16 Lighthouse Road

50 Harbor Street

204 Rosewood Lane

Buffalo Valley

Can This Be Christmas?

Dakota Home

A Good Yarn

Lone Star Baby

Montana

Moon Over Water

The Snow Bride

Susannah’s Garden

When Christmas Comes

 
92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie Macomber
(Mira, $7.99, G)  ISBN 978-07783-2669-4
***
If you are a Debbie Macomber fan and have been reading her Cedar Cove series, then you will enjoy 92 Pacific Boulevard. I have read three of this series, and this entry (#9 for the series) is my fourth. I can honestly say that if you have read any one of these, you will have read this one. If you have read one of my previous reviews, you will feel like this one is repetitious. If you have not read at least some of this series, then I recommend you start at the beginning rather than trying to start here.

Macomber takes us back to Cedar Cove and there we pick up the lives of Cliff and Grace Harding, Olivia and Jack Griffin and many, many more. The characters that are featured include the Sheriff, Troy Davis, and his love Faith Beckwith along with his daughter Megan. Troy and Faith were almost ready to marry when Megan had a miscarriage. Apparently in the last book, she made it clear that she did not want Troy with Faith, so he broke it off. Now he realizes how much he misses Faith and he has hopes of getting her to accept him again. There is added pressure when Faith talks about moving. She is living in a rental property but it looks like someone is targeting her. Her home is being continuously vandalized and broken into. Troy struggles with his duty to the community and his need to be there to protect Faith.

There is the mystery of the skeletal remains found in a cave in the previous story. Two teens found these and no one seems to know who the person is. There are complications when some reporters start snooping and the mayor wants to keep things from blowing up. Troy has his hands full.

Other stories include Olivia’s continued recuperation from breast cancer; Rachel and Bruce, newlyweds trying to deal with Bruce’s daughter’s reaction to their marriage; Mack McAfee and his growing relationship with newcomer Mary Jo Wyse; her brother Linc and Lori Bellamy getting together and Will Jefferson (Olivia’s brother) courting of Shirley Bliss. And the set up for the next story has to do with some old love letters found in an old house under some floor boards. 

Macomber is an expert at making the reader feel the hominess and the connection in a small town. But this sense of small-town wonder also makes the story read like a compilation of tales.  It often felt convoluted and I had to keep reminding myself who was who and with whom and in what relationship. There is not much depth to the characters. It was hard at times to keep them straight. Just as I got tied up in one story that one shifted to the background and another took its place. 

Macomber has plenty of fans. I would bet that if a reader started with Book One and read all the way through, this would be a long saga engendering a real sense of belonging. On the one hand, I can appreciate that. On the other hand, there could be a happy medium between no backstory and too much.   

92 Pacific Boulevard (which is Faith Beckwith’s home) is a tale filled with familiar faces and a few new ones. It is filled with lots of love and plenty of melodrama as only small towns can have. It has a mystery or two, neither of which is too deep, but which provides the backdrop for the relationships that are strengthened and in some cases, developed into real love. It is classic Debbie Macomber and that really says it all.  

--Shirley Lyons


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