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Midnight Promises: A Sweet Magnolia Novel    by Sherryl Woods order for
Midnight Promises
by Sherryl Woods
Order:  USA  Can
Mira, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

Karen Ames and Elliot Cruz married a few years ago. He courted her after she was left high and dry by her ex-husband. She had mounting bills and two children to care for. As a single mother she found challenges with working and daycare. Now everything seems to be falling in place. Karen and Elliot have built up a nest egg so that they can have a child together, but when Karen hears that he is working on starting a new business venture, she is flabbergasted.

Elliot knows what Karen went through when she was single but he is also chasing his dream. He wants to put her mind at ease that she will never be alone again with all the responsibilities but she won't listen to him. He has dreamed for years about starting his own gym so when the other Sweet Magnolia husbands all decided to work together and do it, he couldn't pass up the opportunity. But will he be destroying her dream of having a baby together?

To make matters worse, Karen is not well liked by Elliot's family because she has been divorced and it is not well received given the family's beliefs. Everything comes to a head when Karen and Elliot discover that Elliot's sister Adelia's husband has been cheating on her. It becomes a source of double standards when at first Elliot doesn't think Adelia should divorce him.

Karen also feels like Elliot keeps her in the dark for big decisions and in a way he does. He wants to think each through and ensure that it will work before he talks to her, but in a small town that doesn't usually pan out well. When he makes a decision about Karen's son playing football, Karen is angry and a discussion about not letting Elliot adopt the kids erupts, leaving them both feeling hurt. With all the stress of family issues, communication problems, and money related worries, Karen is starting to feel her world coming down around her.

The Sweet Magnolia novels are among my favorites by Sherry Woods. Midnight Promises is refreshing in the sense that it is not a new love story. Rather it is about a couple reconnecting and learning how to deal with life's curves. A sub-plot about a woman who lived near Karen in her old apartment brings in issues of aging and memory loss. The characters come to life off the pages and have readers rooting for them to learn to compromise and communicate.

Characters from past Sweet Magnolia novels also show up and it is like visiting old friends. Midnight Promises is a page turner that is perfect to read on a lazy summer day.

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