Title: Mulberry Moon
After a career on the rodeo circuit, Ben Sterling longs to settle down on his farm and start a family like his brothers. He’s searched all over for the woman of his dreams. Yet the only one to spark his interest is the new owner of the local café. Getting her attention, however, won’t be easy.
Sissy Sue Bentley has worked hard to make it on her own, and she doesn’t need another man in her life. From her alcoholic father to the men she’s dated, who were after only one thing, they are nothing but trouble. Except Ben keeps showing up whenever she really needs help. Sissy struggles to deny her growing feelings for him—but soon Ben’s tender concern has her hoping for a happier future. Then her past comes barreling back into her life, and it will take more than the love in Ben’s heart to hold them together.
Author: Catherine Anderson
Series: Mystic Creek #3
Published by Jove Source: Publisher
Published: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page
The opening scene from Mulberry Moon is the funny and unique and drew me in immediately.
Ben reluctantly comes to Sissy’s assistance because even though she’s been very unwelcoming to him he’s too nice a guy not to help. He offers to build a much better chicken coop which gives him a chance to spend time with Sissy who he’s wanted to get to know since she first came to town.
Ben is the most persistent and patient man ever. He’s been lucky enough to have grown up in a solid, happy family and to have had enough career success to buy his own ranch. He’s considerate, romantic, kind and a strong man. At a fairly young age, he’s got everything he wants in life except a family of his own. He thinks Sissy might be the one to be his life partner.
Sissy’s life has been the opposite. She’s been treated horribly by her own parents, has never known true love and support and was preyed upon by more than one man. All this has caused her to build huge, fortified walls around herself. She trusts no one, especially men who show interest in her. She’s incredibly lucky to have inherited a café from an aunt she’d never met and start a new life. She, however, has no interest in meeting that perfect someone.
It is refreshing that instead of falling in love immediately these two spend a very long time getting to know each other. Through a series of problems from almost comical to slightly sad to petty crime and outright life threatening, Ben is there for Sissy. He doesn’t get discouraged that she won’t let him in and instead his feelings continue to grow the more time he spends with her. He’s her rock and partner in crime before she’s even accepted him as such.
Though the book is very well written and moved at a good pace, I personally didn’t have Ben’s patience with Sissy. I kept thinking only a fictional man would be as kind, calm and patient dealing with her. Most would have walked away after giving so much and being shut out.
Ben’s patience pays off and Sissy finally realizes she can trust him and is falling for him. Just as Sissy is getting comfortable enough to pursue a physical relationship, she breaks her leg and the two spend a couple of weeks exploring their attraction without actually sleeping together. The sexual tension really builds until she’s healed enough to finally make love with Ben.
Even after she realizes how deeply she loves Ben, Sissy still tries to push him away “to protect him”. Ben may be patient but he’s not a pushover and he takes a strong stand forcing Sissy to wake up and finally commit completely.
Mulberry Moon is full of interesting and unique situations, colorful characters, intense suspense and heartwarming people. Sissy not only gets the guy, she gets an extended family and an entire community and becomes the woman who can lovingly embrace them. Anderson spends so much time developing Ben and Sissy’s relationship that there’s no question they’ll have a fabulous, long life together. I laughed, I cried, I was on the edge of my seat and I cheered.