1022 Evergreen Place (Cedar Cove Series #10)
  • 1022 Evergreen Place (Cedar Cove Series #10)
  • 1022 Evergreen Place (Cedar Cove Series #10)

1022 Evergreen Place (Cedar Cove Series #10)

3.9 382
by Debbie Macomber
     
 

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Dear Reader,

Guess what? I'm falling in love! With Mack McAfee.

My baby daughter, Noelle, and I have been living next door to Mack since the spring. I'm still a little wary about our relationship, because I haven't always made good decisions when it comes to men. My baby's father, David Rhodes, is testament to that. I'm so worried he might sue for

…  See more details below

Overview

Dear Reader,

Guess what? I'm falling in love! With Mack McAfee.

My baby daughter, Noelle, and I have been living next door to Mack since the spring. I'm still a little wary about our relationship, because I haven't always made good decisions when it comes to men. My baby's father, David Rhodes, is testament to that. I'm so worried he might sue for custody.

In the meantime, the World War II letters I found are a wonderful distraction. Both Mack and I are trying to learn what happened to the soldier who wrote them and the woman he loved.

Come by sometime for a glass of iced tea and I'll show you the letters. Plus I'll tell you the latest about Grace and Olivia, my brother Linc and his wife, Lori (who tied the knot about five minutes after they met!), and all our other mutual friends. Oh, and maybe Mack can join us….

Mary Jo Wyse

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780778328063
Publisher:
Mira
Publication date:
08/31/2010
Series:
Cedar Cove Series, #10
Pages:
366
Product dimensions:
6.96(w) x 11.08(h) x 0.92(d)

Read an Excerpt

Almost home. Grateful for the end of his shift, Mack McAfee turned the corner onto Evergreen Place and approached his house, the duplex at 1022. He felt an instant sense of peace when he saw Mary Jo Wyse working in the garden, taking advantage of the longer days and the perfection of a Pacific Northwest spring. At six, the sun was still bright and the sky had the clean-washed look of early May. Mack had to smile as he watched Mary Jo. The young single mother was his tenant, his friend— and the woman he'd fallen for. Hard. Lovely as ever, she wore jeans and a pink, long-sleeved top that clung in all the right places. Noelle was asleep in a stroller a few feet away.

Mack had delivered the baby last Christmas—or assisted in her delivery; that was probably a better way to put it. He'd just joined the Cedar Cove Fire Department and as the most recent hire, he'd pulled duty on Christmas Eve. It'd been a quiet night until the call from the Harding ranch. A woman said she was about to give birth. Mack had taken a medical course and received his emergency medical technician certificate, but nothing he'd learned had prepared him for the exhilaration of being at a delivery. The moment little Noelle drew her first breath she'd completely won him over.

Noelle and her mother had laid claim to Mack's heart.

Mack parked on his side of the driveway and climbed out of the truck. He was outwardly calm, but his thoughts were in chaos. He hadn't seen either of them in two days.

With his help, Mary Jo had planted a small garden, which she tended daily. "Hi," she said, getting up from her knees. She brushed the dirt from her pant legs and glanced at him with a shy smile.

"Hi," he responded. Afraid that Mary Jo would be able to interpret his feelings, he studied the neat row of green seedlings that had begun to poke through the earth. Mary Jo was still suspicious of men, thanks to her experience with David Rhodes, although Mack was making a serious effort to gain her trust. "The garden's starting to take shape, I see."

He crouched down and peeked at Noelle, who slept contentedly with one small clenched fist raised above her head. The baby mesmerized him. For that matter, so did Mary Jo.…

"I…missed seeing you the past couple of days," she said in a low voice.

That was encouraging. "You did?" He hated to sound too eager since he was treading carefully in this relationship. He'd made a big mistake with her and was almost afraid of what would happen next.

"Well, yes. The last time we talked, well…you know."

Mack straightened and nervously shoved his hands in his back pockets.

"You told me it wasn't a good idea for us to continue with the engagement," she said, although he didn't need any reminder.

"That seemed for the best," he muttered. "But—"

Before he could qualify his remark, she broke in. "And you're right, it is for the best, especially if you don't love me."

Mack couldn't believe he'd actually said that. "No, I just thought—"

"I understand," she said, cutting him off again. "You proposed because you were trying to protect me."

Mack studied her through narrowed eyes. "You didn't hear from David Rhodes again, did you?"

"No." She shook her head emphatically.

Noelle's biological father had threatened, more than once, to take the baby from Mary Jo, which Mack felt was nothing more than a bluff. But it had frightened her so badly that she'd panicked and decided to move back to Seattle. Back to her brothers, who'd look after her and the baby.

Afraid he was about to lose them both, Mack had suggested marriage. Mary Jo had accepted, with the stipulation that they have a six-month engagement.

That wasn't the only stipulation. She'd insisted there be no physical contact. That was when Mack had realized his mistake. Mary Jo's sole reason for moving to Cedar Cove had been to escape her domineering older brothers. In offering to marry her, Mack was doing exactly what they'd done. His motive had been to keep a close watch over her, to protect her. Because he loved her, yes, but without recognizing it, he'd assumed the role her brothers had played in her life. No wonder Mary Jo had stalled their relationship.

A few days after they became engaged, he noticed the shift in her attitude. No longer did she treat him as her friend. No longer could they tease and joke and affectionately kiss. He'd taken control of a situation in her life, squelching Mary Jo's first tentative efforts toward independence. She'd said yes to his proposal, but it wasn't because she loved him.

A month passed before Mack figured out what was wrong and why he had to break off the engagement. In his eagerness to be with her, to marry her, he'd nearly ruined everything.

At least neither of them had mentioned the engagement to their families. For his part Mack knew his parents would've seen through his reasons immediately. They would've said it was too soon, pointing out that Mack and Mary Jo didn't know each other well enough to make that kind of commitment.

They would've been right.

Mack had acted on impulse, his desire to protect her overcoming his better judgment. He needed to bide his time and let the relationship progress naturally.

One problem was his lack of finesse with women. Not that he was totally naive, but none of his relationships prior to meeting Mary Jo had been serious or long-lasting.

He did have a sister—two sisters, actually. Only he hadn't known about the second one until a few years ago. He'd always been close to Linnette and had now begun to develop a friendship with Gloria.

Linnette had often advised him on relationships, but she'd moved to some Podunk town in North Dakota. They managed regular phone conversations; despite that, Mack hadn't been smart enough to seek her opinion before he proposed to Mary Jo.

In trying to undo his mistake, Mack had committed another one. He'd broken off the engagement by telling Mary Jo that although he was fond of her, his real love was for Noelle.

It'd seemed like a reasonable approach at the time. He'd hoped to back out of the engagement and save face as he did—let her save face, too. Instead, he'd further complicated an already complex relationship. If there'd been a worse way to handle the situation, he couldn't imagine it.

What he should've done was simply be honest. Whoever said honesty was the best policy—Ben Franklin? Mother Teresa? Bill Clinton? Oprah?—was absolutely correct.

Then the following morning, Mack had been on duty at the fire station. He'd felt uncomfortable and anxious about seeing Mary Jo ever since. This was their first encounter since that day.

"I don't expect to hear from David again," Mary Jo was saying. "Like you said, I think it was an empty threat. He only wants Noelle so he can manipulate his father into giving him money."

Mack nodded. "If you do see him, call me and I'll deal with him." As soon as the words were out, Mack wished he could take them back. The whole point of breaking off the engagement was to let Mary Jo solve her own problems.

Instead of responding, she occupied herself with rearranging Noelle's blanket.

Mack rocked back on his heels and removed his hands from his pockets. He wanted to groan. Why couldn't he keep his mouth shut? "I guess I should check the mail," he said with a sigh. He'd just headed over to the mailbox when Mary Jo called him back.

"I learned something about those letters."

"Letters?" Mack asked in confusion.

"The ones I found under the floorboards in the closet."

That box of World War II letters had completely slipped his mind. "Tell me," he said quickly.

"I'd rather show you."

"Okay."

"Would you like to come by for dinner?" she asked. She bit her lip, as if she wasn't confident that inviting him was such a good plan, after all. "I don't want you to feel any obligation.…"

"No, I want to," he said with more enthusiasm than he'd intended. "I mean, if you're sure about having me over."

"I am."

Mack checked his watch. "It's quarter after six now. Shall we say in an hour?"

"An hour," she agreed.

His spirits lifted. Maybe he hadn't ruined everything the way he'd feared. "See you then," he said with a relieved smile.

"Okay." She smiled back, and he felt a sudden hopefulness.

Not until he was on his porch steps did it occur to him to ask if there was anything he could contribute. A salad? No, wine was probably better. He turned and, to his surprise, found Mary Jo watching him. Looking guilty, she glanced away.

"What can I bring?" he asked. "For dinner."

She gave a half shrug. "I've got chicken-and-vegetable stew in the Crock-Pot and I'm making biscuits. I can't think of anything else."

"How about a bottle of wine?" When she nodded, he said, "See you around seven."

After collecting the mail, Mack let himself into his side of the duplex, closed the door and breathed deeply. His sense of excitement was nearly overwhelming. In less than an hour he'd have a chance to make up for the foolish, clumsy way he'd ended the engagement—with a lie. He'd have a chance to start again, to reestablish their relationship on a more equal footing.

Fifteen minutes later, Mack had showered, shaved and changed clothes. He threw a load in the washing machine and set the dials. With another half hour to kill, he walked restlessly from room to room. This evening was important, and it could set the tone for many evenings to come.

In the past he'd often visited Mary Jo and Noelle. She'd regularly invited him over but not, he now suspected, out of any great desire for his company. Mary Jo was simply accustomed to having people around. Until recently she'd lived with her three older brothers.

She'd cooked for her family, although Mack knew they did their share of household chores. She was used to preparing meals for three hungry men; no wonder she always made enough to feed a family. So it was easy to invite an additional person, Mack told himself. She didn't make extra with him in mind.

Not that he was complaining. Far from it. He liked spending time with her, being part of her life. Entertaining Noelle—that was his job most nights. He held and played with the baby while Mary Jo finished dinner preparations, and then later, they sat together and watched television or played cards. She had card sense, as his father would've put it. They talked, too, but not about anything deep or too personal. They'd talk about what they'd read or seen on TV, or mutual friends and acquaintances in Cedar Cove. Both were careful to avoid religion and politics, although he guessed they held similar views.

At the end of the evening, he'd kiss her good-night. After their so-called engagement, those kisses had become more brotherly than playful or passionate. That was what had initially convinced him the engagement was all wrong.

Considering the way David Rhodes had treated her, he understood that Mary Jo would be wary of entering a new relationship. Her trust in men—and in her own ability to judge them—had been badly shaken. But surely she'd come to recognize that Mack was a man of his word. That he genuinely cared for her and the baby and would never do anything to bring them harm.

He worried that he wasn't as good-looking as Rhodes. He wasn't as smooth, either, but that probably didn't attract Mary Jo anymore, not after being involved with a player like David. Unlike Rhodes, Mack wasn't tall, dark and handsome. He was just under six feet and his brown hair had a hint of auburn in it, which accounted for the sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of his nose. He was an average guy, he supposed. He might work for the fire department, but he doubted anyone would select him for one of those hunk calendars.

Mary Jo, however, was beautiful. He wasn't surprised that someone like David Rhodes would notice her. Mack had long decided that her beauty was part of the problem; it put her out of his league. He was sure she could have her pick of any man she wanted. All Mack could hope for was that, given enough time, she'd want him.

When he knocked at her front door, Mary Jo immediately opened it, almost as if she'd been waiting for him, although that was unlikely to be the case. Noelle cooed from her seat and waved her arms, and he chose to see that as a greeting just for him.

"How's my girl?" he asked. He handed Mary Jo the bottle of chilled pinot grigio he'd taken from his fridge, then walked into the living room and reached for the baby. As he lifted her in his arms he grinned at Mary Jo. "I've only been away a couple of days and I swear she's grown two inches."

"She changes every single day," Mary Jo said. "I see it, too."

He tickled Noelle's chin and she gurgled back, which made him laugh.

"There are those World War II letters," Mary Jo said, pointing at the coffee table.

Mack looked away from Noelle long enough to glance at the cigar box sitting there. He could tell it was faded and a little shabby. "How many letters were inside?"

"Dozens. It didn't seem like that many when I found them, but the paper is really thin."

She'd been enthralled by her discovery. Mack was interested, too—who wouldn't be? These letters were a direct link to history, a personal connection to some of the most momentous events of the previous century.

"The article I read on the internet called this paper onionskin and it said the letters were referred to as V-mail." She smiled at that. "I think the V stands for victory." She sat on the sofa and Mack joined her, still holding the baby. He divided his attention between Mary Jo and Noelle.

"I've read them twice. They're addressed to Miss Joan Manry."

"I remember." Mack recalled the recipient's name, now that she mentioned it, although not the sender's. He cocked his head but couldn't read the return address. "Who are they from?"

"His name is Jacob Dennison and he was a major stationed in Europe during the war. Some of his letters have black marks on them, but a lot of them don't have any at all. I assume those marks were put there by censors. You know, I read that there were over two hundred censorship offices. Their job was to ensure that military personnel didn't reveal anything sensitive in their letters." She paused. "Of course, that doesn't explain why these letters were hidden."

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Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at www.DebbieMacomber.com.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Port Orchard, Washington
Date of Birth:
October 22, 1948
Place of Birth:
Yakima, Washington
Education:
Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college
Website:
http://www.debbiemacomber.com

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1022 Evergreen Place (Cedar Cove Series #10) 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 382 reviews.
Elmira More than 1 year ago
Time to re-visit Cedar Cove and catch up with all our old friends and some of our newer friends! I was a bit disappointed in the last couple of Cedar Cove books, but this one turned it all around for me. It was like a welcome home for me. This time around the story focuses on Mary Jo Wyse and Mack McAfee. They both love each other, but have been skirting around telling each other and keeping each other at arm's length. They are brought together through a series of letters Mary Jo finds under the floor boards of her closet (she found them in [book:92 Pacific Blvd]. They tell a story of a soldier during WWII and his love for the girl back home. They both are exciting to solve the mystery of what happened to both the soldier and his girl. Secondary stories include: *Shirley and Tanni Bliss. Mother and daughter are both dealing with love issues. *Christie and James. These two have been going back and forth with each other for years. It is a small story line, but it is nice to follow up with them again. *The whole McAfee family. They are going through so many changes and Roy and Corrie are having a bit of a hard time keeping up with all their children. *Rachel, Bruce, and Jolene. Rachel and Jolene still aren't getting along and Bruce seems to just ignore it. More complications set back the family and it seems they just might not be able to hold it together. I love stepping back into Cedar Cove. Macomber has a way of making all the characters come alive. You may not like all of the characters, but she paints them in a why that you can understand them. They are all real and feel like people you may know in your own life. After 10 plus books, they have become like friends to me. As usual, the book have vignettes of each character's story and then jumps to the next story. Each time it would happen I would be disappointed, but within a couple of lines I was excited to read about the next character's woes. I honestly can't say I was all that excited to read about Mack and Mary Jo. They were only so-so to me in the past books. I liked them, but just did not get me all that excited. I was surprised at how quickly I came to like them and care about them. They frustrated me, but I hoped for them to work things out. My biggest complaint is that it ended and I have to wait until September of 2011 to return to Cedar Cove and catch up with my friends! No, No, No! I wish I could just keep reading about them. I want to know how they are all doing. *sigh* I will just have to wait. Well written, fast read. An excellent addition to the Cedar Cove series. *I received this book from the publisher via netgalley to review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never been as annoyed with fictional characters as I was with the ones in this book. Half of them had conversations where they admitted the wise decision to make and then just decided to do the opposite for no real reason. A woman who knew from experience how three lives were affected when a woman didn't tell her ex that she was pregnant decided that in her case it was perfectly okay and paternal rights weren't something that she needed to recognize. And the blended family that let a bratty teenager destroy a marriage made me scream too. I realize that people make mistakes and let situations get out of control sometimes, but this was ridiculous, and that's coming from a soap opera fan.
Dawn3d More than 1 year ago
Debbie Macomber again leaves me wanting to know more about these characters. She has a writing style that is easy to read and I can always envision her characters in real-life. It is beginning however to get a bit cumbersome for her to write these books for readers who are new to the series. Too much of the book is taken up with explaining the back story of the characters. By this tenth book, she has a lot of characters and a huge back story. Maybe just a bit longer in the character description at the front of the book would give her current characters more room to live in the text. Still would recommend this book and will continue to read all that she produces.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Cedar Cove, Washington, when firefighter Mack McAfee and Mary Jo Wyse met as neighbors they were attracted to each other. He even used his paramedic skills last Christmas while she gave birth to aptly named Noelle (see A Cedar Cove Christmas). Excited by their feelings, he proposed and she accepted. However, both begin to doubt the wisdom of their rush. Mary Jo distrusts her former husband David Rhodes and fears he will come for their daughter Noelle; not because he wants her but to punish her mother. David vows to keep the mother and daughter he loves safe. Mary Jo becomes enthralled with a box of WWII love letters she finds underneath the floorboards (see 92 Pacific Boulevard). She wants to know more about the man who wrote them. She turns to Mack to assist her in learning who this romantic was; even as they learn who they are to each other and to baby Noelle. The return to Cedar Cove will excite fans of the saga as the continuing stories of the cast supports the prime story line of Mack and Mary Jo coming to grips on their feelings for each other; newcomers on the other hand will find it difficult to take the plunge. Well written, the audience will welcome this fine tale as the back-ups in previous entries take center stage. Harriet Klausner
aimlyss More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book that is a bunch of stories of people living in Cedar Cove, WA. I must admit, the book ended in quite a weird way. I was pretty upset about that, but then read other reviews and realized that this is part of an ongoing series. The next book should be out in a couple of months and I'll be in line to get it so I can find out what happens next! I'm now wondering if I should go back and read the first nine. Has anyone read this series and know if that would be a good idea or will having read the tenth mess up the storyline?
KCL54 More than 1 year ago
Just love this series....I can't wait to read the next one. Debbie Macomber has done a great job telling the story of this little community. Love her books!!!!!!!!!!
Snowgypsy More than 1 year ago
This story relates to so many couples relationships in today's world. So realistic. Just an FYI...as a girl in school with reading difficulties, I hated to read. Because of the Cedar Cove Series, I know love to read and my husband gave me a Nook Color for my birthday. I would of never guessed that one day my 2 favorite hobbies would be reading and knitting...This is what happens when the kids grow up...Loving my life and waiting for 1105 Yakima Street. Thanks Debbie
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RRPNC More than 1 year ago
Excellent book and series!!  Recommend Very Highly!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has not read any of the Cedar Cove stories should start at the beginning and just keep on reading until the last! I sure hate to see this series coming to an end. Guess I will have to start at the beginning of another one of Debbie Macomber's other series.
Cida More than 1 year ago
I bought this item in the beginning of November and up to now I have not received it. However, the payment was already made! Today is December 11th, 2013.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series, easy reading. I do agree with many that going over the character back ground in every book is not needed. It's a series people should start with the first book and read on. I hope this series goes on longer then the current 12 books. I started reading this series because it was going to be on TV. The TV show isn't half a good as the books. This was my first time reading any books by Debbie Macomber and I got hooked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved every book in the cedar cove series
cp68 More than 1 year ago
The story of a small town around Puget Sound and its inhabitants keeps moving as the lives of the residents weave in and out in life's drama. Interesting and a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Debbie Macomber has a way of making the characters in the stories come alive. I have enjoyed the books in the Cedar Cove series and look forward to others. LA-TXN