In Sweet Tomorrows (Rose Harbor #5) by Debbie Macomber, The Rose Harbor Inn keeps Jo Marie Rose busy, taking care of her guests and updating the beautiful building itself. But things are just not the same since Mark Taylor left town after just having confessed his love for her. Talk about being confused. She’s already a widow, having lost one husband in a military accident overseas, and with Mark’s life threatening journey ahead she’s not sure he’ll ever be back. Jo Marie is trying to live her life and slowly move forward, even trying to date as Mark urged her to do, but it doesn’t feel right. Especially when she gets a surprising announcement and has to make a choice about where her heart truly lies.
‘Mark had made it clear when he left that he didn’t expect to return. I’d promised myself I wouldn’t hang on to the spiderweb-thin thread of hope. And yet that was exactly what I’d done.’
Schoolteacher Emily Gaffney fell in love with Cedar Cove and has decided to create a home for herself in the beautiful little town. And staying at the Rose Harbor Inn as a boarder while she finds the perfect house has given her a chance to make friends and acclimate to the area. One thing Emily is definitely not looking for is love. She’s been hurt before and can’t go through it again. But then she meets Nick Schwartz, a grumpy but good looking guy with a tragic past who owns the property she’s dying to buy. Things don’t start off on the right foot between them at all. Soon, though, Emily and Nick find that there’s something special between them. Whether they want to admit it or not, there is a bond that has formed that simply won’t go away.
‘It was important that I protect my heart. It would be far too easy to fall in love with him. I was halfway there already. We were both wounded souls, and the intensity of the attraction was like swimming against an ocean current.’
What a great way to finish off the Rose Harbor series! Sweet Tomorrows was everything I think fans could hope for, tying up the loose thread between Mark and Jo Marie and even giving us one more couple, Emily and Nick, to watch fall in love while the healing powers of the Rose Harbor Inn worked its magic.
‘…My gaze drifted toward the inn, and my heart swelled with love and appreciation that I had been led here. It wasn’t by chance that I found this place.’
This was an absolutely compelling story and to me it proved why Debbie Macomber is such a popular author today. I loved the amount of heart and emotional depth that was woven into each of the characters, all of them fighting their own demons but still generous and caring in their own way. This was truly one of those stories that teaches readers to not judge a character at face value. Especially when it came to our heroes Mark and Nick. They were grumbly and pushed people away–but there was a very good reason for their attitudes, which they used as a buffer and a coping mechanism. I loved that Jo Marie and Emily persisted and were able to finally break through those walls, helping the guys eventually overcome their issues.
I think even though this is the final book in the series, it can be easily read as a standalone. There was a lot of information given about Jo Marie and Mark meeting, becoming friends and then falling in love, so it’s easy to see where things left off when Mark went overseas. The situation he found himself in was a tough one to read about in a way, with some dark moments to get through, just as it was difficult emotionally to watch Nick suffer over past choices. There was an edge of darkness to both men’s plights but it didn’t seem to bring the overall tone of the story down or make things too heavy. Jo Marie and Emily were compassionate women, so it helped balance things out and brought warmth to their relationships.
With two extremely lovely romances, one being a well-done love triangle, and some fairly serious subjects to work through, Sweet Tomorrows was the type of romance that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. I adored the ending and how things worked out for our characters, leaving things feeling peaceful and just as they should be.
Published August 2nd 2016 | by Ballantine Books | Rose Harbor #5
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.