Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sherryl Woods' Sweet Magnolias

Sweet Tea at Sunrise (Sweet Magnolias)Honeysuckle Summer (Sweet Magnolias)

Sweet Tea at Sunrise (Sweet Magnolias)                                  

Sherryl Woods has a whole series of books set in the small town of Serenity, South Carolina.  All feature the Sweet Magnolias, a group of 40-something women who have been friends since childhood, and the new generation, their 20-something daughters.  These two books appear  to be the last in the series and I got them from my local used paperback store.

Honeysuckle Summer (Sweet Magnolias) is about Raylene, who has recently returned to Serenity follow a marriage to an abusive society doctor.  She is living with Sarah and helping take care of the kids and house--except that she can't be left alone with the kids because she has panic attacks if she leaves the house.  Well, the sitter leaves for a minute, and one of the kids gets out and has to be rescued by a handsome new sheriff's deputy.  We follow Raylene as she heals from agoraphobia and learns to trust Carter, the sheriff's deputy.

Sweet Tea at Sunrise (Sweet Magnolias) is about Sarah.  She wasn't physically abused when she was married to a cotton-mill heir, but she took an emotional battering from his parents and from him.  Now she and the kids are back in Serenity and she is working in the diner where she meets Travis.  Travis just bought a radio station which will broadcast in town.  After watching Sarah with the customers he decides he wants her to host his morning show and....

Both of these are sweet predictable romances that deal with women who have suffered in past relationships.  Raylene's ex is truly a bad guy; but these stories made me wish Sarah and her ex would give it one more try.  Both are mass-market romances where couples end up in bed before marriage--even before things get real serious.  However, if you had no idea what a man and woman do in bed together, you'd be no more educated after this book than before, except that you'd know it included getting naked.  Grade:  B-

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