Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 9, 2021
Yet another beautiful and heartfelt love story from the Sutter Lake world. Catherine writes romantic suspense like no one else. The topics are intense, dark, and painful, but the love is devouring romantic, emotionally affecting, and so endearingly swoony. Beautifully Broken Redemption is just that- a story of two broken souls and their beautiful and poignant path to redemption, to healing, all because they learn to open their hearts. Catherine writes about the restorative power of love with such sincerity- you can’t help but be swept right off your feet.
Like so many Catherine stories, this one is the perfect nexus of suspense and mystery and a consuming romance. This story starts with a shocking betrayal, a life changing mistake, and is followed up with some heartbreaking tragedy. Not quite the happy beginning- but our characters are just so magnetic, you’re drawn straight into their story, into the lightness you see within them, despite all the pain surrounding their world. There is an instant chemistry between Mase and Anna, but Anna is holding back. But soon she finds herself unable to turn away from the love and support of her friends as her past comes back to haunt her- as she finds herself an unexpected guardian in quite a bit of a custody mess. Mase to the rescue- he swoops in with his charism and authenticity and proposes the perfect solution to help out the woman he’s charmed with- a marriage of convenience.
I just adored Anna. She’s very guarded, reluctant to show any vulnerability or to authentically connect with anyone, even her closest friends. But her reservations are relatable- she’s had such a painful past that has proven to her that trusting others is risky. I loved watching her character growth- and she learns to trust again, as she finds emotional safety in Mase. She’s so resilient and courageous - and she makes for such a a compelling heroine. And Mase is just a dreamboat. Like WOAH- swoon swoon swoon. He’s patient, selfless, supportive, and generous. Almost too good to be true- but he’s just a wonderful guy. But he too has a history marked by hurt.
Both characters have pasts laced with pain, loss, and trauma. But together they start to more openly confront their demons- in some cases, literally. Their chemistry is gentle, but powerful- they have a profound emotional intimacy that sings from every page. There is a tenderness in the way they connect-they so naturally fall into a partnership, a partnership that lifts each of them up and helps them find peace within themselves- and find hope and trust. Their love story is REALLY slow burn, and I did find myself getting a bit antsy at times for them to move a bit faster (this is by far the slowest burn CC I’ve read), but given the components of this story and Anna’s distrust, it makes sense for who they are. They are emotionally intimate long before they are physically- and that makes their love feel quite solid.
This story has a strong ensemble dynamic, and Sutter Lake favorites show up for our couple in big and important ways. It was nice not only to see them blossoming in their HEAs, but to see our couple grow and evolve as the result of their support and security. Catherine imagines a small town community in the best ways- a tight knit support network of well meaning and compassionate individuals that stand together when unimaginable things happen to them in the last place they expect- the safe haven that is their little town.
OF course, we have some mystery and big external drama, but our true journey is two folks overcoming their pasts, finding ways to carve a future for themselves that isn’t burdened or limited by the trauma and loss that has scarred their hearts. It’s hopeful and sweet- and such a touching journey from start to finish.