Anderson, Catherine 1948–
Anderson, Catherine 1948–
(Adeline Catherine Anderson, Ketrin Anderson)
Born December 22, 1948, in Grants Pass, OR; daughter of Benjamin Early La May (a chef) and a writer; married Sidney D. Anderson (an electrical engineer); children: Sidney D., Jr., John G. Education: Attended Oregon Institute of Technology. Religion: Roman Catholic.
Agent—Steven Axelrod, The Axelrod Agency, 49 Main St., Chatham, NY 12037. E-mail—[email protected]
Romance Writers of America, Novelists, Inc.
Janet Dailey Award.
Reasonable Doubt, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1988.
Without a Trace, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1989.
Switchback, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1990.
Cry of the Wild, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1992.
Coming up Roses, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.
Cheyenne Amber, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
Annie's Song, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1996.
Keegan's Lady, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Simply Love, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Forever After, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1998.
Cherish, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1998.
Seventh Heaven, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Always in My Heart, Penguin Putnam (New York, NY), 2002.
Only by Your Touch, Penguin Putnam (New York, NY), 2003.
The True Love Wedding Dress, Onyx (New York, NY), 2005.
With You beside Me: A Coulter Family Double, (includes Sweet Nothings and Phantom Waltz), New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.
Summer Breeze, Signet (New York, NY), 2006.
Comanche Moon, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1991.
Comanche Heart, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1991.
Indigo Blue, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1992.
Comanche Magic, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
Baby Love, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1999.
Phantom Waltz, Penguin Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.
Sweet Nothings, Penguin Putnam (New York, NY), 2002.
Blue Skies, Penguin Putnam (New York, NY), 2003.
Bright Eyes, Penguin Putnam (New York, NY), 2004.
My Sunshine, Signet (New York, NY), 2005.
Sun Kissed, Signet (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor of stories to anthologies, including "Fancy Free" in Three Weddings and a Kiss, Avon Books, "Shotgun Bride" in Tall, Dark, and Dangerous, HarperCollins, "Beautiful Gifts" in The True Love Wedding Dress, 2005.
A prolific writer of romance novels, Catherine Anderson draws on both historical and contemporary themes. Several of her popular works are set in the American West and explore such subjects as frontier settlement and relationships between settlers and Indians. As Romance Reader contributor Jean Mason observed in a review of the novel Cherish, Anderson writes "some of the best, grittiest, and most intense" western romances that fans of the genre could want.
Anderson's West, Mason noted, "is not a pretty place. Rather … it is violent and dangerous." It is filled with bandits, lynch gangs, and unscrupulous mining and ranching entrepreneurs only too eager to prey upon Anderson's innocent but strong heroines. At the same time, however, the West is also populated by more noble characters, like Cherish's Race Spenser, a part-Indian gunfighter-turned-rancher who cares for the vulnerable heroine, Rebecca, after Rebecca's community of religious pioneers is massacred. According to Mason, Race "possesses an inherent nobility of character" and refuses to push Rebecca into a romantic relationship until she herself desires it.
The "Comanche" series includes four novels that focus on the complex relationships between white settlers and Indians. Several characters in the series have some Comanche ancestry or were raised by Comanches; romance and friendship, as well as rivalry and violence, develop among the principal characters. In Cheyenne Amber, a tracker, raised by the Cheyenne, finds a white infant stolen by Comancheros. An unlikely romance between the rough tracker and the baby's mother eventually develops.
Simply Love, in which a wealthy Colorado gold-miner tricks innocent Cassandra Zerek into becoming his mistress, presents a story that a writer for Publishers Weekly described as a "delightful comedy of errors." In a starred review, the critic hailed the novel for establishing Anderson as a "major voice" in romance writing.
Contemporary subjects, too, have attracted Anderson's interest. Forever After tells the story of an abused widow of a Mafia-connected man; she is embroiled in an ugly battle for custody of her young daughter and finds safety with a county sheriff. Though a contributor to Publishers Weekly found the novel unconvincing and contrived, Library Journal reviewer Kristin Ramsdell hailed the book for its compassion, sensitivity, and "emotionally involving brand of literary magic."
Baby Love, the first of many romance novels in the "Kendrick/Coulter" series, featuring the members of the Coulter and Kendrick families, begins when Rafe Kendrick comes to the aid of Maggie Stanley, rescuing her from a rape at the hands of vagrants. From then on, Rafe feels responsible for Maggie and takes on the role of protector. A widower, he offers Maggie marriage and takes her home to his Oregon ranch, where their feelings gradually deepen. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly criticized portions of the over-the-top plot, such as Rafe's convenient wealth, but concluded: "Anderson is a strong storyteller, and the book should appeal to fans of the genre."
Phantom Waltz, which focuses on the love story between a rancher and a paraplegic woman, attracted favorable attention for its treatment of this subject. A writer for Publishers Weekly found it a "poignant" and believable love story, and noted that its descriptions of the characters' lovemaking are sensitive and empathetic. John Charles in Booklist also admired the novel, describing it as an "emotionally charged" tale of contemporary romance.
Sweet Nothings is set in the contemporary West, where Molly Wells rescues an abused race horse and brings him to Jake Coulter, a horse whisperer who soon falls in love with her. A Publishers Weekly writer considered the novel clichéed and "formulaic." John Charles, in a review for Booklist, however, described it as "pure reading magic." Similarly, Always in My Heart, the story of a couple's grief after the accidental death of their teenage son, was described in Publishers Weekly as "maudlin" and "predictable," but elicited strong praise from Library Journal critic Kristin Ramsdell, who called the novel "emotionally involving" and "rewarding."
In Blue Skies, the next "Kendrick/Coulter" romance following Sweet Nothings, again with a modern setting, Anderson returns to the theme of overcoming a physical disability. Heroine Carly Adams has been blind since birth, but thanks to a miraculous surgery, is now able to see. Out to celebrate, she meets Hank Coulter, a rancher looking for a good time. But when their single night together results in a pregnancy, Hank presses Carly to marry him and have the child. But doing so would put a halt to all the things she had planned to do now that her sight has been restored, such as attend graduate school. However, Carly's poor eyesight results from a disease, and as such will eventually deteriorate once more. This adds heightened tension to the story, both for what it will mean for her relationship with Hank, and because there is the chance the child will inherit the condition. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that "readers will embrace Anderson's characters and her message—that love bridges all divides." Booklist contributor John Charles called the book a "beautifully emotional, wonderfully romantic love story."
Zeke Coulter is the hero of Anderson's next book in the series, Bright Eyes. A loner, Zeke finds himself changing his mind about the joys of a solitary life when he meets his neighbor Natalie Patterson, a singer whose young son Chad has been wrecking his vegetable garden among other acts of mischief. Zeke suggests Chad work off the damages by repairing the garden, and soon finds the boy aided by his sister and newly divorced mother as well. The feelings grow naturally between the pair as they get to know each other and Zeke begins to appreciate the difference some company makes in his life. John Charles, reviewing for Booklist, praised Anderson's effort, dubbing the book another of her "emotionally powerful romances that celebrate the importance of family and love."
My Sunshine follows the romance of Isaiah Coulter, a veterinarian with more work than he can handle, and his new kennel keeper, Laura Townsend, who suffered a diving accident years before that left her with a condition that makes speaking difficult. Isaiah falls for Laura, but she keeps to herself and finds it difficult to believe that any man would be interested in her due to her condition. Interfering family members and some less well meaning townsfolk create small obstacles for this couple on their path to happiness. Kristin Ramsdell, in a review for the Library Journal, praised the book, noting that Anderson "does a skillful job of treating serious issues in a hopeful but not sugar-coated way."
In Sun Kissed, vet Tucker Coulter comes to the aid of Samantha Harrigan, a breeder who sets out to stop a drunk from beating his horse. Neither Tucker nor Samantha comes out of the skirmish unscathed, but the encounter does spark an interest between them, one that deepens when Tucker determines that Samantha is being framed for the poisoning of several of her horses. Library Journal contributor Kristin Ramsdell noted the suspense and the building of the relationships, calling the book "a satisfying read."
Summer Breeze revisits the Paxton family, previously seen in Anderson's earlier work, Keegan's Lady, a universe that crosses over with the "Kendrick/Coulter" sagas. Rachel, the heroine, is the only survivor of a massacre that struck her family during a picnic years before, but the agoraphobia that has haunted her since means she relies heavily on her ranch hand to keep her property running. When he is shot, he convinces Joseph Paxton from the neighboring ranch to protect Rachel from the murderer who is still on the lose. Joseph soon learns that Rachel is not as helpless as he was led to believe, and the two develop feelings for each other. Kathe Robin, in a review for Romantic Times Online, praised Anderson for "her beautiful writing style, memorable characters and a timeless story."
In Only by Your Touch, a newly-single mother and her young son move to rural Oregon where they encounter Ben Longtree, a part-Indian veterinarian with a shady past. At first wary of Ben, Chloe soon finds herself deeply attracted to him. A Publishers Weekly contributor found this novel predictable, but noted that the book "still possesses poignancy and charm." John Charles, again writing for Booklist, commended the book as "beautifully written" and "emotionally satisfying."
Anderson told CA: "Many of my books deal with a social issue. It is my hope to touch people's hearts and leave them feeling just a bit more hopeful than they were before they began reading."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 2001, John Charles, review of Phantom Waltz, p. 1853; December 15, 2001, John Charles, review of Sweet Nothings, p. 708; June 1, 2002, Nancy Spillman, "New Beginnings," p. 1752; March 15, 2003, John Charles, review of Only by Your Touch, p. 1281; November 15, 2003, John Charles, review of Blue Skies, p. 586; June 1, 2004, John Charles, review of Bright Eyes, p. 1709.
Library Journal, May 15, 1997, review of Simply Love, p. 64; February 15, 1998, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Forever After, p. 130; November 15, 1998, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Cherish, p. 58; August, 2002, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Always in My Heart, p. 72; January 1, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of My Sunshine, p. 90; December 1, 2006, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Sun Kissed, p. 103.
Publishers Weekly, July 12, 1993, review of Coming up Roses, p. 74; June 3, 1996, review of Keegan's Lady, p. 81; February 24, 1997, review of Simply Love, p. 87; February 23, 1998, review of Forever After, p. 74; September 7, 1998, review of Cherish, p. 92; August 30, 1999, review of Baby Love, p. 81; June 11, 2001, review of Phantom Waltz, p. 68; December 24, 2001, review of Sweet Nothings, p. 49; July 8, 2002, review of Always in My Heart, pp. 36-37; March 31, 2003, review of Only by Your Touch, p. 48; December 15, 2003, review of Blue Skies, p. 42.
Catherine Anderson Home Page,http://www.catherineanderson.com (June 2, 2003).
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (November 23, 1998), Jean Mason, review of Cherish.
Romantic Times Online,http://romantictimes.com/ (November 19, 2007), Kathe Robin, review of Summer Breeze.