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Falling on Main Street

Falling on Main Street

Seasons of Love Series Book 1

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Shame chases her to Minden. Grief traps him in the past. But they can't deny the spark between them.

Main Tropes

  • Small-town Feel
  • Grumpy Widower
  • Hate to Love
  • City Girl/Country Boy
  • Touch of Suspense
  • Overcoming the Past

About the Book

Charlotte's world as a high-powered executive recruiter comes crashing down after a classified document under her care is leaked to the press. Taking refuge in a small Indiana town, she is determined to heal before taking back her life.

Luke Brand chases off any threat to the memory of the wife he lost too soon. When his world is invaded by a city-slicker with stunning green eyes, Luke struggles to follow God's instruction to help the town's newest resident.

Between the infuriating hot and cold signals of her landlord's son and the sincere faith of those in her new circle, Charlotte is left questioning a lot more than how to take back her career. Can this time together in the charming town of Minden spur healing for both Charlotte and Luke?

Download Falling on Main Street today!

Tara Grace Ericson's debut novel is a sweet inspirational romance that introduces readers to the idyllic Midwestern town of Minden. Themes include forgiveness, purpose, and community - presented throughout the story of friendship and romance that hints at the passion of true love.

The Seasons of Love Series is a completed four-book series of stand-alone romances.
1) Falling on Main Street
2) Winter Wishes
3) Spring Fever
4) Summer to Remember
*) Kissing in the Kitchen (bonus novella)

Barbara W5.0 out of 5 stars Don't jump the gun!

Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2022

I always enjoy Tara's stories. Some of them make me laugh, some make me cry, but all of them are great! This story is about two people who didn't think they would like each other. That didn't take long to change their minds. I hope you enjoy the story, too!

Look Inside - Chapter One

Taking refuge
behind a mannequin, Charlotte Walters stared at her designer shoes and tried to
catch her breath. “Can I help you find something?”

The amused tone of a store employee made Charlotte close her eyes tightly. Could this moment get any more humiliating?
Charlotte opened her eyes, lifted her chin, and returned to full height from
her crouched position behind the awkwardly-posed plastic body. A quick glance around the store revealed her impromptu escape route had landed her in an outdoors specialty store. The mannequin she hid behind? Decked head to toe in camo, neon orange,
and denim—a far cry from Charlotte’s silk shirt, pencil skirt, and Jimmy Choos.
She turned to the young man and glanced at his nametag

“Thank you, Brandon. I’m fine.” Brandon raised his eyebrows and gave a polite nod.
When the employee turned away, Charlotte’s shoulders sagged. The effort of
putting on a brave face, even for a minute, exhausted her. Maybe her therapist
was right. Dr. Watts suggested staying in her condo, right around the corner
from the Millennium offices, could be contributing to her anxiety attacks. To
prove him wrong, today she’d ventured out for something other than the therapy
appointments for the first time in a month. An entire month of twice-weekly
therapy sessions and she was no closer to her old self than she had been on day

she looked out the store window to see if the reason for her hiding was gone.
Just a moment ago, Charlotte spotted the former client a block away in the
small shopping promenade and panicked, dashing into the nearest store. She
stuck out like a ringing cell phone in a library among the hunting gear.

The coast was clear and Charlotte swallowed the nausea that flared at the thought of venturing back outside. Maybe Dr. Watts was on to something. What if she
went somewhere no one would know her? She’d thought him a quack when he first
suggested it.

“You might consider leaving town for a while.”

When Charlotte questioned how the heck to do that, he had responded, “Maybe just
drive until you run out of gas and stay there. I think you’ll know when you get
there.” At Charlotte’s wide eyes and gaping mouth, he continued. “You can leave
your stuff and come back at any time, but being in this city doesn’t seem to be
helping you.”

His eyes had softened and Charlotte saw the compassion in them. “There’s more to
life than work, Charlotte.”

With one more defeated glance back at the hunting goods store and the young clerk
who still watched her from a display near the wall, Charlotte pushed the door
open and prepared for the walk back to her condo. If she worked quickly, she
could leave tomorrow.



Charlotte pulled into the station off Highway 40 in Indiana running on fumes, literally and emotionally. She studied the small gas station, with its old fuel pumps and
faded Coca-Cola sign. I may have gotten
out of Dodge, but I’m not exactly sure the middle of nowhere will work for me.

At least she still had music; the radio station she picked up in Terre Haute remained strong. Charlotte spent the last hour belting out twangy country songs she hardly knew the words to. Might as
well get into my new lifestyle,
she thought wryly.

Life out here couldn’t
be more different from her work as a top-tier recruiting consultant for
companies around the world. Until recently, her reputation was flawless.

Charlotte had something few others did: she could read potential employees like an open book. Looking for someone to overhaul a company? Charlotte could tell in one interview if an applicant is genuinely creative, bold, and progressive; or if
they have been claiming others’ ideas as their own. The insecurities and
skeletons buried beneath power suits or carefully applied eyeshadow always came
to light. Candidates she approved for a position always lasted and always
performed. It didn’t hurt that her stock portfolio was full of companies on the
brink of disaster until the right person came into power.

That had been her world. Yet, here she was, standing beside her black Mazda sports
car pumping a few more dollars into the tank on the side of the highway in
Indiana. Indiana! She'd never been to Indiana, other than Indianapolis. I must be crazy. That was the rumor, at
least. Crazy Charlotte. Washout Walters. Ugh. Even as it made her cringe, she
was determined not to care anymore. For the next year, no one could touch her.

Charlotte walked inside the QuikStop to pay for her gas, having realized there was no
card reader on the pump. Where am I - the

"Hi there, darlin'," the clerk said with a warm smile, "anything other than the gas today?"

Taken aback by the friendly greeting, Charlotte stuttered. "Uh... I don't think
so. Unless you have a local newspaper?"

The shopkeeper shook his head and clucked his tongue. "Paper in Minden don't
come out except on Tuesdays, but I think I've still got a copy of last week’s
if you want it."

Charlotte resisted the urge to gasp. A weekly newspaper? She started every day with a
copy of the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Or
at least, she used to.

Shaking off the unwelcome reminder of the world moving on without her, she nodded.
"Sure, thanks, that'd be great."

As the clerk retrieved the newspaper from under the counter and rang her up,
Charlotte let her mind wander. What could
I possibly find to do here? Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.

"Anything in particular you looking for in the newspaper?" Curiosity was etched on
the clerk’s face as if labeled with a sharpie.

Charlotte jerked a shoulder and glanced at the front page. "Maybe a job, a place to

"Well, you should have said something!” His sudden volume change startled her. “I know
Miss Ruth has been looking for someone to rent her cabin. Want me to ask her
for you?"

Charlotte took a step back from the counter and reached for her change. "Umm, no,
that's okay. I'm sure I can find something on my own."

He eyed her. "Well, alright then. Let me know if you change your mind. Miss
Ruth would sure appreciate it. And you can't beat that cabin! I'd rent it
myself if I didn't have my place to consider."

"I will, thanks."

Charlotte turned and walked out, still processing. A
cabin? Surely, someone has an apartment around here, right?
If she couldn’t
find a place to stay, she’d have to keep driving. Something felt good about
this place, though. The friendliness of the clerk and even the cool breeze gave
her a feeling this was the place she’d get better.

She climbed back into the front of her Mazda and pulled her sunglasses from their
perch on her head as a mud-caked pickup truck pulled in the pump next to her.
It might have been green at some point. Charlotte stared through her sunglasses
and watched a teenager climb out of the cab in jeans and a faded red baseball
cap. He had grease and dirt smudged on his face as he eyed her Mazda with
obvious appreciation. In response, she revved the engine and pulled out of the

At the next cross street, Charlotte turned off the highway where a small green
sign announced the town. Minden: Population 2340. She crept past Bud and
Janine's Café and a little store with a battered old sign that simply read
“Hardware". A bar and grill announced itself with the universal neon
accessories. Guess some things aren’t so
different from the city.

There was a pretty little building that had a black sign with gold lettering
declaring it Minden Funeral Home. It was next door to Minden State Bank, and
the Minden U.S. Post Office. She also spotted a small bakery, the Rolling Pin,
and a craft store. The street was lined with carefully tended potted plants,
and the street lights had patriotic banners still displayed from the Fourth of
July celebration nearly two months earlier.

Then, as she crossed Elm, the landscape switched. Little houses with white picket
fences. Trellis gates with ivy climbing the sides. Bright green lawns and
friendly looking shutters on the windows. There were hanging pots and porch
swings, weeping willows, and clothes drying in the breeze. It was perfect. Exactly what I need. This couldn't be farther away from the city
life I'm used to.
She rolled down the window and breathed deep. A little R&R in Mayberry and I can go
take my life back.

Charlotte turned the car around when she reached the Minden Town Park at the dead end of
Main Street and went back to the café she had spotted earlier. She parked in
front and walked into the restaurant, newspaper in hand. Soft bells jingled
over the door and announced her entrance to the nearly empty dining room.

“Be right with you. Take a seat wherever you like.” The feminine voice called out
from the rear of the room, but Charlotte couldn’t see the source. She chose a
booth facing the back of the restaurant. The day’s specials decorated a
chalkboard behind the counter lined with classic barstools and a laminated menu
was tucked between the salt and pepper shakers on the table. Charlotte glanced
at it as the waitress sauntered over. She was young, about Charlotte’s own age.
A hot pink apron covered her jeans and t-shirt and her name tag read “Chrissy”.

“Can I get you something to drink, hon?”

“I’ll just have a coffee.” Charlotte said. It was two in the afternoon and she wasn’t
supposed to drink coffee, according to her therapist. I came out here, didn’t I? We’ll call it a compromise. Another
concept she was working on. She grabbed the menu and skimmed it.

A moment later, Chrissy came back with a glass of ice water and mug of steaming
coffee. Her perky soprano voice interrupted Charlotte’s musings. “Anything to

Charlotte tried to remember how long it had been since she had eaten, but nothing came to
mind. “I’ll have the club sandwich, no mayo.”

Chrissy nodded. “Coming right up.” When Chrissy made it back to the counter, she called
through the window to the kitchen. “Dad, club sandwich, no mayo!”

Charlotte settled in with her coffee and scanned the newspaper, if you could call it
that. She saw an article about tables and chairs for rent from town hall and
the upcoming Baptist/Catholic annual softball game. There was one section on
‘Finance’, which was an editorial on the property values dropping near the
railroad tracks.

Sports took up the center two pages: an article bemoaning the lack of success of
Indiana football, one highlighting the same at Purdue, a summary of Major
League Baseball scores, and an in-depth update on the NASCAR standings. The
last page was what she wanted, but before she could read it, Chrissy came back
with her sandwich.

She set mayo and ketchup on the table and a generous stack of napkins. “Anything
else I can get you?”

Charlotte gave a polite smile to the young waitress. “Do you have a pen and paper, by

Chrissy brightened at the interaction. “Sure thing.”

As Charlotte studied her sandwich and thought about the best way to tackle the
three-inch-thick monster, she grabbed a french fry. She decided to just go for
it and removed the toothpick that was holding it together. She took a bite just
as Chrissy returned.

“You new in town or somethin’?” It wasn’t an unfriendly question, just more
small-town curiosity from what Charlotte could tell.

She choked on her sandwich and struggled to swallow. Coughing, she looked up. “I
suppose I am.”

pushed out her chin. “Huh. We don’t get too many new faces in Minden. Everybody
trying to get out of here, mostly.” Charlotte detected a hint of sadness in the
young woman. Maybe she wanted to get out, too, Charlotte considered.

offered nothing to that, and the waitress shrugged. “Let me know if you need
something. My name’s Chrissy. It’s a real nice place to live, if you ask me.”

I’m Charlotte.”

Chrissy gave a broad smile. “Well then, welcome to Minden, Charlotte!”

Charlotte watched her walk away and turned back to the paper. The back page had a
half-page ad about a sale at the hardware store and the Classifieds.

Farm north of Minden 2.5 miles, looking for seasonal help. Truck for sale. Tractor
for sale. Fresh eggs for sale. Charlotte started to lose hope but kept reading.
Puppies, free to a good home. Hmm, maybe
I should get a puppy.
Who am I
kidding? I can’t even feed myself. How am I going to manage to feed something
She got to the final listing: “Two-bedroom cabin for rent. Contact
Miss Ruth.”

No phone number, no address. Great. This old
lady doesn’t even know how to put an ad in the paper. There is no way this
cabin is livable.
She contemplated how to proceed with the lack of
available information.

A bang sounded from the bar as Chrissy set down a stack of plates. Charlotte
spoke across the mostly empty restaurant. “Chrissy, do you know Miss Ruth?”

Chrissy spoke loudly as she made her way to Charlotte’s table. “Well sure! Everybody
knows Miss Ruth. You thinking about renting her cabin?”

Charlotte gave a light shrug. “Maybe. But she didn’t list a phone number on her ad, how
do I contact her?”

Chrissy waved a hand. “Oh, Miss Ruth doesn’t answer her phone anyway. She says people
wouldn’t stop by and see her if they could call her on the phone instead.”

Great, this just gets
better and better.
“Okay, can I get directions, then?”

“I’m headed over there after I eat, I can take you,” a male voice said from the
front of the café.

Charlotte jumped at the big voice. She hadn’t even noticed him. He was a big guy, with a
plaid button down on and a baseball hat covering a thick head of dark hair.
Charlotte’s city instincts kicked in.

“No thanks, I’d rather drive myself...” than
get kidnapped and murdered in the woods by you,
she finished in her head.

The bearded man conceded with an eyebrow raise. “Alright. I’ll lead the way, and
you can follow.”

Charlotte paused. “Okay, thank you, ...” she looked at him expectantly.

He supplied. “Todd Flynn.”

She answered. “Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise, ma’am.” Then he turned to his coffee and away from her.

Good grief. No one had ever called her ma’am. Well, maybe a bell boy or a secretary trying to
explain away a mistake. Chrissy wandered from Charlotte’s table over to Todd’s
and Charlotte eavesdropped.

“While you are there, Todd, make sure you tell Miss Ruth that she is overdue for a
visit. I’ve got a slice of lemon meringue with her name on it,” smiled Chrissy.

Todd’s smile broadened behind his beard. “I’ll tell her, as long as you’ve got one
back there with mine on it.”

“Oh shoot, I think I gave yours away,” Chrissy said slyly.

“You wouldn’t have... You know I come in here every day just for that pie.”

They were flirting.
, Charlotte considered as she tuned them

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