2014 Reading: #40 Debbie Macomber’s 74 Seaside Avenue

I HAVE FINISHED MY READING CHALLENGE!!!! But more on that another time!

Number 40 was Debbie Macomber’s 74 Seaside Avenue, a Cedar Cove novel. I haven’t read a Cedar Cove novel in a long time. I read a load of them together and got a bit fed up with them, however, I have been enjoying the series on TV and thought I would have another go. I am pleased to say I did enjoy this read. It was nice to spend time with old friends! I found some storylines a bit predictable, others a but unbelievable, but I still enjoyed the book. It didn’t take long to read it and I am considering reserving the next one at the library.

Addition: Paperback, library book
Genre: Chick-lit
Published: 2005
Rating: 3 out of 5

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50 Harbour Street by Debbie Macomber

Book Sort: Library Book

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Dear Reader,

Considering that I’m married to Cedar Cove’s private investigator, you might think I enjoy mysteries. But I don’t — especially when they involve us! Roy and I have been receiving anonymous postcards and messages asking if we “regret the past.” We don’t know what they mean . . .

On a more positive note, we’re both delighted that our daughter, Linette, has moved to Cedar Cove to work at the new medical clinic. A while ago I attended the humane society’s “Dog and Bachelor Auction,” where I bought her a date with Cal Washburn, who works at Cliff Harding’s horse farm. Unfortunately Linette is less enthusiastic about this date than I am.

Speaking of Cliff, the romance between him and Grace Sherman is back on. But that’s only one of the many interesting stories here in Cedar Cove. So why don’t you drop by for a coffee at my husband’s office on Main Street or our House on Harbor and I’ll tell you everything that’s new!

Corrie

This is typical Debbie Macomber. This is number five in the Cedar Cover series and is in every way as good as the others. You could read this as a stand alone book as it does recap the general story lines from other books, but it does carry on nicely as part of this series.

The main focus of this book is the private investigator, and his wife – Roy and Corrie. They have been receiving mysterious gifts and postcards. They have concerned Corrie and Roy is struggling to find out who they are from. In other stories, Charlotte marries Ben, but is upset by her children wanting to check him out first, Olivia is concerned for Jack’s health – and when he ends up in hospital she sees she is right about his lifestyle and everything is a bit on-and-off with Cliff and Grace.

This book includes all the usual favourite characters and we continue to follow them through their lives in Cedar Cove. I don’t think I have a favourite, no one sticks out in my mind, but they are all nice and it is quite a gentle, friendly community they live in. It is idealistic but so what? It is nice reading.

Once Roy and Corrie’s daughter moved to the area and started making friends I quickly worked out who it was sending the anonymous notes and how the love story would pan out. I didn’t mind the predictability however. This is simple chick-lit that would make a good beach read. It is a lovely series to escape to and I always enjoy Macomber. This is a good book for those who like a light, quick, chick-lit read.

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2010 Beach Reads Challenge

BWS tips button2010 Summer “Beach Reads” Challenge
*throws confetti*

I’m sure you’re asking yourself, but Jessica, what exactly is a “beach read”? A beach read by my definition is any book you’d choose to take with you to a day at the beach. Think something light, airy, perhaps a romance or two? It’s really all up to you! Beach reads are what you make them! I’ve been known to take a vampire novel with me to the beach…. vampires and sand? Yes!
This challenge is being hosted by myself, Raila of Books Out of the Bookshelves, Linna of 21 Pages, and Heather of A Bibliophile’s Paradise.
Timeline: July 1, 2010 – August 31, 2010

Levels:
Remember swim classes? Thus our reading challenge levels!
* Tadpole – Read 4 books in this challenge.
* Minnow – Read 8 books in this challenge.
* Dolphin – Read 12 books in this challenge.
* Shark – Read 16+ books in this challenge!
Another Summer reading challenge! Yay! So, here we go:
  1. Debbie Macomber: 50 Harbour Street 2nd July
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44 Cranberry Point by Debbie Macomber

Synopsis:

Peggy Beldon
Thyme and Tide B and B
44 Cranberry Point
Cedar Cove, Washington

Dear Reader,

I love living in Cedar Cove, but things haven’t been the same since a man died in our B and B. Turns out his name was Max Russell, and Bob had known him briefly in Vietnam.We still don’t have any idea why he came here and–most important of all–who killed him. Because it now appears that he was poisoned. I sure hope somebody figures it out soon!

Not that we’re providing the only news in Cedar Cove these days. I heard that Jon Bowman and Maryellen Sherman are getting married. And Maryellen’s mom, Grace, has more than her share of interested men! The question is: Which one is she going to choose? Olivia–I guess it’s Olivia Griffin now–is back from her honeymoon, and her mother, Charlotte (who’s in her mid-seventies at least), seems to have a man in her life, too. I’m not sure Olivia’s too pleased….

There’s lots of other gossip I could tell you. Come by for a cup of tea and one of my blueberry muffins and we’ll talk.

Peggy

This is number four in Macomber’s Cedar Cove series. The story picks up pretty much where it left off- new marriages are blossoming, friendships growing, but more importantly, mysteries still unsolved. Peggy and Bob have been struggling since a man called Max turned up in the night to stay at their B&B, and died . It was later found out it was murder. They just want this solved. There are other things going on too, such as the Navy boys returning to their families and Grace trying to get over losing Cliff.

I love Macomber’s novels. They are pure and simple chick-lit. This story was full of life, love, friendship and family. But with this series there is a slight twist – Macomber has added in the idea of mystery. In this book, and the previous one: 311 Pelican Court, the mystery surrounds this man Max, his death and his connection to Bob. In the next book the mystery will be surrounding Ray, the Private Investigator. I like this addition to the novel. Macomber writes great novels anyway but this just adds something special and lifts it out of the bog-standard chick-lit genre.

Macomber also writes wonderful characters. I love Olivia, Grace, Peggy and the like. Their friendships are special and reading about their families and events in their lives is great fun. I find them believable and I wish they were real! They are full of wisdom – the kind of older female friends one would want to have around for friendship and guidance.

Yes this is a fairly predictable story, and the murderer wasn’t much of a surprise but I enjoyed this book. It was a nice novel that I read in 24 hours. Like the rest of Macomber’s books, this comes with high praise from me.

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TBR Challenge – Monday

The deal: a week of just reading books from my To-Be-Read pile.

Diary:
Sunday:
Start challenge with 44 Cranberry Point by Debbie Macomber

Monday:
Finish 44 Cranberry Point by Debbie Macomber
Start Memory Garden by Rachel Hore

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It’s Monday! (2)

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. (taken from http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/)

Last Week’s Reading:

  • Voltaire: Candide
  • Sarah Dessen: Lock and Key
  • Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar
  • Terry Pratchett: A Hat Full of Sky
  • Kate Harrison: Old School Ties

Although I have been naughty and only written a review for one of those books! However, I have written these reviews:

I put two books aside this week as well:

  • Glenn Chandler: Dead Sight
  • Ian Marchant: In Southern Waters

So, what is happening this week? I have decided to only read books on my TBR pile. I’m starting with:

Debbie Macomber: 44 Cranberry Point

Other books I would like to read are:

Hopefully will be a fun week of reading! And the question is: what are you reading?

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TBR Readathon Sunday to Saturday – Day 1!

This is a readathon hosted by Bookworkinginthe21stcentury. It ran last week but I only discovered it yesterday so I thought I would do it this week instead! So I am starting this evening with:

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Peggy Beldon
Thyme and Tide B and B
44 Cranberry Point
Cedar Cove, Washington

Dear Reader,

I love living in Cedar Cove, but things haven’t been the same since a man died in our B and B. Turns out his name was Max Russell, and Bob had known him briefly in Vietnam.We still don’t have any idea why he came here and–most important of all–who killed him. Because it now appears that he was poisoned. I sure hope somebody figures it out soon!

Not that we’re providing the only news in Cedar Cove these days. I heard that Jon Bowman and Maryellen Sherman are getting married. And Maryellen’s mom, Grace, has more than her share of interested men! The question is: Which one is she going to choose? Olivia–I guess it’s Olivia Griffin now–is back from her honeymoon, and her mother, Charlotte (who’s in her mid-seventies at least), seems to have a man in her life, too. I’m not sure Olivia’s too pleased….

There’s lots of other gossip I could tell you. Come by for a cup of tea and one of my blueberry muffins and we’ll talk.

Peggy

I’m excited about this week – let’s see how many I can read :)

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311 Pelican Court by Debbie Macomber

311pelicancourtpb

Synopsis from debbiemacomber.com:

Now divorced, Zach and Rosie Cox are struggling to adjust to Judge Olivia’s unusual custody agreement—and to the fact they’re thrown together more than they would have wished. The kids are staying in the family home, and it’s Rosie and Zach who have to do the coming and going. Having discovered the tragic fate of her husband, Grace tries to adjust to single living and to the attentions of another man.

But the really big gossip comes when a guest dies at Bob and Peggy Beldon’s Thyme and Tide Bed and Breakfast. Roy McAfee, the local private investigator, wants to know who the guy was, and why he showed up there, of all places, in the middle of the night.

This is the third book in Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series, and the house that is the feature this time is the home of Zach and Rosie, who have recently divorced. Yet when fighting for parenting rights Judge Lockheart forces them to move between homes and not disrupt the children. This is one of the things I love about Macomber, she writes unusual solutions to everyday problems. Being chick-lit means that there is a pleasant outcome to this storyline but it is still a different solution to divorce proceedings.

As with the previous book there was an open end storyline, and in this novel the story continued is of the man who mysteriously died in the local Bed and Breakfast. As the book proceeds we discover who the man is, and his tenuous links to Cedar Cove, and one other thing – his death is suspicious. But that is left for the next book in the series.

As ever, Macomber writes believable characters. I read somewhere that she writes the most realistic characters, and for the most part I can agree with that. I found I liked some characters more than others, and some really bugged me – sparking an emotional reaction is important for me because it makes me feel like I have connected properly with the novel.

I am eager to read the next book in the series to find out where all these marriages will end up and to find out more about the mystery man. Macomber writes very well and she is easy to follow and so enjoyable. Every time I finish one of her books I find myself wanting to read another. This is just a great chick-lit book.

9/10

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204 Rosewood Lane by Debbie Macomber

204 rosewood lane

Waterstone’s Synopsis:

Welcome to Cedar Cove – a small town with a big heart! Grace Sherman’s life was happy and untroubled – until her husband just disappeared. She’s spent the last six months desperately searching for an answer. What could be so awful that a devoted husband and father would go without a note or a warning?But life can – and does – go on. Cedar Cove is abuzz with talk of weddings and babies. Justine – the only daughter of Grace’s best friend, Judge Olivia Lockhart – recently eloped and is blissfully happy. Grace’s daughter, Kelly, just had a baby. And it looks like her older daughter, Maryellen, is seeing someone new, someone she’s keeping a secret…Then there’s Jack, who’s been pursuing a romance with Olivia, and Zach and Rosemary Cox, who’re having a few problems. And Grace’s own mystery – will she ever find out what happened to her husband?

This is the second novel in the Cedar Cove series by Debbie Macomber and as with her other work, I enjoyed this book. In this series Macomber has kept story lines open at the end of books and continued them on the in the next. In this particular novel the story of Grace and her missing husband is the main storyline continued. I like how Macomber doesn’t wrap everything up in one book, because I sometimes find this a bit rushed. Doing it this way allows Macomber to explore the story more.

That said, there were stories in the novel that I felt were not explored sufficiently enough. In 204 Rosewood Lane, Charlotte is taken ill with cancer. She has her surgery, and a few pages later is up and fine. For a big topic like cancer, it is breezed over and that bugged me. I felt more could have been made of it – the illness and its affects could have been looked at and included more than it was.

I was surprised by the reason of Dan’s disappearance. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I think Macomber hid that outcome well, and it really was sad. I felt Grace’s pain as she experienced it. With other Macomber novels, she has written some lovely characters – people I can relate too and believe in. This book was no exception and I really felt for Grace as she is so easy to like.

And of course, Macomber leaves the book with another mystery waiting to be solved…I found that made me want to read the next novel in the series straight after I had finished this one. I found this another enjoyable Macomber novel. She is my favourite chick-lit author, and I was not let down.

8/10

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16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber

16 lighthouse road

Waterstones Synopsis:

Family court judge Olivia Lockhart has a failed marriage, a difficult relationship with her daughter, Justine, and a mother who has plenty of opinions and is always willing to share them. When Olivia denies a divorce in court, there is a frenzied reaction and, thanks to an article by Jack Griffin in the local paper, everyone’s talking about it. Cedar Cove – people love it and sometimes they leave it, but they never forget it!

This is the first book in the Cedar Cove series, and like the rest of Macomber’s work, I really enjoyed it. This is different to her other series: Blossom Street because Cedar Cove is a navy town and the story revolves around the whole community not just a street. I found this book a fun, quick read and I have already reserved the next two books in this series.

There are a whole host of new characters that I liked. Charlotte was probably my favourite – it made me laugh that she went to wakes with the hope of coming away with a new recipe! She seemed like a wise older woman and I liked how she managed to have a whole conversion with a stroke patient who had lost the ability to speech. The rest of the characters were likable too – Macomber writes strong female characters who are a pleasure to read about. The characters seem real – I can easily believe that these people could exist in real life.

Macomber writes a good story. She is amusing, gripping and exciting. I found myself reading huge chunks of the books in one go – I wanted to know what was going to happen. I liked how Macomber didn’t tie up all the story lines in this book, allowing for continuation in the series.

The issues in the book that Macomber focuses on are hard: being a navy wife, divorce and cot death. I think that Macomber was sensitive to these issues and dealt with them well. Maybe not everything was realistic in this book but I liked how she worked things out.

Overall, this was another great read by Macomber and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment.

9/10

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