Publication date: January 6th 2015
My rating: 3.5 stars
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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Coulter and Harrigan Family novels comes a brand-new contemporary romance series about first love, second chances, and hope reborn…
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 was a feel good, sweet romance sure to reaffirm beliefs in a happily-ever-after. The small town setting of Mystic Creek was a close-knit, loving community that made you feel warmth and a giving human spirit.
Amanda worked up the courage to leave her abusive husband, Mark, with her seven year-old daughter, Chloe in tow, but a brutal winter storm threatens her already precarious situation. Amanda barely scrapes by financially, living in a rickety rental house with no car, and very little winter clothes. She’s trying to keep her spirits up but her life just seems like one blow after another. As an exercise in therapy, Amanda writes notes on little pieces of pink paper and sends them off into the wind. These contain messages like:
I wish I could meet a man as kind and wonderful as the heroes in one of the romances I love to read, someone who’d be a fabulous father to my little girl and make both of us feel safe.
I wish I could find secondhand winter boots for my little girl. I can’t afford new ones, and my boss says we’ll soon have deep snow.
Amanda doesn’t realize that her messages are being captured and read by Jeb Sterling, her hunky neighbor. Jeb wonders at the author of these little pink papers, worries about someone who couldn’t afford a little girl’s winter boots especially with a storm coming. His protective instincts come roaring to life and Jeb resolves to find out who this woman is. When a storm comes and knocks out power to most of Mystic Creek, Jeb and others form parties to go out and assist any who are in need of help. When he stumbles upon Amanda and Chloe and sees exactly how dire their situation is, Jeb insists they come to his house for shelter.
Jeb was an answer to Amanda’s first note, a sincere and kind hearted man. She had major trust issues, which were understandable considering the horrors Mark had put Amanda and her daughter through! I shudder just thinking about it! She‘s scared to fall for another man and possible trap, but Jeb slowly chips away at those feelings by treating Amanda and Chloe with love and tenderness they desperately needed. He’s powerfully attracted to Amanda and senses she’s attracted to him, too, but wisely takes things slow and doesn’t push her.
Grabbing her tightly, Jeb cherished the brief moment of holding her. Oh, man, I’ve got it bad. If she can never love me back, I’ll have to accept it. But letting her go will half kill me.
As all the details come out about Amanda’s husband, Jeb realizes the danger they’re all in, because it’s obvious that Mark wouldn’t just allow her to leave and disappear without trying to find them. It was a tricky situation because Mark cleverly tried to use the laws to gain an advantage. I read some of this story with a feeling of dread over how this would play out and worried what Mark would try to get his way. Men like that don’t usually take rejection well. Thankfully, Amanda and Chloe had Jeb, and his family all pull together to help. Just being around Jeb and his family strengthened Amanda enough that she regained some of her confidence and was able to stand up for herself, too.
Catherine Anderson wrote a sweet, heartwarming romance filled with loving family and friends, sure to give you the warm and fuzzies by the end.
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