The House on Main Street by Shirlee McCoy

December 12th, 2013 Kimberly Review 53 Comments

12th Dec
The House on Main Street by Shirlee McCoy
The House on Main Street
by Shirlee McCoy
Series: Apple Valley #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

In Apple Valley, Washington, friends are always near, neighbors 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…

Shirlee McCoy’s The House on Main Street the first novel in the Apple Valley series takes us to the small town of Apple Valley, Washington. I love small-town settings and rich characters. McCoy delivered with feisty characters, a friends to lovers trope and a mystery. I found myself completely caught up in this charming tale. Mini review: Mixed with humor, romance and love. A little boy who will steal your heart and mystery made this an enchanting read.

Tess McKenzie, a successful interior designer, left her small town in Washington for the city lights and never looked back. Her life is altered when she inherits her sister’s Victorian house and antiques shop. While her life will forever be changed by the death of her sister, she plans to return to her life. That task proves to be difficult, her grieving nephew Alex and her opinionated Aunt have other ideas. Then there is Cade,  who is was her childhood best friend and her sister’s childhood sweetheart. Cade wants her to stay, now he just has to convince her that small-town life has it perks. The tale that unfolds was delightful with characters that made me laugh, shed a tear and swoon.

McCoy created some memorable characters starting with Alex, Emily’s son, and Tess’s nephew. This poor little fellow has lost his parents and now Aunt Tessa wants to move him from his home. Alex has autism, and he added a unique and powerful thread to this tale. Tess is very successful in her career but has quite a few issues starting with her feelings for Cade. I liked Tess, and felt her struggles in dealing with the loss of her sibling and the fallout from her death. She is both strong and vulnerable. Tess’s Aunt is perhaps the most colorful character, a real firecracker of a woman with an odd wardrobe. She is snarky, feisty, temperamental and wears her heart on her sleeve. The outlandish things she did and said kept me laughing throughout the novel. Zimmerman, the next door neighbor, is a cantankerous old fool who causes trouble. Cade, as sheriff is the glue that holds the town together, and townsfolk from the mayor to the Reverend look to him for assistance. I liked Cade, and his attraction to Tess was clear. McCoy hinted at his desires, and regrets letting us see the softer side of him. Friends since childhood Tess and Cade’s trip from friends to lovers was rocky, and tender. I certainly enjoyed watching it unfold.

The House on Main Street takes place shortly before the Christmas holiday adding a nice holiday theme, but it also has elements of mystery, suspense, growth and hope. The romance is slow to build and squeaky clean, but McCoy makes it all very endearing. While the story has an air of predictability, McCoy adds in some clever twists and messages that kept me engaged. Her voice is clear, and she draws you in from the first few pages as the characters and surroundings spring to life. While not heavily detailed I could clearly see the town, the park and Victorian home. The colorful characters are what made this tale so enjoyable and have me yearning to visit Apple Valley again.

Fans of small-town stories with mystery, warm characters and sweet romances will adore The House of Main Street and Apple Valley. The next book, The Cottage on the Corner is set to release in August of 2014, and I look forward to reading it.

Four cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

53 Responses to “The House on Main Street by Shirlee McCoy”

  1. Lily B

    I do love my small town winter romances! glad you enjoy this one, the characters sound very memorable!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Lily, I am excited that we will get to visit there again 🙂

  2. Lindy

    I love when we read a book with memorable characters. I read so many books, that when a book stands out, and I fall in love with the characters, I really treasure it! Tess’ Aunt sounds like a really fun character! I’ll need to check this one out! Wonderful Review Kim. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lauren

    I do love small towns and strong characters, and thought I’m not always a fan of squeaky clean romances, it’s nice to mix it up! Great review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, ya gotta mix it up, but the secondary characters are hilarious 🙂

  4. Candace

    This one sounds quite good! A small town, great characters, a sweet little boy… and a slight holiday theme! It sounds excellent!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      the little guy really added to the tale, this looks to be a good series.

  5. Ginny

    Loved the review and will be grabbing this book to read. The cover is great and as you know I’m a big fan of small town mystery/romances. Love the cover too. I might have actually sighed. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      totally agree, and the old folks made this book, they were cantankerous and hilarious!

  6. Heidi

    Sounds like a cute romantic cozy mystery. I must read this since it is set in the Pacific Northwest!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, I would agree it has a cozy mystery feel, but no murder:)

  7. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I love visual books like this. You can just get lost in a town so well storied. 🙂 I also love the sound of the characters in this book. You just wanted to make me want another contemporary, didn’t you? 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Hehehe- it is so gonna happen and next week (Monday) I have a wonderful one you so have to try!! However I am reading books for January review now and I go to the dark side! No contemporaries at all.

  8. Pamela D

    I love romances that involve people rediscovering childhood friends and falling in love. I find it a bit more believable, and I always feel like the love will outlast the book. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree Pamela, although those hot and intense ones can be good too.

  9. Dre

    Slow building romance IS endearing. I like that kind of romance in a story. It makes the relationship richer and more interesting. Terrific review!

  10. Mary

    This sounds like a really sweet romance! Though, I have to say, if I were that girl and had to leave my successful business to deal with family (even if I loved them), I think I’d be really upset about that!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed, but her nephew is involved and she needs to handle estate…I think you will find she ends up happy.

  11. Jenea

    Let me just say, I want a house like that! It’s gorgeous. The character sounds wonderful, so glad that you enjoy them and the story.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I do too Jenea, expect I grew up around them and they have no A/C, no closets and usually one bathroom..LOL

      • Jenea

        I know right. Most of the houses where we live are like that one. I miss my two story house before we moved out to the country, and both kids rooms didn’t have closets just ours.

  12. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

    Sometimes predictable is perfect for this hectic time of year. I’m going to be honest. I may have to read this simply because I WANT THAT HOUSE!!! Love the cover:) It just makes me feel so happy and cozy!

  13. Jenny

    You seem to be on a small town romance kick of late Kim! I LOVE IT! I’m a huge fan of small town romances myself, so I’m finding all sorts of good books to add to my list:) Sounds like the characters in this one are a true highlight, and that of course is always what I look for most when reading, so I’m really excited for this one. Lovely review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy it, because I am currently reading next month’s reviews and ooh Jenny I go dark- supernatural, paranormal, urban fantasy and freak you out horror. Hmm, there may be a romance or two to catch your breath..LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Always a pleasure Debbie, oh and by the way, Sleigh Bells in the Snow was hands down my favorite of the season. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Ali, I am doing better and will go to work tomorrow. It is still in my head but fever is gone.

  14. Silvia

    I’m never in the mood for this kind of novels, but every Christmas something inside me clicks and I start staring at those books a bit too much… Then I read great reviews like yours and I’m “Ok, perhaps the Universe is sending a message…”, LOL
    I really like the sound of this book, especially since I love small-towns like you described. Again, great review, Kimberly!

  15. Christy

    Ah, these sound like great characters. And I need those! Great review. It definitely made me want to read this.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is what I love about small-towns the secondary characters are just as colorful as the main ones.