Annie Marlow has been through the worst. Rocked by tragedy, she heads to the one place that makes her happy: Oceanside in the Pacific Northwest, the destination of many family vacations when Annie was a teenager.

Once there, Annie begins to restore her broken spirit, thanks, in part, to the folks she meets: a local painter, Keaton, whose large frame is equal to his big heart—and who helps Annie fix up her rental cottage by the sea; Mellie, the reclusive, prickly landlord Annie is determined to befriend; and Britt, a teenager with a terrible secret. But it is Keaton to whom Annie feels most drawn. His quiet, peaceful nature offers her both comfort and reprieve from her grief, and the two begin to grow closer.

Then events threaten to undo the idyll Annie has longed for. And when the opportunity of a lifetime lands in her lap, she is torn between the excitement of a new journey toward success and the safe and secure arms of the haven—and the man—she’s come to call home.

In this heartwarming tale, Annie finds that the surest way to fix what is damaged within is to help others rise above their pain and find a way to heal.

Title:  Cottage by the Sea
Series: — stand alone —
Author:  Debbie Macomber
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  July 16, 2018
Publisher:  Random House Publishing – Ballantine
My Rating:  4.5 stars

I’m not about to mislead anyone, I am a long time reader of Debbie Macomber’s books… and to be frank, I’ve yet to find one I didn’t, at least, like but more likely loved.  So it probably comes as no surprise that Cottage by the Sea just blew me away with the emotions, the personalities, and the background of the main and secondary characters.

Annie has to face one of the most difficult experiences in life, and she simply cannot face it here where memories are around every turn.  It didn’t take much for a good friend to convince Annie to head to a spot that held happy memories and begin the healing process surrounded by things she loves and enjoys.  Only one place would do, a cottage surrounded by memories that she will always cherish and the gentle echoes of the waves.  Perhaps she can start to truly live again and heal in this small town.  Annie didn’t expect to find more than her own emotions to be dealt with on this trip, but love knows no boundaries or time tables.

Cottage by the Sea is full of emotions and layers.  Annie and Keaton both have healing to do from completely different points of view.  The situations you will find within their story are lifelike, realistic and cloaked in emotions that will get the better of you.  I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll shed tears or at least, fight to keep them from falling.  Keaton, oh this man, he completely broke my heart at the life he’d lived, and the emotions he’s been through.  While there is a romance here, it’s probably not the traditional always happy romance.  Each has serious issues going on in their lives, and add each other to the mix and it will get complicated and emotional.  Plus secondary characters who add their own realities to the story, and you’ll have an entertaining experience, as well as one that will touch your heart.  As always, I fell in love with Debbie Macomber’s imagination and her storytelling magic.  I’d highly recommend Cottage by the Sea to anyone who loves a realistic story, problems that can be dealt with and people to see as realistic and believable.  I loved this one, and I’d really like to know more about some secondary characters one day.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

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