by Catherine Anderson
Series: Mystic Creek #2
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
The New York Times bestselling author of Silver Thaw returns to Mystic Creek for a new novel about a love that inspires the courage to start over…and the strength to reclaim a dream. When Taffeta Brown was viciously betrayed by her wealthy husband, she lost everything—including custody of their daughter, Sarah. Now that Taffy has moved to Mystic Creek, Oregon, to start over, she unexpectedly meets the one man who might help her get Sarah back. Barney Sterling, a local lawman, finds himself drawn to the lovely, guarded Taffy, but he’s stunned by her proposition—that they marry immediately to improve her chances of regaining custody of her daughter. Barney takes marriage too seriously to commit himself to a woman he hardly knows. Yet soon his sympathies fall with the desperate Taffy, and pretending to be in love becomes the easiest part of the plan. But they have no idea what they’re up against, or what they’re willing to risk to make a miracle come true in Mystic Creek.
Last year I read and loved Silver Thaw, the first book in the Mystic Creek series and was delighted to have the opportunity to review and share New Leaf by Catherine Anderson the second book in the series. Touching with a dash of heat, Anderson brings heart to this small-town series that will have you pining to move to Mystic Creek, Oregon.
Taffeta Brown owns a small herbal shop in Mystic Creek. A newcomer to Mystic Creek, Taffeta has recently divorced. It left her traumatized by the events that unfolded causing her to lose custody of her young daughter Sarah. She is here to start over and keeps a low profile. I was very curious about Taffeta, and despite mistakes, I ended up connecting to her.
Barney Sterling is a local lawman, who responds to a noise complaint and takes notice of Taffeta. He begins showing up with coffee and cakes at her shop. Despite her fears, they slowly develop a friendship. Barney is handsome and patient with a quiet reserve. The man ended up making me swoon. It was nice falling for a truly good guy for a change.
New Leaf uses the marriage arrangement trope, and Anderson created the perfect scenario. I loved seeing this couple set up rules and expectations only to have it all blow up as the chemistry intensified. It was fun, sexy and had me flipping the pages. Anderson did a lovely job of making their attraction seem genuine and the idea of an arranged marriage to aid in getting custody of her daughter fit perfectly.
Wait until you meet Sarah. This precocious five-year old will have your head spinning, your jaw dropping and your heart aching. Seeing the three of them interact particularly Barney and Sarah was heartwarming and sprinkled with laughter. Anderson even had me tearing up.
Secondary characters added to the story, filled us in on local happens and hinted at romances yet to unfold.
Watching the romance build and take root was sexy, genuine and full of swoon worthy moments. I loved how the sexual tension built and their dialogue had me laughing aloud. Some of the scenarios and scenes were hilarious and I enjoyed the tango to my HEA. We see growth in all the characters and Anderson gave them depth.
Fans of small-town romance with a touch of heat and a whole lotta heart will fall in love with New Leaf and the Mystic Creek series.
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