by Catherine Anderson
Series: Mystic Creek #1
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
After years of living in fear of her husband, Amanda Banning has left him and moved to Mystic Creek, Oregon, for a fresh start. But she’s having a tough time providing for herself and her six-year-old daughter. Writing her secret yearnings on slips of paper and sending them into the wind helps her cling to the hope that things will get better…and that she can find happiness again.
Jeb Sterling has no idea that the handwritten messages he finds scattered across his land are the first hints that his life is about to change. Nor does he understand why he feels so compelled to help Amanda Banning and her daughter when a cold snap leaves them temporarily homeless. Maybe he’s inspired by Amanda’s courage or perhaps by her beautiful brown eyes. Either way, the man who once renounced love suddenly finds himself willing to do anything for the pair. Amanda seems to have given up on her dreams, but Jeb refuses to quit until he makes her every wish come true…
Silver Thaw by Catherine Anderson is the first in her new Mystic Creek series. It is set in the quaint countryside town of Mystic Creek, Oregon. Sometimes a book has all of the magical ingredients to deliver that book high I crave and Silver Thaw delivered in spades. Filled with lovable, flawed characters, a darling little six-year old to melt your heart, some danger and a town that you will want to visit, Silver Thaw is a read I highly recommend.
Espresso Review: Romantic, tender, low-heat, magical, and suspenseful with characters you will fall in love with.
Caffeinated Breakdown of Silver Thaw
World: Mystic Creek is the perfect rural town, with a mix of elderly, small businesses and ranches. It is a place where neighbor helps neighbor and families ties are strong. Anderson brought the snow, ice, old homes and ranch to life with her descriptive writing. The majority of tale takes place between November and the New Year.
Characters: Amanda Banning and her six-year-old daughter, Chloe, got to me. Amanda has moved to escape and protect the daughter she loves. Gads! Their story will grab your heartstrings and pull. They are dirt poor and without a car or support. Amanda writes her desires, fears, and thoughts on slips of paper. Each night she releases them into the wind. Despite their grim prospects Amanda is strong and is a character, you will rally behind. Jeb Sterling is a thirty-year-old carpenter who owns his own small ranch. He is quiet, independent and if he were honest with himself -lonely. I adored Jeb, he is the type of boy a mama can be proud of and a woman longs to call her own. *full swoon here ladies* The interaction between Jeb, Amanda and her daughter ranged from comical to “wipe a tear from your eye” and hug the book moments. Add in Jeb’s family and lord I was ready to pack my bags and ask them to adopt me. There are even some critters to make you laugh.
Plot: I loved the little handwritten messages and thought is was a clever little twist. Of course, we have a snowstorm and a few disasters to force our couple to interact. I love this troupe and Anderson kept it fresh and believable. While the road to our HEA was predictable, Anderson added twists, danger and delightful moments that kept me flipping the pages. I completely slipped into the story and read it almost in one sitting despite it being a full-length novel. Genuine and well crafted I could have read about them forever.
Romance: Slow burning for the most part and low on heat this romance is memorable in so many ways. First, both characters are delightfully fleshed out and likeable. We get laughter, delightful banter, and “oh be still my heart” moments. I had all the feels reading this and loved every dang one of them. Toss in some suspense, danger and a little character growth and I was melting.
Caffeinated Conclusion: Silver Thaw was such a wonderfully crafted tale with so many elements I enjoy in romantic tale. A slow-burning romance that gives you butterflies, fleshed out characters you adore, a small-town with all the trimmings and just the right touch of suspense to keep you flipping the pages to learn how it all works out.
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