A Girls Guide to Moving On By Debbie Macomber

I have to confess that this is the first book I have read by Debbie Macomber. Now that I know what a great writer she is, I'll have to check out some of her others, including the first book in this New Beginnings series, Last One Home.

A Girl's Guide to Moving On has everything I love about a book...humor, heart, relatable characters, and romantic guys that give me the tingles. It was the perfect comfort read during this crazy winter weather; something I could cozy up with and feel just the right amount of warmth, like from a favorite blanket. I enjoyed reading both Nichole and Leanne's perspectives and even though they were both in first person, it never felt confusing. Their relationship reminded me of mine with my mother-in-law. (For different reasons though.) I loved the budding romances with the new men in their lives (especially with Rocco) and how they dealt with the complications that arose.

I have been recommending A Girl's Guide... to my friends and hope everyone will get their hands on a copy of this book soon! I found myself laughing, smiling, getting teary-eyed, and worrying about the characters when I reached a conflict and had to get back to real life before I could read what happened next. All signs of a great story. The only thing that had me worried was some religious talk, but it turns out it wasn't too heavy and they really only mentioned going church, praying, and G-d a few times. It didn't detract from my enjoyment.

Overall, I loved this story and it definitely earned its five stars. I hope there will be more in this series!

Now for casting choices....
Leanne: Bonnie Bedelia (after seeing her in Parenthood, she's perfect in this role)
Nichole: Keri Russell
Sean: Peter Gallagher
Jake: James Marsden
I think the actors playing Rocco and Nikolai would have to be newcomers, as I can't place anyone from Hollywood in these roles.
Fiction, Cooking, Food Wine, Romance Love love love this book. This book series is about new beginning and having faith to move on. A friend had recommended this series after I confinded in them about my personal life.
I highly recommend this series to anyone who is about to start a new beginning Fiction, Cooking, Food Wine, Romance This was a nice audiobook that started out strong. I loved the relationship between Nicole and her mother-in-law Leanne. I loved their goals for moving on from painful divorces and finding ways to feel worthy again. I would have liked this book to have had more of a feeling of female strength and empowerment and less about finding new men. The way things worked out so well was just too unrealistic. The title should have been A Girl’s Guide to Moving On In a Perfect World. Fiction, Cooking, Food Wine, Romance AGGTMO immediately pulled me in and I thought I was going to love the book. Sadly, my budding love affair with this book did not last long. I was annoyed by the black woman who was EVERY negative stereotype the media loves to focus on and showcase. She was a loud, poor, uneducated, crass, baby mama, and of course she was described as having ample hips (a nicer way of saying her booty was big, because ALL black women have big booties right Deb?) The first time Debbie Macomber adds a black character, she made sure to depict her as hyper sexualized and uncouth. As a black woman, I was offended.

Now let's focus on the older gentleman, the poor immigrant who bumbles his way through expressing his love by baking bread and butchering expressions like some sitcom character who is a constant punch line. As if reaching into her arsenal of stereotypes wasn't enough, Miss Macomber made sure the mother and daughter-in-law were written as classy, refined, and eager to teach a dumb immigrant and minority woman.

This book really got on my nerves. There was an opportunity for a great story to unfold but the author missed it entirely. Fiction, Cooking, Food Wine, Romance I struggled with how to rate this book. In some ways, it was very entertaining and I found myself laughing out loud in spite of the serious topic and tone of the book. However, the character development was weak, the characters were overly stereotyped, and the last thirty pages basically unravelled an otherwise good story.


Fiction, Cooking, Food Wine, Romance


4 Stars * * * * All that you would expect from the talented Debbie Macomber but with an added twist. Loved the idea of a daughter in law showing the way to move on to her mother in law when son walks the same cheating path as his father.

An ode to starting over and leaving your heart open to the possibilities of a new love.

A gifted copy was provided by Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley for an honest review.

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Fiction, Cooking, Food Wine, Romance I definitely enjoyed this story. It did have a few bumps in the road but overall okay.

In A Girl’s Guide to Moving On, Nichole finds an unlikely ally in her mother-in-law when she discovers her husband has been cheating on her. Both Leanne and Nichole are devastated to have to make a choice to move on from their marriages after both experiencing the heartbreak of unfaithful husbands. As these two women begin to build a new life for themselves, they rely on each other for comfort and advice, thus coming up with a few guidelines to moving on.

Their first rule to ease the pain is to distract themselves by giving to others. When Nichole volunteers at a clothing store that helps women dress for success as they are striving for a better life, she meets Rocco and they soon become fast friends. Leanne decides to volunteer as an English teacher for adults learning it as a second language. That is where she meets Nikolai, and they immediately begin to develop a tender relationship.

Overall, I really enjoyed Nichole’s story. She was easy to relate to and her struggles and strength were applause-worthy in my book. I liked the relationship she built with Rocco because they both seemed like two sensible people that developed a believable love and romance for each other, all the while putting their own kids first.

I struggled a bit with Leanne’s story only because she put up with her husband’s cheating ways for decades and then suddenly decided to abandon the relationship. If she had chosen to stay with him for so long knowing his unfaithful ways, I would have liked to see her be more than a doormat by either trying to fix her marriage or at minimum confronting her husband. I wasn’t too keen on her relationship with Nikolai at all. He seemed so jealous and unreasonable and I could never stand to be with such a hot head of a man. I feel she went from one bad relationship to another.

If I followed the book closely enough, I only discovered two rules to this Guide to Moving On (1) ease the pain with distraction and (2) make new friends. There could have been more substance to this guide, such as (3) learn to love yourself before falling in love with someone else, (4) strive for a better relationship than your first, and (5) set yourself up for independence.

Overall, Debbie Macomber is an accomplished storyteller. I’ve enjoyed enough of her novels to know that she has a knack for capturing the hearts of her readers. Although A Girl’s Guide to Movie On is not at the top of my list of Macomber’s best, it’s definitely not my last. I look forward to finding another gem by this author. Fiction, Cooking, Food Wine, Romance Please note that this review spoils the events that took place in Last One Home. Also note that I gave this book half a star. I rounded it up to 1 star on Goodreads.

This is the second book in Debbie Macomber's New Beginnings series. I previously read book one and just gave it three stars, see Would Have Worked Better if Told from One POV. My main comments about that book also come into play here. Instead of us having the changing narrative of the three sisters, we now have alternating chapters told from Nichole and Leanne (Nichole's ex-mother in law) POV. And honestly I wish that Macomber had just stuck with one character and that was it. Instead I had two characters who I ended up not giving a good crap about.

Taking place two years after the events of Last One Home we have Nichole finally finalizing the terms of her divorce. After finding out in Last One Home that her husband Jake was having an affair and had gotten his latest mistress pregnant, Nichole has moved on. She and her ex mother in law Leanne have both left their husbands and are starting over. They also apparently made up a guide (that only has four points to it which I thought was freaking laughable) that they decided to follow in order to help them get on with their lives.

Apparently getting on with their lives is both of them meeting Neanderthal type men and constantly saying to themselves how much better these men are then the cheating, lying, husbands they left behind.

Nichole was an empty shell. There was honestly nothing going on there for me that made me engage with her at all. I really wish that Macomber had her interacting more with her sisters (they only make I think five appearances in the book) instead of with Leanne, her new love interest Rocoo, his daughter, and her new sassy black friend (....more on that hot mess later). Nichole has every right to be gun shy about getting involved with someone else and I hated that the way the book was written she was pushed into a relationship with a guy who didn't even want to call it dating, but also acted territorial as hell towards her.

Leanne was inconsistent and I really hated how she seemed to be overly devoted to Nichole and indifferent to her own son. Yeah it's not great he cheated, but she barely talked to him and was not really involved in his life. It's not great your son learned based on her marriage that he could do whatever and his wife would forgive him. But I didn't see a lot of love and infection between them at all. Leanne's love interest is a Ukrainian immigrant whose speech patterns drove me crazy (most of their dialogue was Leanne correcting him on the proper use of certain words and metaphors, super sexy). I actually did applaud her at one point for taking a step back from this highly dysfunctional relationship in order to be there for someone in her past, but Nikolai doesn't get it and runs around talking about how jealous he is all of the time.

And I am going to make a special place to discuss the lackluster as hell romantic male leads in this thing.

Rocco is blue collar. Can you guess what that also means if Rocco is a blue collar worker? Did you guess has a lot of tattoos? Did you guess goes to biker bars where his friends are all awful sounding and treat women like they are these rare creatures who like to be hit on all of the time? Did you guess talks about his daughter's mother who is now dead in a derogatory manner and also refers to women in less than glowing terms? Did you guess compares himself to a woman (by saying his friends would ask about him having a vagina) because he brought Nichole ice cream when she cried and then freaking flowers? Did you guess after he and Nichole break up ends up reacting violently and Nichole not thanking God for her lucky escape?

I have no idea why it feels like in most Macomber books and also a lot of other romance land books we have a stereotypical blue collar worker. I seriously don't want to do a not all blue collar workers thing here, but seriously, not all blue collar workers act like this, think like this, etc.

And good grief I loathed Nikolai with a passion of a thousand suns. Guess what, it's not cute to have a guy show up at someone's home uninvited multiple times and think to yourself awww. How about call the police? Stalking is not cute. I don't care what the heck 50 Shades of Grey depicted.

There is a whole other level of ickyness happening because Leanne is Nikolai's teacher for his ESL class and then when he doesn't show up, she goes to find out why and he starts calling her his Leanne and saying how she is in his heart. And expresses jealously because she still talks to her ex-husband (you know the guy she had a child with) and starts trying to make a lot of demands on her about how she will go about interacting with him and what she will and won't do. There are so many red flags there, I don't even know why she was sitting around mooning over this guy.

And then we get to the lackluster secondary characters. We have both of the main characters ex's showing up to throw wrenches in these women's lives. We don't spend much time with Nichole's sister in this one. And on yeah, Leanne gets a new sassy black friend named Shawntelle who has five kids. I mean I guess it's great Macomber didn't double down on her stereotype crap and have her having multiple fathers for her kids. It was super fun though that Shawntelle talked black and apparently gave people a piece of her mind without anyone asking for her opinion. We black people do that shit all of the time.

Besides the lackluster main leads the writing was just not good. I feel like the book skipped over a ton of things. After a while everything just got really repetitive too. And of course we had one of the ex's doing his best Lex Luthor impression which apparently was all resolved off screen so to speak when one of the new men had a man to man conversation with him and made him see the light.

Why in the world that wasn't left in I have no idea. Especially since I was heartily sick of reading about what great bread Nikolai made and how apparently until he walked the Earth, no one had made bread that tasted as great as he did.

The flow was pretty awful. Considering the age difference between Nichole and Leanne they both tended to sound the same when speaking in this book. I really think only focusing on Nichole would have been better, and would have made better sense since I thought these books were following the three sisters. Not the three sisters and other people.

The setting of Portland was not well used at all. Unlike with her books that take place in or around fictional places in Seattle, you would have no idea this setting was Portland since there are no descriptions of places really. We have Leanne discussing her house, new place, and Leanne doing the same. But we don't get a great idea of layout, shops, restaurants, what makes Portland unique, etc.

The ending takes place almost three years later and I just rolled my eyes multiple times. I would hard pass on this book. Fiction, Cooking, Food Wine, Romance This is a Romance, and this is the second book in the New Beginnings series. I have read all the books in this series. The main character in this book was introduced in the first book from this series as one of the sisters of the main characters. I am glad we get to see this character becoming strong and overcoming her husband cheating on her. I really think you need to read the first book before picking up this book because you need to get her early story that is in the first book. I also loved getting to know her Mother-in-Law in this book. I loved both the romance stories in this book, and I felt that both of them was really well written. This is a story that would bring a lot of emotions and feelings to you while reading it, and this story really touched my heart. Fiction, Cooking, Food Wine, Romance I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generosity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it.

I teach middle school English, so I am well-acquainted with bad writing. A Girl’s Guide to Moving On by popular author Debbie Macomber is so atrociously penned, that I had to keep checking to see if I somehow had not slipped up and was reading something written by a 7th grader. Normally I really enjoy this author’s writing and have read nearly every novel and short story she’s produced which is why I was so disappointed in her latest effort.
The plot line is fairly simple; Nichole has had it with her cheating husband’s antics so when her mother-in-law Leanne leaves her philandering husband, the two women move into the same apartment building, much to the chagrin of both exs. Enter the new love interests—a rough-around the edges single dad mechanic named Rocco and Nikolai, a Ukrainian ESL student enrolled in a class taught by Leanne. Both men are grossly stereotyped (as really are all of the characters) that it is almost painful to see them interact with the “heroines.” There’s very little personal growth exhibited by either of the women and they constantly are being manipulated by their former spouses. The dialogue is trite and banal and with the exception of Leanne and possibly Rocco’s teenage daughter, there are no likable characters in the novel. I wanted to love it, I really did, but it just made this girl want to keep moving on.

Written by: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Rating: 2.5 Stars
eBook: 978-1-553-39193-0
Genre: contemporary romance
Fiction, Cooking, Food Wine, Romance

Debbie Macomber Ì 2 Read & download

In this powerful and uplifting novel, 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. A Girls Guide to Moving On