There's always been something sweet and tragic about this particular romance. Rachel is one of Catherine Anderson's tragic backstory heroines--a trope particular to her writing. Her heroines have always been through the absolute worst and are attempting to dig themselves out. I like this about her writing, but one my critique is usually that the hero doesn't ever seem to share in this trope, but this is one of the books it doesn't feel quite so tipped in the one direction. I really liked both leading characters and the path they followed to be together. The romance wasn't the source of the conflict, but rather solving the mystery of what happened to Rachel's family.
There isn't really much to say about this novel. It's a straightforward romance with a murder mystery. There are some decent red herrings planted along the way, and I was happy to say that when the killer was revealed, everything seemed to line up and make sense. Catherine Anderson did a great job at depicting Rachel's agoraphobia, and Joseph's gradual change of opinion from local crackpot to brave young woman trying to keep herself a life is also well done. He resisted his feelings because he wasn't sure he was the marrying kind, but he came around without overdoing the angst.
I'm never wild about men naming their erections and giving them agency the way Joseph does with "Old Glory" but I do appreciate the way Catherine Anderson tried to give a sense of separation between the hormones that men experience and how they handle those hormones. Still, if we could stop giving penises their own name, that would be great.
I think my other quibble was the continuing plot point about Rachel not writing the letter "H" because of what she'd seen the day her family was murdered. It's possible this is something that really happens to people with traumatic experiences, but it always just kind of plucked at me and took me out of the moment.
Still, it was good story with solid characters, plot, and romance.
Overall Response There's always been something sweet and tragic about this particular romance. Rachel is one of Catherine Anderson's tragic backstory heroines--a trope particular to her ...