So, this is a little off topic from the book review (but the title made me think of it), but I love magnolia trees. I have one right outside my place and every year, I watch for the magnolia blossoms to bloom. There’s just something about the trees. They are fairly non-descript most of the year, blending in with their dark and waxy green leaves with the rest of the landscape. Yet, when those flowers start to bloom, you can’t help but take notice of them. The flower’s don’t last long, they’re delicate, often like the southern belles who live among them, but there is a strength in the tree itself, with roots deep in the southern soil.
And (I take a very circuitous route back to the book here), that’s the truth about the Breeze Hill plantation in Pam Hillman’s Natchez Trace series. Its blooms have faded, it’s in the winter of its existence, renewing and rebuilding to something beautiful again. So how fitting is it that book two of this series includes the magnolia in its title?
In My Opinion…
Readers of The Promise of Breeze Hill will enjoy revisiting the plantation. But those who haven’t won’t be left out. Author Pam Hillman balances details of the previous book while weaving an entirely new and unique story for Quinn and Keira with precision (though I do suggest you start with the first book because Connor and Isabella’s story is totally worth the read).
There is a bitter seed planted in Quinn O’Shea’s heart. He’s the one who stayed to care for his two younger brothers while the other two sowed their wild oats. Now his plan is to deposit the boys with Connor in Mississippi and, once he’s certain they’re settled, explore the world.
Kiera Young has no say in her journey to America. Her brother-in-law arranged a marriage for her and sent her and her two little sisters across the ocean. Now, Kiera simply wants to be useful, find a home, and protect her sisters from the sinister plot she is unwittingly embroiled in. But is Breeze Hill the place that will offer that?
In addition to the brisk-paced action scenes that had me turning pages as fast as I could, Hillman weaves a picture of daily life on a plantation that is in a rebuilding stage in the 18th century. There are challenges, dangers (both from man and from nature), and more work than bodies to do it. There is also fierce determination. Friendships are formed, walls are broken down, and people discover skills and courage they didn’t realize they had in them.
And I have to mention those O’Shea accents! Those tough but kind-hearted Irish brothers and their Irish brogue can make a girl swoon!
The Road to Magnolia Glen is engaging with a storyline that hooked me in from the get-go and slowly reeled me into the heart-pumping, adrenaline-inducing ending. Now, my only question is, how long do I have to wait from more of the O’Shea clan?
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
About the Book
1792, Natchez Trace, MS
Bitter since his eldest brother abandoned their family in Ireland, Quinn O’Shea travels to Natchez, Mississippi, ready to shuck the weight of his duty and set off on an adventure of his own. It’s time Connor, as head of the family, took responsibility for their younger siblings. While aboard ship, a run-in with three Irish sisters lands Quinn in the role of reluctant savior. Though it may delay his plans, he cannot abandon the Young sisters, especially the tenacious yet kind Kiera.
Upon arriving in the colonies, Kiera Young prepares to meet her intended and begin her new life. But she soon discovers the marriage her brother-in-law arranged was never meant to be, and a far more sinister deal was negotiated for her and her sisters.
Quinn offers to escort his charges safely to Breeze Hill Plantation and his brother’s care, fully intending to seek his freedom elsewhere. But the longer he remains, the greater his feelings toward Kiera grow and the more he comes to realize true freedom might be found in sacrifice.
Includes discussion questions.