Sweet Tomorrows is the final instalment of the Rose Harbour series by bestselling author Debbie Macomber. The series is centred on Jo Marie, who runs the Rose Harbour Inn bed and breakfast in Seattle. In the last novel of the collection, Jo Marie has to decide whether she wants to wait for Mark to return from his potentially fatal mission in Iraq, or accept that he’s never coming back and move on with her life.

As Jo Marie has already been widowed once before, she’s in no rush to lose another partner. Mark has been away in the Middle East for almost a year, completing a personal mission and another mission entrusted to him by the U.S. government. Understandably, Jo Marie is at her wit’s end and tries to date other men so she can live a normal life.

Life becomes more bearable when Emily comes to stay at Rose Harbour Inn. After two failed engagements, Emily is also looking for a fresh start and finds it at the peaceful inn. Jo Marie and Emily have little in common to begin with, but their blossoming friendship becomes important to their healing.

Emily doesn’t just find friendship at Rose Harbour – she finds Nick. Although he’s initially unpleasant and rude, she discovers he also has an agonising secret that causes him to push people away. Emily’s pain and Nick’s suffering bring them closer together, enabling them to recover from everything they’ve been through.

Sweet Tomorrows does a brilliant job of concluding Jo Marie’s story, and the plot is full of unexpected twists and turns. This novel is very much about healing, hope and finding the strength to move on when life knocks you down. Debbie Macomber has a knack for writing characters that have a lot of pain and darkness in their pasts, and her books always end on an inspiring note.

★★★

Sweet Tomorrows was published by Arrow on 11 August 2016

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