Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sun Kissed by Catherine Anderson

Image result for sun kissed catherine andersonSun Kissed by Catherine Anderson
Rating: 1 out 5 stars
480 pages

The last book of the Coulter Family series, Sun Kissed (January 2007), feature Isaiah’s older twin brother Tucker, long considered to be the toughest catch of the Coulter brothers in the previous novels. However, when we meet Tucker in this book he turns out to be quite the nice guy, especially when he meets Samantha Harrigan, a horse breeder who turns to Tucker to help her figure out what is causing the mysterious deaths of her prized quarter horses. The mystery is not really a mystery because the obvious suspect is Samantha’s ex-husband, who was abusive to her and used her for her wealth. After Tucker and Samantha meet at a local rodeo and get arrested for trying to stop a drunk from beating a horse, the plot goes completely downhill.

After reading the first five books in the series, everything sounds very familiar, from the malicious ex-husband to the sick horses to the scenery. Granted the setting is the same because the family lives in the same small town, but the plot isn’t strong enough to carry the sense of ennui and cliché that emerges rather quickly after the main characters are introduced. The love connection is barely palpable, and the whole story is unconvincing for a romance novel. Catherine Anderson offers a rare disappointment with the final novel of The Coulter Family Series, however that does not take away from the sense of completion readers feels when Tucker and Samantha marry in the end. There is satisfaction knowing that all the Coulter siblings have found spouses and it is fascinating to imagine all of their lives before and after the events took place in each book of the series.

Overall, The Coulter Family Series is a classic in the contemporary romance genre. There is something to take away from each book, no matter how hackneyed the plot may feel. Catherine Anderson provides us with a multi-faceted portrait of the human psyche and how people can work to overcome severe psychological misgivings or physical disabilities when they choose to let the right people into their lives and hearts.

The love stories of Bethany and Ryan, Jake and Molly, Zeke and Natalie, Hank and Carly, Isaiah and Laura, and Tucker and Samantha defy a lot of the substandard characteristics found in many of the modern romance novels because it deals with more than just physical attraction or the simple model of meeting, falling in love and marrying. Each of these relationships endures situations that put the characters to test and enable them to create deep spiritual bonds and a strong foundation that the audience can truly believe will last a lifetime. Anderson can really make people feel optimistic about love with the novels in this series, even if they don’t want to.

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