The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Come hell or high water, Emmy Jo Massey will have a wedding. After three generations of Massey women with children out of wedlock, she wants the whole town of Hickory, Texas, to witness the legitimacy of her union with Logan Grady. But dream weddings aren’t cheap. So she accepts a highly lucrative stint as a home health assistant to retired realtor, and town recluse, Seth Thomas—a decision her great-grandmother Tandy is dead-set against.
Seth isn’t happy about it, either. The eighty-two-year-old doesn’t want a “babysitter”—much less a Massey—something he makes clear when Emmy arrives at his house, an empty mansion built for the woman who broke his heart. But as Emmy stays and the two eventually open up to each other, she learns the reason behind a feud between Seth, Tandy, and Logan’s grandfather Jesse Grady that goes back six decades. She also uncovers a secret that forever changes how she sees her past and her future…
I could read anything and everything by Carolyn Brown and be a happy person. I consume every book she comes out with so it’s no surprise that I have 4 books sitting on my ARC shelves right now and I’m putting off everyone else’s to get to hers. I absolutely want to be her best friend, I want to vacation with her and go shopping with her and ask her pointer tips for writing and before you think that’s stalkerish….I’m just writing and a little bit is me being over-the-top! The part about me reading everything she writes, however, is NOT!!
Okay, to get down to business about this book – OH MY GOODNESS!! It was awesome and yes I’m partial because I think she’s an exceptional writer anyway so I wasn’t coming to her work with brand-new eyes. I’ll just say that I fell in love with Seth in this book from the first page he was in it. You wrote his name Carolyn and I loved him. He wasn’t hard to love. Emmy Jo is a little different. She’s a young woman who wants a BIG wedding. Not for the reason that you’d think, though. It’s to show the whole town that she’s really married and not just saying she’s married. You see, people say she’s from the wrong side of the track and her sweetheart Logan is the preacher’s son. The story is about how Emmy Jo is taking care of another man at his mansion after he has surgery…enter Seth. Seth’s a recluse, who’s grumpy and Emmy Jo compares him to Sam Elliott – the actor. Now, I don’t know about all of you but I love Sam Elliott and that just hit all my buttons for swoon-worthiness. I know you’re thinking…Ewww, young girl and old guy who’s like 82 years old. NO, NO, NO!! Emmy Jo’s great grandmother knew him and unbeknownst to Emmy, she hates him so much that she threatens to kick Emmy out of the trailer she lives in if she even goes near the man. However, it’s a lot of money for 2 months of work and she could pay for her dream wedding and she’ll be leaving the trailer anyway. So Emmy packs her bags and heads for Seth’s.
Seth’s sister had arranged for his nurses and Seth not knowing it’s Tandy’s (Emmy GGM) granddaughter has a fit she’s in his house. He’s a little OCD, just as stubborn as mule and endearing. Logan, you’ll also fall in love with. His great granddad, Jesse, went to school with Tandy and Seth. He’s also a preacher like Logan and doesn’t like Tandy or Emmy Jo because he doesn’t approve of the marriage. He is so mad about the impending marriage that he takes it to the board of the church to have Logan kicked out of the upstairs apartment of the garage if he doesn’t break up with Emmy Jo. Logan leaves not only his home but the church that he’s always been in. He resigns his Sunday school class and says he’ll go to Tandy’s church. Only Tandy hates Logan as much as Jesse hates Emmy Jo. ANGST, ANGST, ANGST. Usually, I hate angst….everyone knows that but I am partial to the way that Carolyn writes it so I can’t be impartial in my review of the angst part. Oh, I so loved this book!!
It wasn’t just all drama and angst in this book because anyone that’s ever read Carolyn Brown, knows that she’s a hoot and so are her characters. Emmy Jo is a hilarious and she just made me love her the way she treated Seth. You find out all the reasons behind everything because Emmy Jo goes searching for answers…and BOY DOES SHE FIND ANSWERS Y’ALL!! My heart broke over the way Seth’s mom was treated and how he spoke about her. I found myself crying and snotting all over the place. My family kept looking at me like I had 4 heads. I know my nose was the size of a kiwi by the time I got done rubbing it. I also found myself laughing out loud more times than I could count and wish I could smack Jesse in the same chapter…that is the test of a really good book! I’d love to meet a man like Seth…or Sam Elliott! I really think they should turn this book into a movie because it would be a hit. It kind of reminds me of the old-time movies that I used to watch when I was little. Seriously – Carolyn Brown if you ever read this review…Make this into a movie!! But really nothing is ever better than reading the book and taking the time to sit down and consume what the writer is trying to convey to her readers.
Sit down, get a cup of hot tea, some Kleenex and escape away from your family for a little while. Escape to the world that Carolyn Brown has created especially for you and enjoy it. It’s an awesome place to be.
I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on NetGalley for an honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.
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