“The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories” is the first book I have read by Celeste Fletcher McHale. If it is a true sample of her other books, it will definitely not be the last one.

A contemporary love story, the novel is populated with well-defined and likeable characters, the kind of people for whom you want all the best. Situations throughout the story are true-to-life and easy to identify with. I particularly like the way Jacey and Colin’s relationship developed and how Jacey was emotionally healed as she found faith in Christ.

“The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories” is the story of two people who met and fell in love quickly during a tremendously traumatic emergency then lost touch for over a year. Meeting unexpectedly once again, both Jacey and Colin must get to know each other under “normal” conditions and Jacey is convinced she was mistaken in her feelings for Colin. This story is filled with drama, humor, romance, and numerous twists that kept me happily reading. I look forward to reading more by this author.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Amazon Vine. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


“There’s no time,” Colin said. “You have to go. Find me, call me . . .”

Jacey and Colin shared the three most intense days of their lives together, waiting for help as Mississippi floodwaters surrounded them. Jacey knew Colin was the love of her life—until her rescue boat went under water, along with Colin’s last name and pieces of Jacey’s memory.

The last thing she remembered was being submerged in water. Again.

As Jacey walks down the aisle as the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding a year later, the last person she expects to see is Colin. The biggest surprise, though, is that the man of her dreams is not wearing jeans and flip-flops as he did when he held her through those long nights of the flood. He’s the preacher.

As Jacey’s memories come flooding back, it’s almost more than she can take. The fate of the young family trapped with them haunts her. The unwavering honesty—and support—of her best friend Georgia forces her to take a fresh look at herself. She’s spent her life afraid of love. But this flood is opening Jacey’s heart in the most unexpected ways.


Celeste Fletcher McHale lives on her family farm in Central Louisiana where she enjoys raising a variety of animals. Her hobbies include writing, football, baseball, and spending much time with her grandchildren.


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