Review: Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber

Title: Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A seaside town helps one young woman reclaim the light after darkness in a brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.

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 come to enjoy. 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.


Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber is a heartfelt novel of healing and love.

Growing up, Annie Marlow and her family enjoyed one carefree week every summer as they vacationed in Beachside.  Having difficulty moving past a terrible tragedy, she decides to return to Beachside in an attempt to restart her life. In a stroke of luck, she is hired as a physician assistant in the town’s small health clinic. Annie then appeals to Seth Keaton to convince Mellie Johnson to allow her to rent the quaint cottage where she and her family stayed during their yearly summer vacation. Settling quickly into her new life, Annie is finally recovering from her loss. Her endearing friendship with Keaton gradually evolves into a heartwarming romance, but will an unexpected opportunity destroy Annie and Keaton’s future together?

Annie is quite surprised to rediscover happiness when she relocates to Beachside but she embraces every part of her life. She immediately feels comfortable with Keaton and she cherishes their time together. She is disappointed as her attempts to befriend Mellie are continually rebuffed, but tiny victories help her remain optimistic that she and her gruff, rough around the edges landlady will eventually become friends. Annie also strikes up an unlikely friendship with teenager Britt McDuffee, but her attempt to help the family backfires and their tenuous bond is threatened.

Keaton is a gentle giant who is the epitome of the strong, silent type. He is quite caring and compassionate and aided by Mellie and his close friend Preston, they rescue abused and abandoned animals. His relationship with his father is practically non-existent due to his father’s antipathy toward his only child. Keaton is enthralled by Annie and despite his usual discomfort with strangers, he is surprisingly at ease when they are together.

With a sweet and understated romance, Cottage by the Sea is an emotionally compelling novel of recovery. Annie is a lovely woman whose survivor’s guilt is misplaced but understandable. Keaton is very protective but his harsh childhood has definitely left a mark on him. Oceanside is an idyllic setting and its inhabitants are warm and welcoming. Old and new fans of  Debbie Macomber are sure to love this uplifting and engaging novel.

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Filed under Ballantine Books, Contemporary, Cottage by the Sea, Debbie Macomber, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Women's Fiction

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