Woooo! We are at our top book of 2015! City and Book’s #1 book of the year is The Magnolia Affair by T.A. Foster
*Special Note* The Magnolia Affair isn’t currently available for purchase…which stinks but sometimes authors have to put business first and books get pulled. I emailed with Foster and she doesn’t have a timeline for availability.
I’m really sorry to tell you about an amazing book that you can’t buy but it was number 1 before I realized the issue…and I’m not into picking something that didn’t even make my top 10 just because of the buy link. I hope you can still enjoy the review and use it as inspiration to pick up another book by Foster. I will have recommendations below!
Author: T.A. Foster
Genre: Dark Romance, Suspense, Mystery
Release Date: 05.21.15
Why is it a top 10 book of 2015?
The Magnolia Affair was my most unexpected read of the year. Foster crafted a beautifully dark mystery that readers would have never anticipated from her. The characters got so under my skin that Audrey still haunts my thoughts 7 months later. Foster created an amazing surprise for her readers this year and it is a book with lasting power.
Audrey Kingston has the perfect life she always wanted. An adoring husband, a beautiful house, book club nights with friends. It was idyllic. It was serene. Until Paxton Tanner, candidate for state senator, moved in next door.
Seduced by his undeniable charm, Audrey’s life becomes unrecognizable as she gives in to her impulses.
The affair becomes deadly, and she gets tossed into a political scandal that leads all the way to the governor’s office.
When love becomes lethal, there’s only one way out.
If you are a T.A. Foster fan, The Magnolia Affair will be a major departure from what you expect from T.A.. I have read her entire library and really enjoyed all of her books. The Ivy Grace Spell series happens to be one of my favorite paranormal series and who can help but fall for Evan and Grey in the Finding Haven and Kissing Eden series. Plus London Falling and Fly were amazing standalones. So you may think all T.A. has up her sleeve is nice dreamy book boyfriends who find a way to conquer all to find the happy ending for their strong leading ladies. Think again my friends!
The Magnolia Affair is dark and gritty and the leading man, Paxton, will never make it on a “best book boyfriend” list. It’s one of those books that’s so dark but so beautifully written, you can’t turn away. It reminded me a bit of Tillie Cole or Tara Brown in that sense.
The Magnolia Affair is a mystery so I’m going to gloss over a lot of the later half of the plot as to not spoil it. The main character is Audrey. When we meet Audrey, she seems to have it all. She has a job she loves, a wonderful husband who maybe works a little too hard, a lovely home, and a strong knit group of friends in her neighborhood. Things are not perfect but it’s nothing that’s all that unusual or can’t be repaired…until Audrey meets the new neighbor next door. Paxton Tanner, candidate for state senator, sweeps into Audrey’s life.
Audrey feels things for Paxton that she knows she shouldn’t. But after a kiss under the Magnolia turns into a steamy affair, there’s really no way out for Audrey. Her husband, oblivious to Audrey’s affair while he’s working to make partner at his law firm, continues to be a wonderful husband when he’s home. Pax claims he loves Audrey and wants her to be with him. This pushes and pulls on Audrey’s emotions and she doesn’t know if she can leave her marriage to be with Pax. Is it actually possible to love two men at the same time?
But one night, Audrey’s husband is killed. No more decision to be made. No more marriage to break up. It’s already been broken for her. However, in the her grief, can Audrey really move on and give Pax the heart her husband held for so long? And who killed him? It clearly wasn’t an accident. Between all this, Pax’s political career and the secrets dragged up from Pax’s past, will the two survive?
I think at about 3 different points in the plot, I had it all figured out. But each time, I was shocked by a new piece of information that changed everything. You don’t get the actual full truth of Audrey and Paxton’s story until the last chapter or so of the book. I loved it. I loved feeling like Audrey and continuously second guessing the characters around her and their true colors. I even second guessed Audrey for awhile. And the truth is horrible and twisted. But isn’t life that way sometimes? Sometimes people do vile things because they think there’s a greater purpose. Life isn’t always rainbows and Audrey most definately learns that and lives it.
I took so strongly to the characters in The Magnolia Affair. I really disliked Paxton. He’s a monster hiding behind a beautiful mask for so many different reasons. I couldn’t decide if I felt sorry for Audrey or if she brought everything on herself and deserved what she got. I wanted to be her friend at some points and other times I just wanted to smack her and say “look around you!”. I think the fact I felt so strongly about them speaks so how well T.A. shaped them as characters. She gave them multifasited personalities and they felt whole and real.
I feel the only thing readers will complain about it the ending. It’s an open ending and I know a lot of people don’t like them. I honestly normally don’t either but in this case, it worked. This is not a happily ever after. This is a make the best with what we have story. If there was a nice tidy buttoned up ending, it would cheapen the plot. For me, the ending was enough to put the characters to bed. You won’t be left with nothing, but there is for sure a lot more story to be told after we get our last glimpse.
Aside from the storyline, the writing was gorgeous. I could tell how much growth T.A. has had an author since her first books. I think it’s hard to write a dark book that keeps you entrenched in the storyline. The Magnolia Affair is dark and seedy and not always pretty but I was so in it with Audrey and I almost didn’t want to leave. To me as a reader, that’s a special skill that not many writers have.
The editing was impeccable.
This is a book I’d go back and reread again and again. Even though you won’t have the initial shocks, I know there’s so many details I’d find the second and third read that will still make it fascinating.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes dark romances, mysteries, political thrillers, and any T.A. Foster fans. This will shake you up and you will be creeped out…but totally love it.
Unfortunately The Magnolia Affair is not currently available for purchase. It may be at some point, but right now that’s an unknown. But TA Foster is amazing and you can’t go wrong with any of her novels.
You can visit Foster’s Amazon Page and find her available library as well hit the “follow” button to keep updated!
Due to title availability, I recommend any of the contemporary end of Foster’s library.
Giftaway (Any TA Foster ebook)
I sadly can’t gift The Magnolia Affair but 3 winners will have any TA Foster ebook of their choice from her available library including the Kissing Eden Box Set.