Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Catherine Anderson - Forever After

From the moment Heath Masters lays eyes on Meredith Kenyon, he knows there's something mysterious in this pretty woman's past. True, she seems like a good mother to her little daughter, but as local sheriff Heath has seen his share of liars ... and Meredith is certainly hiding something. But though his romantic gestures are met with suspicion, Heath can't help but be drawn to his vulnerable new neighbor. He doesn't entirely trust her, but he sure does want to kiss her.
About to lose her child in a devastating child custody case, Meredith transformed herself from urban widow to small town mom, escaping the clutches of her abusive late husband's manipulative father. Fleeing across America, she ran straight into the arms of the lonely lawman. Heath's persistence melts her misgivings, making her wonder if she could overcome her traumatic former life. But could his love protect her from her past - now and forever.

Comment: I got this book to offer a friend for her birthday but decided to try it first, although usually this author's books are a success with me.I know my friend has read and liked books by the author so I felt confident she might like this one as well. As for myself, I don't think this is her best but it wasn't a bad story, just could have been slightly better.

This is the story of Heath Masters, the sheriff of his hometown, and how he starts to feel attracted to his new neighbor, Meredith Knox. Heath has a lot to deal with but his dog seems to think the neighbor's daughter will want a friend and as the child becomes afraid at first, allowing Heath to meet the neighbors.
Meredith is on the run with her daughter to avoid losing her in a custody battle. She doesn't trust easily and fears both the sheriff and his dog. But her daughter slowly starts to love the dog and even the sheriff's company. Will Meredith start to trust as well or will the past get her first?

This book is a sweet story for the most part but I think it has a bit too much elements. The issue with too much at a time is that sometimes the resolution of certain things doesn't seem to be accomplished in the best way.
There are three main issues, in my opinion, being dealt with here. There's Heath's life, Meredith's life and their relationship. Although all these things can be achieved well I don't think the balance between all the elements was as successful as it could.

Heath is the central character and he has a tragedy in his past related to his sister's death that he prefers to not think about. But a reporter brings it up again because of some young boys' accident and death due to drinking before driving. This theme can be the moral lesson in this book and is serious and in the book Heath has a lot to deal with in his on head and about the way he lives his life, his work as sheriff because of his sister's death. That shaped him and his path in life and I thought it to be an intense and serious theme to mention.
But apart from this, we have touches of custaody battles, mafia dealings, running from justice, parental distance, youth depression, laziness at work, etc. Many things used to build up this story. Usually authors can insert their themes into the stories in a way that aims to deliver a message but not in such a way it is all in your face. I felt ms Anderson went a bit too far with the amount of things to address, instead of focusing on two or three in a way that we could see as necessary. This way it turned out to be excessive, in my opinion.

Meredith has her own issues, not only about her child and why she ran they way she did, but she doesn't seem to trust men. Nothing wrong with this if the theme were to be developed with time and a bit more focus. The way things ended, I think her change of heart from afraid of intimacy to desperate need to be with Heath at a point where their fates seemed to be destined to be apart...well....not buying it completely.

The relationship between Heath and Meredith wasn't the most romantic one ever and it didn't seem the pace was the best one, at least not with so much going on. The way things ended was cute but seriously unbelievable...because of the plot's advance and conclusion but whatever.

Just a note to say I didn't like the way a trouble was solved, at the beginning someone working with Heath (because of powerful influences) does something bad and isn't punished for lack of conclusive proof and we are led to believe the character won't be redeemed, but in the end the same character has a turnabout. I wouldn't mind it, but the way things happened didn't convince me.

The end of this book was cute like I said, because the good guys win and there's a HEA, dog included. But the way things work for the couple to be happy seemed unbelievable and forced. I think I'd have preferred something simpler...
All in all, strong elements characteristic of the author's style but not the best execution she could do. Still, an author to cherish for the most part.
Grade: 6/10

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