ARC Review: A Girl’s Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber

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Title: A Girl’s Guide to Moving On (New Beginnings #2)

Author: Debbie Macomber

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Expected release date: February 23, 2016

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Page count: 352

Format: eBook

Rating: 3 Stars


review

It’s been a few years since I last read Debbie Macomber’s book and as always readers could hope for a sweet HEA ending and very little drama in her story.

A Girl’s Guide to Moving On is the second book of “New Beginnings” series, though I strongly felt it’s fine to be be read as a standalone. I haven’t read the first book in the series but didn’t feel anything amiss here.

This book basically consists of two stories, told in first person POV each by two women: Nichole and Leanne. To me this served both as positive and negative at the same time. The positive, of course, readers get to read two stories in one go (or one purchase). The negative for me, the alternate portions killed the emotion and invested feeling when one or the other character was on the verge of something. A bit like how it felt when commercial breaks came in those moments you’re engrossed on a scene on TV.

That said, the story managed to move me despite the amount of cliché (the rich exes the bad guy, the blue-collar new guys were the better men) shown here.

I especially loved the kids in this story. Owen was so adorably cute with his love of tow twuck and his lisp; Kaylene with her typical teenager attitude and so much love for her father.

There was an issue that got me annoyed though, close to the ending. It was when Jake threatened his ex, Nichole, to fight for Owen’s full custody unless she stopped seeing Rocco, and Nichole folded, fearing her son could be taken away from her. The incident ensued grated on me, aside from Nichole’s uncharacteristically stupid decision, how those who thought to know Nichole and considered her friend could be so quick to rant on her without suspecting or trying to find out more. I thought Rocco (and his closest cronies) were more than that.

On this count, I respect how Leanne and Nikolai romance evolved (I did wonder though, why the author have characters named Nichole and Nikolai in the same book, it could get confusing at times). Theirs felt more real and not so soap-operaish – is that even a word? Lol.

All in all, it’s good to get to read Ms. Macomber story again. It’s good to know that romance not always have to be steamy or have sex scenes on page.

ARC is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the exchange of a fair and honest review.


synopsis

In this powerful and uplifting novel from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Debbie Macomber, a mother and her daughter-in-law bravely leave their troubled marriages and face the challenge of starting over. Leaning on each other, Nichole and Leanne discover that their inner strength and capacity for love are greater than they ever imagined.

When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has been unfaithful, the illusion of her perfect life is indelibly shattered. While juggling her young son, a new job, and volunteer work, Nichole meets Rocco, who is the opposite of Jake in nearly every way. Though blunt-spoken and rough around the edges, Rocco proves to be a dedicated father and thoughtful friend. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, Jake wagers everything on winning Nichole back—including their son Owen’s happiness. Somehow, Nichole must find the courage to defy her fears and follow her heart, with far-reaching consequences for them all.

Leanne has quietly ignored her husband’s cheating for decades, but is jolted into action by the echo of Nichole’s all-too-familiar crisis. While volunteering as a teacher of English as a second language, Leanne meets Nikolai, a charming, talented baker from Ukraine. Resolved to avoid the heartache and complications of romantic entanglements, Leanne nonetheless finds it difficult to resist Nikolai’s effusive overtures—until an unexpected tragedy tests the very fabric of her commitments.

An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On affirms the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.


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