NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • When a single mom becomes an empty nester, she spreads her wings to rediscover herself—and her passions—in this heartwarming novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.
Jenna Boltz’s life is at a crossroads. After a messy divorce from her surgeon husband nearly twenty years ago, she raised her two children on her own, juggling motherhood with her beloved job as a Seattle intensive-care nurse. Now that Paul and Allie have gone to college and moved out, Jenna can’t help but wonder what her future holds.
Her best friend, Maureen, is excited for Jenna’s newfound independence. Now is the perfect time to finally book the trip to Paris they’ve been dreaming of since their college days. But when it comes to life’s other great adventure—dating—Jenna still isn’t sure she’s ready to let love in . . . until an unexpected encounter begins to change her mind.
When Jenna’s elderly mother breaks her hip, Dr. Rowan Lancaster saves the day. Despite his silent, stoic exterior, Rowan is immediately smitten with Jenna. And even though Jenna is hesitant about becoming involved with another surgeon, she has to admit that she’s more than a little intrigued. But when Jenna’s children approach her with shocking news, she realizes that she needs to have faith in love and embrace the unexpected—before the life she has always dreamed of passes her by.
Macomber (Cottage by the Sea) hits all the standard beats in this formulaic standalone double romance. University of Washington college buddies Jenna Boltz and Maureen Zelinski are now empty nesters and long since divorced. They are encouraged by their children, and by each other, to pursue new relationships. Jenna is charmed by Dr. Rowan Lancaster, the surgeon taking care of her mother after a fall but, like her ex, he works at the Seattle hospital where she is a nurse, and the similarity makes her uncomfortable. Librarian Maureen gives in to the attention of construction worker Logan, who comes to her library from his worksite for book recommendations, but his working-class buddies and inability to enjoy ballet as well as football throw her off. Jenna and Maureen's emotional skills feel on par with a teenager's, and readers will find that the romances seem more like compromises than successes. Macomber's indubitable technical skill can't make up for the way her stock characters plod through their stock situations.