4 out of 5 stars
Amelia Ann Hollins might have been raised to be a sweet magnolia, but she’s found her inner fire—the quest for justice. The secrets she carries and a tragedy from her past prompt her to volunteer at a legal clinic in the worst part of town. Here she can serve and protect the one she couldn’t save. Here she will risk everything.
Clayton Chandler’s happy life ended when his daddy died tragically when he was a boy. He lost his belief in magic and signs, but Amelia Ann is stirring the embers of passion and faith inside him again. He doesn’t plan on risking his heart. To make matters worse, he works for her rock star brother and knows better than to date the younger sister of his best friend.
When Amelia Ann volunteers to help with her brother’s charity concert, Clayton has nowhere to run. Soon he can no longer deny his fiery passion for Amelia Ann, and as the danger of her calling and her secrets threaten their newfound love, they’ll learn fireflies are magical and magnolias can burn hotter than steel. (Source: Goodreads)
Fireflies and Magnolias by Ava Miles is the third book in the Dare River series. The first time I read this book, I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it (which is why I didn’t give it 5 stars). However, out of the first three books in this series, this is the one that has stayed with me the most. I’ve read it twice more and I’ve grown to love it.
Ameila Ann’s passion for helping those women (and men) who are in domestic violence situations shows through in everything she does. The additions she makes to the benefit concert at the end of the story, the lengths she goes to in order to get a woman and her children out of an abusive situation, etc. It all adds up to her being one of those extra special people in the world who have realized their calling and will do anything to be successful in it.
Clayton is well, Clayton. He’s gruff, he’s abrupt, he’s annoying at times, but under all the gruffness is a good man evidenced by the fact that he comes when Amelia Ann needs him the most.
Even tho’ Ameila Ann works with victims of domestic abuse, the book does not have a depressing feel to it. Ms. Miles works hard to provide the information needed to be realistic but balancing out with more positive scenes and she succeeds.
I don’t want to give anything away in the story, so I better stop now. Read it. You won’t be disappointed (and if you’re as emotional as I am, have some tissues nearby).