The Magnolia Chronicles by Kate Canterbary

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How hard could one year of swipes and matches and awkward first dates be?

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Title: The Magnolia Chronicles:
Adventures in Modern Dating

Author: Kate Canterbary

Release Date: April 02, 2019

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My mother’s New Year’s resolution for me was simple: make a serious effort at putting myself out there and dating again, and do it for one full year.

Or until I fell in love. Whichever came first.

How hard could one year of swipes and matches and awkward first dates be?

In a word: bad.

In nine words: bad and also hilarious, demoralizing, exhausting, and ridiculously amusing.

But the only thing worse than dating in the era of hookup apps and unsolicited dick pics is the absolute whole-life-flail of falling in love.

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My review:

Magnolia is the owner of her own successful landscaping business, but not a success at dating. After some serious missteps and misplaced trust, her mother decides to take over Magnolia’s dating life and signs her up for several profiles. Her mother does everything from filling out the profiles to deciding which men to pick and even sometimes posing as Magnolia to talk to her. After several disastrous first dates and many blocked creepers, Magnolia is messaged by a cocky user with sweet undertones who captures her attention. She messages with him for weeks before they even exchange names. At the same time, she meets the firefighter who bought the house across the street from hers and does all the renovations in the middle of the night. After yelling at him over 2 am usage of power tools, she sees the disaster he is drowning in and offers to help him on weekends since she actually knows what should be done. They also have a flirtation.

The fun really begins when Ben, the firefighter, stumbles into her first date with Rob, the online guy. Magnolia doesn’t know either one well enough to choose immediately, but she knows she likes them both and both are interested in her. They propose she dates them both – traditional dating, not repeated hookups until a couple ends up in a relationship by default. Neither man interferes with the other’s date with her, but both work for her. The put a time limit of the summer on their experiment, with Magnolia choosing one at the end. The trouble is, when faced with two seemingly perfect partners, how can she choose?

I did really enjoy this book. Ben and Rob are both really good guys, even though they are very different. Ben is more intense and Rob is more of the jokester. Both have their baggage and pain, but like one of the characters says in the book, it’s impossible to be single and dating in your 30s without baggage. My favorite part, though, was Magnolia’s journey. She knows she used to be a screw up. She knows she hasn’t made the best relationship decisions. Her family and friends don’t let her forget that either, but they don’t see the change in Magnolia herself. She has grown and is entirely capable of making better decisions, even if that includes choosing neither guy if it came down to that. Of course there is a choice, being a romance novel, but instead of a dating-show type dramatic ending of a relationship, things happen organically and in a really good way. I loved the epilogue.

This was an entertaining and thoughtful read. I definitely recommend it.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


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• Meet Magnolia on Book+Main •

THE MAGNOLIA CHRONICLES: EPISODE ONE

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Kate Canterbary doesn’t have it all figured out, but this is what she knows for sure: spicy-ass salsa and tequila solve most problems, living on the ocean–Pacific or Atlantic–is the closest place to perfection, and writing smart, smutty stories is a better than any amount of chocolate. She started out reporting for an indie arts and entertainment newspaper back when people still read newspapers, and she has been writing and surreptitiously interviewing people—be careful sitting down next to her on an airplane—ever since.

Kate lives on the water in New England with Mr. Canterbary and the Little Baby Canterbary, and when she isn’t writing sexy architects, she’s scheduling her days around the region’s best food trucks.

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