The New York Times bestselling author of Silver Thaw returns to Mystic Creek in a 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.
Anderson returns to Mystic Creek with an uneven contemporary romance that's disappointingly similar in plot to the first book in the series, Silver Thaw. Mystic Creek is a warm and friendly town in the Pacific Northwest, and among its most prominent citizens is Barney Sterling, the handsome deputy sheriff. He investigates a report of inappropriate behavior and finds the usually unassuming Taffeta Brown getting rid of all her frustrations by dancing up a storm in the privacy of her room, not realizing her seductive moves are visible through the curtains and have been scandalizing the neighbors. Taffeta's new to town; she runs a health store and dreams of one day regaining custody of the daughter she lost in a bitter legal battle with her dissolute ex-husband. Desperate to rehabilitate her reputation, she takes advantage of Barney's interest in her and proposes to him. When kindhearted Barney realizes how much Taffeta needs him, he agrees to marry her. The warmhearted Sterlings specialize in assisting women in jeopardy, but Taffeta needs to put her own effort into figuring out whether she can save her child and make her marriage work. Anderson manufactures conflict rather than fleshing out her plot with fully drawn characters, but she does know how to tug the heartstrings.
I love this author, and I loved Silver Thaw... but I was disappointed that the Sterling family was left out of so much of the story,I loved how they were always involved in Jeb’s life in Silver Thaw, they were definitely missed in New Leaf.
New Leaf is a Gem
This is another fulfilling, wonderful, heart-driven story with Taffeta (Taffy) Brown and Barney Sterling as the main characters. Taffy opened Healthful Possibilities on East Main in Mystic Creek, Oregon and lives in an apartment above the store. Barney is a deputy who is the brother of Jeb, whose story was told in Silver Thaw, book one of this series. Mystic Creek is a small town that I have anxiously anticipated coming back to. There is drama and heartbreak, and both characters’ stories are realistic and are told with heart. The heart-wrenching emotional experiences of Taffy, a mother who lost custody and unsupervised visitation rights of her three-year-old daughter due to the lying, low-life, greedy, selfish, repugnant, etc. guy that got her pregnant during their marriage, Phillip, is felt by the reader. His parents are wealthy and he has taken monetary advantage of them and coerced them into believing Taffy abused their daughter, Sarah. They are divorced, but Taffy is frightened of the lifestyle her daughter Sarah has been living in for the past two years. Taffy relies on her trust of Barney to confide in him her truth of what happened. Barney, who is slower to trust, wants to find a way to help Taffy, and as they explore a new relationship with each other in their search for justice, they want to find a way to bring Sarah back into her life.
This can definitely be read as a standalone book, but be prepared to want to read Silver Thaw as soon as you finish New Leaf. There are other Sterling siblings, and I can’t wait to read their stories. I know I use the word "heart" a lot, but it is what it is. I love this series! [I received this book in advance for a fair review.]
Great read…second in the series. I highly recommend both so far. Can’t wait to read the third!