Bruce and his daughter Jolene live on Yakima Street and they are having a huge problem. Rachel, Bruce’s pregnant wife, has decided to move out. She worries about her health and the baby and decides the hostility she is receiving from her step-daughter isn’t worth the risk. Bruce does everything he can to convince her to come back, except address the problem of Jolene. She is adamant that they do not need Rachel, and tries to prove it multiple times. Whenever Bruce decides to try to see Rachel, she’s right there to make a scene. It gets so bad that Rachel has to change her job. She’s even cut off ties with her best friend.
Desperate, Bruce begins to see a counselor, and continuously tells his daughter that Rachel is his wife and she will just have to deal with it. Rachel feels this isn’t addressing the problem and still refuses to go back. It takes a while but they begin to mend their relationship and by Christmas, they’re a family again.
This book also includes the lives of multiple other characters such as Olivia, her husband Jack, her brother Will, and their parents, Ben and Charlotte, who seem to be suffering from memory loss. Throughout the book, Olivia tries to talk them into moving into an assisted living facility. Will, who runs the art gallery, has to deal with his stubborn employee, Miranda, who ends up being quite attracted to him. The ends weren’t tied up for this relationship, but there is another book coming out!
Linc and Lori are struggling to make ends meet when Lori’s father decides to blacklist Linc. Instead of folding under the pressure, his brother-in-law helps out by directing a lot of business his way, and renting them the other half of their duplex. Lori has severed all ties from her family but is surprised when her mother, Kate, shows up. She informs Lori that she has left Bellamy because she thinks his treatment of his daughter is unacceptable. Tired of seeing the rift in the family, Linc goes to visit his father-in-law. Bellamy refuses to accept Linc as a good match for his daughter, but when Linc and Lori set up a meeting between him and Kate, he bites his pride and admits his fault. The older couple reunites.
Grace and her husband Cliff are asked to help nurse a baby pup until it’s old enough to give away. Grace agrees reluctantly but she insists that Beth find the dog a home ASAP. She refuses to fall for the dog’s charm after losing her own pet, Buttercup. Throughout the story, Grace attempts to ignore the lure of the puppy, despite his obvious affection for her. At the end, Beth arrives saying she is unable to get the dog a home, as she now has ten new puppies to place. Grace decides to give the dog to her grandchildren for a Christmas present, but as she’ s walking towards the door, she realizes she’s come to love the little mutt and can’t part with him.
Beth, who takes in stray animals and works as a dog trainer, is given a bundle of dogs and needs to get rid of them. At the same time, her ex-husband, who she hasn’t talked to in years arrives to spend Christmas with their children. Everyone believes this is an attempt on the teenagers part to have a reconciliation. However, Beth is now dating the vet. The ends were not tied up with this scene either and will be addressed in the next book, 1225 Christmas Tree Lane.
Gloria is a sheriff’s deputy who ended up pregnant by Dr. Chad. She refuses to tell him about the pregnancy but her biological father, Roy, does for her. This causes a problem between him and his wife, Linnette, as it brings up old memories of how Linnette gave up Gloria for adoption without consulting Roy first. Chad is happy about the pregnancy and does what he can to help out while staying in the shadows. Eventually, Gloria tells Chad about the baby and he reveals he’s already known. This is after her mother has already told her that Chad knows. Gloria lets Chad help with preparations as much as he wants to, but he constantly reminds her he is a relationship, which is none of her business. The girl he’s involved with comes to see Gloria one day and decides to call the relationship off because she love Chad enough to want him to be happy. Chad and Gloria confess their love and make plans for the future.
This was a great story, as all of the Cedar Cove series has been. I enjoyed revisiting old faces and meeting new people. Debbie Macomber does a wonderful job of using multiple characters without confusion. The entire story read like I was really part of their lives and it was hard to put down. I liked how she tied up some loose ends, but left enough to ensure that any true fan will be drooling until they can get the final installment of the Cedar Cove series.
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