In Apple Valley, Washington, friends are always near, neighbours have no secrets—even if they’d like to—and long-held wishes have a way of coming true…
Interior designer Tessa McKenzie has built a good life far from her Washington hometown. She intends to get back to it—as soon as she sells the cluttered Victorian house and antiques shop she inherited from her sister, Emily. But leaving Apple Valley a second time won’t be so easy. There’s her grieving nephew, Alex, to consider. And there’s Sheriff Cade Cunningham, the adolescent crush who could easily break her heart again if she let him.
To Cade, Tessa was simply his high school sweetheart’s kid sister. But now there’s no denying she’s a beautiful and caring grown woman, one he’d like to get to know. Except that Tessa is determined to leave again. If Cade wants to change her mind, he’ll have to show her that small-town life has its lovable side—and that he does too. Most of all, he’ll have to convince Tess they’re good together, and that every step has led her right where she was always meant to be…
I didn’t know what I was going to make of this one, as the author usually writes Christian books, and that’s not a genre I can claim to seek out on my own! It turned out Shirlee McCoy pushed some boundaries here, and I wouldn’t have known I was reading a book by a Christian romance author.
One issue I have with ‘heroine moves back to hometown’ stories is when they make out she did something wrong by leaving in the first place. So often she’s home because the Big, Bad World turned out to be a terrible place and she’s discovered she didn’t have what it took to be a career woman after all. I don’t like overly idealised small towns, and I was glad to see the author showed that different people like different things, and there isn’t one particular “right” way to live your life.
Set around Christmas, there’re a number of storylines going on in The House on Main Street. There’s something appealing about stories where the heroine is the girl who grew up being overlooked, and that’s a big theme in this one. It was a welcome change to see Cade, the hero, knowing what he wanted from the outset. I liked seeing him certain of his intentions and confident in the way he wanted his life to go. There’s also Tessa’s orphaned autistic nephew, who I thought was portrayed very sympathetically.
This is one of those books you read around Christmastime. It provides just enough warmth and romance to entertain, but doesn’t lose itself in cheesy situations.
Oh, and I love a book that uses the correct spelling of doughnut!
Review copy provided by NetGalley.