Normally, Catherine Anderson can fill 400 pages with riveting ease. BRIGHT EYES launches easily -- prompting the reader to settle back, fully anticipating another Anderson gem. Unfortunately, half way into her story Anderson flounders. This gifted writer usually delivers heartwrenching, poignant stories -- but here she chose 'cutesy' -- coupled with a predictable crisis.
The rugged Coulter family continues. BRIGHT EYES is Zeke's story. Zeke Coulter is the normal Anderson hunka-hunka burning love male -- gorgeous, sensitive men who ooze toughness. Zeke is a busy bachelor who is content with his life and his new acreage.
Fortuitously, Zeke's new property borders Natalie Patterson's land. Mrs. Patterson is a sexy mom with two children and a worthless ex-husband -- a jerk who continues to make life miserable for Natalie and his children. Natalie Patterson and the kids find Zeke Coulter equal to a knight in shining armor. A spectacular man who bolsters their confidence, builds their self-worth, and brings new hope to their bleak lives.
As usual, Catherine Anderson draws wonderful characters. Natalie falls from the pages as a normal woman, a woman who tugs at her summer shorts, frets over 10 pounds, yet is determined to lose 20. However, the true character prize is little Rosie Patterson, Natalie's young daughter. This four year old is adorably precocious and has enough charm to leap from Anderson's pages straight into the reader's heart. Oh how, I cherished the pages this child inhabited.
Yet, somewhere around page 200, the story became ordinary. A predictable crime soared to the foreground changing Zeke and Natalie into grisly sugar-coated lovers -- I love you -- I love you -- say you love me -- say it again --.
The beginning saved the rating, but that ending! Oh, Ms. Anderson pull out that heart-rending pen! Save the syrupy-sweet for another author -- nobody does poignancy better than you!
Grace Atkinson, Ontario - Canada.