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Right Next Door: Father's Day\The Courtship of Carol Sommars Mass Market Paperback – May 26, 2009

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778327000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778327004
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 4.1 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,166,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at www.DebbieMacomber.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"I can't believe I'm doing this," Robin Masterson muttered as she crawled into the makeshift tent, which was pitched over the clothesline in the backyard of her new home.

"Come on, Mom," ten-year-old Jeff urged, shifting to make room for her. "It's nice and warm in here."

Down on all fours, a flashlight in one hand, Robin squeezed her way inside. Jeff had constructed the flimsy tent using clothespegs to hold up the blankets and rocks to secure the base. The space was tight, but she managed to maneuver into her sleeping bag.

"Isn't this great?" Jeff asked. He stuck his head out of the front opening and gazed at the dark sky and the spattering of stars that winked back at them. On second thought, Robin decided they were laughing at her, those stars. And with good reason. There probably wasn't another thirty-year-old woman in the entire state of California who would've agreed to this craziness.

It was the first night in their new house and Robin was exhausted. They'd started moving out of the apartment before five that morning and she'd just finished unpacking the last box. The beds were assembled, but Jeff wouldn't hear of doing anything as mundane as sleeping on a real mattress. After waiting years to camp out in his own backyard, her son wasn't about to delay the adventure by even one night.

Robin couldn't let him sleep outside alone and, since he hadn't met any neighbors yet, there was only one option left. Surely there'd be a Mother of the Year award in this for her.

"You want to hear a joke?" Jeff asked, rolling on to his back and nudging her.

"Sure." She swallowed a yawn, hoping she could stay awake long enough to laugh at the appropriate time. She needn't have worried.

For the next half hour, Robin was entertained with a series of riddles, nonsense rhymes and off-key renditions of Jeff's favourite songs from summer camp.

"Knock knock," she said when it appeared her son had run through his repertoire.

"Who's there?"


"Wanda who?"

"Wanda who thinks up these silly jokes?"

Jeff laughed as though she'd come up with the funniest line ever devised. Her son's enthusiasm couldn't help but rub off on Robin and some of her weariness eased. Camping was fun—sort of. But it'd been years since she'd slept on the ground and, frankly, she couldn't remember it being quite this hard.

"Do you think we'll be warm enough?" she teased. Jeff had used every blanket they owned, first to construct the tent and then to pad it. To be on the safe side, two or three more were piled on top of their sleeping bags on the off-chance an arctic frost descended upon them. It was spring, but a San Francisco spring could be chilly.

"Sure," he answered, missing the kidding note in her voice. "But if you get cold, you can have one of mine."

"I'm fine," she assured him.

"You hungry?"

Now that she thought about it, she was. "Sure. Whatcha got?"

Jeff disappeared into his sleeping bag and returned a moment later with a limp package of licorice, a small plastic bag full of squashed marshmallows and a flattened box of raisins. Robin declined the snack.

"When are we going to buy me my dog?" Jeff asked, chewing loudly on the raisins.

Robin listened to the sound and said nothing.

"Mom… the dog?" he repeated after a few minutes.

Robin had been dreading that question most of the day. She'd managed to forestall Jeff for the past month by telling him they'd discuss getting a dog after they were settled in their house.

"I thought we'd start looking for ads in the paper first thing tomorrow," Jeff said, still munching.

"I'm not sure when we'll start the search for the right dog." She was a coward, Robin freely admitted it, but she hated to disappoint Jeff. He had his heart set on a dog. How like his father he was, in his love for animals.

"I want a big one, you know. None of those fancy little poodles or anything."

"A golden retriever would be nice, don't you think?"

"Or a German shepherd," Jeff said.

"Your father loved dogs," she whispered, although she'd told Jeff that countless times. Lenny had been gone for so many years, she had trouble remembering what their life together had been like. They'd been crazy in love with each other and married shortly after their high-school graduation. A year later, Robin became pregnant. Jeff had been barely six months old when Lenny was killed in a freak car accident on his way home from work. In the span of mere moments, Robin's comfortable world had been sent into a tailspin, and ten years later it was still whirling.

With her family's help, she'd gone back to school and obtained her degree. She was now a certified public accountant working for a large San Francisco insurance firm. Over the years she'd dated a number of men, but none she'd seriously consider marrying. Her life was far more complicated now than it had been as a young bride. The thought of falling in love again terrified her.

"What kind of dog did Dad have when he was a kid?" Jeff asked.

"I don't think Rover was any particular breed," Robin answered, then paused to recall exactly what Lenny's childhood dog had looked like. "I think he was mostly… Labrador."

"Was he black?"

"And brown."

"Did Dad have any other animals?"

Robin smiled at her warm memories of her late husband. She enjoyed the way Jeff loved hearing stories about his father—no matter how many times he'd already heard them. "He collected three more pets the first year we were married. It seemed he was always bringing home a stray cat or lost dog. We couldn't keep them, of course, because we weren't allowed pets in the apartment complex. We went to great lengths to hide them for a few days until we could locate their owners or find them a good home. For our first wedding anniversary, he bought me a goldfish. Your father really loved animals."

Jeff beamed and planted his chin on his folded arms.

"We dreamed of buying a small farm someday and raising chickens and goats and maybe a cow or two. Your father wanted to buy you a pony, too." Hard as she tried, she couldn't quite hide the pain in her voice. Even after all these years, the memory of Lenny's sudden death still hurt. Looking at her son, so eager for a dog of his own, Robin missed her husband more than ever.

"You and Dad were going to buy a farm?" Jeff cried, his voice ebullient. "You never told me that before." He paused. "A pony for me? Really? Do you think we'll ever be able to afford one? Look how long it took to save for the house."

Robin smiled. "I think we'll have to give up on the idea of you and me owning a farm, at least in the near future."

When they were first married, Robin and Lenny had talked for hours about their dreams. They'd charted their lives, confident that nothing would ever separate them. Their love had been too strong. It was true that she'd never told Jeff about buying a farm, nor had she told him how they'd planned to name it Paradise. Paradise, because that was what the farm would be to them. In retrospect, not telling Jeff was a way of protecting him. He'd lost so much—not only the guidance and love of his father but all the things they could have had as a family. She'd never mentioned the pony before, or the fact that Lenny had always longed for a horse….

Jeff yawned loudly and Robin marvelled at his endurance. He'd carried in as many boxes as the movers had, racing up and down the stairs with an energy Robin envied. He'd unpacked the upstairs bathroom, as well as his own bedroom and had helped her organize the kitchen.

"I can hardly wait to get my dog," Jeff said, his voice fading. Within minutes he was sound asleep.

"A dog," Robin said softly as her eyes closed. She didn't know how she was going to break the bad news to Jeff. They couldn't get a dog—at least not right away. She was unwilling to leave a large dog locked indoors all day while she went off to work and Jeff was in school. Tying one up in the backyard was equally unfair, and she couldn't afford to build a fence. Not this year, anyway. Then there was the cost of feeding a dog and paying the vet's bills. With this new home, Robin's budget was already stretched to the limit.

Robin awoke feeling chilled and warm at the same time. In the gray dawn, she glanced at her watch. Six-thirty. At some point during the night, the old sleeping bag that dated back to her high-school days had come unzipped and the cool morning air had chilled her arms and legs. Yet her back was warm and cozy. Jeff had probably snuggled up to her during the night. She sighed, determined to sleep for another half hour or so. With that idea in mind, she reached for a blanket to wrap around her shoulders and met with some resistance. She tugged and pulled, to no avail. It was then that she felt something wet and warm close to her neck. Her eyes shot open. Very slowly, she turned her head until she came eyeball to eyeball with a big black dog.

Robin gasped loudly and struggled into a sitting position, which was difficult with the sleeping bag and several blankets wrapped around her legs, imprisoning her.

"Where did you come from?" she demanded, edging away from the dog. The Labrador had eased himself between her and Jeff and made himself right at home. His head rested on his paws and he looked perfectly content, if a bit disgruntled about having his nap interrupted. He didn't seem at all interested in vacating the premises.

Jeff rolled over and opened his eyes. Immediately he bolted upright. "Mom," he cried excitedly. "You got me a dog!"

"No—he isn't ours. I don't know who he belongs to."

"Me!" Jeff's voice was triumphant. "He belongs to me." His thin arms hugged the animal's neck. "You really got me a dog! It was supposed to be a surprise, wasn't it?"

"Jeff," she said firmly. "I don't know where this animal came from, but he isn't ours."

"He isn't?" His voice sagged in disappointment. "But who owns him, th...

More About the Author

Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today's most popular writers with more than 170 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber's novels have spent over 750 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Eight of these novels hitting the number one spot.

In 2014, Macomber's all-new hardcover publications will include Blossom Street Brides (March), Love Letters: A Rose Harbor Inn Novel (August) and Mr. Miracle (October) and paperback editions of the #1 bestseller Starting Now (April) and her acclaimed Christmas novel, Starry Night (October).

In addition to fiction Macomber has also published two bestselling cookbooks; numerous inspirational and nonfiction works; and two acclaimed children's books.

Macomber's beloved and bestselling Cedar Cove Series became Hallmark Channel's first dramatic scripted television series, Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove, which was ranked as the top program on cable when it debuted in summer 2013. Hallmark is now filming a second season of Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove which will premiere this July 19. In addition, Macomber's upcoming Christmas novel, Mr. Miracle, will be made into an original movie premiering on Hallmark Channel in fall 2014. Previously, Hallmark Channel has produced three successful Christmas movies based on Macomber's bestselling Christmas novels, Mrs. Miracle, Call Me Mrs. Miracle and Trading Christmas.

Macomber owns her own tea room, Victorian Rose Tea Room & yarn store, A Good Yarn, named after the shop featured in her popular Blossom Street novels. She and her husband, Wayne, serve on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, and she is World Vision's international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative.

A devoted grandmother, Debbie and her husband Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington (the town on which her Cedar Cove novels are based) and winter in Florida.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By drebbles VINE VOICE on July 6, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Right Next Door" is a reissue of two previously published books by Debbie Macomber. "Father's Day" was originally published in 1991 and "The Courtship of Carol Sommars" was originally published in 1990.

"Father's Day"

Now that Robin Masterson has bought a new house, her ten year old son Jeff wants nothing more than a dog, which unfortunately Robin can't afford. Jeff soon bonds with the dog next door and Robin soon finds herself bonding with the dog's owner Cole Camden. Robin and Jeff seem to break the wall that Cole built around his heart after a devastating tragedy but Robin can't help but wonder if Cole is getting involved with them for the wrong reasons. It will take everything Cole has to convince Robin that he is indeed falling in love with her.

"Father's Day" is a very cute romance by Debbie Macomber. Macomber does a good job of mixing the sad moments (Cole's back story) with some humorous moments (like Robin trying to catch Jeff's pitches or Jeff's idea of how babies are made). The romance between Robin and Cole is a good one and Macomber does a nice job of showing how Cole changes the more he encounters Robin and Jeff. Jeff is a great character who just wants a dog (and a father).

"The Courtship of Carol Sommars"

After a disastrous marriage, the last thing Carol Sommars wants is another relationship. But her fifteen year old son Peter has other ideas - he thinks Alex Preston, the father of his best friend James, would be perfect for his mother. Alex thinks so too, but it will take the efforts of all three to help convince Carol that Alex is the right man for her.

"The Courtship of Carol Sommars" is another winner by Debbie Macomber.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. White on January 20, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another terrific book that I didn't want to put down. I hope you enjoy it, too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. COIL on January 16, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book in 3 days!! I couldn't stop...I was addicted. If you love Debbie Macomber like I do, you will see what I mean but if you're not, get this book and melt!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jbarr5 (julie Barrett) on July 31, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Right Next Door by Debbie macomber
Father's Day by Debbie macomber
Robin, accountant had lost her husband many years ago and she was happy to have her son, Jeff. She is able to share stories over and over gain
about his father, Lenny. While they are camping out in the backyard a dog appears and Jeff is very happy thinking it's his new dog. The owner of the dog shows up, he's their next door neighbor.
Cole Camden, lawyer is his name and he's very grumpy that his dog had run away.
Other next door neighbors meet them and they set up after school activities for their children and Robin finds out more about those in the neighborhood. She has had to tell her son they can't afford to have the dog just yet.
Jeff has run away and she goes to the backyard to call for him. Cole goes to his backyard to call for his dog. When they find the boy and the dog they have come to an agreement that Jeff can use the fort and that he can play with Blackie.
They find out Cole was married and his son had died and he got divorced.
Jeff also visits Cole to help with other chores at his house.
They have spent time together, at Golden Gate Park love the details here, flying kite, playing ball and playing with the dog.
Robin is dating now and just before her first one Cole called and said he lied. He means he really did mean it bothers him that she's dating others.
Robin hears other stories about Cole and his ex wife from other neighbors.
Cole has dealt with his pain and has moved onto love them. She needs more time to get over her grief before she can go on with her life.
The Courtship of Carol Sommars by Debbie Macomber
Carol Summers is a single mom, nurse with a teen age driving son.
Peter and Jim are friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne J. Sellner on June 27, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As usual, Debbie Macomber warms the hearts of her readers as she expertly knits her characters and intertwines their lives. She dangles enough suspense and romance to advance the story steadily, making an easy read of both novellas.
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Debbie Macomber is brilliant. Her character are so relatable just like the title of her book, Right Next Door.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The first of the two stories was cute and an easy read. The second story went on and on and on! I didn't bother finishing it because it we just too boring!
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By shirley on March 21, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, I like pretty much any Debbie Macomber Books
tends to lead the reader on a wonderful journey of ups and downs,
that leads to romance and always the "Happy ending "
Why else do we read these stories because we enjoy the fantasy and the thrill of knowing
Fairy tails do come true thru books and movies... :)
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