Tag: Catherine Anderson

Guest Review: Coming Up Roses by Catherine Anderson

Posted February 24, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Coming Up Roses by Catherine AndersonReviewer: Judith
Coming Up Roses by Catherine Anderson
Published by Signet
Publication Date: May 1st 2012
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five-stars

1890, Oregon. Recently widowed Kate Blakely is struggling to make ends meet on her small farm while trying to heal from the scars of her late husband’s cruelty. When her handsome, brawny neighbor, Zachariah McGovern, almost dies while saving her four-year-old daughter from a near fatal accident, Kate is deeply wary of the man she brings into her home to nurse back to health.

Gradually Kate realizes that underneath Zach’s rough exterior is a gentle, loving soul who is fiercely protective of her and her daughter. But as much as Zach longs for Kate’s love, she knows she can’t open her heart without revealing her darkest secret—a shocking truth that, if discovered, could destroy them both.

This novel was first released in 1993 but was re-issued with a new look and some re-editing in 2012.  It was a book I read many years ago but having just been re-introduced to it I felt it was worth bringing it to the attention of romance readers and especially those who liked historical romance set in 19th century America.

Ms Anderson is very open about the fact that this novel was originally written because of her social concern regarding abused women and children and the historical reality that still exists in American society that women bring such abuse upon themselves.  It is her continuing concern that those who have the training to counsel such women often have prejudice against the very victims they should be helping.  The historical context of this story is such that help for abuse victims just simply didn’t exist and after being abused by parents and/or spouses these same women and children were held up to further abuse by society itself.  Such was the case of the widow whose story unfolds in this novel.  Given in marriage to what turned out to be an emotionally and mentally unbalanced man by her concerned uncle, Katherine Blakely lived in hell for five years until her husband’s accidental death.  Because her husband had hidden his abuse behind words of defamation of Katherine as a “weak-minded, hysterical” female, her efforts to flee his abuse were thwarted time and again.  She was dead set against ever marrying again when her neighbor Zachariah McGovern came into her life and saved her daughter’s life when the little girl fell down a dry well that was populated by an entire colony of rattle snakes.  An extended time of nursing Mr. McGovern back to health literally from the brink of death meant that these two individuals had time to take each other’s measure and their lives slowly became involved.  However, her brother-in-law, Ryan Blakely, a man who is just as unbalanced as his dead brother, continues to make Katherine’s life a fear-filled and difficult thing.

This is a truly wonderful read.  There is no way a reader can be exposed to these characters without feeling their anxiety, fear, sense of hopelessness, even their glimmers of hope that possibly there was a new beginning for them.  Yet it seems that life continually smacked them down and readers will be experiencing those disappointments right along with Kathering, Zach, and her daughter.  There are unexpected developments and twists and turns in this story that keep the reader well involved in the story.  There is never the sense that it is all unrealistic.  A careful study of this time will support the happenings here and readers will catch a good look of what it was like to live in 19th century Oregon as a widow with a small child.  Their sense of safety, their legal rights were almost non-existent.  It is these realities that make this story so riveting along with Zach McGovern’s absolute determination to protect and be a part of Katherine and her daughter’s life.

If you haven’t read this story before, it is one all historical romance lovers need to read.  It you read this novel previously, it needs to be re-read.  It is a wonderful piece of writing, a story well told, and people worth meeting.  It is, quite simply, a splendid read.

I give it a rating of 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Guest Review: Perfect Timing by Catherine Anderson

Posted March 4, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lynda’s review of Perfect Timing (Kendrick/Coulter/Harrigan #11) by Catherine Anderson

Catherine Anderson is kind of a guilty pleasure for me. All her heroines are strong and resilient, but they usually need saving in some way (blind, paraplegic, abused and on the run, etc.) I’m one of those readers who likes that sort of thing, so it totally works for me. Are they OMG THE BEST THING I’VE READ ALL YEAR? No. Am I going to keep an eye out for more of her stuff because they’re enjoyable reads? Yes.

Perfect Timing surprised me. It’s a time-travel book. I KNOW! Can you believe that?! Don’t worry. No real spoilers. In fact, we find out about this in the first 15 pages or so. I have to admit I almost put the book down in the first chapter. I’m not a fan of Time Travel story lines. Usually they spend too much time “teaching” the traveler the ways of the time period, and it becomes more about the silliness of learning a new culture and less about the relationship between the characters. That and I’m too literal minded. I have too many questions about the consequences of time travel to really believe. And if I’m not totally invested in a book and completely believe THIS CAN HAPPEN, then I get bored or too distracted and I won’t enjoy the book. Interestingly, I had fewer reservations about Ceara’s “skills” than with the time travel.

Luckily, Quincy believes her story pretty quickly, so we get past the whole “Yeah, sure you’re from another time. Uh-huh” debate early on. Now he believes her, so now he trusts her. We have the beginning of a relationship. Next, she adapts fairly quickly. There are a few moments of silliness (the madrigals trapped in the car for example), but on the whole, she jumps into this century pretty eagerly. There is enough family that they can take her in hand and get her up to speed, so to speak, without too much trouble.

Our feisty, time-traveling heroine Ceara has come forward from 1574 in order to break a curse. This is the part that really rang false for me. This sudden and inexplicable “curse” that kills the first wives of all the family’s men. Really? You would think at some point between 1574 and 2013 SOMEONE would have noticed this trend. It seemed to me Ms. Anderson was looking for a reason to do a time travel book, and came up with this because she could force it to fit the story. I understand the urgency in why Ceara and Quincy get married, and why Quincy needs to hurry up, but the family also needed to cut him a little slack. They were sacrificing one girl’s future as well as Quincy’s in order to save Loni. I thought there should have been more fallout from that whole situation, instead of just a quick apology significantly later in the book.

I was happy to see the religious aspect of things toned down a little. It’s still there, but not quite as heavy handed as it was in Morning Light and a few other more recent books by Ms. Anderson. There were a few mentions, but it felt more natural to the story and less like the author proselytizing.

On the whole, this book was less about the time travel aspect than it was about Ceara and Quincy finding their way together through their marriage, and the various land mines they have to navigate. Everything from getting Ceara an identity and the legalities of their marriage, to her homesickness and her loss of certain skills she needs to learn to live without. It made the book far more interesting and romantic than if the focus had been on time travel. At the end of the day I liked Ceara and Quincy quite a bit, and I’m glad I didn’t put it down.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

You can read more from Lynda at Fish With Sticks and Wicked Lil Pixie

This book is available from Signet. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.


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Review: Star Bright by Catherine Anderson

Posted March 17, 2009 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Faking her own death is the only way Rainie Hall can hope to escape her brutal, murderous husband. Now, with a new identity, she finds refuge in the rural community of Crystal Falls, Oregon, where she starts work on a horse ranch run by rugged, dangerously good-looking Parker Harrigan.

Parker’s word is his honor, and he can’t tolerate liars. When he realizes that Rainie hasn’t been truthful with him, he’s furious, then concerned. Clearly she’s a woman in trouble, and if she’ll trust him, he’ll do right by her. But as their initial attraction blossoms into a deep and thrilling passion, Rainie fears that she can never escape retribution from the man who has sworn to kill her. Parker swears to protect Rainie no matter what, but even he can’t help wondering whether all his strength and ingenuity can save the love of his life from a determined psychopath….

I’ve always enjoyed Catherine Anderson’s books. They are always family oriented stories that just bring me a happy feelin’. This book starts off with Rainie Hall fakin’ her own death, so it basically grabs you from the beginnin’. Rainie knows that her husband plans on killin’ her on the cruise that he’s disguised as a vacation for the two of them, so she makes her own plans to disappear.

Landin’ in Crystal Falls, Oregon, Lainie finds a job as Parker Harrigan’s ranch workin’ as a bookkeeper. She sees right away that her boss is someone that values the truth more than anythin’ and is terrified of what will happen when he finds out that she’s not who he thinks she is. Her fears turn out to be well founded. Parker does not accept her lies very well. When he realizes that she has left an abusive relationship, he can’t get rid of her like he planned to. In fact, with each passin’ day, he finds himself more and more attractive to the elusive Rainie.

Rainie doesn’t find it easy to trust, especially a man. Yet she finds that she’s slowly beginnin’ to trust him as the days go by and Parker befriends her without expectin’ anything else. Still, she’s scared that she’ll make as bad of a choice as she did marryin’ her husband, Peter. Not to mention that she knows that he’s lookin’ for her and won’t give up until he finds her.

The best part of this book was seein’ Rainie discover herself again. It took a long time for her to accept that she wasn’t at fault for her disastrous marriage. It takes time, but she realizes that Parker isn’t anythin’ like Peter. Not only will he never hurt her, but he helps her take her self-confidence back, somethin’ that she thought could never happen. The romance unfolded slowly between these two, which worked. I think the book was more about Rainie findin’ her self-confidence and gettin’ her self-worth back than it was about romance. In order to get in a relationship with Parker, she had to get past her demons and learn to trust a man.

There was one thing in this book that drove me bat-shit crazy. Parker drops his “g’s”. It was so annoying and would take me out of the book which made me insane. It’s not that he was an uneducated hick, he just embraces his roots more than most. Still, I couldn’t effing stand it.

3.75 out of 5.

This book is available from Signet. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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