Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm.
The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting—even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.
Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live?
SERIES: Coastal Hearts #1
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Southern Sun Press
RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2017
“Maggie would always be his perfect storm.”
I have to begin my review by saying this: I have loved each of Janet Ferguson’s books but this one? Oh. My. Stars. Magnolia Storms is my favorite, hands down. (If you’re reading this, Janet, you can quit biting your nails lol) Not only is the romantic chemistry off the charts, but the characters are all so endearing and the message of learning to trust God with the ‘even ifs’ is organically and tenderly woven throughout the story.
Josh and his little boy J.D. are just adorable together. Ok, J.D. is adorable no matter who he’s with, but their father-son bond is sweet and precious and everything you want a father-son relationship to be. Aunt Ruth is a hoot, and Ferguson has done a great job of capturing the personality of a fifth-grade girl in Dahlia. And then we come to Maggie, who is much more like me than I care to admit. I so identified with how she is really held captive by her fear, remembering my own battle with anxiety and that need to control all possible outcomes to feel safe. The wise words of Aunt Ruth are sometimes so difficult to apply to our own lives, aren’t they?
“Your faith can’t keep tossing and turning in the wind. Sooner or later, you must decide, ‘Though He slay me, still I will trust Him’.”
A lot of storms hit Maggie all at once, not to mention the actual storm brewing off the coast and triggering all her fears from Hurricane Katrina memories. The truth that Maggie must learn to embrace – the fact that ‘even if’ the worst comes true, God is still good and still worthy of trust – is appropriate whenever we hear it … but especially now as parts of our country are bracing for a round of dangerous hurricanes/tropical storms, other parts struggling to recover from the last round, and other parts drowning in smoke from uncontained fires. The author’s choice to include actual stories from Mississippi Katrina survivors (in a special section after the story) makes the novel itself, and the news we are currently watching, all the more poignant and meaningful.
I would be remiss if I neglected to mention the KISSES in Magnolia Storms. Wow.Za. That first (again) kiss is a doozy. It left Josh dazed and me searching for my fan! Not all the electricity in this novel is from the lightning – a great deal of it sizzles in the air between Maggie and Josh on a regular basis. Whew. Might want to read this one from the safety of your closest swooning injury-preventive location. 😉
Bottom Line: Magnolia Storms may just be Janet Ferguson’s best novel to date, and J.D. is certainly one of the cutest kids ever to grace the pages of a novel. You will sympathize with Maggie as she weathers the storms that life brings her way, and as she remembers the importance of faith, forgiveness, and family. Cammie, Aunt Ruth, J.D., Dahlia, and Josh will also sail straight into your heart. Just the right blend of sweetness and sizzle, the romance will make you smile and swoon. The message of trusting God in the midst of pain and fear has perhaps never been more timely. Fans of the author’s Southern Hearts novels will love this new series as well!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / Fabulous!
KissingBook Level: 4 / Keep those fans and fainting couches handy!
Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog (that would be Remi), and a few cats that allow them to share the space.
Other Books by Janet W. Ferguson
Janet Ferguson is offering a copy of Magnolia Storms to one of my readers (US only). This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? Have you ever experienced a hurricane firsthand?