Book Review: The Inn at Rose Harbor

The Inn at Rose Harbor (Rose Harbor #1)
Published By: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 2012
Page Count: 330
Source: Library
Audience: Adult - Fiction

Jo Marie Rose is a grieving widow who decides that she needs to leave behind her high stress job in Seattle to embark on a new journey. Everything in Seattle reminds her of the husband that she lost when he was killed on duty in Afghanistan. Jo Marie buys a bed and breakfast in the picturesque town of Cedar Cove, Washington. Fans of Debbie Macomb's Cedar Cove series will enjoy seeing old friends pop up from time to time as Jo Marie learns the ins and outs of small town life. I haven't read the Cedar Cove series, but it is on my massive TBR list. I did, however, watch the first season of the show on Hallmark, so I am familiar with several of the characters. The merging of old and new is an intriguing way to launch a new series.

Jo Marie believes that taking care of others at the B&B will allow her to find a sense of comfort in the wake of her husband's death. Her first clients, Joshua Weaver and Abby Kincaid, both bring major issues to the sleepy coastal town. Jo Marie hopes that somehow her B&B can bring them some peace and closure. Joshua has returned to town to help his stepfather. The two have never seen eye to eye so the arguments and insults are plentiful. Abby has avoided Cedar Cove since her best friend died in a car accident while she was driving. Abby's guilt is a constant presence in her life. She feels that everyone in town blames her and that she doesn't deserve happiness in her life. Jo Marie is like a guardian angel of sorts - she helps lost souls find comfort in times of stress. The emphasis of finding the lightness in the darkest times of life is a dominant theme in this one.

Debbie Macomber has a way of writing characters that are so vivid they could walk off the page and into your living room. Jo Marie is definitely the sort I would want as a friend. I'm also very intrigued by the handy man, Mark. The banter between Mark and Jo Marie is one of my favorite aspects of this novel.

The setting of Cedar Cove makes me long for a house in the Pacific Northwest. I want to be able to see Puget Sound from my front porch and experience the small town life that the residents of Cedar Cove live each day. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite literary towns.

If you're looking for a heart warming read set in a cozy town, The Inn at Rose Harbor is the read for you. This is one of those novels that is perfect when you're looking for a light, sweet read. 

One Last Gripe: I didn't like that the novel bounced between Jo Marie, Joshua, and Abby. As soon as I would get entrenched in one story strand I would be pulled into another one.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The setting

First Sentence: Last night I dreamed of Paul.

Favorite Character: Jo Marie

Least Favorite Character: Joshua's stepfather

Jo Marie Rose first arrives in Cedar Cove seeking a fresh start. A young widow coping with the death of her husband, she purchases a local bed-and-breakfast—the newly christened Rose Harbor Inn—ready to begin her life anew. Her first guest is Joshua Weaver, who has come home to care for his ailing stepfather. The two have never seen eye to eye, and Joshua has little hope that they can reconcile their differences. Jo Marie’s other guest is Abby Kincaid, who has returned to Cedar Cove to attend her brother’s wedding. Back for the first time in twenty years, she almost wishes she hadn’t come, the picturesque town harboring painful memories. And as Abby and Joshua try to heal from their pasts, and Jo Marie dreams of the possibilities before her, they all realize that life moves in only one direction—forward.