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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

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

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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