Huckleberry Lane is the 6th book in the Mystic Creek Series by Catherine Anderson.
The first thing that you need to know is that is book is more of a "women's fiction" long before it's a romance, although a romance does happen.
The majority of this story is about Erin and the mental and emotional transformation that she must go thru in order to get past issues that she has.
And that's why Amazon classifies this story as "family life" as well as a contemporary romance.
This story picks up right after the last book, Strawberry Lane, with Erin leaving the wedding of Slade and Vickie.
And while this story is mostly about Erin and Wyatt, there're story loops of Erin's best friend Julie and her new beau as well. We also find out more about Slade and Vickie and how they're doing too.
There are a couple of details in a sexy scene right near the end of the story when Wyatt has finally succumbed to Erin's wiles!!
This is a full length novel with over 500 pages! There's no cliffhanger nor many open story loops that aren't closed by the end of the story.
The ones are that aren't closed have to do mostly with Jen and Kennedy. Wyatt's bro and the girl that he was getting to know.
This story is about Erin De Laney and Wyatt Fitzgerald.
And the majority of the story is Erin going thru the mental back and forth that happens when you're dealing with issues that come from childhood.
And while Erin's parents don't come into the story at all, her father's voice is her inner voice that she keeps hearing and part of the story is her coming to terms with the things that he said to her and what they did to her.
Erin is one of the local deputies in Mystic Creek. She became a cop to please her father. Her father also wanted a boy, so she has a lot of "not living up to" issues. So as an adult, this inner voice keeps her from doing the things that she wants to do.
You see, she's completely disillusioned about being a cop. She doesn't want to do it anymore. She can no longer handle the depravities of humanity and wants to go back to school to do her first love, a speech therapist.
So she has a bit of a plan, but that plan doesn't happen when she responds to a call about a young girl that's raped and beaten. Very much like the final straw that broke the camel's back kind of thing. And she quits her job right then and there.
But she still needs a job to cover the expenses that she has.
She goes back to her Uncle Slade and almost begs for them to allow her to move to the ranch and come work for him as a ranch hand.
And that brings her into Wyatt's orbit!! And with Wyatt as her boss!!
Since the beginning of the last book, they have been dancing around each other and trying not to flirt with each other.
He tells her that he can't be romantically involved with her. And he even eventually tells her that he does love her but they can't be together but he doesn't really tell her why. They are to be just friends.
And that works for awhile. But as they really get to know each other, and Erin works thru some of her deep-seated issues, their feelings deepen.
Now nothing happens between them until literally the last chapter when she basically challenges him. But there's lots of long glances and staring at each other that happen throughout the whole story.
And they work thru some things together and some things he coaches her in.
She finds a connection with one of Slade's horses. And with that connection, she finds a friend and some answers for herself. It's very much where the animal helps the person more than the person helps the animal. But they both heal.
This story is also about Julie and Blackie. Julie is Erin's best friend and the owner of a small shop in town. She has the hots for Blackie, a much older gent that owns the pawn shop. Julie's come out of a bitter divorce badly bruised and down-trodden.
Their romance progresses as well thru the storyline, allowing us to get to know them too. Fortunately for us, their romance is completely within this book!!
After all the dancing around that these two did, it was nice to see when they finally decide that they can't live without each other. I can understand Wyatt's reluctance. I think if I was in the same situation, I would be just as reluctant to start a new relationship.
I can also see the issues that Erin had with her dad and how she had such a hard time letting go. I think it dragged on longer than it needed to but she did come to some new thoughts and conclusions.
I enjoyed the parts with her horse where she was able to help the horse, had to think outside the box and come up with new ideas to help him. And that in turn made her think about new ways to help herself.
A huge chunk of the story was the counselling that she went thru not only with her therapist but also with the horse. And it makes you think about your own situation and how you can help yourself as she did.
I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the dynamics between Erin and Wyatt. Wyatt is an amazing character, being able to learn to speak even though he was profoundly deaf!
I was disappointed to see that this series was no longer about the Sterling family but was excited to read about new and fascinating characters that add so much to this series! I'll definitely watch for the next book in this series!!
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