The Sweet Magnolia’s is a series of stand alone romance novels with different characters in the small town of Serenity, South Carolina. Home in Carolina is Annie’s story.
We first met Annie in the original trilogy, especially book 2, A Slice of Heaven, which was her mom, Dana Sue’s book. Annie was just a teen then, but now she’s all grown up with a career as a sports therapist working at the spa her mom and her mom’s best friends own and run.
Enter Tyler Townsend. Her childhood best friend-turned love of her life-turned ex. While Annie was in college and Ty was on the road as a big time baseball player, he cheated on her. (He claims they weren’t “officially together” at the time, but I think there was some poor communication back then. I definitely got some Friends “We were on a break!” vibes.)
After suffering an injury, Ty is back in town and doing his physical therapy in the spa’s gym in the evenings. Ty could do his PT anywhere, what he really wants is to win Annie back. That won’t be so easy though, because not only did Ty cheat, he got another woman pregnant and when his son’s mother left the baby outside Ty’s hotel room, he ended up raising the little boy alone. But now his baby mama is also back in the picture, and she wants custody of the little boy she abandoned. When Annie sees Ty with his baby mama, it just opens old woulds and pours salt right inside.
Historically, with this series anyway, I don’t think the author does a great job with sub-plots, but I really liked the subplot in this book. While Annie and Ty are dealing with their drama and feelings for one another, Annie’s childhood friend Sarah is back in town, running from a bad marriage. I loved Sarah’s subplot, I thought it was interwoven with Annie’s perfectly.
What I didn’t like was how things wrapped up. I glanced at my library app and realized I was in the final minute of the book. I was shocked. Things were settled, but I didn’t feel like they were settled completely.
If you’ve read the first books in the series, you may as well continue with this one. It wasn’t exceptional, but it was a nice short read. That said, if you will not forgive a character who cheats, don’t bother. Skip this one and move right along.