It's Better This Way

by Debbie Macomber

Publishers Weekly Bestseller Macomber (Cottage by the Sea) wows with this heartwarming romance between middle-aged divorcées. Six years after Julia Jones’s divorce from her husband of 31 years, Julia, now approaching her 60th birthday, is “easing into retirement.” She’s sold her interior design business and now works there part-time as a consultant while living in a Seattle condo. Though Julia misses the companionship of marriage, she resists the matchmaking efforts of her sister, Amanda, and resolves to give up dating after one too many disappointments. Then Julia meets Heath Wilson in the exercise room of her building, and they bond over disastrous experiences of postdivorce dating. As their relationship evolves from shared coffees to long dinners, romance blossoms—until Julia has a dream that she believes to be prophetic of trouble ahead. Heath tries to reassure her—but after Heath’s son Michael shares a startling revelation about Julia and her daughters with Heath, both Heath and Julia must weigh their relationship against the displeasure of their adult children. Macomber keeps her well-shaded, believable characters at the heart of this seamlessly plotted novel as she probes the nuances of familial relationships and the agelessness of romance. This deeply emotional tale proves it’s never too late for love. Agent: Theresa Park, Park & Fine Literary. (July)

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Library Journal In Bly's Lizzie & Dante, a Shakespearean scholar heads to Italy after an ugly breakup and an end-of-the-road health diagnosis and meets a handsome chef—but is this any time to start a relationship? In debuter Christie's The Rehearsals, Megan Givens and Tom Prescott plan to call off their wedding after a calamitous rehearsal dinner but wake up the next morning in a time loop, endlessly repeating the event until maybe they get it right (100,000-copy first printing). Clancy's Shoulder Season reveals what happens when shy young church organist Sherri Taylor switches paths after her parents' death to become a Playboy bunny (100,000-copy first printing). The New York Times best-selling Guillory's While We Were Dating features Ben Stephens, Theo's brother from The Wedding Party, who's trying to stay strictly professional while working with a famous actress. In Macomber's stand-alone It's Better This Way, Julia Jones has sold her business, moved into a condominium, and put her marital breakup behind her, but she isn't looking for love—until handsome resident Heath comes along. In Island Queen, romance writer Riley goes mainstream historical to reimagine the life of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas, who rose from enslavement to become a rich and powerful landowner in the colonial West Indies (100,000-copy first printing). Pretty Little Liars author Shepard's Safe in My Arms stars three out-of-the-loop moms who try to discover why the principal of the children's elite California preschool was attacked. If you've got Nine Lives, take this journey with Steel from Chicago and Paris to London and Monaco. In Hugo/Bradbury/Eisner winner Straczynski's latest, an unsuccessful young writer pulls together a crew of equally disaffected folks, buys an old bus, and proclaims Together We Will Go—straight to California, where they will then drive off a cliff (100,000-copy first printing). In debuter Yoder's one-of-a-kind Nightbitch, a woman who's convinced that she is turning into a dog ferrets out answers in A Field Guide to Magical Women and links up with a group of mothers with their own secret persuasions. Optioned for film.

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