Review: Mulberry Moon by Catherine Anderson

Posted November 21, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 14 Comments

Review: Mulberry Moon by Catherine Anderson
Mulberry Moon

One StarOne StarOne Star
two-flames

Series: Mystic Creek #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on January 3, 2017
Pages: 443
Format: eBook
Source: Library

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The Delight

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.

Review

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.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #351 CR
Library Love #14

Recommendations/Series

  

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Rachel @Waves of FictionKimberly @ Caffeinated ReviewerNorthwomanLornaCarole rae Recent comment authors
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Melliane
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oh that’s too bad about the heroine there

Sophia Rose
Guest

It was. I wanted to like her and root for her because she is an abuse survivor, but it wasn’t enough. Not after that long.

Tracy Terry
Guest

Loving the cover but alas that’s probably where it ends for me. I can’t say the synopsis screams ‘read me’ and then there’s the fact that the book felt unbalanced; that you couldn’t stand the heroine and I do like a good, strong, feisty female lead. Oh well, I guess we can’t win them all.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, sorry Tracy. It went beyond the beyond for me when nothing he said or did over a decent period of time not to mention the whole town vouches for his character would get through to her. I’ll just keep on trucking to the newest book in the series and just be glad to have caught up on the series backlist. 🙂

Carole rae
Guest

When you don’t like the main character or can’t at least stand them…it makes the book hard.

Sophia Rose
Guest

It really does, Carole. Ugh!

Lorna
Guest
Lorna

No, this would not be one for me either. The heroine sounds like a real winner-NOT. But at least you can say you finished the series so I guess that’s something.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Exactly, Lorna! I have the joy of being caught up, but yeah, this was not a winner for me. I’ve been thinking of doing a discussion about this sort of thing like at what point hostile behavior should turn to love in a romance book for the reader to actually feel the romance. I’m curious what others would say.

Northwoman
Guest

Oh it’s a gorgeous cover. I might have rated it 2 stars as you described it. I find it hard to like a romance if I don’t like one of the main characters in the couple. It’s different in UF or scifi. Think Spike in the Buffy series or Hugh in Kate Daniels series. Anne – Books of My Heart

Sophia Rose
Guest

I suspect that others might not react so severely to this one, but I struggle when a character is mean without excuse and she was so caught up in her issues that she couldn’t extend gratitude for his help. I think if her character was in a women’s fic or something non-romance, I wouldn’t have had the issue. But, it is a romance and it wasn’t very romantic. LOL

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

Eep, I enjoyed this way more than you, but if a character rubs you the wrong way it can totally ruin things.

Sophia Rose
Guest

So true! I kept wanting to like her because all she had endured, but it wasn’t working. It through off the whole thing, too. Oh well, I’m caught up and ready for Strawberry Hill in a month or so. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction
Guest

I’ve read one book by Catherine Anderson and liked it, I just got her newest as well, but I can understand why this wouldn’t be a hit for you. Sissy doesn’t sound like a likable character at all. If that kind of mean, stand-offish behavior lasted for the majority of the book it’d be hard to suddenly change gears and like. Sorry to hear this wasn’t all you hoped.

Sophia Rose
Guest

I love this series and a couple other books of hers. This was just the one dud for me. I can’t wait to read Strawberry Hill.
Yeah, I can handle a difficult character for a time, but when it’s well past half way and no sign of a thaw, it too long for me to feel the romance.