Since moving to Cedar Cove, Jo Marie Rose has truly started to feel at home, and her neighbors have become her closest friends. Now it’s springtime, and Jo Marie is eager to finish the most recent addition to her inn. In memory of her late husband, Paul, she has designed a beautiful rose garden for the property and enlisted handyman Mark Taylor to help realize it. She and Mark don’t always see eye-to-eye—and at times he seems far removed—yet deep down, Jo Marie finds great comfort in his company. And while she still seeks a sense of closure, she welcomes her latest guests, who are on their own healing journeys.
Annie Newton arrives in town to orchestrate her grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration. While Annie is excited for the festivities, she’s struggling to move on from her broken engagement, and her grandparents themselves seem to be having trouble getting along. Worse, Annie is forced to see Oliver Sutton, with whom she grew up and who has always mercilessly teased her. But the best parties end with a surprise, and Annie is in for the biggest one of all.
Received in ebook format from the publishers via www.netgalley.com. This is an uncorrected proof, so my review is based on text that might differ from the final published book.
This is the second book in the Rose Harbor series, based in the same area of Washington State as the Cedar Cove series. There is the occasional reference to characters in that series, but these are only noticeable to readers of that .series, so readers of this book/series will not suffer. However it is this small detail contributes to the texture of the Macomber world.
This story concentrates on three women in particular, alternating chapters between the three.
Jo Marie is still recovering from the loss of her soldier husband Paul the year before. The helicopter he was traveling in went down in Afghanistan and his body has yet to be recovered, so she has been unable to bury him officially. She is now the owner of the Rose Harbor Inn and is still trying to figure out her friend and handyman Mark.
Annie has booked out the Inn to help celebrate her grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, in part to avoid her ex fiancee Lenny who still hasn’t taken the hint even 6 months later. To complicate things, her childhood friend/tormentor Oliver has gatecrashed her party and she isn’t happy. She is also confused by her grandparents behaviour towards each other with their constant bickering.
Mary has flown over from New York whilst still recovering from breast cancer. She reconnects with the man she still loves but left 19 years previously to further her career and has to deal with some very painful memories and feelings, both from her past with George and the coming out of cancer.
At one level, Macomber books are cosy, predictable and clearly signposted. However the devil is in the details (the inclusion of the Cedar Cover people is an example) and other matters that I wont mention here because of spoilers. As a reader, you know you are being pulled along, but you dont mind, as the breaks are at the right points to make you go to the next chapter to find out what happens next.
The book doesnt tie up all loose ends – there are plenty left open for the next few stories in the series. Some people will find this frustrating, but not all things end so neatly