Jumping out of my usual crime genre to review the return of Marcie Steele with “The Man Across the Street”. Thanks to the author and to Sarah over at BOTBS for the opportunity to take part in the blog tour.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
Maybe I’m scared to be happy…
Meet Hannah – she’s been her mum’s sole carer since she was eighteen. Now alone after Martha’s sudden death, Hannah feels lost in the only place she’s known as home, Hope Street. Coming up to a milestone birthday, she’s wondering what her purpose in life is.
Meet Doug – a workaholic, he’s in the office from dusk ’til dawn, and when he has a heart attack. Now on the mend, he needs to de-stress his life and focus on living it, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Doug moves to Hope Street, number 35. Hannah lives at number 34, directly opposite. From the moment they meet, there’s a spark.
But there are secrets too. Hannah’s mum has been keeping something from her, her sister left over twenty years ago, and there can’t be such a simple reason why Doug has moved to Somerley. Can there?
The Man Across the Street is the first of a new series by bestselling author, Marcie Steele. It features a host of characters living on Hope Street in the market town of Somerley, also featured in The Somerley Series. Each character will have their own standalone story in books to follow.
After some extremely dark and disturbing reads, I decided to jump out my genre for my next book review and read The Man Across the Street from Marcie Steele (aka Mel Sherratt) I thought this sounded quite similar to Mel’s The Estate series (which I love) and when Mel told me it was similar, but only with love, I decided this was the book I was going to read to clear the dark thoughts in my head!
Hope Street is one of those streets where everyone knows everyone else and I was immediately drawn into it, picturing each character going about their daily business as the author introduced them to me.
Opening with Hannah we learn she has recently lost her mum and behind her brave face she is struggling to cope big time. I felt a very real sense of loss from her character, after giving up all her hopes and dreams to care for her mum she feels unsure of what to do next. Added to this is a letter her mum left her with a secret, a letter she can’t bear to open.
When Doug Peterson comes into her life, she thinks things are looking up. But he too has secrets.
The author introduces us to each of the characters on Hope Street and it’s easy to see a whole series of novels popping up with their stories. I felt as though I lived on the street, I could see each of the houses, the pub and got a real feel for the community that existed there. I kind of wanted to move to Hope Street myself by the end of the book!
There were lots of little chuckles throughout the book but also some extremely poignant moments. It was very much one of those books you can just settle down with and read on an afternoon. It’s so easy to find yourself caught up in the lives of each of the characters and to feel their emotions as you read. I felt for Hannah as she uncovered some of the secrets left behind by her mother and also when it seemed that the dreams she had started to believe in were just about to crash down round about her.
This might not have been my normal choice of read but it came at the perfect time.
Hope Street is a story about community, about broken dreams and secrets. But it’s also a story about love and about hope. It’s a perfect feel good read.
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About the author:
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a meddler of words. Born and raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, I used the city as a backdrop for my first novel, Taunting the Dead, and it went on to be a Kindle number one bestseller. I couldn’t believe my eyes when it became the overall number eight UK Kindle bestselling book of 2012.
Since then, my writing has come under a few different headings – grit-lit, sexy crime, whydunnit, police procedural, emotional thriller to name a few.
I like writing about fear and emotion – the cause and effect of crime – what makes a character do something. Working as a housing officer for eight years gave me the background to create a fictional estate full of good and bad characters.
But I’m a romantic at heart and have always wanted to write about characters that are not necessarily involved in the darker side of life. Coffee, cakes and friends are three of my favourite things, hence writing under the name of Marcie Steele too.
I can often be found sitting in my favourite coffee shop, sipping a cappuccino and eating a chocolate chip cookie, either catching up with friends or writing on my laptop.