Title: Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber
Rose Harbor Series Book Five
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
The much-anticipated conclusion to Debbie Macomber’s beloved Rose Harbor series, set in the picturesque town of Cedar Cove, Sweet Tomorrows is a vibrant and poignant novel of letting go of fear, following your heart, and embracing the future—come what may.
Nine months ago, Mark Taylor abruptly left Cedar Cove on a perilous mission to right a wrong from his past. Though Mark finally confessed his love for her, innkeeper Jo Marie Rose is unsure if he’s ever coming back. The Rose Harbor Inn barely seems the same without Mark, but Jo Marie can’t bear to lose herself in grief once more. Determined to move forward, she begins dating again, and finds companionship when she takes on a boarder who is starting a new chapter herself.
Recovering from a twice-broken heart, Emily Gaffney, a young teacher, is staying at the inn while she looks for a home of her own. Having given up on marriage, Emily dreams of adopting children someday. She has her eye on one house in particular—with room for kids. Although Emily’s inquiries about the house are rudely rebuffed, her rocky start with the owner eventually blossoms into a friendship. But when the relationship verges on something more, Emily will have to rethink what she truly wants and the chances she’s willing to take.
The inn seems to be working its magic again—Emily opening herself up to love, Jo Marie moving on—until Jo Marie receives shocking news.
With Debbie Macomber’s trademark charm and wisdom, Sweet Tomorrows brings to a close the journeys of cherished characters who feel like old friends. Macomber has created an enchanting place in the Rose Harbor Inn that readers will never forget.
The final installment in Debbie Macomber’s heartwarming Rose Harbor series, Sweet Tomorrows is another emotional novel of healing that old and new fans are going to love.
Although it has been difficult, Jo Marie Rose has finally begun to move on in the months since she last saw Mark Taylor. Despite his declaration of love, he did not want her to wait around for his return from Iraq where he is attempting to save a good friend he was forced to leave behind several years ago. Having loved and lost her military husband years earlier, Jo Marie cannot bear to live with the uncertainty of whether or not Mark will safely return so, as he requested, she is moving on with her life. Finally ready to begin dating again, Jo Marie’s first foray into dating is rather lackluster but her dates with Greg Endsley are reminiscent of her relationship with her first husband. After receiving stunning news, her budding romance hangs in the balance as Jo Marie tries to decide whether or not to follow her heart in the midst of an uncertain future.
A concurrent storyline revolves around Jo Marie’s newest guest, Emily Gaffney, who is starting over in Cedar Cove following the end of her engagement. Staying with Jo Marie long-term while house hunting, Emily finds her dream home only to have her hopes dashed when owner Nick Schwartz rudely tells her to stay off his property. Swearing off love after two broken engagements, Emily is drawn to Nick who is dealing with emotional wounds of his own as he renovates the house he inherited from his grandmother. While sympathetic to Nick’s struggles with PTSD and panic attacks, she tries to extricate herself from their on again/off again friendship but Emily finds it difficult to stay away from him as she resists falling in love again.
Written though multiple points of view, the chapters alternate back and forth from the key players perspectives and this provides readers with insight as they struggle to come to terms with their various issues. Although Jo Marie is trying to move on, she cannot help but worry about Mark and her fears about his safety are renewed after she receives an enigmatic message from him. Emily’s secret is heartbreaking and while she is certain she has found the perfect solution to avoid further pain, is her plan to avoid falling in love again realistic? Nick is unable to move on from a terrible tragedy and he remains mired in guilt and shame as he refuses to seek outside assistance in dealing with his PTSD and panic attacks.
As with the previous novels in Rose Harbor series,Jo Marie’s B&B is a place where guests find peace and healing. Emily is skeptical of Jo Marie’s stories of visitors whose lives were irrevocably changed for the better during their stay. Through Jo Marie’s conversations with Emily, longtime fans will be given the opportunity to catch up with the lives of characters from previous installments while newcomers to the series will be charmed by these heartfelt stories of love and reconciliation.
Sweet Tomorrows is the perfect conclusion to the enchanting Rose Harbor series. Emily and Nick’s story arc is quite endearing and with a multitude of obstacles in their path, their road to happily ever after is somewhat bumpy. Debbie Macomber masterfully keeps readers guessing how Jo Marie’s storyline will conclude and the resolution is absolutely breathtaking.An outstanding conclusion to this beloved series that can be read as a standalone (but I HIGHLY recommend the entire series).