I rate No One Else by M K Tracy as 5 stars. I really enjoyed the story. This is a romance story intertwined with an adult “coming of age” story. I was told once that women really shine once they hit forty, by then they have figured out what they want and take no crap from anyone. This character is a little ahead of her time, but she surely comes into herself.
The story begins with the main character, Hannah, thinking about the struggles in her family life of parenting, paying bills, and a husband often out of town. Hannah is very relatable to any stay at home mom, including the moms who have put careers on hold or for those that raising their families has always been their main goal. Throughout the book, Hannah stays real to us with the little details like being exhausted, but still needing to grocery shop before coming home and helping with a science project; and so puts away groceries while popping a frozen lasagna into the oven.
The rest of the family characters are completely believable too, especially the child on the age of being a teenager, romping in the yard with dolls one moment and rolling her eyes at mom’s ridiculousness the next. The salesman husband (Gavin)seems believable too, sometimes wanting to just relax on the golf course and sometimes surprising Hannah with dinner and wine ready when she gets home. The clients that Hannah cares for have definite personalities and believable reasons for needing care. I’m hard pressed to choose whether the robot dog or the bubbles are my favorite scene with these clients.
Through the book, Hannah changes quite a bit from a capable mom of three, to an overworked mom starting a new career, to a confident mom and business owner. There are many realistic trials she must go through and while she often cries, she handles these obstacles with confidence and achieves much. There are numerous setbacks and a betrayal I never suspected. One can’t help but root for Hannah and hope that she finds the support that she so richly deserves.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a romance novel that focuses more on characters than sappy sexual scenes. There is very little actual physical romance described, but from early on we are cheering on Hannah’s heart. There are plenty of sweet gifts from the typical flowers to a get-well package of hot tea and soup. I would be completely comfortable having this book in a secondary classroom, but I don’t think this is a book most teenagers would find interesting. I think the ideal audience would be a thirty-forty year old parent longing to read about a hard working woman suffering setbacks but achieving dreams while supported by a strong, handsome, sweet man.