Silver Thaw (Catherine Anderson)

Overall

The first time I read this book, I rated it as three stars. This is mostly because I've been kind of held by back by being annoyed by two Anderson tropes that pretty much appear in every single book she's released in the last decade or so. During my reread of the Keegan-Paxton series as well as re-reading Stephanie Laurens, I'm not going to take those aspects into account anymore. This is who she is as a writer, and since I keep buying her books, I don't think it's fair to make that part of my analysis.

Those two tropes are heroines with incredibly melodramatic and tragic backstories as well as her slightly unrealistic dialogue, both of which are present here. Since I like everything else about this book, we're taking them off the table.

Amanda Banning is a young single mother on the run from an abusive husband, trying to care for her young daughter. Jeb Sterling is a typical Anderson hero who comes from a large family of mostly boys with pretty much the perfect parents and a lot of money. It's set in central Oregon in a new setting for Anderson: Mystic Creek. Previously, her contemporary books were set in Crystal Falls. It's sort of a shared universe because Mystic is near Crystal Falls, and I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't some sort of overlap at some point.

Jeb and Amanda meet because of a really  bad winter storm that destroys her rental home, but Jeb already knows a lot about Amanda because she's been writing things on strips of paper and letting them fly off into the wind.

This is a really sweet romance with a great dog, some interesting twists and turns, and a lot of family around the holidays which is nice to read these days. While in the past I might not have really liked just how insane they made Amanda's husband, I'm fully cognizant of the fact that men like Mark do exist and women like Amanda are often left completely powerless, so that's another thing we're not judging for.

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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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