Title: The Orchard at the Edge of Town by Shirlee McCoy
Apple Valley Series Book Three
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Apple Valley, Washington, is where starting over means surprising new chances, facing trouble always brings a helping hand—and the most unlikely hopes can forever come true…
Apricot Sunshine Devereux-Miller needs to stay lost. Her eccentric aunt’s home in Apple Valley is the perfect place to forget her cheating ex-fiance and get her no-longer-perfect life back under control. Plus, it couldn’t hurt to fix up the house and turn its neglected orchard into a thriving business. And if Apricot can keep deputy sheriff Simon Baylor’s two lively young daughters out of mischief, maybe she can ignore that he’s downright irresistible—and everything she never dreamed she’d find …
Simon isn’t looking to have his heart broken again. He already has his hands full raising his girls. And lately he’s thinking way too much about Apricot’s take-charge energy and unwitting knack for stirring up trouble. He can’t see a single way they could ever be right for each other. Unless they can take a crazy chance on trusting their hearts—and risking the courage to finally find their way home.
The Orchard at the Edge of Town by Shirlee McCoy is a super sweet romance between two very appealing protagonists. This third installment in the Apple Valley series is another fun, feel good novel that old and new fans are sure to love.
After canceling her wedding to her cheating fiancé, Apricot Sunshine Devereux-Miller retreats to her aunt’s house in Apple Valley to figure out what she wants to do next. She is a successful businesswoman who grew up on a commune with several siblings and squabbling, eccentric parents, and she wants nothing more than a normal, calm and peaceful life. Her unconventional arrival in town stirs up plenty of gossip but it is her involvement with Deputy Simon Baylor and his twin daughters Evie and Rori that adds unexpected complications to both their lives.
Apricot is a caring and compassionate woman who is firmly grounded in reality despite her rather offbeat upbringing. She eagerly left the chaos of the commune behind and set about creating a serene life for herself. Although her family did not particularly embrace her ex-fiancé, she was content with their stable and serene relationship. After finding out he was cheating on her, Apricot did not hesitate to end the relationship and although she is now a bit lonely, she does not regret her decision. The quiet atmosphere in Apple Valley is just what she needs to reassess her life and figure out what comes next. Apricot is surprised by her attraction to Simon and while she feels it is a little too soon to become involved with another man, she finds it hard to resist the charming widower.
Simon moved to Apple Valley after his wife’s death and his daughters have thrived in the quiet town. He is grateful he gets to spend extra time with them and he is thankful that his sister-in-law Daisy is willing to help out with the girls. While Simon is no longer mourning the death of his wife, he still feels guilty for overlooking just how troubled she was. Although he has dated, he has not really been interested in pursuing a relationship with anyone until he meets Apricot. He is immediately drawn to her and even though he has a few reservations about getting serious with her, Simon is willing to explore the possibility of a future with her. However, just as they begin dating, Apricot begins having doubts due to the arrival of her wacky family and Daisy’s escalating shenanigans.
The Orchard at the Edge of Town is a wonderful addition to Shirlee McCoy’s marvelous Apple Valley series. Simon and Apricot are well developed, sympathetic characters that are easy to love. Although their romance is low key, there is no mistaking the genuine and heartfelt emotion they have for one another. Simon’s daughters are adorable and the two little charmers easily steal the scene on more than one occasion. It is another heartwarming stop in Apple Valley that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys cozy, homespun romance novels.