cover image Window on the Bay

Window on the Bay

Debbie Macomber. Ballantine, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-399-18133-7

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. Agent: Theresa Park, Park & Fine Literary. (July)