Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blue Skies by Catherine Anderson

Image result for blue skies catherine andersonBlue Skies by Catherine Anderson
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

432 pages

The third novel in the Coulter Family series is Blue Skies (January 2004), focuses on Hank Coulter and his relationship with Carly Adams. Carly was born with an eye disease that made her blind up until she had a surgery as an adult that gave her the ability to see for the first time in her life. On her first night out with eyesight she makes a reckless decision and has a one-night stand with Hank after leaving a local bar with him. To Carly and Hank’s extreme dismay they discover their night together results in a pregnancy that threatens to irreparably damage Carly’s vision. Hank decides that they should marry because he feels it is the proper thing to do, and Carly reluctantly agrees.

Over the next several months Hank and Carly have to deal with the baby and Carly’s condition. This story is unconventional because the main characters fall in love after they are expecting a child and get married, and it also shows the hardships of legal blindness and how that affects a relationship. While Blue Skies is not as sentimental as the previous novels in The Coulter Family Series, it does have a touch of cold hard reality about the consequences people face when they make bad decisions, and how they can turn it around to make it a positive experience if they make the right choices afterwards. Hank and Carly’s love connection demonstrates that great things can result from what people may initially think is a mistake.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sweet Nothings by Catherine Anderson

Image result for sweet nothings book coverSweet Nothings by Catherine Anderson
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

464 pages

The second entry in the Coulter Family series, Sweet Nothings, was released in April 2002, and focuses on the eldest brother of the family, Jake and his romance with the vulnerable Molly Wells. Catherine Anderson picks up right where she left off in this tale of secrets, betrayal, and trust. Jake Coulter has a reputation of being a tough playboy, but when he first meets Molly, a young woman who is accompanied by a traumatized horse she rescued from physical mistreatment, he immediately feels the need to protect her. Molly on the other hand doesn't trust men after suffering emotional abuse at the hands of her ex-husband, but she accepts Jake’s offer to help her in her time of distress because she has no alternatives.

Throughout the course of the novel, Molly has to face the insecurities she dealt with during her marriage and Jake tries to encourage her to love herself and they fall in love in the process. The great aspect of this novel is the evolution of Molly’s character from frightened and cynical to tough and trusting of Jake. There is a genuine sense of growth and overcoming of past misfortunes that strengthens the bond between Jake and Molly. Sweet Nothings teaches the important lesson that love doesn't just happen when the timing is right, it can happen if you open your heart enough to let it. Anderson’s follow up definitely will not disappoint those who enjoyed reading about Ryan and Bethany in the first novel.                                    

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Phantom Waltz by Catherine Anderson

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
418 pages

The first book in the Coulter Family series, Phantom Waltz, was released in July 2001 and is based on Bethany Coulter’s love story with Ryan Kendrick. Bethany Coulter is a young woman working for her father’s company The Works who was paralyzed from the waist down as a teenager. Confined to a wheelchair, and not expecting to date any man, she is taken by complete surprise when the handsome rancher from the Rocking K ranch asks her out to dinner. Although she is initially distrusting, and Ryan himself is wary about handling Bethany, the two reach a mutual point of attraction and feelings that enable them to overcome many obstacles throughout their courtship.

Towards the end of the book there is a big surprise that threatens to tear Ryan and Bethany apart for good, but Catherine Anderson once again proves that love can conquer all. The chemistry between these two characters is electric, the emotions they feel are raw and heartwarming, and their journey to a lifetime of happiness is far from easy as they grapple with the reality of Bethany’s disability and the depth of their love for each other. Phantom Waltz is the perfect romance book for all those who strongly believe in true love and would even make the most cynical person have a change of heart and begin to have hope. The writing and the plot is excellent and the first book in the series is not only the best book of them all, but arguably Catherine Anderson’s best love story to date.