I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Alys Murray
Publish Date: March 5, 2020
This book is perfect for those that like: Enemies to Lovers, Sisters Who Love One Another, and Awkwardly Perfect Airport Scenes
You might not like this book if you aren’t into: Stubborn People, Mystery Break-Ups, or Descriptions of Foot Injuries
Harper Anderson‘s dream is to run the family farm with her sisters when their father retires if there’s a farm left to run. She has no time for the arrogant LA tech mogul who makes her an offer to use their farm as his sister’s wedding venue. The sooner Luke Martin is on his way, the better.
But Luke isn’t willing to go. So when Harper’s newest farmhand leaves her in the lurch, he sees an opportunity to strike a deal. He’ll work on the farm for free if she’ll give him the chance to change her mind.
Harper and Luke each expect the other to crack first. What they don’t expect is the chemistry that sparks between them as they work side by side among the budding roses. With her family’s happiness at stake, can Harper put her trust in a man who is worlds apart from everything she knows?
There are just some moments when you just KNOW you’re going to love a book. You take one look at the cover and you are like, I am going to LOVE this one. This is exactly how I felt when Alys Murray posted a cover reveal earlier this year for her latest, The Magnolia Sisters. I just knew.
Reader, I was not wrong. This is my new favorite work of hers– do I say that every time? Maybe. But I don’t care. The Magnolia Sisters is a love story set on a family flower farm in California. The gorgeous descriptions of the farm and town are worth the read alone, but it was the family dynamics that really drew me in.
Loosely based on Pride & Prejudice, you have the main character Harper Anderson and her two sisters (not five, but it works), her scheming Mother, and of course her quietly clever (and always watching) Father. They all live on top of one another and irritate each other to no end, but it’s all founded in love. The Anderson family scenes reminded me of the Weasley’s house in the Chamber of Secrets. All crowded in a shabby house, full of fighting and love. Those scenes were all truly my favorite parts to read.
Of course, you can’t have a P&P story without the Enemy Love Interest, who takes the form of Luke Martin, an obscenely rich man who is written in my preferred Darcy mode: Proud, But In Reality Socially Awkward, aka the Matthew MacFayden version. Is this the way Jane Austen truly meant for Darcy to be interpreted? Maybe? Maybe not. That’s a WHOLE OTHER LIFELONG STUDY AND PURSUIT, Y’ALL. Either way, I adore this type of Darcy and was Very Into watching the banter between Harper and Luke grow from hate to um, maybe, to OMG, KISS ME NAO. What can I say? Enemies to Lovers is my most favorite trope.
This is by no means an exact retelling of P&P, but Alys nails the themes of the original and why we love that story so much. It was like she took the best threads from the original story and wove them into something familiar and lovely and I cannot wait for the next in the series.