Beautiful Gifts (Catherine Anderson)

This novella was released as part of an anthology entitled The True Love Wedding Dress, in which Catherine Anderson wrote the prologue, the epilogue, and the final story. Other authors included Connie Brockway, Casey Claybourne, and Barbara Metzger.

Overall Response

Anthologies are really one of my least favorite types of books to buy. Best case scenario, you love all the stories in the books and you might even find a new author to follow. My usual experience has been one or two of the stories are fine, and then there are two more you'd be happy to never read again. This anthology is one of the better ones, somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios.

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Spring Forward (Catherine Anderson)

I get very distracted with Catherine Anderson's books by two things: the overly ridiculous melodramatic backgrounds of some of her characters and the incredibly artificial way that people speak in her stories.

The first one I can overlook because this is the fourth book in this series, and overall, her last 15 books have featured heroines whose back stories are just over the top insanely crazy. It's just a trope of her writing, so I just whistle past it.

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Lucky Penny (Catherine Anderson)

Overall Response

So I like this book a lot even though there are a lot of reasons I shouldn't.  This book has some major red flags, particularly in the way David treats Brianna early on and I really don't think I was satisfied with how it worked out in that respect. That being said, Catherine Anderson does everyone a service in that once her initial lie is exposed, Brianna goes to great pains not to lie to David again, even when he is particularly unkind to her about that honesty. I liked the subplots and supporting cast, and I think the overall resolution was fine. I'm just not sure I'm sold on the romance. The characters and the story itself save a lot of it.

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Early Dawn (Catherine Anderson)

Overall Response

This is one of those so-so kind of books. It's an interesting story with mostly engaging characters, but there are portions of the book that just seem to drag on forever, and there are some tropes that I'm not a huge fan of. The writing is fine. I think my general lack of love for this book is more that it failed to connect with me. It's one of those subjective things where I'm sure there are lot of people who would give this book a five-star rating because Catherine Anderson writes this genre very well.
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Summer Breeze (Catherine Anderson)

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 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.

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Keegan’s Lady (Catherine Anderson)

Overall Response

I've always liked this book. It has one of my favorite romance tropes -- a marriage of convenience -- and the hero and heroine are relatable, flawed people who give me something to root for. In addition, the plot itself is interesting and the supporting cast is strong enough that readers clamored for Catherine Anderson to write stories for the brothers. That being said, as much as I like this book, one this re-read there are aspects that bother me more now than when I first read it a decade ago. It's a good story, but I wouldn't put it in my top ten.

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