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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.
I will begin by saying that Debbie Macomber is what I’d call a chick lit author. She focuses on writing about women who have run into trouble in their lives that knock their feet out from under them. In the course of her books, they dust themselves off and find a new path to follow. That could be anything from falling in love with an old flame, to repairing broken relationships, to finding their way in a new business. Rose Harbor in Bloom is no different.
This book is technically the second book of the Rose Harbor Inn series. Jo Marie Rose buys the Rose Harbor Inn after she gets a notification from the military that her husband’s helicopter was shot down in the mountains of Afghanistan and was killed. Though she had a profession in banking, she decided that wasn’t enough and walked away from it all. With the insurance money, she bought a bed and breakfast in a small town of Cedar Cove, located across the Puget Sound from Seattle, and named it Rose Harbor Inn in honor of her husband. She believes the inn will bring healing, not only to her aching heart, but to those who stay there.
Each book tends to span a single weekend. In this novel, we are reacquainted with Mark Taylor, a local handyman who can seem to do it all. Her guests this weekend include Mary Smith, who is battling stage 4 breast cancer and comes to Cedar Cove for reasons known only to herself. A fiftieth wedding anniversary party was also being planned and her inn was filled to capacity by the large party. However, we only meet Kent and Julie Shivers, the anniversary couple, Oliver Sutton who was a long time family friend who offered to drive them there, and their granddaughter Annie Newton. She was a party planner and had planned the fiftieth wedding anniversary down to the final details in order to help her forget her own troubles.
As the book continues, Debbie Macomber wraps everything up in a neat package like she always does. Honestly, her books are feel-good reads that are enjoyable as long as you can handle point of view changes. When Jo Marie is the main focus, it’s in first person. However, with each subsequent chapter the point of view changes as she handles the different story lines from the other characters. To some readers, this might be annoying and throw them off. However, I’ve read almost everything Debbie Macomber has written and it doesn’t bother me at all. I’m used to it.
As usual, I read this book in a single afternoon. I enjoy her writing a great deal. While I do love her books, I have yet to buy a single one, hence the 4-star rating. But I’m more than happy to recommend them to any female who is going through a difficult time and needs the encouragement to carry on. That is one thing Debbie Macomber is excellent at.