cover image Must Love Flowers

Must Love Flowers

Debbie Macomber. Ballantine, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-60055-9

Bestseller Macomber (The Best Is Yet to Come) delivers exactly the type of sweet and squeaky clean small-town romance that fans expect. Four years after Joan Sample’s beloved husband died suddenly from an aneurysm, the 54-year-old widow is still struggling to come to grips with her loss. A bit of a shut-in, she’s pulled from her rut by her sister, Emmie, who encourages her to get some human contact by taking in a boarder. Meanwhile, the local homeowner’s association sends Joan a reprimand for her poor lawn maintenance. These coinciding events bring two fresh faces into Joan’s orbit: struggling young barista Maggie Herbert, who moves into Joan’s spare room, and strapping lawyer turned landscape architect Phil Harrison. Maggie’s grieving her late mother and burdened with caring for her alcoholic father, while Phil is haunted by the death of his daughter. Together, these three wounded souls work through their pain, offering mutual comfort and support and encouraging each other to embrace life—including romances for all three. With skillful plotting and believable characters who tug at the heartstrings, Macomber’s latest does not disappoint. Her vast and loyal readership will eat this up. Agent: Theresa Park, Park & Fine. (July)