Series: Carolina Girls, #1
Author: Michelle Major
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★
She always followed the path of least resistance…until it leads her to a small town where she can follow her dreams.
When Emma Cantrell’s marriage imploded, she learned a fast and painful lesson about trusting her heart. Then, on a visit to Magnolia, North Carolina, to see her brother, an elegant, if dilapidated, mansion for sale presents the opportunity to start over. Risking everything on her dream of opening the Wildflower Inn, Emma buys the house…just as the storm of the century hits, severely damaging the structure. But a chance meeting with Holly, a bride-to-be in desperate need of a new venue, gives her hope…and the name of a contractor who’ll work fast and cheap, allowing Emma to repair the inn in time to host the wedding and save her investment.
A furniture builder who hasn’t picked up a tool in the five years since his wife died, Cameron Mitchell has no intention of agreeing to help this beautiful—and, he’d guess, entitled—woman insisting that he fix her inn. Until he learns that Emma was sent by Holly, the little sister of his late wife. Grudgingly, Cameron agrees to do the work, with one condition: that he be left completely alone. But the more time they spend together, the more Emma touches a part of his heart he was sure died long ago, forcing him to try making peace with his past.
The Carolina Girls series is a spin-off of The Magnolia Sisters series. It’s set in the same small town of Magnolia with nods to the original sisters, but can be read as a standalone romance.
Emma is a transplant to Magnolia. She fell in love with a house and wants to turn it into an inn. She’s basically there to reinvent herself, but she quickly makes friends. Cam grew up in Magnolia, but has tried to avoid people since the death of his wife. When Emma approaches Cam to help her with construction at her inn, sparks fly. Cam and Emma’s relationship was sweet. Their start at co-workers helped develop a strong friendship (with benefits). I loved how they influenced each other to accept the past and move on from it.
One of the fun things about this book was the small town setting. It made the connections between all of the characters fun. Everyone knew everyone. The couples from The Magnolia Sisters series popped up here and there. A bunch of new characters were introduced. I liked seeing possible relationships that could pop up in future books. Although, there were times that all these introductions felt like it slowed down Cam and Emma’s story. I guess maybe that’s understandable for a first book in a new series.
Overall, Wildflower Season was a good read. The North Carolina setting was beautiful. Both the main characters and the side characters had depth. I enjoyed that everything wrapped up nicely at the end. It was a good start to the series.