel comfortable, the characters and their experiences vary with each book, making it as exciting and as unique as the last. I’m always eager to see where the following book will go and what suspense I will attempt to unravel as a reader.

With each book, I’m even more impressed with J. Lynn Bailey’s ability to add suspense to a romantic storyline. I’m kept guessing what will happen until the very end, and always rewarded with something I didn’t see coming. One of my favorite added elements is the touch of paranormal that occasionally shows up from time to time. This reminds me of a Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks in the way it’s sprinkled into the stories. It’s never scary but always adds a heartwarming moment and a few goosebumps to boot. I love it!

I especially loved Ethan in this story. I find myself drawn to modern military books or military romance occasionally and found this to be a well-done rendition of this trope. I was able to understand Ethan’s issues through his memories and his friendship with Rodney. This is exactly what helped draw Bryce in and conversely kept her at an arms distance. The slow burn between these two characters was perfectly believable and well-written. I couldn’t wait for the next moment this pair would be together, simply to witness the tension between them and see how they would react.

Like all J. Lynn Bailey books, Magnolia Road covered important topics, featured life lessons, and many words of wisdom – all things I’ve come to adore about this author. Her books never fail to make me feel and I always come away encouraged and ready to take on anything in my own life. Particularly with Magnolia Road, I was able to understand certain issues I haven’t had much sympathy for in the past. Through these characters, I was able to let go of a certain hardness I had in my thoughts regarding addiction. I love when a book is able to give me a new perspective as a reader – this is truly how books enable readers to live more than our one simple life. I’m grateful J. Lynn Bailey never fails to tear down my preconceived notions and move me to understand the world around me more clearly.

“Because life is easier lived if it isn’t your own. A make-believe world is just that. You can walk away at any time.”

As always, it was great to catch up with the characters of the past novels I’ve grown to love as well. I can’t wait to see where this series will continue to go, with Aaron and Lyn’s journey to come next. I have no doubt I will tear through their story as I have with each of the prior books in the Granite Harbor Series.

Purchase on Amazon!


Social Media:
Facebook | Twitter | InstagramBlogLovin’


8 Comments Add yours

  1. I love binge reading a series! So glad you enjoyed this one, Ashley.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is the best, being able to follow along with characters or a common setting. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. RoseMarie says:

    Wonderful review Ashley. I’m a binge reader of series my self😊 and it’s always amazing when you just keep loving the series as it goes along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! I agree!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A good series is a wonderful thing.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s