cover image The Best is Yet to Come

The Best is Yet to Come

Debbie Macomber. Ballantine, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-1-984818-84-3

Fan favorite Macomber (It’s Better This Way) brings sweetness and sensitivity to this weighty military family romance. After teacher Hope Goodwin’s beloved twin, Hunter, dies in Afghanistan, Hope escapes her native California for a small coastal town in Washington State. While volunteering at a local animal shelter, Hope meets John “Cade” Lincoln Jr., an Army veteran himself mourning the overseas deaths of his two closest friends. After a bar fight, Cade is taking anger management classes and fulfilling his court mandated community service at the shelter. Cade’s immediately struck by Hope’s patience with an abused and aggressive dog, and the pair forge a close relationship over the course of their service. But before they can imagine a future together, they both must face their pasts. Macomber gracefully deals with the harsh realities of grief; it’s easy to empathize with her struggling protagonists, and though their relationship is realistically rocky, readers will have no trouble rooting for their happy ending. The result is a deeply moving contemporary. Agent: Theresa Park, Park & Fine. (July)