Mira, Jul 29 2014, $14.99 (trade); $24.99 (hardcover)
Adelia Hernandez accepts the inevitability that her cheating husband Ernesto will always have mistresses as he does not care about her. However, Ernesto’s reckless neglect of their four children, especially showing off to their thirteen year old oldest his mistresses and setting a bad example for their eight year old youngest, persuades Adelia to divorce him and start over elsewhere. Swearing off men in order to focus on raising her three daughters (Serena, Natalia and Juanita) and son (Tomas), with support from her mother and her brother (see Midnight Promises) she moves with her children to the Swan Point neighborhood in Serenity, South Carolina.
At Rosalina, Adelia and Gabe Franklin see each other for the first time and the attraction is stratospheric. She obtains her first job since having kids while he temporarily works for his cousin. However, Gabe plans to stay for a short time to rectify mistakes he made growing up in this town where his mom was the town’s target of nasty gossip due to the parade of men entering and leaving her life. As he and the mother of four fall in love and he adores her kids; Ernesto plans to destroy their relationship by using the children especially vulnerable Tomas as his pawn.
The eleventh Sweet Magnolia contemporary (see Catching Fireflies and Where Azaleas Bloom) is a wonderful second chance family drama in spite of macho Ernesto’s unnecessary nastiness and the repeat philandering theme (see Home In Carolina, Stealing Home and A Slice Of Heaven). Readers will root for with Gabe, Adelia and her kids to find happiness together.