Series: Mystic Creek #5
Published by Berkley Genres: Contemporary Romance, Cowboys
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Berkley
Buy on Amazon

As a camp cook, Vickie Brown loves feeding any size crowd in the great outdoors--with one notable exception. She never would have predicted she'd join the crew led by gruff cowboy Slade Wilder, the man who broke her heart just days before their wedding.

Life has gone on since Vickie left him, but Slade can admit his attraction to the one woman he's ever loved remains stronger than ever. If he wasn't in such desperate need of an experienced cook for his paying guests, he would send Vickie packing. He knows better than to seek out the company of the woman who broke off their engagement so many years ago.

Except there's no escaping each other in the confines of the wilderness area, especially once their anger begins to soften in the shared close quarters. But after Vickie finds the courage to confront Slade, it will take a leap of faith for them to put their past behind him, even if it's the only way to recapture their once-in-a-lifetime love.

Strawberry Hill
by Catherine Anderson


I don’t even know where to begin with. Rarely have I read a book that made me think of every cliche about romance and made me feel like I’m stuck in a long episode of The Bold and the Beautiful.

Let me start by mentioning how antiquated and wooden this author’s writing style is. The dialogues don’t feel natural, the characters use weird sayings and phrases every couple of pages. It’s like watching actors overacting.

 If nothing else, I’ll have a one-on-one talk with her and tell her how the cow ate the cabbage.

“Excuse me for a couple of minutes. I need to see a man about a dog.”

“I think it’s time to get people in town behind us and become a squeaky wheel

“I would have welcomed that boy with opened arms and slaughtered that fatted calf”

Who talks like that???


This book is about rancher Slade and the “love of his life” Vickie who never believed him when he told her he never cheated on her. The heroine chose to believe the woman who told her she had sex with her fiance. And when the hero said “I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH THAT WOMAN” I had a flashback to the 90s when Bill Clinton said these exact words.
The old hero and heroine keep on saying how well they know each other but I just couldn’t see it. Vickie didn’t believe a word Slade said. Why did she want to marry him if she knew him so well and could actually believe that the man would cheat on her? It was infuriating.

In between we get some petty revenge pranks, the worst being the hero faking a heart attack. Seriously? It felt more like two kids in the sandbox throwing dirt at one another. And they are supposed to be the mature ones.

This book is written in four different POVs, the other two being about the rancher’s deaf foreman and his niece. Unfortunately there seems to have been an error with the blurb because currently there are two up on Goodreads for this book, one of them being about those two. We are being teased with their blooming friendship but no HEA.

Alternative Blurb
Newcomer to the sheriff’s department Erin De Laney knows next to nothing about wilderness patrols, but she’s also never been one to back down from a challenge. So when a rude and stubborn cowboy takes her by surprise on her first day patrolling the mountain trails as a part-time ranger, she lets him have it.

Wyatt Fitzgerald doesn’t consider his deafness a disability and he doesn’t want special consideration from anyone–least of all, a spoiled city girl like Erin. He prides himself on his ability to read lips and when she confronts him, Wyatt sees no reason to volunteer to her that he’s deaf.

But there’s no escaping each other in the small Oregon town, especially once Erin seeks him out to make amends. Wyatt gave up on dating long ago, but the written correspondence he and Erin begin to share speak to him like nothing else ever has. Out of their tentative truce blossoms a chance for a once-in-a-lifetime love if he’s willing to give her his heart and make her his.

My guess is that it’s the synopsis for the next book. This is the correct blurb.

Then there are the really stupid lines which I couldn’t help but laugh at, and I don’t mean that in a haha-it’s-so-funny way. It was downright ridiculous.

He’s your son, and if you try to deny that any longer, I’ll steal some of your DNA to prove it.”

The characters weren’t exactly likable and Vickie was the worst of the bunch. Ignorant, aggressive, childish, annoying and self-righteous. She kept insisting how Slade was a bastard for not acknowledging his son although he said numerous times that HE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT HIM. It was the same thing she did to him not believing that he hadn’t cheated on her. And the ending? Oh, right, you didn’t cheat, sorry, all good, you gonna marry me now or what?

This is one of the weirdest and worst books I’ve read in recent years (and those who know me know that I don’t say something like this lightly) and I didn’t even mention everything that was bothering me – it was almost 500 pages of inane prose and I have no idea why I didn’t DNF. I don’t care enough to continue with the deaf guy and his love interest. Unfortunately this author did nothing to encourage me to read another book by her.


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  • Damn Astrid! This is so sad … Somtimes cliche can work just fine depending on the author’s writing but I can see that was so not the case here!

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