Author: Debbie Macomber
ISBN:  978-0-7783-2780-6

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As everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last ten years knows, Ms. Macomber is a writer who was born with the correct words to make a story not only good, but last in a reader’s mind for a lifetime.  This new offering is no different.

Dr. Michael Everett, as we begin our story, is still suffering from the death of his wife Hannah a year before.  She was a young woman who died of cancer but left behind a very special gift for her beloved husband – a right to life.  Hannah made a list of three women who she believed would be a perfect match for her husband; three women who he could choose from, so that he wouldn’t live life alone and unhappy.  Not only is this an example of the wonderfully understanding woman she was while on earth, but also a testament to how well she “knew” her husband inside and out – that he needed love in order to get on with his life after she was gone.

The list is made up of three very different women.  The first is Winter; Winter is Hannah’s cousin who owns her own bakery/café.  Comfort food is what she knows best.  Well…she also knows the power of love because her heart has already been given to Pierre, her partner and fellow chef.  Now, Winter and Pierre are on a three-month-break because all they can seem to do is argue when they’re with each other, so they’ve decided to see if they’d be better off alone.  The second woman on the list is Leanne.  Leanne is probably better-suited to Michael because she’s an oncology nurse, so they have the same career-goals between them.  Leanne, however, has just gone through a messy divorce.  Her husband was put in prison and he told Leanne to go on with her life and find a “good” man. 

Last, but not least, on Hannah’s list is Macy.  Macy is so completely different from Dr. Michael Everett that when they first meet, Michael is blown away that Hannah would have ever thought he could deal with this woman.  Macy is what you would call a terminally happy person.  When she walks into a room, man nor beast can’t help but fall hopelessly in love with her sweet manner.  Dr. Everett thinks she is beyond flighty and unreliable.  In fact, everything about her seems to grate on his nerves.  In order to meet her – and obey his deceased wife’s wish – he hires Macy to paint a mural in his office.  She agrees with the surly man, but only if he will go visit her next door neighbor – an older gentleman (and a complete hysterical riot) – named Harvey.

As time marches on, Michael finds himself going out on dates with the two more reasonable and acceptable women from Hannah’s list, only to discover that he’s mostly talking about Macy when he’s supposed to be getting to know them.  She is scattered; he’s meticulous.  She is the brightest sun in the sky, and Michael needs all the lightness and happiness he can get in order to move on with his life.  Complete opposites who are the perfect match and Hannah…knew.

This is beyond wonderful, and I will tell you why.  Yes, the dialogue is extremely witty; the characters are charming; and, the romance is one you will not forget.  But the real reason why this book has made it into my top ten for the year is very simple.  Hannah and Michael had a love like my parents had…before my father passed away a few years ago.  The very first page of this book describes how Michael thought that waiting for a big holiday like an anniversary or birthday to give your significant other flowers, was a silly tradition.  “When you love someone, you need to show that love each and every day.”  I tell you this because my mother looked up from her desk at work one day in her beloved library to see a bouquet being set down before her.  The card enclosed was from my father and it read, “Just Because.”  He was the greatest man on earth, and watching their love was a true gift for me all my life.

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