About the Book:
When bullying threatens to destroy a teen's life, painful memories resurface for dedicated high school teacher Laura Reed and pediatrician J. C. Fullerton. With the support of the Sweet Magnolias, they bring the town together to ensure that a promising student's future isn't ruined. And to establish once and for all that bullying has no place in Serenity, South Carolina.
Both J.C.'s and Laura's passion for the cause is deeply personal, and their growing feelings for each other are just as strong. But with so many secret hurts to overcome, can these two vulnerable lovers find the strength to believe in happily ever after?
If this book was religious fiction, I'd call it a sermon dressed up as a story. In her forward, Sherryl Woods says that in most of her books the message is subtle while in this one it is front and center. While the romance between Laura and J.C. is important to the overall story, this is a book about high school bullies and the long-term damage they can do. Since neither the bully nor the bullied girl are the main characters in the novel, some of the emotional impact isn't what it could be; rather than being a book about the bully or the bullied, it is a book about how adults perceive and respond to bullying, and it is, in my opinion, rather idyllic.
Fans of the Sweet Magnolia series will enjoy catching up with old friends; those new to it may wonder why so many useless characters make appearances.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley. Grade B-.
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