Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Catherine Anderson: Sun Kissed

Sun Kissed: C-
Kendrick/ Coulter series #7
Samantha Harrigan and Tucker Coulter

One need not be an equine lover to appreciate Anderson's sweet contemporary romance centering on fiercely honest horse rancher Samantha Harrigan and handsome neophyte veterinarian Tucker Coulter, who meet while trying to protect a horse from its abusive owner. Samantha has always cared deeply for her horses, so when they suddenly fall ill, she's distraught; when it turns out they've been poisoned, she's horrified, immediately suspecting that her violent and vindictive ex-husband is the culprit.

Unfortunately, the authorities are pointing fingers at Samantha, alleging that she plans to defraud her insurance company. Wary of letting a new man into her life, Samantha nevertheless recognizes that she must call on Tucker to nurse her horses back to health. As he tends to the horses and grows closer to Samantha, Tucker becomes her confidante and champion, realizing that the only way for Samantha to save herself is to catch the offender before the police arrest her. In Samantha, Anderson has created a strong and gentle heroine, and a cast of family and friends proves charming throughout. This smart, wholesome tale should appeal to any fan of traditional romance. (amazon)

Haven’t I read this story before? Something happening to the horses? Falling ill and trying to find the culprit… oh wait, I think I have. It kind of sounds like the other Kendrick/ Coulter books… but not as good.

All of the heroines of Ms. Anderson’s books are broken people and it’s the love of the steady, handsome, understanding heroes that they find out the strength that is in them. However, I feel that the heroine-under-the-clutches-of-the-evil-ex-husband-and-divorces-him-only-to-have-him-come-after-her plot is becoming a little redundant. And the obsession with the horses, too.

This story wasn’t as good as some of the others because of the lack of chemistry between the two characters. The love that Samantha had for her horse was admirable, heroic, even, however, she spent all of her time and all her energy worrying about her horse, praying for her horse, crying for her horse, and I thought, ‘how about Tucker? What’s going on with him? You’re supposed to be falling in love with him!’

Tucker is falling in love with Samantha. He sees her love for her horse (that damned horse again!) wonderful, and seeing that he and his brothers are veterinarians (who love animals, horses included) he likes that Samantha is loyal to her horse.

But really, the romance falls short between these two: they just don’t spend time to really be falling in love… and she’s so burnt from her ex-marriage that she is super wary around men. I don’t know how they did manage to find a babysitter for the horses and spend some time together, but they did minimally – just enough to be in love (which I totally don’t buy).

There were the introduction of Samantha’s brothers (I see books for them in the near future! Jeepers, more horse books?!), but the heroines and heroes are all starting to sound the same. They have the same traits, same jobs, same families… same everything, and it’s getting to be repetitive.

I’m not sure if I would pick up Ms. Anderson’s latest book quite yet. I’m a bit horsed-out.

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