Monday, 28 March 2016

Fear of Falling by Catherine Lanigan - Book Review

Fear of Falling
Shores of Indian Lake, Book 5
By:  Catherine Lanigan
Published:  March 1, 2016 Harlequin
Genre:  Heartwarming Romance Series
Pages:  368 Paperback
Source:  via Bostick Communications/
Author’s Publicist

Was Olivia hearing this right? The one man in Indian Lake she'd found truly intriguing since, well, forever—the hopelessly handsome heir to the region's most successful farming operation, Rafe Barzonni—was involved in horse racing? That made him, and her sudden attraction, downright dangerous. He wasn't just out of her league. He was a gambler. Like her father.

With the shame of her father's racetrack betting addiction still haunting her, Olivia can't be part of that world. Rafe's world. She can't trust him, or his magnetism. But there's something deep in his incredible blue eyes that keeps drawing her closer.
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A Harlequin is a bit of a departure for the reviews I do on my blog but I had the opportunity recently to read the next book in Catherine Lanigan’s Shores of Indian Lake series. These are part of Harlequin’s Heartwarming imprint (clean romances with strong family and community values).

I’ve read some Harlequin books in the past but wanted to read a new title from this company that’s been around since 1949! Catherine Lanigan is a best-selling romance author with nearly 40 books published so I’m grateful to receive a Harlequin from a long-time pro!

Olivia is a caterer whose father’s bad horse betting habit traumatized her childhood. Now she’s really attracted to Rafe, the owner, breeder, and to-be racer of a Thoroughbred horse (Rowan), her very antithesis. Rafe is dealing with intense family grief so both characters are coping with difficult emotional stuff at the outset.

All the characters are very intertwined in each other’s lives as Indian Lake is a small community. It’s nice to feel the closeness and supportiveness of the entire community though in reality I’m not sure this would pan out so well. The author brings us through the emotional issues step by step and develops Olivia’s and Rafe’s relationship gradually and naturally, interlaced with local life. Love the food!

The writing style is largely expository or telling (vs showing) with lots of past tense “had” done somethings, and “__ed’s”. In one way it’s great to get all the story fill in, but I prefer more dynamic writing styles where the story fill in comes through an event or dialogue, or even told in first person as many NA/YA books now do. And Olivia is a bit of a wonder as despite her childhood trauma, she rows, is a photographer, ultimately a good tennis player, and helps her mom run a deli (feeling very under-achiever-ish here!).

That said, there are lots of good feels, and a unique story line, all well hashed out. Ultimately, both Olivia and Rafe consciously decide what they want most in their lives.

If you enjoy reading sweet romances, I highly recommend Fear of Falling. Me, I’m in love with the fabulous Rowan… Solid 4.0 Stars!

My thanks to the author’s publicist and Bostick Communications for a free copy for the purposes of an unbiased review. You will find Catherine Lanigan on the internet at these links:

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