Review: A Year of Extraordinary Moments by Bette Lee Crosby

Posted November 23, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Audio Book, Reviews / 12 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Year of Extraordinary Moments by Bette Lee Crosby
A Year of Extraordinary Moments
Narrated by Shannon McManus

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
two-flames

Series: Magnolia Grove #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Brilliance Audio
Released on October 16, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

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The Delight

After enjoying The Summer of New Beginnings that introduced the Briggs ladies of Magnolia Grove, Georgia and their journey of love, grief, and hope as mother, daughters, and sisters, I was eager to press forward to see Tracy finish coming into her own, Meghan continue to realize her love for her dad didn’t depend on his paper, and the comfort that family can bring to a dying woman.

Review

A Year of Extraordinary Moments follows on the heels of the earlier book and doesn’t work so well as a standalone.

It has been two years since Meghan married her sweetheart veterinarian, gave a permanent home to her dog Socks, and reluctantly turned over the daily operations of the Snip and Save, her dad’s old paper.  Tracy came back to Magnolia Grove to raise her son and reconnect with her mama and sister.  Lucas now has his surgery that allows him to hear now and she is helping her son adjust with the help of a kind and generous man.  But, just when she thinks she has seen the last of Lucas’ dad, Dominic is back in Magnolia Grove and stirring up trouble once again.  The Briggs ladies are not sure how a new person in the form of Dominic’s grandmother will fit in to Lucas’ and their lives.  Will sweet Alice get to enjoy a surprising new gift of family in her last days?  Will Tracy continue on the path she has set for herself or give in to nostalgia for the past?

The author spun out another heartwarming and complex tale about the lives of these women showcasing the many kinds of love and relationships they experienced.  The conflicts were partially ongoing and also got a new twist.  I remember when I finished up the last book that I was curious to follow a bit further with Tracy’s story as she worked hard to grow and change for her own sake as well as her son’s, but she still had that wistful feeling for Dominic back in Philadelphia.  And, though Meghan came a long way in learning to live and find love outside her all work and attachment to that newspaper which she associated with her daddy, I wasn’t sure she’d really moved on.  These things along with the renewed issues with Dominic and enjoying the new character in the story who was his warm and loving grandmother Alice made this another fabulous part of the ongoing story.

I was really rooting for Tracy to hang in there.  She was doing so well and on her way to lasting happiness with the perfect man, Gabriel, for her and Lucas, but she had a first love that she remembered as better than it really was and overbalanced making everything about Lucas the way Meghan used to make everything about the Snip and Save (and kinda still does).

I will confess that while I didn’t want Dominic and Tracy together, I was certainly more conflicted about him than I was in the first book.  The author gave him a backstory of a rough life of no dad in the picture and a wild mother who wasn’t good for him before she abandoned him for good with his grandmother.  He never really stood a chance in many ways so I did pity him, but Alice gave him every chance to embrace something different with the way she worked hard to show him that she loved and cared deeply for him in place of his mother.

Much of this book really tugs on the emotions.  I cried a few times to be honest.  Hard things had to happen before the healing and good could settle in.  I was so vested in these characters and their lives.

Shannon McManus is a talented and well-matched narrator for this series.  She nails voices, accents, pacing, and the connection to the story so well.  She added that extra sparkle and enriched the words and heart of the story.

So, I’m emotionally exhausted, but oh so satisfied with this story.  I heartily encourage those who enjoy stories with a strong family connection, a slow burn side romance, and deep emotional engagement to give this book/series a try.

My thanks to Brilliance Audio for the opportunity to listen to the book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #359 CR
New Release #180
Audio #81

Recommendations

 
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Melliane
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it’s great for the slow burn romance and I confess that you mademe curious. I should try!

Sophia Rose
Guest

That is good. Love that I hooked your interest. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction
Guest

I can understand why it’s necessary to read the first book with all the characters involved. I do like emotional reads with a wonderful cast of characters and the series sounds like a great audio experience. I’m off to look it up! Wonderful review, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh good! Glad I could talk you into it, Rachel. 🙂

Northwoman
Guest

I don’t know if I’m up for the emotional upheaval right now but it sounds like an amazing book. The best books do involve emotion and intellect. But sometimes I want intellect with friendly, positive emotion overall. I tend to read more mysteries when I’m looking for less of an emotional rollercoster. Well, they have a different set of emotions anyway. I enjoyed your review. Anne – Books of My Heart

Sophia Rose
Guest

I take your meaning exactly. I can only do this level of emotion a few times a year because I prefer to not venture into the sad territory that much. Thanks, Anne!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

I love this author and need to read the first book, but this series is on my wishlist. So happy you loved it!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh, for sure. You were the person to get me to try her books. If you have KU or are doing the new trial period, this series in audio is part of it. 🙂

Lorna
Guest
Lorna

Sounds like both of these were a good read for you. Not sure about the upheaval part, but one of these days I will finally read a book by this author. Great review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Her books settle in the historical fiction or women’s fiction meshed with romance so they tend to deal with sorrow a bit more than the usual romance, but she also puts light and humorous times with it, too, so they aren’t total downers. I like them when I’m in the mood for something that digs a little deeper than my usual. 🙂

herdingcats
Guest

She’s not one I’ve tried. But sounds interesting and very well done. I’ll have to hunt up book one 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Her stories are deep and lovely. Oh, and this series is on KU. 🙂