Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Welcome To Serenity

Welcome to Serenity (Sweet Magnolia's - Book 4) by Sherryl Woods

Publication Date: February 2010
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN-13: 9780778329626
ISBN: 0778832923

(Received for review from Nancy Berland PR, via the author)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders, IndieBound

Author's Website:
Author's Facebook Page: Click HERE!
Excerpt: Click HERE!
Other Books by the Author: Click HERE!

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

The Sweet Magnolias are branching out...

When Jeanette Brioche helped launch The Corner Spa in Serenity, South Carolina, she found a whole lot more than professional satisfaction. She discovered the deep and loyal friendships that had been missing from her life. But even the Sweet Magnolias can't mend the terrible rift between Jeanette and her family or persuade her that the holidays are anything more than a season of misery.

Pushed into working on the town's much-loved annual Christmas festival, Jeanette teams up with the sexy new town manger. Tom McDonald may be the only person in Serenity who's less enthused about family and the holidays than she is.

But with tree decorations going up on the town square and a bit of romance in the air, Jeanette and Tom take a fresh look at the past and a hopeful look into the future. Together they discover that this just may be a season of miracles after all.


The name Sherryl Woods has become synonymous with heartwarming contemporary romance. Her books bring out what most readers want from a good romance, a happy-ever-after ending. Woods has vast experience as a writer and each book she comes out with gives the reader a look inside the lives of someone they might meet on the street. It could be their next door neighbor, or the lady who owns the spa down the road. Woods writes about modern women who face the same situations in their lives that her readers do.

In Welcome to Serenity the fourth book in the popular Sweet Magnolia series, we meet Jeanette Brioche a young woman with a very lonely existence. Jeanette has no ties to her family and hasn't had success with life long friendships that give women a sense of love and security. When she meet the Sweet Magnolia's: Maddie, Helen and Dana Sue her life begins to change for the better. She begins to develop close relationships she has never had before, but with it comes the realization that she believes she can never have a one with a man.

When Maddie signs Jeanette up to work on Serenity's annual Christmas Festival she meets Tom MacDonald the new town manager. They work together to make the festival special for the townspeople while they both struggle with their own feelings about the holiday season. A relationship starts to bloom within them as they learn the true meaning of Christmas and what it means to find love after loss.

Sherryl Woods is a writer that knows how to tell a good clean romance without the steam but still full of love and passion. Now that takes finesse and Woods certainly has it. Welcome to Serenity is set during the holiday season and that setting brings out a sense of home and family in most readers. I found it interesting how the author was able to help us see that there are people out there that don't see the holiday season as one of joy, but one of sadness. It reminds me that there are those who need a special touch right now, who are looking for something that we might be able to provide.

The friendships that Jeanette develops with the other Sweet Magnolia's put me in mind of the friends I always wanted to have as an adult. Women who I could share with and go to lunch with and spend time with. Sherryl Woods shows us in this book how important those kinds of relationships are. They may be difficult to maintain throughout your life, but they are something you just can't do without. The theme of friendship and family runs through this book almost as closely as the romance between main characters Jeanette and Tom.

Jeanette is a character that is really coming out of her shell. She's found new friendships that are stimulating her, yet they are also reflecting a light on the things she is still missing in her life, a good relationship with her family and romance. I think that Jeanette is like a budding flower, yet she's scared to start to bring down her walls and feel again. She doesn't want to be hurt again. Tom on the other hand is a good man who has had a difficult time. But, he's ready to move on with his life and start over. He is a very sexy character that gives off a persona of being someone who is really in touch with himself and who he is. I really liked that about him as a character, it was very inviting.

This is just a great seasonal romance. It's part of great series from a great author. I can't recommend it enough to readers who love stories about everyday people who find friendship and love in their everyday lives. It's heartwarming and reaffirms the bonds that friends have and the affects we all have on the lives of others around us.

Welcome to Serenity is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

With her roots planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. She's also especially partial to small towns, wherever they may be. Cheryl divides her time between her childhood summer home overlooking the Potomac River in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and her oceanfront home, with it's lighthouse view, in Key Biscayne, Florida.


Mystica said...

Nice story and nice cover!