The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Brown

March 22nd, 2017 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 30 Comments

22nd Mar

Today, Sophia Rose is stopping by to share her thoughts on THE LILAC BOUQUET by Carolyn Brown. Come meet Emmy Jo Massey as she uncovers a secret that forever changes how she sees her past and her future…

The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Brown
The Lilac Bouquet
by Carolyn Brown
Genres: Women's Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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…

mystery ROMANCE Small-town snarky

Sophia Rose’s Review

The age-old question of ‘where do I come from?’ is what drives this tale of a young woman determined to live down her family heritage even as she seeks to discover it.

It was interesting to discover that this story has the distinction of being both an early work and later work by the author because she began it long ago and recently pulled it out and finished it, so there is a feel of her early writing and also the maturity of her latest writing efforts.

I would also like to point out that regular fans of Carolyn Brown might go in expecting her usual light, fun storytelling, but this is something of a different stripe.

This was small town showing both its best and its worst sides because it can be good community or community turning on one of its own.  This was also an interesting look at how much we as individuals find our identity through our family history.  It’s easy to take for granted when it’s there and readily available.  For the heroine, half her past was blank for her, and she was compelled to go looking.

I enjoyed delving into these themes through the story that was split between the past and present bringing a mystery feel to it as the truth came out through Emmy Jo’s efforts.

THE LILAC BOUQUET is many things including a budding romance in the present and a tragic unrequited romance in the past, but it’s also a story of healing and forgiveness and choices for the whole cast of characters.  I liked the way the author balanced the emotional touches to give me a good feel-good ending.

I adored Emmy Jo and Logan as characters, but the older generation is what offered complexity and gripped my interest.  Emmy Jo and Logan’s grandparents weren’t nice people in their pasts, and it causes them to be cantankerous in the present.  So, I didn’t like them, but I understood them.  I have to say that Old Seth and his painful past was the one that touched my heart.  He truly had a tough row to hoe and really needed to catch a break.  For all that he went through, he’s the one that never learned to hate or let it kill his soul.  He was ready when Emmy Jo came along to bring him back to life.

THE LILAC BOUQUET will be for those who want a small town comfy situation, a family saga type mystery, and a tender young love romance.

The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Brown small-town, family saga reviewed by Sophia Rose Click To Tweet

About Carolyn Brown

Carolyn Brown

Author Carolyn BrownNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown was born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma. These days she and her husband make their home in Davis, Oklahoma, a small town of less than three thousand people where everyone knows everyone, knows what they are doing and with whom, and read the weekly newspaper to see who got caught. A plaque hangs on her office wall that says I know the voices are not real but they have such great ideas. That is her motto and muse as she goes through the days with quirky characters in her head, telling their stories, one by one, and loving her job. She has been married almost half a century to a retired English teacher that she calls Mr. B and he does not read her books before they are published because she cannot afford a divorce. They have three grown children.—and enough grandchildren to keep them busy and young. When Carolyn is not writing she likes to sit in the back yard and watch the two tom cats protect the yard from all kinds of wicked varmints like crickets, other cats, spiders and blue jays.

About Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate. Associate Reviewer for Delighted Reader blog.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw and Howler. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Find @kimbacaffeinate on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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30 Responses to “The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Brown”

  1. JoLee

    That is pretty cool you got to see her early work and then now. It is always fun to see how authors writing grows

    • Sophia Rose

      I agree. I found her books late after she’d already been writing for years so it was neat to see what her writing ideas and style were like near the beginning.

    • Sophia Rose

      You’re more than welcome. Love the opportunity.

      It was a special one for sure. Not her usual way of writing tone, but still the same heartwarming small town goodness.

  2. Nadene

    I have not read anything from this author before, but her name is familiar. I love the sound of this one, thanks for sharing.

  3. Katherine

    I’ve been wanting to give Carolyn Brown a try and even though this isn’t a typical book by her it sounds wonderful. I love multi-generational stories.

    • Anitya

      Same here, I like multi-generational stories. Old Seth sounds like an interesting character too.

      • Sophia Rose

        He was a sweet heart and my heart just broke for all he and his family went through in the past. I was so glad to see him come to life again when she came to stay with him.

    • Sophia Rose

      I’ve found she does fantastic with her own style of fiction that takes family saga and romance together in the small town/ranch town settings. Hope you get the chance, Katherine.

    • Sophia Rose

      This author excels at that and it’s what grabbed me when I started reading her cowboy romances a few years back. I think she did an even better job with stories like this in her women’s fiction genre.

  4. Angie

    I like the idea that this story shows both the ups and the downs of living in a small town. Usually a story tends to veer only one way, and I feel like this is a more accurate portrayal.

    Great review!

    • Sophia Rose

      That is very insightful, Angie. Yes, she really did hit that as an element and it plays a role both in the past and present.


    • Sophia Rose

      I thought it was funny when I stuck the guest post dates on the calendar. I figured it was no big deal and would be fun. But yes, I’m in two places at once. I talked about that a few times, but this is the first time I’ve really done it. Wish it worked that way in real life. LOL

    • Sophia Rose

      Her stories are so down home heartwarming and fun even the more serious ones like this one. Hope you enjoy it, Cindy

  5. Geybie's Book Blog

    I haven’t read any books by this author but I’ve heard her name a lot. This sounds completely different than what I usually read, but I’ll check this out. Awesome review, Sophia, as always. Thanks for sharing. 😀

    • Sophia Rose

      You’re up for some fun times and laughter then, Geybie. 🙂 Her books always make me feel lighter when I pick one up. Sometimes their just gentle and heartwarming fun and other times the antics are over the top and crack me up.

      Thanks a bunch, lady!

  6. Melliane

    It’s always interesting to see that an author is able to change her genre a bit by doing something else.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes! I’ve read ever so many contemporary romances from her and lately loved that she’s been dipping into women’s fiction with these family and friends centered stories.

  7. Kim

    I really enjoyed this review!
    I may have to go and add this to my mountain of books I want to read.

    Thanks 🙂