cover image Silver Thaw

Silver Thaw

Catherine Anderson. Signet, $7.99 ISBN 978-0-451-41834-0

Anderson’s series launch, set in Mystic Creek, Ore., recovers quickly from a sappy beginning where the heroine details her misery on strips of pink paper that she tosses to the wind outside her inadequate home. Plucky Amanda Banning and her daughter, Chloe, are on the run from her abusive husband. Banning is assisted in her fresh start by handsome Jeb Sterling, carpenter and pillar of the Mystic Creek community. Compassionate Jeb finds the papers on which Amanda scribbles her woes and starts worrying about his unknown but unhappy neighbor. When a blizzard strikes, he finds Amanda and Chloe, brings them to his home for shelter, and gives Amanda a job. Jeb is too perfect to be true, falling for Amanda immediately and spending a fortune to protect her and her child from the monster she married, but his decency and genuine devotion are convincing as Amanda learns to trust again. Romance veteran Anderson (Walking on Air) is a pro at making readers weep, despite her folksy, sappy characters and clichéd story. Agent: Steve Axelrod, Steve Axelrod Agency. (Jan.)