Summer Breeze

Summer Breeze

by Catherine Anderson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451217103
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/03/2006
Series: Coulter Historical Series
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 527,180
Product dimensions: 6.76(w) x 4.06(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

Catherine Anderson is the author of more than thirty New York Times bestselling and award-winning historical and contemporary romances including the Harrigan Family series, the Coulter Family series, the Comanche series, and the Mystic Creek series. She lives in the pristine woodlands of Central Oregon.

Read an Excerpt

Sitting in her mother's rocker, Rachel Hollister stared into the fire that burned cheerfully in the rock fireplace. When she wasn't reading, cooking, or doing needlework, which was seldom, she enjoyed letting her thoughts carry her into the past. It made her feel less lonely, somehow. Tonight she felt in the mood for a long walk in the sunlight with her wonderful dog, Denver. Her lips curved in a soft smile as she recalled the rolling green pastures, crisscrossed with fences, and the way the tall grass had always caught at her skirt, making her wish her pa would let her wear britches more often. But, no. Pa had been nothing if not a stickler on decorum. Just because they lived on a ranch didn't mean his daughter should dress like a boy. As her dream reality took on detail and substance, a delicious languor settled over Rachel's body. In her mind's eye, she breathed deeply to savor the smells of alfalfa and freshly cut hay. Sunlight bathed her face, and she let her head fall back to fully enjoy its gentle warmth. The rest of the afternoon was hers to do with as she wished. All her chores were done, and she didn't have to go home until almost dark. Denver barked insistently at her, wanting to play. Up ahead, she saw a lone tree where she might find a stick to throw. Laughing and calling to the dog, she broke into a run. Denver loped beside her, yellow ears flopping, tongue lolling. Oh, how glorious it was to run again-to feel her long hair coming loose from its pins and the breeze touching her cheeks. When Rachel reached the tree, she cast about, looking for a fallen branch. Beside himself with excitement, Denver jumped up and down, barking with eagerness. When Rachel finally found a stick, she drew back her arm and threw it with all her might. The dog raced after the projectile and soon returned with it clamped between his teeth, his expressive brown eyes dancing with pleasure. Laughing, Rachel wrested the branch away from him and sent it flying again. And so it went until both she and the dog were exhausted. Rachel stretched out on her back under the tree to stare up through the network of limbs at the powder blue sky and the clouds drifting by. With a huff, Denver flopped down beside her and settled his head on her shoulder. If Rachel concentrated, really concentrated, she could almost feel the dog's panting breaths stir her hair and catch the doggy scent of his soft fur. Denver, oh, Denver. How dreadfully she missed him. The thought jerked Rachel back to the present, and her lovely dream world vanished like a tendril of smoke. With a huge ache of loss in her chest, she pushed up from the chair and took a restless turn around the large ranch kitchen. No sunlight ever penetrated the double layer of boards over the windows, and it had been nearly five years since the door had been opened. Darby, the elderly ranch foreman and the closest thing to family that she had left, had modified the kitchen so her every need was met. She had running hot and cold water, a flushing commode, and a brand new washing machine. On a weekly basis, he went into town and bought supplies as well. She wanted for nothing, and yet this evening she found herself filled with yearning, anyway-for all the things Darby couldn't possibly give her. Foolish, so foolish. She had all that she needed. How ungrateful of her to long for more. Heavy of heart, Rachel paused at the back door. Flattening her palm against the thick planks, she felt the coldness from outdoors seeping through the planks. Just there, she thought, beyond the wooden barrier, is the world I once knew. It was so very close, only a few inches away, but it may as well have been a million miles. She had given up on ever being able to open the door and step out onto the porch again. It was such a small thing, something other people did every day and took for granted, but for her, the simple act of opening the door had become all but impossible. Doc Holliday claimed there was still hope, that people with her condition sometimes recovered. But Rachel no longer believed him. Maybe other people got well, but it would never happen for her. This kitchen had been her prison for five endless years, and she'd come to accept that she would live out her days cut off from the world. Resting her forehead against the oak, Rachel thought of all the wonderful stories on her bookshelves about beautiful damsels in distress who were rescued by dashing heroes. Sadly, she had no hope that a handsome prince might come to call. That only happened in fairy tales. Determined to shake off her low spirits, Rachel spun from the door and walked determinedly to the water closet. A nice, hot bath sounded lovely. Afterward, she would make chocolate drops and eat them until her seams popped. Why worry about getting fat? No one ever saw her, anyway. And she wasn't sure if anyone ever would again.

Table of Contents

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Summer Breeze 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1889 seventy years old Darby McIntosh rides to Joseph Paxton¿s ranch with a bullet in his back. He asks Joseph to watch over his beloved Rachel Marie Hollister, who is all alone with the person who murdered her family a few years ago coming for her. After stopping the blood flow, Joseph gets the doctor and his brother David the sheriff to see the critically wounded ranch foreman. --- Joseph and David head to Rachel¿s ranch where they find her home totally barricaded. She refuses to talk to them. Joseph breaks through a wooden barred window, but she fires her shotgun at him. His dog Buddy follows him and he pleads with her not to shoot his canine. He assumes she is nuts, but lies down in the hallway anyway as he promised. The next morning Joseph joins David to interrogate the nasty Pritchard family and Rachel¿s Aunt Amanda. Joseph detests the Pritchards and assumes they are the killers. As he stays with Rachel, she begins to trust him. To his shock he falls in love especially after she kills him at poker, but first he must find a way to allow her to feel safe when he is not there. --- This historical romance is fully driven by a strong cast especially the intriguing lead female and the man who has come to love and understand her. Fans will hope they find a way to be together although Joseph¿s constant denial of not marrying can become irritating. Still that is minor in retrospect as the audience will enjoy this deep nineteenth century drama starring a battle fatigue trauma victim and the wise hero who learns that she is the woman who has opened the world for him not visa versa. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful and romantic story! It never gets old. This is my second time reading this family's story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will be posted soon
mom2lnb on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Summer Breeze was a pleasant read, but the first 2/3 of the book was rather slow and at times, mundane. In my opinion, this was due in part to story limitations because of Rachel's agoraphobia. She interacted with few characters other than Joseph, and all those interactions were limited to her safe, barricaded room. Hence, most of this part of the story felt like little more than an average frontier couple going through their daily routine. Around the time that Joseph and Rachel got married, things picked up a bit, but I have to admit that the sensuality was extremely mild throughout the entire book with nothing even resembling passion occurring until about 2/3 of the way in. This would not have bothered me except that I wasn't feeling a strong connection between the two protagonists already. One might think that having two characters spending the majority of their time together day and night would lead to some really deep and expressive emotions, but for me, it did not. I think part of this was the previously cited limited scope of their interactions, part was Joseph stubbornly holding Rachel at arms length because he simply didn't think he wanted to marry anyone, and part was Rachel's inexperience with men. The latter in particular made it difficult for me to completely buy into the strong, abiding and passionate love they supposedly shared. Rachel had lived like a hermit, seeing no one at all except for her elderly ranch foreman for five years, and then she falls in love with the first handsome young man who comes into her world. It would certainly be understandable for Rachel to develop an affection for her protector, but since she hadn't ever had a romantic relationship or even kissed a man before closing herself off from the world, I had a hard time finding her certain knowledge of Joseph being ¿the one¿ entirely believable. Also, all the folksy colloquialisms, many of which I had never even heard of, were overused to the point that they became a bit annoying to me, and there were other phrases that seemed a bit anachronistic. Additionally, there was a scene where Ace expounds on the true meaning of a long happy marriage as though he's been down that road when in reality, he's still a virtual newlywed himself, which seemed a little out of place to me. For me, the best part was the strong, suspenseful ending and a sweet epilogue. The mystery aspect of this story was good, and kept me guessing all the way to the reveal of a surprise villain, although I would say that Joseph's retelling of the whole story to Rachel in the second-to-last chapter was a little dull and redundant. Also, Joseph's love letter to Rachel in his waning years was very romantic. Overall, this was just a light, easy read.While Joseph and Rachel were both certainly likable, I can't say that they really stood out as memorable to me. In my opinion, Catherine Anderson has a talent for writing heroes with more beta-like characteristics, but her alphas thus far have fallen rather flat for me. Joseph was definitely an alpha who could be very stubborn and even a bit prickly at times. He denied his feelings for Rachel for a large part of the story, constantly saying that he liked his freedom and had no intentions of marrying, but then rather suddenly proposed, which was another reason that the relationship was a little hard for me to believe. Joseph was very physically attracted to Rachel, but so adamant about not making love to her until they were married, that it almost made his proposal seem like an excuse for sex, even though I know that wasn't the author's intention. Also Joseph was a very plain-spoken man who always said what was on his mind, which for some readers may be endearing, but didn't really do anything for me. Overall, Joseph was a good and admirable man, just not really my favorite kind of hero. I suppose that the agoraphobia made Rachel a very unique and somewhat memorable character, but other than that one aspect of her life, she jus
ssic27 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This one of my favorite books by Catherine Anderson. I loved the chemistry between Joseph and Rachel. The back story of her childhood and the reason why she is a "hermit" was well done. My favorite part of the book was at the end - the letter from Joseph to Rachel. Highly recommended.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Really keeps you interested! Wonderful!
Darla on LibraryThing 6 months ago
A prequel to her contemporary Coulter family stories, and very much in the same style. This time the heroine is agoraphobic. As usual, she presents the disabled character with realism and affection. Rachel has been barricaded inside her kitchen for 5 years, since barely surviving the massacre of her family, aided only by her laconic ranch hand Darby. When Darby is shot in the back and suspects the killer has returned, he enlists Joseph, a neighboring rancher, to watch over Rachel. The townspeople are a little too sweet and everyone's just a little too understanding of her need for walls and security, particularly in a time when psychology was not common knowledge.
Anonymous 6 months ago
This book delivered just like all yours have since I discovered you. Please don't ever stop writing!
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I read this book a long time ago, but it still resounds in and is one of my favorites to this day.
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This was the first book I read by this author (my aunt gave me the book) and I have read almost this whole series. I really want to get my hands on Keegans lady but it is not offered on the nook? SAD REALLY...great series so far. I really like following the family tree in the book.
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