Silver Thaw - Mystic Creek, book 1

Author: Catherine Anderson

Publisher: Penguin Group

Release Date: January 6, 2015

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5 + RR

Format: PRINT

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Jeb Sterling has been alone for most of his thirty years. He raises animals to feed himself and his family in the town of Mystic Creek, Oregon. He has been finding handwritten messages on slips of paper littering his pasture and doesn't like it. He wonders if some woman has been targeting him for a relationship with these notes. By reading the notes he knows that the woman writing them is not having an easy time of it.

Amanda Banning has run away from an abusive husband with her daughter Chloe. She ends up in the little town of Mystic Creek, Oregon, to try to make a fresh start. She is having a rough time making ends meet and providing for her six-year-old daughter Chloe. Amanda is writing her secret yearnings on slips of paper and sending them into the wind which helps her hope that things will get better.

When a freak ice storm of the decade buries Mystic Creek in ice, Jeb goes out with his neighbors to check on the inhabitants of the town. He happens upon a young woman and her daughter in a rundown house with no electricity and the pipes bursting, flooding the floor. Jeb takes Amanda and Chloe to his house, against Amanda's wishes. Jeb realizes that Amanda is the woman writing the slips of paper and throwing them into the wind. He decides he needs to help Amanda and Chloe live a better life.

Of course Amanda is happy for Jeb's help, but she wants to go back to her little house so she can take care of Chloe by herself. She feels she has let her daughter down in the past by allowing her husband's abuse and has vowed to make a better life for herself and Chloe by herself. She doesn't feel she can ever trust another man again. Jeb has never wanted a relationship since his college break-up with his girlfriend but this small woman with a lot of courage, who he has brought to his house, is changing his mind. When he finds out the pain and suffering she has endured during her marriage, as well as abuse of her daughter, Jeb decides he is going to try and change Amanda's mind and let him help her get a divorce and protect her daughter.

The chapters where she describes her injuries and how she got them, and her daughter's as well, are almost too difficult to read. They made me cry and wonder how any one person could endure such pain and mistreatment.

The story is one of great courage and perseverance of one devoted mother for her child. The ending is more than anyone can hope for in this type of situation. I have gone back and read the ending more than once to relive it again in my heart.

I gave SILVER THAW 5 Blue Ribbons plus a Recommended Read. I wish I could have given it more. This is the best book I have read this year so far. There is so much feeling put into every page that you just have to keep reading until the end. Anyone who wants to read a great book by a great author needs to read this book. I don't think you will be disappointed. I can't wait to see if Catherine Anderson can top this story in her next book in this series.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Diana S

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