The sounds of bickering permeate the walls of a bed-and-breakfast in the latest installment of the best-selling author’s Rose Harbor series.
Jo Marie Rose was newly widowed and looking for a fresh start when she founded the Rose Harbor Inn in the Pacific Northwest town of Cedar Cove. Two years later, she’s still in mourning after receiving her soldier husband’s last letter, which he had written years ago in the event of his death. Her relationship with her dud of a handyman, Mark Taylor, has all the signs of going nowhere—he doesn’t open up about himself, and Jo Marie’s strained conversations with him as she tries to win him over with homemade cookies are painful to read—until she puts it together that he may be hiding a troubled past. Jo Marie’s guests are in even more awkward predicaments—Maggie and Roy Porter are trying to rekindle their romance after problems with infidelity, and young Ellie Reynolds has escaped from her overbearing mother to try to connect with a guy she met on a dating site. While the married couple tries to fill uncomfortable silences with false cheer, Ellie’s excitement turns to horror when her date catfishes her with an ulterior motive for meeting her. The fights that ensue are so bitter that each time the door opens on one couple, it’s a relief to leave the other behind. But hope surfaces in old letters in which Roy reveals his devotion to Maggie, Jo Marie’s husband shares his hopes for her future without him, and a game-changing revelation about Ellie’s past sheds new light on a complicated relationship.
Hurt feelings are mended in believable and unexpectedly uplifting ways, and a cliffhanger ending for Jo Marie begs for a swift resolution in the next book.