Monday, October 24, 2016



Release Date:  November 1, 2016


Third in the heartfelt and charming Magnolia Brides series from Lynnette Austin
One mistake can change everything…forever

Beck Elliot and Tansy Calhoun were inseparable—until Tansy left Misty Bottoms, Georgia, promising to come back after she finished school. Beck stayed behind to save the family business, dreaming of the day when Tansy would return. Instead, his trust and his heart were broken when she inexplicably married another man and bore his child.

Five years later, Tansy comes home, a sadder and wiser woman. Despite his anger, Beck finds it hard to avoid her and her adorable little daughter—especially with all the busybodies of Misty Bottoms going out of their way to throw him and Tansy together, hoping a lingering spark will reignite their enduring flame…


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Picture Perfect Wedding (Magnolia Brides, #3)Picture Perfect Wedding by Lynnette Austin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC Review: Picture Perfect Wedding (Magnolia Brides) by Lynnette Austin

Picture Perfect Wedding almost reads like a grand saga. Beck and Tansy are on a quest. For Tansy that entails creating protecting her heart from further destruction and providing a chance for her child to feel happy and safe. Even if that means facing a past that she'd rather leave buried. Beck sort of comes across as a jerk in the beginning but due to the way things ended between he and Tansy, that's to be expected. Tansy allowed bad choices to decide who she became. Alcohol led to an event that changed her life but forced her to grow up quickly. Unfortunately, it also led to her breaking the heart of the one person she could always count on. Lynnette Austin's stories are empathetic and captivating. She levels out the gripping emotion with the light hearted banter and the delightful characters she thinks up.

View all my reviews


Love—the Second Time Around!

I love second-chance romances—both to read and to write! Our couple’s first chance has generally happened before the book begins, and, then, they meet again—with all the ensuing angst. This is no slow-build relationship but rather a raging inferno from the get-go with the chemistry and connection full-blown on page one.
The once-lovers often face-off as enemies; the conflict is built in. Something caused their relationship to implode the first time around. When they meet again, that problem remains unresolved. If they couldn’t solve it before, how can they hope to now?
On top of that, neither the hero nor the heroine has remained in a vacuum during their “away” time. They’ve both had lives for these two or five or ten years. Both have changed, and those old emotions, resentments, and frustrations have had a chance to fester.
Picture Perfect Wedding, the third book in my Magnolia Brides series, is a second-chance-at-love story. When Tansy Calhoun left for college, she promised to return to Beck Elliot, who stayed behind in Misty Bottoms, Georgia, to save the family business. She reneged on that promise and married someone else, had his baby.
Five years later, divorced and broke, she and her daughter return to Tansy’s small hometown to create wedding cakes for Magnolia Brides. The question isn’t whether or not she and Beck will fall in love but rather will either take a chance on risking his heart again.
One mistake can change everything…forever.
If you love this trope as much as I do, I’m sure you have favorites! Here is one of mine:
Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Sugar Beth Carey ruled Parrish, Mississippi, fifteen years ago. When she left town, she left behind a lot of hatred and resentment, all well-earned. Collin Byrne’s animosity is almost a living entity.
At the story’s start, this golden girl crawls back to Parrish with her deceased third husband’s dysfunctional dog and barely enough money to feed herself and put gas in her car. One of the feistiest heroines ever, it’s a veneer. She’s the girl you love to hate, the one who made high school a living hell. Yet, under Phillips’ expert hand, I found myself rooting for Sugar Beth, and, once the reason for her behavior was exposed, I wanted her to rise like the phoenix. Sugar is fighting for a second chance both at love and redemption.
My guilty confession—I’ve read Ain’t She Sweet at least six times, and, every single time, I cringe at the fork-under-the-table incident. I’m not telling. You’ll have to read it for yourself.
What’s your favorite second-chance romance? Why?


Kitty moved behind her bakery case and pulled a cell from an apron pocket. “Hey, you out and about?” She listened a minute, then said, “I’ve got some of my date-filled cookies here—your mom’s favorite. If you could stop by in the next little bit, I’ll send them home with you.” She nodded. “Wonderful.”
Moving to a filing cabinet, she pulled out three folders. “There you go.” She set them on the table beside Tansy. “I’ve got a hunch you can put some magic in these.”
Tansy flipped open the first. “Hmmm. A vintage-style wedding?” She rubbed her hands together. “I know exactly what I want to do with this one.”
Before she could take a peek at the notes for Tanya and Ray Miller’s daughter’s sweet-sixteen party, the door opened.
“Do you know what Coralee’s…up to?” Beck stopped, one foot in, one foot out of the bakery shop as he caught sight of Tansy. He swore all the oxygen in the place had been sucked out.
“Beck.” The page Tansy held fluttered, and she laid it on the table.
He nodded at her, then glanced toward a very innocent-looking Kitty.
Beaming, she hustled behind the counter, then handed him a coffee. “Here you go. On the house. Look who just got into town. Why don’t you two catch up while I box those cookies?”
“Your timing’s off, Kitty.”
The older woman plumped her gray hair. “I don’t think so, honey. Have a seat. This won’t take but a minute.”
He’d rather stand. Hell, he’d rather eat Dee-Ann’s liver and onions or walk barefoot through a fire ant hill. But since neither was an option, he walked stiffly to where Tansy sat, staring with those damn big, blue-green eyes of hers.
Taking a deep breath, coffee in hand, he headed into enemy territory. Nodding at the empty chair beside Gracie, he asked, “You mind?”
“Not at all.” Tansy set down her cup.
He nearly spewed the sip he’d just taken. If her voice had been any chillier, that snowman Gracie was coloring would turn to a chunk of ice.
Tapping the picture, he asked, “Whatcha doin’ there, Gracie?”
“I’m drawin’ a necklace for Olaf, Beck.”
Raising a brow and ignoring the question in Tansy’s incredible Caribbean-blue eyes, he returned his gaze to Gracie. “You do know Olaf’s a guy, right?”
“Yeah, but he wants one.”
“Okay.” He drew out the word, then lifted his gaze to meet her mama’s.
“What were you saying about Coralee?”
“Your crazy aunt’s up to somethin’, Tanz, and knowin’ her?” He shook his head. “Could be anything.”
“Well, you know what they say. Here in the South, we don’t bother to hide crazy. We plop it right down in a rocker on the front porch with a big old glass of sweet tea.”
“If Coralee would stay on the front porch, I’d be good with that,” Beck answered. “Problem is she carries that crazy all over town.”
“Deep down, she’s a wonderful woman.”
Gracie tugged at Beck’s sleeve. “She bought me a BB gun.”
His mouth dropped open. “For a four-year-old?”
“Mama put it away. She said I had to be older to shoot it.” She turned that beautiful smile on him. “I think I should have it now. Don’t you?”
Despite himself, he grinned. “Oh no you don’t.”  He tapped the end of her nose. “I’m not gettin’ into this. What your mama says goes.”
The child’s smile turned to a pout.
“And will the real Gracie Bella please stand up?” Tansy sighed.
“Why do you want me to stand up, Mama?”
Tansy looked toward the ceiling and shook her head. “It’s just a saying.”
“’Kay.” She bent her head to her coloring, tongue slipping out between her lips as she concentrated.
Tansy studied her daughter. “Gracie, how do you know Beck?”
“He goes to see Grandma.”
Tansy met Beck’s midnight-blue eyes. “Seriously?”
He shrugged. “I like your mom. The problem was between you and me, Tanz. Never with me and your mom or dad.” He nodded toward the papers she’d spread over the table. “What have you got there?”
“Cake orders. Jenni Beth called on my way into town. It seems our unflappable Ms. B is quite flapped.”
Beck threw her a lopsided grin. “Yeah, it’s that old ‘be careful what you wish for.’ She said she’d thrown herself on your mercy.”
Kitty swiped at some powdered sugar on the counter. “Afraid that’s my fault. I can’t keep up with both the bakery and all the fancies for Magnolia House’s events.”
“Nonsense. You can still run circles around all of us,” Tansy said.
“Harv’s cancer took a lot out of me.”
“But he’s good now,” Beck said.
“He is. And looking forward to my retirement. Says he intends to chase me around the bed mornin’, noon, and night.” She blushed like a schoolgirl.
“You play tag?” Gracie asked.
Everybody chuckled.
“Somethin’ like that,” Beck answered. To Kitty, he said, “Enviable goals, you ask me.” His gaze settled on Tansy. “Chasin’ is fun.” He arched a brow. “Catchin’ is even more fun.”
She choked on her coffee. “Beck, you can’t say things like that.”
“Sure I can. I just did.”
He looked up to see Kitty holding a white baker’s box, a twinkle in her eyes. An uneasy thought slithered through his mind. Had she called him when she did figuring Tansy would be gone by the time he got here, or was the old gal up to something?
Nah. Everybody knew he and Tansy were past tense.

LYNNETTE AUSTIN gave up the classroom to write full time. An author of eight novels, she has been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Blairsville, GA.

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