Book Reviews · Historical Fiction

The Scent of Gardenias + Giveaway!

The Scent of Gardenias by Lorraine Haas

Publication Date: April 19, 2022
Morewellson, Ltd.

Genre: Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction

She had big dreams. But will war, tragedy, and naïveté ruin her aspirations?

America, the 1940s. Margaret Rose longs to escape her family’s poverty. So against her domineering father’s wishes, the determined young woman elopes with an older man. But shortly after the US enters WWII, her grand ambitions sink when her husband’s ship is torpedoed.

Training to become a nurse to give herself a future, Margaret’s despair deepens when she discovers she’s pregnant and must quit to have the baby. And now without income to support a child, the desperate widow marries a man who takes her far from home… and into disaster.

Will Margaret rise above catastrophic misfortune and create the life she deserves?

Poignant and heartfelt, The Scent of Gardenias chronicles the struggle of a Twentieth-Century woman carving a place in a society stacked against her odds for success. Inspired by her mother’s true story, Lorraine Haas lays bare a brave and challenging journey of grit and self-discovery you won’t soon forget.

The Scent of Gardenias is a beautifully crafted women’s fiction novel. If you like raw emotional battles, family drama, and gut-wrenching dilemmas, then you’ll love Lorraine Haas’s tale of courage and tenacity.

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Call it getting older, call it turning over a new leaf, but lately I have been branching out from my chosen genre. My criteria when book shopping has always been simple: it must be pre-1900’s and it must be happy. A small amount of strife or misunderstandings (or beheadings…*ahem* Tudor Era) is acceptable, but I have a strict no-tolerance policy when it comes to angst. Life is angsty enough, thank you.

Except Amy, the powerhouse behind Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours knows me really, really well and likes to shove me out of my comfort zone sometimes. (Someday we are so having coffee together, Amy!) How grateful I am that she introduced me to this author’s work.

The Scent of Gardenias by Lorraine Haas is an incredible novel. Set in America in the 1940’s, it follows the life of a young woman named Margaret Rose. Living amidst poverty with several siblings, a seemingly weak mother and an especially cold father, she longs to leave and begin her own life. A life, she hopes, that will bear no resemblance to her current situation. After a hasty decision to marry an older man, followed by the start of WWII, Margaret’s life goes from hard to tragic to terrible.

Now, I fully admit that the book was a tough read because I became so emotionally attached to Margaret. But y’all, here’s the thing. If a book tugs at your heart strings because you love the character, then you have found yourself a masterful author. So I pushed through the hurt that I felt for her, and instead watched with admiration as Margaret Rose continued to put one determined step in front of another. She is a beautifully fleshed out character; relatable, flawed and genuine. Sometimes she made wonderfully wise decisions. Most times, she made hurried choices in an effort to “fix” things. (Girl. How I feel you there.) Lorraine Haas created a lovely story, immersing the reader effortlessly into the hardships of the time-period. The characters are fantastic and the plot-line moves along at a perfect pace. The story itself is brilliant and realistic. A definite recommend!

Bottom Line: Hope always wins.


About the Author

Lorraine Haas is a lover of life, learning, and leisure. She’s been accused far too often of being a strong woman, and even that she was raised to be too “independent.” She loves stories of women overcoming obstacles and thus, decided to write about them. She loves men–being married to one, the mother of one, and friends with many.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, June 28
Interview at Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Romance

Wednesday, June 29
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Book Reviews and More

Thursday, June 30
Review at Cover Lover Book Review

Friday, July 1
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, July 5
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, July 6
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, July 8
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Saturday, July 9
Review at Older & Smarter

Monday, July 11
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 12
Review at A Baker’s Perspective


Enter to win a signed hardcover of The Scent of Gardenias by Lorraine Haas!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on July 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Scent of Gardenias

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