Review: Orchard Valley Grooms by Debbie Macomber

Series: Orchard Valley #1-2

orchard valley grooms -debbie macomberValerie rushes home to Orchard Valley, Oregon, when her father, David, suffers a heart attack. She and her two younger sisters, Stephanie and Norah, are gathering at his side, praying he’ll live, fearing he’ll die.

At a time like this, falling in love is the last thing on Valerie’s mind. And with Dr. Colby Winston, of all people! He’s David’s heart surgeon, a renowned specialist who enjoys small-town living, while Valerie is a high-powered businesswoman who prefers city life. They’re complete opposites in every way. Yet David keeps insisting she and Colby are a perfect couple.

Meanwhile Stephanie has other worries besides her father’s health. She’d fled Orchard Valley three years earlier after her humiliating rejection by local journalist Charles Tomaselli. Now she’s home, and it’s not long before they begin reliving past battles–and renewing old feelings. He was the reason she left. This time, will he give her a reason to stay? David seems to think so.

Does their father know something Valerie and Stephanie don’t?

3 Drink Me Potions

It’s a fairly open secret that I have some strange soft spot for Debbie Macomber. Yes, her stories can be cheesy with their happy-ever-after endings, but sometimes, a girl just needs those kinds of endings, you know?

With Orchard Valley Grooms, I had such high hopes. Two sisters falling in love with their respective special someones? Sounds like it fits the criteria to a glove.

But. Yes, there is a but. These two stories captured me with their endless drama and irritated me to no end all at the same time.

In Valerie, the immediate attraction and way Colby and Valerie fell for each other made some sense in a way. Valerie was under a lot of stress what with her father suffering from a heart attack. Colby was there to give her the emotional support that she needed. However, by the end of it, they were happily in love and thinking of marriage in, what, three weeks? Does this happen in real life? How can one know if this person would survive every bump in the road that’s sure to come in hopefully a long marriage? Sure, it may be an adventure to find out, but still. It was a little unsettling to see that it happened all so quickly.

And then there’s the fact of their drama that initially prevented them from getting together after realizing each others’ feelings. Colby is traditional as crap! Don’t mind my language. A women can very well work and take care of a family. Yes, he’s tired at nights after his long (and presumably emotion-taxing) shifts, but a woman doesn’t just live to serve hand and foot for him when he gets home. As for Valerie, I understood her inhibitions but she wasn’t all for compromise initially either.

If that first story wasn’t exhausting enough, I immediately jumped into Stephanie. Silly me thought it would help relieve my inner frustrations. Oh boy, was I wrong.

I liked Steffie more than Valerie in a sense that I could understand unrequited love. She ran away from the face of rejection and I don’t blame her. Charles was awful when she admitted her feelings three years prior. Who could blame a girl for wanting to get away from such embarrassment?

However, the resolution to Charles’ actions just didn’t seem quite…right with me. It wasn’t that it couldn’t have been plausible. It could have been. I just didn’t understand why wait so long to tell Steffie he felt the same way. So much drama and heart ache could’ve easily been bypassed if he did. Why get so angry if he knew she still felt the same way towards him? I just dunno. This poor heart of mine couldn’t handle all this nonsensical heart ache.

Anyway, I gobbled these stories up as fast as I could and although I didn’t love them as I had hoped, they weren’t terrible. A guilty pleasure, if you will. But never have I wanted to throttle guys as much as I did with these men. I can fully understand the Bloomfield sisters’ feelings.

Overall Recommendation:
Two stories in one with each based on one Bloomfield sister. I couldn’t ask for more, can I? Turns out, the story didn’t hold as much for me as I had hoped. In both Valerie and Stephanie, the male protagonists acted in nonsensical manners that drove me (and the Bloomfield sisters) crazy. I suppose there had to be tension and drama to prevent an immediate happily-ever-after resolution, but it was exhausting. I wouldn’t necessarily throw these stories out. It was still the cheesy, happy ending kind of story that I needed on occasion. At least it fills up that requirement perfectly. I would say it’s perfect if that is the kinda book you’re looking for on a boring, lazy afternoon.

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