The Best Is Yet to Come

The aftereffects of war on two people trying to rebuild their lives anchor The Best Is Yet to Come, a deeply moving, compassionately drawn contemporary romance by Debbie Macomber (It's Better this Way; A Walk Along the Beach).

Los Angeles native Hope Goodwin relocates to Oceanside, Wash., after her twin brother, a soldier, is killed in action. Hope longs to reconcile her grief and now lives simply, teaching at the local high school. Her plans are complicated when her pushy landlord ropes her into volunteering at the local animal shelter. There she meets John Cade Lincoln Jr., an injured veteran. "Cade" was awarded a Purple Heart, but a complicated past keeps him standoffish. Having witnessed his army buddies "blown to bits," he is now a recovering alcoholic and loner, dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and serious issues with anger management that sent him to jail for a year. Cade is performing community service at the local animal shelter when Hope crosses his path. He becomes intrigued when Shadow, an abused, human-averse canine, takes eagerly to Hope. As the fearful dog warms up to Hope, so does Cade. The couple slowly--and awkwardly--get to know each other until the past suddenly resurfaces, testing what's in their hearts and challenging their romance.  

Memorable, well-rounded characters and a suspenseful subplot involving students at the local school round out an emotionally immersive story. Debbie Macomber is a master of depicting the nuances of small-town life and how romance can rally and recharge the human spirit with hope. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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