Book Review: 1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber

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1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber

The people of Cedar Cove know how to celebrate Christmas. Like Grace and Olivia and everyone else, Beth Morehouse expects this Christmas to be one of her best. Her small Christmas-tree farm is prospering, her daughters and her dogs are happy and well, and her new relationship with local vet Ted Reynolds is showing plenty of romantic promise.But…someone recently left a basket filled with puppies on her doorstep, puppies she’s determined to place in good homes. That’s complication number one. And number two is that her daughters Bailey and Sophie have invited their dad, Beth’s ex-husband, Kent, to Cedar Cove for Christmas. The girls have visions of a mom-and-dad reunion dancing in their heads.As always in life ? and in Cedar Cove ? there are surprises, too. More than one family’s going to have a puppy under the tree. More than one scheme will go awry. And more than one romance will have a happy ending What would the holidays be without a new Christmas story from Debbie Macomber?

Number 12 in the Cedar Cove series and given to me as part of a Christmas present from a friend.

Lots of characters from previous books, many of them getting the odd precis of their previous story to remind old hands who is who, and to allow new readers to catch up and put people in context.

The primary focus of this book is Beth, who has been in Cedar Cove for just under 3 years, after her divorce from her husband Kent.  She has a casual relationship with Ted, the local vet, but her daughters have invited Kent over for Christmas in a desire to have then reconcile. Unfortunately, Kent brings his “friend” Danielle along for the trip, and there are multiple chances that are missed between Beth and Kent in the run up to Christmas Day.

Meanwhile other members of the Cedar Cove Community are involved, as Beth has found herself in possession of 10 puppies that have been abandoned on her doorstep, and she wants to find owners for them before she goes on holiday just after Christmas. This allows all the families to get a short inclusion in this story as they search for presents.

As this is number 12, and written specifically for Christmas, there are no new characters to be introduced in this book, and it does feel a bit like a “holding pattern” book, that can either finish off the series or gather it together to start for a new beginning.  It’s nothing groundbreaking, but is a reasonable inclusion in the Cedar Cove and Debbie Macomber stable

Book Review: Lost and Found in Cedar Cove by Debbie Macomber

cedarcoveLost and Found in Cedar Cove by Debbie Macomber

In this original short story available exclusively as an eBook, Jo Marie Rose readies her inn for spring, turning to her new friends Grace and Olivia when she needs them most.

Jo Marie has big plans for her bed-and-breakfast. With the help of handyman Mark Taylor, she intends to plant a beautiful rose garden in time for her upcoming open house. Jo Marie and Mark rarely see eye to eye—especially on matters of home improvement—but she knows he has her best interests at heart. After the two walk the grounds, Jo Marie realizes that her beloved rescue dog, Rover, is missing, and at a time when she most needs a friend, Mark abruptly leaves. Confused by Mark’s behaviour and worried for Rover’s safety, Jo Marie searches for her precious dog all over Cedar Cove. But Rover is on an adventure of his own—one that will lead to a delightful surprise for two unlikely people.

Given to me in ebook format from the people over at www.netgalley.com, this is a short novella concerning some of the people near Rose Harbor Inn in Cedar Cove (see also Rose Harbor in Bloom).

It’s only four chapters long, and concerns Jo Marie and her handyman Mark, as well as two students at the local high school who get involved with the disappearance of Jo Marie’s dog Rover. Having read Rose Harbor in Bloom, some of the Jo Marie/Mark story seems familiar – I think at least some of it appears in the larger book.

Amanda, as the maths geek/tutor, seems to have been entirely oblivious of the boys around her, so it’s a shock to her that the jock needing her help has been aware of her for years.

As a novella, this is by definition very short, light on character development and doesnt have too many neat endings. I suspect it’s part of a longer book, which got cut out at editing, but still reasonable to release as an exercise.

Nice little addition to the series

Book Review: 8 Sandpiper Way by Debbie Macomber

8 Sandpiper Way by Debbie Macomber #BookCover #BookReview #CedarCoveWhat I believe is the penultimate book in the Cedar Cove series, this is perhaps not the most emotionally deep book of the series.

This is set during the lead up to Christmas – Olivia has cancer and has just had her operation ahead of chemo. As a result, there is none of the divorce settlement proceedings evident in the early stories.

The local Pastor is keeping secrets from his wife, which leads her to suspect he’s having an affair – and everyone else to think he’s a thief. it turns out that they have over extended themselves when buying their new house and are now in negative equity, so cannot sell the house to cover their debts. The Pastor has taken on a second (security) job, which is why he is coming home late.

The Art gallery is under new ownership. People are mourning those who have died in the last year. Weddings are arranged (but not held in this book), babies are announced, romances are started and as often halted…..

Some things are completed, some are started, some are left open for another time. The primary story – the pastor and his wife – seems to finish rather early during the book and a litle to tritely. It almost seems to ge a holding pattern for the next book to finish up. Not my favourite of the series

#BookReview: 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber

16lighthouseDear Reader,

You don’t know me yet, but in a few hours that’s going to change. You see, I’m inviting you to my home and my town of Cedar Cove because I want you to meet my family, friends and neighbors. Come and hear their stories—maybe even their secrets!

I have to admit that my own secrets are pretty open. My marriage failed some years ago, and I have a rather…difficult relationship with my daughter, Justine. Then there’s my mother, Charlotte, who has plenty of opinions and is always willing to share them.

Here’s an example: I’m a family court judge and she likes to drop in on my courtroom. Recently I was hearing a divorce petition.

In Charlotte’s view, young Cecilia and Ian Randall hadn’t tried hard enough to make their marriage work—and I agreed. So I rendered my judgment: Divorce Denied.

Well, you wouldn’t believe the reaction! Thanks to an article by Jack Griffin, the editor of our local paper (and a man I wouldn’t mind seeing more of!), everyone’s talking.

Cedar Cove—people love it and sometimes they leave it, but they never forget it!

See you soon…

Olivia

I received this as a paperbook yesterday and had finished by this morning.

This is the start of another series by Macomber about a community just outside Seattle. It starts with two young people who married fast and young and whose relationship is on the rocks after the premature birth and death of their daughter – which the husband wasn’t around for due to being on a submarine for the Navy. Up in divorce court, the judge decides to deny them a divorce, and the stories go from there.

There are plenty of different relationships – those who have been divorced or widowed for years, those whose long time marriage dissolves when he walks out, sudden marriages and pregnancies, reconciliations. Not all are finished cleanly by the end of the book, allowing for further books to come alone (are you surprised? really?), whilst also displaying that life doesn’t always finish cleanly.

ETA: This was developed into the Cedar Cove TV series in 2013 with Andie MacDowwll as Olivia. The episodes I have watched seem to follow the books fairly closely, at least at the beginning.