Review: New Leaf by Catherine Anderson

Review: New Leaf by Catherine AndersonNew Leaf by Catherine Anderson

Series: Mystic Creek #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Signet on 5 January 2016
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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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.

The Delight

Quaint small Oregon farm town, solid family presence, heroine with legit trouble, and a golden hero ready to step up and do the right thing.

Review

So I set this one aside for later about a year and a half ago.  I was not feeling the book and the heroine pulled a stunt that just set my back up.  I let it set and over the time since, I went back and read book one in this series (didn’t realize this was a book two when I picked it up) and fell in love with Jeb and Amanda in Silver Thaw.  It reminded me that I loved Jeb’s family and the poignant story.  I decided on the spur of the moment that I wanted to pick this one up again and get Jeb’s brother, Barney’s story.

It’s funny.  I had marked the book right where I stopped reading and I had a pretty good memory of what led up to that point so I decided to press on from there.  I think that was a good call.  The funny part is that if I had just read on a little further I probably wouldn’t have DNF’d the book at the time though who knows if I would have enjoyed it as much as I did.  Hard to say because… mood reader.

Anyway, this time around, I had no hang-ups and this one read like a charmer.  I can see that the author has a real gift for writing a poignant situation.  She kept it real with Taffeta’s troubles and they didn’t all go away just because she got with Barney.  It did move forward slowly and the marriage of convenience morphed into something real though Barney tried to be honorable about it.  The process of proving her innocence and getting Sarah back was a pretty strong part of the conflict in the latter half of the book.

New Leaf was much gentler than the first book, Silver Thaw, and it paced out slowly.  It was more realistic for sure.  I think the author’s writing style and tones take some adjustment.  There is a small town, pro-family and clean living vibe to it though it can get spicy and doesn’t shirk when it comes to the grittier things people can be and do to each other when it came to Taffy’s ex and what happened with her daughter.

All in all, I ended up enjoying this one quite a bit this second shot I took at it though I did find it lagged in places.  I look forward to getting Ben’s story next, maybe.  That situation looked promising.  So I’d recommend these to those who enjoy a sweet, poignant, and spicy small town contemporary romance.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #152 CR
Mt. TBR #73
Blogger Shame #25

Recommendations

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Preview

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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.
  • RO

    There are 7 authors that I read without ever looking at the blurb and Catherine Anderson is one of them. I have every book she’s ever written, and she never ceases to draw me into a story because she has that gift of writing something you can relate to. In addition to being so talented, Mrs. Anderson really takes the time to interact with her readers on social media. A girl can just dream of meeting her one day for a cheeseburger and lemonade. I really enjoyed the way you wrote your review. Hugs…RO

    • Oh, she is on the golden list. I have one of those, too. I like what you are saying about her as a person and about the impact of her books, Ro. I’m so glad I went back and finished this one, too. 🙂

  • Sometimes it pays off to put down the book then go back. You have me curious because I love the sound of the setting and the cover is gorgeous!

    • It took me a while to realize I could do this with books that were not grabbing me at the time. I’ve got a few bookmarked on the shelf just waiting for me to get back in the mood for them. The setting is a lovely small town one and I agree, gorgeous covers. 🙂

  • I’m really intrigued what her ex-husband did to her to lost her custody to their daughter though. If I’m in the mood for a story like this, I’ll definitely keep this series in mind. Great review Sophia Rose 🙂

    • It was very sad and scary what came later. Hope you enjoy it if you get the chance, Vanessa. 🙂

  • I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Sophia. This is an author I’ve been wanting to try, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Here’s to second chances! 🙂

    Nice review.

    • Thanks, Angie! I tried one of her western historicals first and then picked this series up. I’ve liked all three, but I definitely have to be in the mood. LOL

  • Debbie Haupt

    You know its been a really long time since I read a novel by Kathryn Anderson, she really pi–ed me off with how she presented some Native American characters and I just haven’t picked up another one. I guess it still bothers me since I haven’t read her since. Good review Sophia Rose

    • Yes, I’ve got a few that one book got to me and even though I think other books would be alright, I just can’t make myself pick them up. I totally get it, Debbie. Lots of good books out there so I think its okay to move along and grab those ones. 🙂

  • Karen

    That’s nice that it worked the second time around. I have a book like that right now too. I set it aside last year and I’m going to pick it back up this summer. Hopefully I get the same result.

    #getsocial17

    For What It’s Worth

    • It was a 50-50 shot whether I’d do alright and I’m glad it happened. Fingers crossed for your venture back to your book, Karen. 🙂

  • Sace

    I wish I had such a good memory. If I set a book down for too long I totally forget what’s going on! #getsocial17

    • Oh man, my memory is like Swiss Cheese, Sace. I got lucky when I picked this one back up and had no trouble going from the place I put it down.

  • That’s great things went better the second go around. I wonder sometimes if that’ll happen or if I’d just pushed through though sometimes I’m so annoyed at that point nothing is going to fix it so a later time is better. Hope you have fun with the rest of the series!

    • This is a prime example of why some books are a struggle whether I should DNF or plow on. But it is also an example of why I shouldn’t get angsty over the decision b/c I can always come back for it later if I want to try again- at least when I’m pretty sure the problem is just a mood. LOL

  • That sounds good and the cover is so pretty. I think I would have had to start over. I never would have remembered what I read after all that time.

    • LOL, normally my memory is not that good, but the stunt the heroine pulled stuck with me. I didn’t remember all the details, but enough to just keep going. Another book? Likely I’d be starting over. Ha!

  • Sounds like it was a good idea to give this one a second try. Great idea to read the first one and then start this book right away. Thanks for sharing. #GetSocial17

    • It certainly worked out well for me. Thanks, Jess!