Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Recent Read

Yes!! The dam has been broken!!

Her Colorado Man by Cheryl St. John

Why this one: I've always loved her books and when I saw this out early, I just had to pick it up.

Steam Level: There's burning, there's hot and there is warm. This one would be warm, but I like them any way.

When eighteen-year-old Mariah found herself pregnant and unmarried in her small Colorado town, she disappeared. One year later, she returned with a baby--though minus the "husband" who had conveniently ventured off to Alaska's gold fields to seek his fortune....

But now, with handsome adventurer Wes Burrows turning up and claiming to be the husband she had invented, Mariah's lies become flesh and blood--and her wildest dreams a reality

My Thoughts: I haven't read a book by Cheryl St. John that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed and this book was no exception. If you read the previous post, you can see I was having a tough time figuring out what I was in the mood for and decided to see if I was in the mood for this book - and wonder of wonders - I was.

Ms. St. Johns books aren't big and splashy. They aren't filled with larger than life characters. There aren't strange worlds or people running for their lives.

But what there is in a Cheryl St. John book is a warmth and charm that is very appealing. There are tender, quiet moments and there is a poignancy in her stories that you don't find often enough. There are characters you can connect with and when you close the cover at the end, you often have a warm and fuzzy feeling and when you are looking for something to read, and can't seem to find anything else, this just hits the spot.

And Mariah and Wes are no exception. Mariah is a bit of a prickly character but that doesn't take away from her appeal. As a single mother, she is very protective of her son John James. She has a large and supportive family to help her but she is thrown for a loop when Wes Burrows shows up claiming to be her husband and the father of John James. But she knows this is impossible as there is no husband and the father is unknown (to us, the reader). You see, her grandfather fabricated a husband, using the name and mail box of a mysterious and most often absent Wes Burrows to cover the fact that Mariah was an unwed mother.

Wes Burrows lives in Alaska and while recuperating from an injury, found all the letters from a young boy claiming to be his son. Raised in a foundling home, Wes has never experienced the relationship between a father and son. He continued the correspondence with young John James and eventually, with nothing holding him in Alaska, decides he wants to meet and get to know his 'son'. Mariah is horrified that her lies are coming back to haunt her and thus is understandably prickly.

Wes, on the other hand is the kind of hero I adore. Never having known the love of family and he is captivated by Mariah and her large extended family. He is drawn to John James and we, the reader, are drawn to Wes.

It's a wonderful and heart warming/heart breaking story of two lonely people who are so right for each other if they can overcome their own insecurities, especially Mariah. If I could only use one word to describe a Cheryl St. John book it would be touching, emotional, moving - I know - that's three words isn't it? But it's true. Her Colorado Man is all of these.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5


orannia said...

Oh, this sounds like a lovely read Kristie. I like books that don't include stalkers or mysteries or mysterious people trying to kill the hero and/or heroine. I think I'll see if my library has this :)

Kristie (J) said...

Orannia: I don't think they would yet - it's a December release, but Walmart had it out early *g*. But hopefully they will soon.

Karen W. said...

I'm also a longtime Cheryl St. John fan, and I just picked up HER COLORADO MAN on Wednesday, so I'm happy to see the great review. :)

Wendy said...

I so did not read your review other than the rating :) I have it loaded on my Sony Reader. Now all I have to do is find my darn reading mojo!

Kristie (J) said...

Karen: There's something so special about her books. I think she a a guaranteed slump buster!!

Wendy: It took a couple of starts to get started on Her Colorado Man - but once I did, I couldn't put it down and my reading mojo was back.

Janet Webb said...

Love this particular plot -- thanks for the review!

~ames~ said...

I can kick myself for not picking this up at Wal-Mart now. I should have known better too! LOL

I think the baby threw me off. *g*

Wendy said...

Just finished this one and wrote a review for Sybil. I did not read your review at all when you first posted it - so it's interesting we both said some of the same things :)

I too like Cheryl's books because of the tenderness that runs through her romances. Also, I love that her characters behave like grown-ups. They're not prone to hysterics and over-the-top drama. They've made bad choices, decisions, but the conflict doesn't read like an ordeal that I have to slog through.

If that makes any sense whatsoever.

I liked this one, didn't love it, but liked it very much. My grade is a tinch lower than yours but still in the ballpark :)

Jill D. said...

Sounds good Kristie! Between you and Wendy, I'll be reading St. John soon.