Book Review: THE HOUSE ON MAIN STREET by Shirlee McCoy

Publisher: Zebra Books

Published: November 05, 2013

Format: Paperback (352 pages)

ISBN: 9781420132359

Origin: Publisher

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Tessa McKenzie loved being an interior designer at Master’s Design Incorporated, and she loved living on the East Coast.  In fact, she loved it so much she planned to return.  However, every minute here ticked by like a slow second hand in this hick town of Apple Valley that was buried in Washington.

Her past and baggage came home with her, but she never learned to let go.  Instead, she learned to leave, and this one decision was the best thing that happened to her, until she had to return. 

Nothing was fair about this. 

Her sister Emily and her husband died, leaving a garbage heap decorated like a Victorian, an autistic child—who hardly knew his aunt, due to her own infrequent visits—and Aunt Gertrude behind.   Although Aunt Gertrude raised her and Emily, Tessa always felt outnumbered by her sister, but dealing with these types of feelings after Emily’s death was just hard and wrong. Truth was she loved her sister, even though her sister would have married the man Tessa loved.  That marriage spurred her running away, of sorts.

In the end, this man didn’t marry her sister because the baby was not his, but he still lived in Apple Valley and had become sheriff. 

At all cost, she needed to steer clear of this man and her old not-so-buried feelings, especially at this vulnerable time.  Tessa did that by setting her goals and priorities.  As guardian to her nephew, Alex, and as only child left for Gertrude, Tess was going to clean up this cesspool and bring them all back with her to the wonders of Maryland.  Her aunt was fast becoming an adversary to her plans and her not-so-pleasant side seemed to be a permanent fixture. Why couldn’t she see that Tess just wanted the best for all involved? Her sister’s death left them all with more bills than they could afford, and this town left them with no way for Tessa to earn the money she was making at her firm.

To stay was never an option, they’d be bankrupt.

Meanwhile, Cade Cunningham had wanted to catch up with his childhood friend, but he didn’t want it to be over a sheriff’s calling.  At her house for business, not for personal reasons, Cade couldn’t imagine the flood of feelings he’d deal with seeing her here.  His little tomboy friend grew up in all the right places, and she seems to have morphed from what he remembered to a very fine feminine creature. 

How did he not see this, years ago?  Instead, all he saw was her sister. 

Emily and his relationship had grown strained, once his college years arrived, but he manned up and was going to marry her and support their child.  The joke was on him, when he found out the child was not his.  However, from the minute he found out she’d been expecting he was excited to be a good father.  Now, he still feels a connection to another man’s son, but his excitement for his aunt was something that he just never expected.

Years later, Emily is gone, Cade’s marriage to Darla imploded, and Tessa’s back home and wants to flee, again.  Not only can he lose the child he thought of as his long before he was born, but also maybe he was losing a chance to rewrite the history that should have been documented the first time around. Was there anyway to change things? Did he even have the right to feel this way? 

My Take:

THE HOUSE ON MAIN STREET by Shirlee McCoy brings you an enjoyable read with all sorts of surprises!   

Tessa McKenzie and Aunt Gertrude have a dueling mother daughter relationship, but their love shines through it.  Their feud is testament to how much they both want to do it right for Alex.  In the meantime, you’ll quickly love Alex.  He has a way of bringing the people he loves closer, even through his autistic environment, with music from his heart as his mechanism for communication.  In his music, you’ll discover clues for everyone to follow. 

Cade Cunningham enjoys his life and job in Apple Valley.  He’s done traveling, but he wants his roots here.  The slow routine and the town’s usual clockwork give him peace, but his town caused the break-up of his marriage.  Although their union lasted six years, it was fraught with problems that came from small town living.  The last thing he needs in his life was more relationship complications.  Sleeping alone, living along, and being alone does have some advantages, but the pit of his stomach doesn’t always agree.  He’s dated and made friends, but these couplings just didn’t click.  No sparks.  Maybe he’s better off without the sparks.         

You’ll enjoy meeting the residents of Apple Valley, uncovering the mysteries of this town, and rediscovering the romance that should have been.  Be warned that once you visit this place, you may never want to leave it!

THE HOUSE ON MAIN STREET by Shirlee McCoy is a standalone title that introduces you to an assortment of characters as real as in life with an array of stories just waiting to be told. 

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