Book Review: The Cedar Key by Stephenia H. McGee

Posted October 7, 2020 by meezcarrie in Christian, contemporary, romance, Stephenia McGee / 17 Comments

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
By the Vine Press
October 6, 2020

Could the key to Casey’s future be hidden in someone else’s past?

Casey Adams unexpectedly inherits an old Victorian house full of other people’s memories. Stuck in a quirky little Mississippi town, Casey’s hope for a fresh start died as soon she had to lay the grandmother she’d just met to rest.

But Grandma Ida carried secrets beyond the grave.

Before her death Ida carefully planned a trail of clues to help Casey unlock the Macintyre family secrets and finally explain why the family abandoned her. But each of Ida’s letters will only come from Casey’s handsome—and often frustrating—new neighbor. As Casey pieces together the stories behind the objects filling her grandmother’s house, she embarks on a heart-stirring journey that rattles her foundations, ignites her faith, and leads her to a startling discovery that will reshape her future. But only if she can face the lies that have been slowly tearing her apart.



(Because how else should I begin a review for a southern fiction romance? haha)

Y’all. This book. Is. Amazing.

I have loved every book I’ve read by this author. Yet even so, I have no qualms about saying that The Cedar Key is my very fave so far. It’s the kind of book where all the ingredients for a captivating, 5 star, can’t-put-down read just fall immediately into place and you forget the real world around you for however long it takes you to devour each word, the whole story, in one sitting. The kind of book that breaks your heart a little but heals it even more. The kind of book that draws you in from the very first sentence – “All the stories were gone.” – and leaves you hanging on every word until you reach the end… and then you want still more. More time with these characters. More time with their stories.

The characters are perfectly layered, and readers will see themselves in Casey, even if our stories are different from hers. And for all that we want to reach inside the pages and hug all of Casey’s fragile edges, we just as badly want to reach inside the pages and hug Ryan. For other reasons. (oops. did I say that our loud?) Seriously though, these two characters have a permanent place in my heart now. Casey’s vulnerability, her personal journey, her blossoming into who she was always created to be, her engaging narrative voice that gives us a front row seat to all of the above. And Ryan – blissful sigh. He is not without his own flaws, but he makes up for that with his steady heart, his insightful comfort, the easy way he knows just how to make Casey feel valued and protected without smothering her. Watching him fall in love with Casey… even while she remains completely unaware of his feelings … was  truly a pleasure.

And I haven’t even talked about Ida… or Nancy … or Emma… or even Kitty yet. These supporting characters added so much to the story, and I loved each one! They were well developed and provided more heart, more humor, and more reflection to Casey’s journey.

Bottom Line: The Cedar Key is so much more than a romance, though. In fact, the romance is much lighter than what I would normally gush over. Yet, this gentle falling in love feels deeper and sweeter than many I’ve read lately. It’s exactly right for this story & these characters. Because the real heart of this story is Casey’s legacy, an inheritance that far exceeds any house or physical provisions. It’s in the telling of her story that we can all find some more grace, another reminder of Whose we are & how loved we are. It’s where we can find peace in the balance of the good, bad and ugly of life – and how to thank God for it all. I laughed. I cried. I grinned like a fool. And I may or may not have hugged my Kindle after I turned the last page of the ebook. This is a must-read for fans of Beth Troy, Becky Wade, Katherine Reay and, of course, the author herself!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / in a class by itself!

KissingBook Level: 3 / will forget to breathe on occasion

amazon affiliate link used

Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Best-selling author of Christian novels, Stephenia H. McGee writes stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. When she’s not twirling around in hoop skirts, reading, or sipping sweet tea on the front porch, she’s a homeschool mom of two boys, writer, dreamer, and husband spoiler. Visit her at for books and updates.

website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

What about you? What makes you want to read The Cedar Key by Stephenia H. McGee?

Tags: , , , ,

17 responses to “Book Review: The Cedar Key by Stephenia H. McGee

  1. Stephenia H. McGee

    Wow, Carrie. Thank you so much. This review is awesome. I’m thrilled you loved Casey’s story!

Leave a Reply