Widowed suddenly soon after her fiftieth birthday, Rose is addled by grief. Could that be why three months later, she decides to buy her friend Wendy Hebb's sex shop in the tiny coastal community of Lunenburg? As she rushes to rent her house and store her belongings, her older sister, Daisy, worries that Rose is running away - from the home that she and Jim lived in together and its constant reminders of what she's lost.
When Rose lands in Lunenburg in a furnished condo with a year’s lease, a colourful cast of local characters keeps her from drowning in grief: a long-lost quirky cousin with a mysterious health condition; a busybody septuagenarian widow who pushes Rose to join a bereavement group; and a handsome restaurant owner who stirs feelings in Rose she isn’t ready to face. As the condo's lease creeps closer to its expiration date, Rose must make a choice - continue carving out her new life in Lunenburg, or move back to her Halifax home?
Jim throws an elaborate surprise party for his wife, Rose's 50th birthday. Two weeks later he is hit by a car while riding his bike and dies. This leaves Rose alone with their two rescue dogs. They say you shouldn't make any drastic life decisions in the first year after a tragedy but Rose needs a fresh start away from everything that reminds her of Jim. She quits her job as a freelance editor, rents out her house in Halifax and moves to the small fishing community of Lunenburg, almost an hour and a half away, to buy her friend's sex shop.
As she settles in, there's a lot of stress but excitement of starting her new life but Jim's presence is still with her. She makes friends, connects with her long lost eccentric cousin and runs her business. A local bar opener has a crush on her and she's attracted to him but she's not willing to pursue it until she knows she's ready.
This story picks up 10 years after Wendy has started the sex shop (the one Rose buys in this story) in Fishnets & Fantasies and Rose and Jim were still living in Toronto and deciding whether to have children in The Pregnant Pause (I've read them both). Because of Jim's death and illnesses and accidents of some of the local residents, it's a bit gloomier than the first two, though the humour is still there at times. The writing is in third person perspective with the focus on Rose. I found there were a lot of characters to keep track of and the author gave their backstory from the previous books even though it didn't really factor into the story (for example, so-and-so is the son of so-and-so he never knew he had and here's why and he is married to this so-on-one). As a head's up, there is some swearing.