by Ellen Dugan
The Blurb: The beating heart of any garden is magick...
Drusilla Midnight, a successful children’s book author, returns home to the sleepy little riverside village of Ames Crossing, Illinois. Recently divorced, she is planning to take some personal time to put her life in order, and to reconnect with her grandmother and two sisters.
Descended from a long line of herbalists and wise women, Dru is determined to reclaim her family’s traditions and practices. While she was away, the family property has become overgrown and fallen into a state of disrepair. Drusilla resolves to take on the task of restoring the grounds herself, and to bring back to life the enchanting gardens that have inspired her books.
However, a troubled, angry young girl and her attractive guardian, Garrett Rivers seem to constantly interrupt Dru’s master plan for solitary soul searching. The last thing Dru was looking for was love, and it will take a touch of the garden’s natural magick to make her learn to trust again.
For even the wisest of women must learn that love can spring up unexpectedly into their life, take the strongest of hearts by surprise, and change their path forever.
Simply put, this book is enchanting. From the smooth flow of the writing to the interesting flower lore, I was pretty spellbound and glided easily through the story.
Our heroine, Drusilla is finally coming home. She left her sisters and grandmother years ago to pursue her career and follow her husband. Being away has changed her and she has slowly lost touch with her roots (literally). Now, after a painful divorce, she's back in Ames Crossing with her heart set on reclaiming who she really is and the magic that she's locked up tight.
The Midnight girls come from a long line of "herbalists and wise women" and as we watch Drusilla revive the garden she left behind, we can see there is a lot more magic there than meets the eye.
When a young girl and her tempting guardian are thrust into her life, she can't see how they will fit into her short-term plan. But the fates have other things in mind and with a little help from her gregarious garden, love may just be in the cards.
I really liked Dru, as well as all the Midnight woman. The sisters each have their gifts and the grandmother is a hoot. Dru's personality and her actions were very believable. She's optimistic but also level-headed and I appreciated her strength and determination.
She was a little short and prickly to Garrett in the beginning but she's just gotten out of a tiresome relationship and was betrayed by the person she trusted most. It makes compete sense that she would be hesitant and even a little skeptical when it comes to men.
I absolutely loved Brooke, Garret's young charge, and the relationship she and Dru develop. She's feisty, headstrong, and heartbroken...a lot like Dru. They both need each other (whether they like it or not) and the way their bond grows was wonderful to watch.
This story is well-written, heart-felt and entertaining. I love a good romance, taking place in modern time, that has a hint of magic. I was not only entertained but also educated. As a nature lover myself, I loved learning about the different plants and blooms Dru used to awaken her garden. The descriptions and imagery were captivating and the Victorian meanings of the flowers enhanced the pleasing mystical and romantic tone. I was jotting down notes the entire time and will definitely be putting a few things into practice once Spring arrives.
Midnight Gardens was an enjoyable, quick read and a great start to the series. I look forward to reading the others.
What did you think?