Publisher: Signet - Penguin
Date: January 2015
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Own book
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 is the first book in a new series by Catherine Anderson set in Mystic Creek, Oregon. Some authors write great small town stories, Catherine Anderson writes great family stories. It's her specialty. In this book she has written the first in what I hope is another long series like her Kendrick/Coulter/Harrigan series.
This story has a very winter setting - which I loved. I know snow and ice can be very dangerous but to me that's all in the realm of storybooks! Amanda and her delightful little girl Chloe are hiding out in a run down little cottage where they have escaped to - running from a very abusive husband and father. Amanda releases her thoughts into the wind and lets them blow where they will. A new take on a 'message in a bottle'. Jeb and his neighbour have been finding these notes, so when he is out rescuing people in a severe snowstorm he has an eye out for the writer of these notes.
Jeb does find them huddled together and with a series of 'white lies' manages to help them out and ensure that they are safe and warm. Jeb is of course a wonderful young man with a fabulous house just waiting to meet the right woman and fill the house with the voices of his children. In the meantime Chloe proves to be a great introduction to what its like to deal with children and she would be horrified to learn that she might be eating one of the chickens she meets in Jeb's backyard. Chloe also takes over Jeb's mastiff Bozo, and it looks like Bozo may have taken Chloe under his wing too.
Jeb has a wonderful family as well - parents, brothers and sisters who welcome Chloe and Amanda into their fold and are prepared to risk much to keep them safe and relaxed. Of course Jeb's mother Kate would just love to see Jeb settle down with a woman he loves and she can see Amanda just might be the one. The romance of course develops and while predictable was delightful and delicious.
However danger lurks as Amanda's husband isn't going to give up easily and he is out there somewhere.
There is nothing I love more than a good Catherine Anderson story and this one is very good. Great characters, endearing animals and a plot that moves along with something happening most of the time. A well crafted emotionally satisfying read.