Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on January 3, 2017
I’ve broken my heart, laughed, and swooned with the Sterling family as they each find love in a small Oregon town full of quirky characters and big hearts. But, I missed one of the books and finally had the chance to go back for it thanks to the library purchasing it at my request. While I still enjoyed all the things I’ve come to love about the Sterlings and Mystic Creek, this will not be a favorite book in the series.
Mulberry Moon is third in the Mystic Creek series. Like the others, it is connected to the rest of the series, but would read just fine as standalone or out of order.
Ben Sterling is back home from his rodeo days and ready to settle down. He wants a home and family and love just like his brothers have recently found. Only, Ben doesn’t fall for an easy lady who’s full of light and laughter. No, his heart yearns for the frosty ‘back off’ woman who wants nothing to do with him and makes that icily clear. Until, her desperation for help with her business gives him the break he needs. Sissy’s had one tough row to hoe and bad men are at the heart of it. She wants nothing to do with the other half of the race and only wants to focus on her restaurant. Ben’s kindness is too good to be real, right?
Hmmm, I feel like I’m kicking a puppy when I say this, but I couldn’t stand the heroine and it dragged the story down for me. I feel guilty because she’s been abused and that is the center of her issues. However, here’s the thing, I get it, but her words and behavior over and over and over went well past mistrust and pain. And, her one-woman restaurant act was not realistic. There is just no way. A bakery or a takeout place… maybe, but a restaurant, cafe or diner is not a one man show even if the hours were shortened which they weren’t. And, her response to Ben went beyond telling someone ‘no’. She was mean and unkind and refused to respond when Ben was generous and good to her- saved her livelihood over and over with no gain other than to get her to like him. I got it at first and accepted it, but she carried that stuff on waaaay too long.
That leads me to say that this story felt unbalanced. Because Sissy carried on her behavior that long and Ben never missed a step and was almost too perfect in the face of all that, this romance didn’t work for me. They weren’t equals and honestly, I saw nothing that would have drawn him to her other than the challenge. And, I saw nothing to keep him going past common decency to a neighbor in trouble. She gave him nothing and it just made him into some saint after a while. Now, yes, I’ve got a hair up my nose and it wasn’t quite that black and white, but close.
The end it was a bit better when she thawed, but by then I had read lots of pages that the cute animal antics helped make better and it was nearly too late. I was happy for Ben to have succeeded and glad for her that her past was put to rest and she could heal, but it felt too late in coming to have me really on board. So, I’m glad I got to fill in the missing story in the series for me, but sad I couldn’t like it as much as others in the series.
Library Love #14