Monday, February 15, 2016

Book Review: Love Letters

Love Letters (Rose Harbor #3)
Published By: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 2014
Page Count: 306
Source: Library
Audience: Adult - Fiction

I truly enjoy spending time at the Rose Harbor Inn in Cedar Cove, Washington with Jo Marie Rose and her guests. These novels capture the essence of small town Pacific Northwest life perfectly and always introduce me to captivating characters. This installment is no different as Jo Marie is still navigating the troubled waters of widowhood and becoming increasingly closer to handyman, Mark Taylor. I loved getting to see more into Mark's life in this one, but I can't wait for the big reveal on his past.

As with the previous novels, the plot lines also focus on Jo Marie's guests. This time we have Ellie Reynolds and Maggie and Roy Proctor. Ellie is a twenty three year old woman who is taking a chance on love while the Proctors are trying to save their marriage after dishonesty and affairs have threatened to rip them apart.

Ellie's story was interesting as it had some unexpected twists and turns. I can't reveal those without providing spoilers, but I was more invested in her story than the Proctors'. I loved Ellie's gumption and courage. It is never easy to forge your own path - especially when a parent is trying to steer you in a different direction.

The Proctors had glimmers of a strong and loving relationship, but as more and more deceit and hurt came to light, a wedge was driven between the couple. I found myself both frustrated with Maggie and saddened by her situation. I never liked Roy. He blamed his wife for a situation that he was a catalyst for and it took awhile before he finally owned up to his part in the whole ordeal. I think they both made so many mistakes, but stubbornness and pride wouldn't allow them to apologize and move forward. I was thankful that I couldn't truly understand their marriage and choices. 

Readers of the Cedar Cove series will also be pleased that old favorites make appearances from time to time in Jo Marie's life. I haven't read the original series, but hope to make time for it one day. I have several of the first books in the Cedar Cove series patiently waiting their turns on my Kindle.

If you're a fan of a cleaner, mature sort of chicklit, you must give this series a try. The setting and characters always make reading a Rose Harbor Inn novel a treat.

One Last Gripe: My biggest complaint was the storyline between Maggie and Roy.

Favorite Thing About This Book: Spending time in my beloved Pacific Northwest

First Sentence: If someone had told me, as little as two years ago, that I'd own and operate a bed-and-breakfast in this tiny burg of a town called Cedar Cove, I would have laughed my head off.

Favorite Character: Jo Marie

Least Favorite Character: Roy

In this enchanting novel set at Cedar Cove’s cozy Rose Harbor Inn, Debbie Macomber celebrates the power of love—and a well-timed love letter—to inspire hope and mend a broken heart.
Summer is a busy season at the inn, so proprietor Jo Marie Rose and handyman Mark Taylor have spent a lot of time together keeping the property running. Despite some folks’ good-natured claims to the contrary, Jo Marie insists that Mark is only a friend. However, she seems to be thinking about this particular friend a great deal lately. Jo Marie knows surprisingly little about Mark’s life, due in no small part to his refusal to discuss it. She’s determined to learn more about his past, but first she must face her own—and welcome three visitors who, like her, are setting out on new paths.
Twenty-three-year-old Ellie Reynolds is taking a leap of faith. She’s come to Cedar Cove to meet Tom, a man she’s been corresponding with for months, and with whom she might even be falling in love. Ellie’s overprotective mother disapproves of her trip, but Ellie is determined to spread her wings.
Maggie and Roy Porter are next to arrive at the inn. They are taking their first vacation alone since their children were born. In the wake of past mistakes, they hope to rekindle the spark in their marriage—and to win back each other’s trust. But Maggie must make one last confession that could forever tear them apart.
For each of these characters, it will ultimately be a moment when someone wore their heart on their sleeve—and took pen to paper—that makes all the difference. Debbie Macomber’s moving novel reveals the courage it takes to be vulnerable, accepting, and open to love.

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