Cherish by Catherine Anderson
published by Avon in October 1998
He Longed for...
Race Spencer's gunslinging days are far behind him. He is now a rugged, respectable rancher, but it's a solitary life. Then Fate leads Race to an earthbound angel--lost and alone, the sole survivor of an outlaw attack--and even his hardened heart is moved. He sweeps the ivory-skinned beauty into his arms and carries her away from danger.
A Woman to Cherish
When innocent Rebecca Morgan wakes up in a stranger's embrace, her life has been changed forever. Race's touch makes her blood sing and stirs up emotions in her she never knew existed. But this man has a fearsome reputation. And though her life may depend on him, can she trust him? Is it love she sees in her rescuer's dark eyes?
Series: don't know ^_^;
The Story: Rebecca Morgan comes from a cheek-turner family from a very religious community. The community has decided to move away as the world around them is becoming more modern and the youngsters might be tempted by newness. Rebecca, her parents and 9 other couples are about to embark on a journey that will lead them to New Mexico where the other families have already start settling. They are bringing the money that will be necessary to survive. Since they are very religious, they don't believe in hiring men to protect them or carry guns.
As expected, their wagon is attacked and everyone is killed, the women raped... except for Rebecca. She is saved by Race Spencer who used to be a gunslinger, but is now a rancher. Race is also half native... Luckily for Race, his men are not far behind... however, the robbers won't leave them alone and Race wonders why...
My Opinion: Well that's about all I read... then, I skipped to the middle and then, to the end. I bought this book because it's a Catherine Anderson and I like her contemporaries. I then picked this book up to read, because it was on the RT all time favorite list and I need a book for the Fall Challenge. Problem is, I don't really enjoy westerns... so this is more a "me" problem than the actual book.
Let see, I didn't really like Rebecca. She's not someone with whom I can connect easily. I know how she was raised and so on, but I couldn't help thinking she was silly. Then, I skimmed a bit and got to the scene where she's having sex with Race for the first time... and I couldn't help rolling my eyes. Again, I understand that it totally makes sense when you take in the circumstances and the way she was raised, but still... Couldn't help it. That pretty much sealed the faith of the book for me. I also read the ending, and I felt meh. Didn't make me want to go back and give it another try, unfortunately.
Race was okay, for what I read of him. I like that he was smart and figured things out quickly. I like that he didn't hesitate saving her... and I was sad that he suffered loss to his ranch by saving her. My favorite parts of the book are probably the scenes with Cookie. He was so funny, LOL :)
My Grade: DNF. Like I said, this has more to do with me than the books... western is just not for me I guess.
Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton
published by Berkley in November 2008
Sugar Maple looks like any Vermont town, but it's inhabited with warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches and an ancient secret. And Chloe Hobbs, owner of Sticks & String, a popular knitting shop, has a big secret too. She's a sorcerer's daughter in search of Mr. Right and she's found him in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple's very first murder. Bad news is he's 100% human, which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like her.
Genre: contemporary romance with paranormal elements
Series: Sugar Maple, book #1
The Story: On the outside, Sugar Maple is the perfect little New England town whose income comes from tourism... However, Sugar Maple is actually a haven for paranormal creatures such as witches, shapeshifters, faeries, vampires and so on. Centuries ago, Chloe Hobbs' ancestor were fleeing Salem and found refuge in Sugar Maple. As a thank you, she cast a spell over Sugar Maple protecting the town from any harm and disharmony as long as there was a female descendant still living. Now, Chole is the only female descendant left and her blood has been diluted with human blood and it seems she has received very few gifts from her witchy sides. The spell over Sugar Maple seems to be weakening and therefore, everyone is trying to match Chloe up hoping she would produce a new descendant and quick...
As proof that the spell is weakening, Sugar Maple experienced its first murder, an out-of-town woman... Luke Mackenzie who's a Boston cop has been trying to get out of the big city for a few years and the assignment is perfect, even if it's only temporary. He knows that the town has secrets and he intends to discover them...
My Opinion: I previously read Just Desserts by Ms Bretton and really enjoyed it. Thus, I was looking for more books by her... I did hesitate to pick up Casting Spells as it was slightly paranormal... then, I read Holly's review and decided to give it a try.
First, I have to say that Casting Spells feels more like a contemporary romance with slight paranormal elements than a paranormal romance book. I mean, think of a small town with weird habitants having small quirks... but in this case, their small quirks might be they're able to shapeshift or drink blood.
I got halfway through the book. I liked Chloe and Luke... this book is at the first person POV and it alternates between Chloe and Luke, so it was fun to see what both were thinking. Both characters are nice and fun to read about and I like their chemistry :)
So what didn't work for me? The town and the whole: "Chloe needs to get someone and start reproducing, but oh, the cop won't do because he's human." I didn't feel like it was Chloe's responsibility to protect the town and insure that it was safe. That city hall reunion? Complete rubbish. Yes, Chloe was welcomed back in the community after the death of her parents and yes, everyone had a hand in raising her... but it wasn't for unselfish reasons!!! It seems to me they all want to keep Chloe because she was a Hobbs and her presence would maintain the spell! So having people saying that she owns them annoyed me! Having people trying to match her up with men just so the spell would continue annoyed me! Having people say that Luke wouldn't be good because he's human annoyed me! Also, the fact that people complained about her lack of powers also annoyed me! And these are constant reminders... by everyone in the book, Chloe included. A lot of time, you don't choose whom you fall in love with and I mean, Chloe could do a lot worst. Also, the fact that people seems to be-little Chloe and she just took it, because she seems to believe that it's her fault? It was too much for me and that's why I won't be continuing the book and I doubt I will be picking it up again :(
This is supposed to be a series, so perhaps I'll pick up book #2 (since now, Chloe has powers and Luke knows the whole truth)... but I'm not sure. I mean, the writing was good and it has potential. I just got annoyed with few details and it ruined it for me :(
My Grade: DNF.