Jul 28 2016 8:30am

First Look: Debbie Macomber’s Sweet Tomorrows (August 2, 2016)

Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber
Sweet Tomorrows (Rose Harbor #5)
Ballantine / August 2, 2016 / $26.00 print, $12.99 digital

There’s a reason why Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and with Sweet Tomorrows, we get another dose of women’s fiction perfection. What I loved most about this book was the telling of the story from four points of view, told in first person (Jo Marie, Emily Gaffney, and Mark Taylor) and third person (Nick Schwartz). With the first person, the story is immediate and happening right in front of me. I feel the intensity of emotions as if I were the characters. When Macomber shifts to the third person for Nick’s story, it presents like a movie, illustrating the enormity of his situation, traumatic in a different way than the other three. Finally, the driving conflicts in the story are relevant - from classified military ops in the Middle East, to loss of loved ones. Macomber highlights how if we look in the nooks and crannies of small-town life, we'll find significance, beauty, and love.

So enough vague-speak…let’s get to the meat of this book: the couples.

Jo Marie and Mark Taylor. Jo Marie is a widow, having lost her husband to the war in the Middle East. Mark Taylor is the handyman she hires to fix up the B&B she owns and runs following her husband’s death. And this B&B, the Rose Harbor Inn is a place of healing. Before she realizes it, she has fallen in love with Mark Taylor when he tells her he has to leave.

No sooner did I come to accept that my heart was open and ready for Mark’s love when he hit me with another shock. This one even bigger than the first. He announced he was leaving Cedar Cove, with no intention of returning.


I didn’t have a clue what that was about. He made no sense.

“I love you, Jo Marie. Sorry, but I’m leaving and I won’t be back.”

Who does that? And for the love of heaven, why? And then he was gone. Really gone…

Like I said, that was nine months ago, and since that time I’d heard nothing more.



Not a single word.

Because Mark Taylor is hiding a classified past-life in the military. But in order to be with her, he must finish something he left incomplete in Iraq. But it was pretty much a suicide mission.

I don’t mean to be crass or anything, but I never gave a flying donkey’s butt what anyone thought.

That is, until I met Jo Marie.

Without it ever meaning to happen, I cared what she thought of me enough to risk my fool neck in order to be worthy of her.

While Jo Marie waits for Mark, she takes in a short-term boarder to her Inn. Her name is Emily and she is running from her own disappointments and losses. She’s drawn to the reclusive Nick Schwartz despite their initial epic fail of an introduction, and her fears of trusting in relationships again.

She took his hand and he immediately felt a connection with her that was more than the physical. From the way her gaze shot to his, he knew she’d felt it, too. For an uncomfortably long moment they stared at each other, their hands clasped together as though forged into one…While there was this undeniable connection, and recognition of shared loss there was more…and it was physical. Nick felt intense longing and desire, both of which he hadn’t experienced in over a year. And when it came, it hit with a punch. 

Because Nick believes he isn’t worthy of love and there’s nothing he can do to redeem himself. Only, he can’t stay away from Emily and the Inn. Because they heal—which is exactly what Nick needs.

I kid you not, this book is another one-night stand of intense page-turning. I had all the feels with the best of romance and finished feeling so satisfied.


Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber, available August 2, 2016:

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Tanya is a fanatic of all things romance, dabbles in Happily Ever Afters under the pen name of Lily Kay, and teaches sociology part-time. You can follow her on twitter @tamushamu, @AuthorLilyKay, or on

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