Friday, September 6, 2013

"rose harbor in bloom" by debbie macomber

About the book (from the publisher): Hailed as “the reigning queen of women’s fiction” (The Sacramento Bee), Debbie Macomber is renowned for her novels of love, friendship, and the promise of fresh starts. Now Macomber returns to the charming Rose Harbor Inn, where each guest finds a second chance and every room comes with an inspiring new view.

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.

High-powered businesswoman Mary Smith, another Rose Harbor Inn guest, has achieved incredible success in her field, yet serious illness has led her to face her sole, lingering regret. Almost nineteen years ago, she ended her relationship with her true love, George Hudson, and now she’s returned to Cedar Cove to make amends.

Compassion and joy await Jo Marie, Annie, and Mary as they make peace with their pasts and look boldly toward their futures. Rose Harbor in Bloom is Debbie Macomber at her heartwarming best.

My take: Prior to reading Rose Harbor in Bloom, I wasn't very familiar with Debbie Macomber's books. But I've recently fallen in love with Hallmark Channel's adaptation of her Cedar Cove novels, so I decided to give this book a chance. I'm so glad I did!

Rose Harbor in Bloom is the second book in Macomber's Rose Harbor Inn series, which is set in Cedar Cove. It is absolutely unnecessary to read book one first—Macomber does a great job of bringing newbies like me up to speed.

While the writing seems a bit simplistic at times, the strength of the characters carried me through the book and made me want to keep reading. I especially enjoyed watching inn guest Mary Smith's story unfold, but I liked all of the plot lines. Also, fans of the TV show will enjoy glimpses of Olivia, Jack, Grace, and other characters. (Just be warned—if you hadn't already figured out where Olivia and Grace's love lives were headed, this book will spoil it for you!) I even heard Andie MacDowell (Olivia), Dylan Neal (Jack), and Teryl Rothery (Grace)'s voices in my head as I read the dialogue!

As someone who generally sticks to Christian fiction, I wasn't sure what content I'd find in this book. There is some mild swearing, passionate kissing, and references to pre-marital sex, but nothing is graphic, making this a book I can recommend to older teens and adults.

Overall, I really enjoyed Rose Harbor in Bloom, and I look forward to the next installment in the series.

My rating: 4 stars

Buy the book.
Learn more about the charming Cedar Cove TV series.

About the author: Debbie Macomber, the author of Starry Night, Rose Harbor in Bloom, The Inn at Rose Harbor, Starting Now, Angels at the Table, A Turn in the Road, 1105 Yakima Street, Hannah’s List, and Twenty Wishes, is a leading voice in women’s fiction. Eight of her novels have hit #1 on theNew York Times bestseller list, with three debuting at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly lists. In 2009 and 2010, Mrs. Miracle and Call Me Mrs. Miracle were Hallmark Channel’s top-watched movies for the year. In 2013, Hallmark Channel produced the original series Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove. She has more than 160 million copies of her books in print worldwide.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product free for review from through it's Vine reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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