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Star Bright (Kendrick-Coulter-Harringan Series #9)

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Overview

Faking her own death to escape her murderous husband, Rainie Hall takes refuge in the rural community of Crystal Falls, where she finds work as a bookkeeper on a horse ranch run by dangerously good-looking Parker Harrigan. But as their initial attraction blossoms, Rainie fears she can never escape retribution from the man who has sworn to kill her— and that her mere presence could jeopardize everything the Harrigan family holds dear.

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Star Bright (Kendrick-Coulter-Harringan Series #9)

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Overview

Faking her own death to escape her murderous husband, Rainie Hall takes refuge in the rural community of Crystal Falls, where she finds work as a bookkeeper on a horse ranch run by dangerously good-looking Parker Harrigan. But as their initial attraction blossoms, Rainie fears she can never escape retribution from the man who has sworn to kill her— and that her mere presence could jeopardize everything the Harrigan family holds dear.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

With her powerful, abusive husband planning her murder, Rainie Hall Danning has no choice but to run. "Disappearing" from a cruise ship, she becomes Anna Pritchard, flees Seattle, and finds work at Parker Harrigan's horse ranch in rural Oregon. Parker soon senses that something is wrong with his wary, man-shy bookkeeper. As he learns the truth, he makes it a priority to help the woman he has come to love regain the power and self-confidence that had been stripped away. But clever, psychotic Peter Danning is hot on his wife's trail-and while Rainie may be safe for now, she won't be for long. A damaged but ultimately resilient heroine, a strong, intuitively caring hero, and an intensely loyal, rowdy family who protect their own quickly draw readers into this tense, well-crafted, riveting tale that keeps the suspense on target. Anderson's novels often address serious issues, including women escaping abusive situations. A powerfully compelling story of survival, healing, and hope, this is the third in the Harrigan family stories and one of the author's best to date. Anderson (Morning Light), who lives in rural Oregon, is noted for her sensitive, insightful, family-centered romances.


—Kristin Ramsdell
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451225719
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/6/2009
  • Series: Kendrick-Coulter-Harringan Series , #9
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 322,814
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine Anderson lives in the Oregon mountains with her husband and her Rottweilers, Sam and Sassy, who seem convinced that they are teacup poodles and that obedience training is for people. Catherine spends leisure time with her family and friends, including her sons and daughter-in-law, often discussing intriguing story twists for her books. Such talks can draw curious stares if they happen to take place in a restaurant and involve plotting the demise of a fictitious villain.

An award-winning author of twenty published works, Catherine is currently working on her next full-length romance for Onyx.

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Read an Excerpt

Parker was pissed. He seldom lied to anyone, and he expected the same courtesy in return. He tried to calm down as he headed for the stable, but it was an effort in futility. He'd trusted her. When he remembered their conversation the day before yesterday, humiliation seared his cheeks. She'd made him look stupid. Correction, he'd made himself look stupid by allowing himself to be taken in by those innocent hazel eyes.

Anna was standing at a file cabinet, hands full of papers, when he burst into the office. He made a conscious effort not to slam the door closed behind him.

"We need to talk," he bit out.

Her face drained of color. "About?"

"Sit down."

She put the papers on top of the cabinet and went to sit in her chair. Today she wore a fake suede skirt that had seen better times and a sleeveless blouse with one button that didn't quite match the rest. As Parker advanced on her, he noticed that her face grew paler by the second and that the cherry surface of her work area gleamed with fresh polish.

"I don't appreciate being lied to," he said evenly.

Agitated and needing something to do with his hands, he reached for the granite paperweight on the blotter. At his movement, she flinched and jerked up her right arm to shield her face, clearly convinced he meant to strike her. Whoa. Parker was angry. He'd be the first to admit that. But he'd never hit a woman in his life, not even his little sister when they'd fought as kids.

Fingertips still resting on the paperweight, Parker studied his frightened bookkeeper with mounting bewilderment. She had a small scar on her left cheek. It still bore the pinkness of a recent wound. Now that he examined it more closely, a very unpleasant possibility sprang to his mind.

In his younger years, he had occasionally gotten into honky-tonk brawls, and he'd seen his share of cheeks laid open by the force of a man's fist. Had some jerk struck her? The question no sooner entered Parker's mind than he knew the answer. Everything about her suddenly added up—her fear of him, the countless lies on her job application, the way she shrank from his most casual touch. She had recently been involved in an abusive relationship. He saw it in her eyes—a trapped, wary look that made his heart catch. Now she was on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of the bastard who'd roughed her up. If he was wrong, he'd eat his hat for supper and his boots for dessert.

This added a totally new wrinkle. He couldn't very well blame a woman for lying to him about her references if she was trying to escape an abusive bully.

The anger that had made him see red a moment ago eased from Parker's body. Turning, he rested his hips against the edge of his desk and blocked her escape with his outstretched legs, angling them across the center aisle between the two workstations. He folded his arms loosely over his chest, hoping his relaxed posture might reassure her a little.

"You never attended Pepperdine University or Seaver College," he said without preamble. "The places of employment you listed don't even exist."

She pushed up from the chair. Parker was surprised that she could stand. Her legs were shaking like aspen leaves in a brisk breeze. She went to the file cabinet to collect her purse and then turned toward him, holding the bag to her midriff as if it were a shield. Without a word, she tried to step over his crossed boots. No way was Parker going to let her leave, not until he had some answers. He thrust out a hand to grasp her arm.

"Oh, no, you don't. I hired you in good faith. I offered you an extremely attractive employment package. The very least you owe me is some sort of explanation."

He could feel her arm muscles quivering under the press of his fingertips. He knew she was terrified. Yet still she said nothing.

"Well," he said softly, "if you've got no explanations to offer, let me venture a couple of guesses. I think some asshole beat the ever-lovin' hell out of you, and not that long ago, judgin' by that scar on your cheek." Her body jerked as if he'd slapped her. "My second guess is that your name isn't really Anna Pritchard. How am I doin' so far?"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(47)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    tense romantic suspense

    Knowing how lethally dangerous her affluent influential husband Peter Danning is as he has killed two previous wives and not desiring to be next when he finally goes over the edge with her, Lorraina Ann with help from her friend Janet arranges for her death on a ship at sea to fool him when he searches for her. Rainie Ann no longer exists as Anna Pritchard is born. Besides altering her appearance, Anna plans to disappear to isolated tiny Crystal Falls, Oregon.<BR/>---<BR/>In the small town, Anna obtains work as a bookkeeper at Parker Harrigan's horse ranch. However, Parker believes his new employee is not just hiding secrets, but concealing her identity for whatever reason. As their attraction grows, Anna fears it because she knows all she can give to her beloved employer and his extended family is death if her psychopathic spouse finds her in Crystal Falls.<BR/>---<BR/>The third of the five Harrigan siblings romantic suspense tales (see MORNING LIGHT and SUN KISSED) is an exhilarating tale that refreshes the theme of a woman in peril from her insane but connected husband (think of Roberts-Bergen in Sleeping with the Enemy). The story line is fast-paced from the moment Rainie Ann no longer exists and Anna Pritchard with her Elvira wig does. Fans will enjoy the latest Harrigan saga as the besieged brave woman and the readers know the maniacal predator is coming for her.<BR/>---<BR/>Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    another winner

    I love Catherine Anderson's Kendrick/Coutler/Harrigan series, and this was another winner! I couldn't put the book down, I loved reading about Rainie and Parker and their interactions. It is a very touching book, I felt Rainie's terror of her ex-husband and felt happy with how she was welcomed into the Harrigan family.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2009

    Same old, same old

    This book followed the same pattern as all of her other books. She has done the spousal abuse/deranged busband thing at least twice before. This story is not original; only the names have changed. I think this will be my last CA book. I am tired of investing in the same story retold with a new title.

    Additionally, making her vet character against spaying/neutering was wrong on so many levels I can't even get into it without seeing red.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    This was a really good story

    I checked out this book because I thought it looked like a good read, and I was right. I read this in a matter of days...could not put it down. I like how Parker not only offered to protect Rainie, but he also gave her self-confidence and made it his goal to help her learn how to defend herself. The romance was slow to start, which was actually a good thing considering what Rainie had gone through, and Parker was great at being so patient with her, but once it got started, things heated up pretty quickly. (steamy, even) The ending, of course I won't spoil it, but it had me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. My only complaint? The way Parker talked annoyed me after a while, but he's such a sweet guy so I'll forgive him! Great book, check it out :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    Abused Wife Flees

    I love Catherine Anderson's novels. The characters are believable, down-to-earth people. Each novel Ms. Anderson writes, involves real life problems. The twists are great. In Star Bright, I enjoyed the courageous, family-centered characters. It took a lot of daring for Rainie to leave her abusive husband, and start her life again. I'm glad Rainie found love again with the protagonist, Parker. The novel left me with a warm feeling, and I slept like a baby. Keep writing, Catherine Anderson, and I'll keep reading!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another winner

    Love it. Horses and a sexy cowboy. Its also my favorite theme of abused woman seeking solitude and then meets the man that can heal her past. A keeper.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I loved this book, just like all the other Catherine Anderson books. It does not dissappoint.

    I love the gorgeous hero cowboy who saves the girl. Parker is so into Rainie, and will do anything to help her. I love that Catherine Anderson books make you feel warm and good inside, the books are so good you don't want to put them down. This is no different. I really enjoyed this book, it is a great get away.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Book review

    I enjoyed the book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Harrigan/Coulter family Classic

    If you loved Catherine Anderson's other Coulter, Kendrick and Harrigan family books then you will love this installment. This time it's Parker Harrigan's turn to find love.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Before the first chapter is over, you are in love with the characters.

    When I want to read a book that will leave me feeling warm and good all over, I pick up something from Catherine Anderson. I fell in love with her writing when I read the Harrigan and Coulter family series of books. She makes you want to live where they live and know them personally. This book did not disappoint, romance, suspense, and touching characters hooked me immediately. I finished it with a smile on my face - which is what I want in the books I read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    catherine anderson at her best

    loved it, loved it, loved it!! Couldn't put it down, of course!! It is a catherine anderson, enough said!! I felt for the heroine and hero both. I was literally sitting forward reading this story. I didn't even read the back cover to look at the story because it was going to be mine no matter what and I am never disappointed with her.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    I loved it!

    If you like Anderson¿s novels you will definitely enjoy this book. The main character is a fighter and a survivor. She makes a good main character as she moves her way through getting over the abuse that she received by her husband both physically and emotionally. Her struggle to get away from him and learn how to trust her heart keeps you drawn in with the story telling of this great author. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Welcome back Catherine Anderson!

    After CA's last book, I was left a little deflated but Parker and Rainie's addition to the Harrigan Family put her back at the top of my must haves list. The sweetness of the developing romance was sprinkled with a thrilling drama and made for a great read. I read it in one day. I recommend this one for anyone looking for the book that blends great characters with great story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Star Light, Star Bright...Wishes do come true!

    Romance is the main theme in this book, but the suspense puts some action on the page. The characters have a great chemistry and are well thought out.<BR/><BR/>This is a must read for anyone who loves a true romance novel. <BR/><BR/>Rainie marries the man of her dreams just to discover he is really a nightmare. And a murderer. She fakes her death and changes her looks to escape him. Her new boss suspects something is up with her, but he is careful and not pushy. His strength and support help Rainie to overcome her fears and a romance begins.<BR/>But, her ex husband discovers she is still alive and comes for her!<BR/><BR/>It was snowing outside when I read this. I was all cuddled up in a fluffly throw blanket near the fireplace. It was so easy to tune out the business of my life and take a little time for myself. I highly recommend the book...and the experience!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    Wonderful book

    I loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Jak

    Night falls asleep with jer in his arms

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Warriors Den

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2011

    AMAZING as usual

    This book is just another one of Catherine Anderson's many WONDERFUL books! I always get so into her books and can never put them down, this one was no exception. The detail of characters and setting and series of events pulls you right in and you can almost see what she is writing. Another GREAT read by Catherine Anderson.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Oh. My. God.

    I love this book. For someone who usually loves the traditional he-man characters I was surprised to love this book as much as I do. It was adorable. I can't count the number of times I almost cried. Parker is the sweetest most fantastic man EVER. He and Rainie's story made me utter more girly sounds than I care to admit. I realize Catherine Anderson's plotlines get EXTREMELY repetitive but I think it was worth the read.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    To Trust And To Love

    Rainie Hall was desperate! If she didn't escape her abusive husband, Peter Danning, she was certain he would kill her, perhaps in the same way that he murdered his other two wives. Rainie's friends help her and she flees to the small town of Crystal Falls, Oregon, a place where she hopes Peter will never find her.

    With her borrowed funds rapidly dwindling, Rainie takes a job on a horse ranch run by handsome Parker Harrigan. Harrigan hires her as his accountant, but Rainie's skittishness puzzles him. She seems to be terrified of her own shadow and men frighten her for some reason. Parker does a background check and quickly realizes most of what is on Rainie's job application is a lie, a fable meant to deceive him into hiring her.

    Parker is angry and upset with himself for trusting her. He was really beginning to like Rainie and eagerly looked forward to their impromptu discussions. When the truth comes out, however, Parker realizes Rainie is a woman on the run, someone desperately in need of a champion. Chivalrous Parker Harrigan would never turn from a woman in trouble.

    Parker and Rainie contact the authorities, who stage an elaborate plan to use Rainie as bait to trap Peter Danning. The FBI has the serial killers' monikers and present a web of entrapment to fit the profile. Unfortunately, Peter is a serial killer with a twist - a twist that may very well spell the end of both Rainie and Parker. Will Peter succeed in cornering Rainie despite the FBI's precautions or will Rainie somehow find the strength to fight for her own life and for a love she cannot deny?

    Anyone who has been involved in or has witnessed an abusive relationship will identify with the characters in this book. Catherine Anderson has captured the incredible amount of damage that can be done to those victimized by their abusers. The toll goes well beyond the broken bones and bruises and into the psyche itself. Normalcy is twisted into some dull aberration, trust disappears and concept of self is beaten down relentlessly until only a glimmer of the former individual glows in the farthest reaches of the mind. I applaud Ms. Anderson's portrayal of the slow, gradual healing process as well and the incredible restraint and love that must be shown by those who seek to bring the victims back into the light.

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