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Summer Breeze (Wheeler Hardcover) [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Catherine Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Wheeler Publishing; Lrg edition (22 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739462938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739462935
  • ASIN: 1597222054
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love breaks through all barriers 12 May 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Joseph Paxton knows there's trouble when a neighbor's ranch hand shows up on his door step with a bullet in his back. Convinced that there's a killer on the loose the ranch hand makes Joseph promise to keep his employer Miss Rachel Hollister safe while he recovers. If the rumors are true then Miss Hollister has been living barricaded inside her home for the past five years ever since the massacre that took the lives of her entire family. She has never stepped foot outside since. Hasn't seen the sunlight nor felt a summer breeze in five long years. And when Joseph sees her elaborate fortress, he's shocked and saddened to see her living in such conditions. Now all Joseph has to do is to somehow bring sunlight into Rachel's life while protecting from a killer, possibly even the same one who wiped out her family.

A fine late 1800's romance set in Colorado. Wonderful characters and an unusual plot. I've never read about someone having agoraphobia before. I can see how horror of having seen her family killed before her eyes forced Rachel into this maximum security type of living. She doesn't feel safe without having all those walls around her, especially since the killer was never caught. And Joseph has the patience of a saint to have to deal with all of Rachel's issues. He's such a *good* guy that you can't help but love him. And all the trouble he goes through just to give Rachel a bit of sunshine really brought a tear to my eye.

A great sequel to Keegan's Lady.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catherine Anderson does it again! 9 Jan 2006
By Gemma - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the back cover:

The popular Coulter series takes an exciting new turn!

The year is 1889, and Rachel Hollister hasn't set foot outside her house in five years. Ever since a savage attack left her family dead, she's cordoned herself off from the outside world, afraid to let anyone into her home--or into her heart. But now trouble has appeared on her doorstep--and suddenly she has no choice but to let a handsome rancher invade her well-guarded esistence...

Confirmed bachelor Joseph Paxton grudgingly offers to take up temporary residence at the Hollister ranch--even though it's obvious Rachel doesn't want his protection. But once he catches a glimpse of his beautiful young ward and her remarkable spirit, he'll do anything to break through the dark spell that's walled off her heart. It may take a miracle, but he's determined to make her see the refuge he's offering in his embrace--and the splendor that exists beyond her front door. Otherwise he'll just have to build a safe haven big enough for the both of them...

And my review:

Wow! Wow, and wow again! This author is fabulous. With the high cost of books these days, I never buy books brand new - except for ones by this author. Then I rush to the bookstore as soon as they're released. Not once has this author let me down. Every single one of her books have been keepers.

This book was just wonderful. I devoured it in a weekend. I just couldn't put it down. This author has once again made wonderful characters that jump immediately into your heart and stay there. They were both loveable. He had his rough spots, but was basically a good guy--none of that domineering male garbage that you find so often in romance novels today. And while she was a woman imprisoned by fear, she was still a strong, couragous person, not a little mouse that you want to smack some sense into. (And, contrary to what most authors do with sheltered heroines, this one did not turn into a slut!) Not many authors could handle the issue of agoraphobia so well, but this one did it without being too preachy or silly.

This was a book that fully engaged the reader's emotions. I would be getting choked up one minute, and then be laughing out loud the next. And the mystery was very well executed. At least three times I thought that I had it all figured out. The answer seemed too obvious. But I was completely surprised when the mystery was solved (my instinct were off by a mile), which only served to make the story more enjoyable. I can usually see the big plot twists coming from a mile away, but this author had me fooled right up until the very end.

Another thing I liked about this book was that the mystery and the romance were in good balance. I often find that books with both will spend too much time developing the mystery and neglect the romance (or sometimes the other way around). But this author struck the perfect balance between the two themes, leaving me feeling satisfied when I turned that final page. Those not reading the entire series might feel left hanging by the epilogue, as the author used it to set up her next book. However, that's a mild complaint, as the rest of the book is so good as to outweigh it. Though this book is part of a series, I think that it can stand alone. The author also included a family tree chart in the beginning of the book, just in case a reader feels lost, but don't be overwhelmed - it's not necessary to commit it to memory in order to enjoy the story.

I don't give out many five star ratings. A book really has to earn it, but this one did. I highly recommend this book, as well as the other related books in the series, including (in order) "Keegan's Lady" (the prequel to this book), "Baby Love", "Phantom Waltz", "Sweet Nothings", "Blue Skies", "Bright Eyes" and "My Sunshine". The author has also promised at least four more books in the series - hooray!

If you're a fan of Native American Romance, I would also recommend this author's Comanche series, including (in order) "Comanche Moon", "Comanche Heart", "Indigo Blue" and "Comanche Magic". Though they are out of print and cost a bit more to get your hands on, they are definitely worth the money.

Keep 'em coming, Catherine!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Enjoyed this One 25 Feb 2006
By E. Lynch - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was nice getting a little modern touch to the story with Tucker finding the diary of Rachel and Joseph which leads into their historical love story. I will enjoy Tucker's story when it comes! I will also say this book works well stand-alone since I have yet to read Keegan's Lady which is the "prequel" about Joseph's brother, Ace. I have it but just not read - too many books, too little time!

As other reviewers have laid out the storyline so well I will not belabor the point. Rachel retreated to a very sheltered life, barricaded in her kitchen for five years since her family was massacred at a lovely June picnic. Darby, the aged ranch foreman, has been her only contact during those years and assisted her by keeping the ranch going, selling the cheese & eggs that are a result of the ranch and building the real walls that kept everyone away. But when he is shot in the back, he begs a neighboring ranch owner (Joseph Paxton) to guard and protect Rachel.

While Joseph's brother David, the marshal of Noname, seeks to solve the shooting and perhaps even the unsolved massacre of Rachel's family, Joseph is left trying to protect a frightened Rachel from pretend or perhaps real danger. She turns out to be a vision of loveliness, a wonderful cook and a woman with heart. She awakens all the heroic bones in his body as well as awakening other feelings! As Kleypas most often writes "love at first sight" books, this is no different. The romance is pleasantly written with enough angst and sexual tension to make it exciting. I loved all the secondary characters which are well described and add depth to the storyline. The townspeople are wonderful in their attempts to open up Rachel's world and allow her to hear birds and feel the summer breezes again. Will they succeed in this endeavor? Can Joseph convince her to marry him in the end? Is someone really out to kill her and could it be her feisty Aunt Amanda?

While I enjoyed this book immensely, there were some problems. It is rather unrealistic that Rachel would have been left alone in her "madness" without town and doctor intervention. Also, she seemed to recover from agoraphobia rather quickly too when the mystery is resolved. A bit TOO perfect, Rachel was beautiful, well-read, great cook, cheese-maker and seamstress. Even having been orphaned at 17, it was a bit much to believe ... but this is fiction. Despite these things, it is not a book to be missed for its wonderful portrayal of how love conquers all - a predominant theme in Kleypas books also.

Another reveiwer mentions this and it is true. The Epilogue which contains a letter from Joseph to Rachel when he is aged and dying is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best 27 Feb 2006
By A reader - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love Catherine Anderson. I found her last summer when I first read "Keegan's Lady". It remains my favorite book. I get all mushy inside just thinking of it. Since then I have read all of the Coulter books, one after the other. And I loved them all.

I was so excited to learn that the sequel to "Keegan's Lady" was coming out that I ordered the book a few weeks ago. I saved it until just the right time to read it. I am sorry to say that I was disappointed. I thought the story was weak. I liked the interaction of Ace (I still adore him) and Caitlin with Joseph and Rachel but I would have liked to learn more about the younger brothers.

My biggest problem was that I thought it was hard to believe that Joseph would just be OK with Rachel's illness and not do anything to encourage her to heal. He seemed to be more of an enabler by adding bigger thicker doors and more bars. Once he tried to ask about the events and she zoned out, after that he vowed never to ask again. I wanted him to help her face the issues and rise above the tragedy of her past. I got the feeling that if the killer had not been caught she would have just stayed locked away forever and he would have been completely OK with that. I wanted them to face her past together and "beat" it, to decide that life was too wonderful to allow this killer to continue to control her. I wanted her to be healed, to be brave, to be courageous and for Joseph to be by her side helping her even if the killer was still out there rather than heal only after he was gone.

Also I agree with another reviewer. I felt the romance just wasn't there. I didn't feel that spark. Oddly I finished "Phantom Waltz" just before reading this. In that book I felt the sex was way over done. It seemed like every other paragraph they were at it again. The opposite was true in this book. Anderson has such a wonderful talent in creating that special magical moment. You wait for it the whole book. And when they finally find each other your stomach is doing flip-flops. Not in this book. My tummy didn't flip-flop once.

I did wonder how Tucker and Mary were reading from Rachel's diary? How did it survive the fire? No mention was made of it throughout the book. You never read about her sitting down to record her thoughts at the end of the day. To me it almost seemed like an afterthought to add that to the beginning and end just as a way to lead into another book about Tucker. It was poorly done and didn't flow with the story.

I did really appreciate the family tree at the beginning of the book. I read the books out of order so this was a big help. Thank you for that, Catherine.

I'd like to read the Comanche series next if I can find them.

Catherine Anderson is my favorite writer at this time. I just think she missed with this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catherine Anderson - WOW - is she is amazing or what????? 5 July 2007
By M. Hebdige - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
************** Okay - I don't usually get sentimental over books - I read them and either love them or don't get through them - I have a very busy schedule and don't have time to buy books that are not worth my time. Catherine Anderson's books are all fabulous... very poignantly written and on the same shelf as Cheryl St. John's books.

I don't typically go for contemporary romances, as my period is historicals, so I have not read any of Anderson's contemporary books - but some of my friends love them.

Getting back to Summer Breeze.... WOW in a huge way. The story sounded intriguing from the beginning and what made me give it a 5 star rating, is the beauty of how the book is written, the depth of all the characters and the compassion and joy you feel for all of them.

From the time the book starts, in 2005 where Tucker Coulter has found a musty, old diary in the attic the story propels itself with tidal wave force never letting up. He and his mother start reading the entries in the diary and you are transported right back to 1889, to a small town called No Name. Yup, it's a Western, but believe you me, don't let that deter you, because if you like novels that absorb you and make you want to almost be there as a part of what you are reading... well, this is just like that and you will not want to put this one down - I read it in a day!!!

I am not going to waste time giving you a plotline. I will just say that the story of Joseph Paxton and Rachel Hollister will have you laughing (his sayings are laugh out loud funny) and crying at the beauty of the tenderness and patience that Joseph exercises with Rachel and how his carefree and outgoing manner change her from the recluse she had become to the vibrant woman at the end of the book. You will cheer when you are reading and frown when you are finished... the story was that good.

******* If you have not gotten your claws into Catherine Anderson's stories - I strongly urge you to get her books, pronto... Keegan's Lady is the book of Ace and Kathleen - who appear in this story. Another great one is Annie's Song.

I hope you agree with me. Catherine Anderson is rare talent indeed. It is hard not to be moved by the depth of emotion that flows through the pages of her books. DEFINITELY SHELF KEEPERS***********
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book 26 Feb 2006
By wintersbreeze - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. The only reason it did not get a five star rating from me is because I really wouldn't say that there was that much of a romance to it. It seemed to me more like a mystery and adventure book with the romance on the side. However, this book is very good, none the less. Rachael Hollister saw her family murdered right in front of her eyes when she was seventeen years old. She was meant to die also, but she didn't. After her family's death, she barricaded herself in her house and hasn't stepped foot outside in five years. Her old ranch formen named Darby worked the ranch and ran errands and just took care of everything ever since. He loved her like a daughter. One day, he was shot in the back at the same place Rachael's family was killed. So he goes to the person he felt he could trust to take care of Rachael until he gets better. Joseph Paxton. The rest of the story fold out as Joseph trying to deal with Rachael's fear of NOT having her walls all around her. Also, it looks like the same person that killed Rachel's family is trying to finish the job he started long ago. He wants Rachael dead now. I figured out who the villian was about half way through the book and why he wanted them all dead. Although, there is a turn in this book that you don't expect and that's what makes the book fun. The romance between Joseph and Rachael is very sweet but I felt that it was a little too sweet. There was no heated fight scenes or hardly anything physical until over half way. It takes place in the 1800's so that could be why, I guess. The characters seem very real and the storyline seems very real also. After I started reading it, I couldn't stop.
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