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Creator / Catherine Anderson

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Catherine Anderson (born 22 December 1948) is a romance author, specializing in both the contemporary and historical categories. She's most known for the Kendrick/Coulter/Harrigan saga and the Comanche series, but has done many stand-alone stories as well.

Tropes associated with this author's works include:

  • Author Appeal: You can tell Catherine is a country girl at heart by her settings, her taste in romantic heroes and her focus on animals.
  • Author Filibuster: A more benign variant; when Catherine drags her plot to a screeching halt to Info Dump, it's usually about some form of animal care, and she most definitely does do the research. In fact, some of her novels give readers important but little-known information about dealing with dogs and horses — in Silver Thaw, she takes the time to point out that onions and garlic are toxic to dogs, which isn't common knowledge.
  • Blessed with Suck: Poor Loni McEwan in Morning Light. She's a clairvoyant whose powers are stronger than both her mother's and grandmother's, but all they've ever done is bring her heartache and make her feel isolated.
  • Blithe Spirit: Laura Townsend to the Crystal Falls veterinary clinic. She decorates for the holidays, brings in snacks for everyone and truly loves tending to the animals in the kennel. Isaiah constantly finds himself marveling at how much her very presence has made things brighter and warmer.
  • Break the Cutie: A lot of her heroines, but most notably Molly Sterling, Rebecca Morgan, Maggie Stanley and Rachel Hollister.
  • Cartwright Curse: A variation. In Perfect Timing, it's revealed that thanks to an old curse placed on the Harrigan family line by a jilted druid the first wife of every Harrigan male will die young from a blood-related mishap or sickness. It's dogged the family for generations and the only way to end it is for Quincy to marry Ceara O’Ceallaigh.
  • Child by Rape: Maggie Stanley's son, Jaimie in Baby Love, Meredith's daughter Sammy in Forever After, Annie's child in Annie's Song and Daphne O'Keefe in Lucky Penny. Eden Paxton is this for her mother Dory. Fortunately the children are loved in spite of the dark means of their conceptions.
  • Collateral Angst: Works both ways, too. If something bad happens or has happened to the heroine the hero will wail and gnash his teeth over it, while anything that happens to the hero and/or his family sends the heroine into a whirlwind of tears and self-blame.
  • Creepy-Crawly Torture: In Forever After, knowing his wife Meredith is an arachnophobe, Dan would punish her by putting spiders in her clothes and bedding, and would have them crawl over her skin while he raped her.
  • Cute Kitten: Several in Lucky Penny.
  • Damsel in Distress: Way too many of Catherine's heroines fall under this, but Rebecca Morgan in Cherish is the quintessential example.
  • Deconfirmed Bachelor: The majority of the heroes, just before the heroine crosses their path for the first time.
  • Distress Ball: Poor Sam Harrigan can hold her own in a fight, but during the climax of Sun Kissed, her Jerkass ex-husband corners her and despite her best efforts she still ends up needing to be rescued by Tucker.
  • Doctor's Orders: Dr. Marie Stevenson in Perfect Timing has no patience for anyone who gets between her and her patient, and makes that lack of patience abundantly clear. In the end, this saves Ceara's life, as well as her baby's.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: A lot of the heroines are pathological about proving how strong and independent they are after the trauma they've suffered, but most notably Laura and Bethany. Laura even refuses to take the kennel keeper job unless Isaiah is hiring her based on her qualifications.
  • Evil Redhead: Well, she's not exactly evil, but Always In My Heart's narrative makes it quite clear that Liz is not a nice person.
  • False Rape Accusation: When Chloe tries to report Bobby's assault of her, the higher-ups refuse to believe her because they think she's pulling this.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Mandy Pajeck gets Zach Harrigan's attention right quick when she manages to handle the violent stallion Tornado, which no one, not even Zach, a professional horse trainer, has been able to do. It turns out that Tornado was abused by his former owners, and takes to Mandy because he somehow senses that she went through the same thing.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Laura Townsend in My Sunshine, Ben Longtree in Only By Your Touch.
  • Gaslighting: Rodney does this to Molly in order to make her and everyone else think she's gone crazy.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Even if it's a rape pregnancy. Ben's ex-wife trying to abort his baby played a catalyst in his accidental murder of her lover.
  • Guilty Pleasure: Sure, all her novels are ridden with Mary Sues, Gary Stus, Undyingly Unrealistic Devotion And Love Everlasting and Unrealistically Perfect Sex, but if you take them as the fantastical escapism they are, they actually are quite charming.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me:
    • Molly spends 2/3 of her story unable to believe Jake could seriously find someone as "fat and ugly" as her attractive, it takes Their First Time to convince her.
    • Laura isn't as pathological about this as Molly, but Isaiah still has to spend some time convincing her that she is his ideal woman and her brain damage is not a problem for him.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: Tucker Grant gets into an argument with Ellie about this when she claims it's bullshit. Isaiah Coulter also falls victim to an erection from Belinda's unwanted advances in My Sunshine, which leads her to pull a False Rape Accusation on him when Val catches them. Luckily, Val doesn't buy it.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Laura Townsend in My Sunshine, and Bethany Coulter in Phantom Waltz. Averted with Luke Pajeck in Here to Stay until his character development.
  • Instant Birth: Just Add Labor!: Played for drama with poor Ceara and Quincy's daughter. Ceara doesn't just go into early labor, she delivers the baby in the truck on the way to the hospital. Thankfully, both manage to survive thanks to their shared magic.
  • It's All My Fault: Every member of the Grant family feels this about the death of oldest son Sammy in Always In My Heart. Molly and Laura also frequently apologize for things that weren't their fault, and Rebecca spends a good chunk of her story weeping and wailing about how all the tragic things surrounding her are because God hates her.
  • Karma Houdini: The ending of Only By Your Touch never explains whether Bobby Lee gets punished or not.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Subverted with Laura Townsend, who only appears this way because of her language difficulties, which impact her ability to do math and use complex words but otherwise have no effect on her intelligence. Isaiah points out rather sharply to his brother Tucker (also a veterinarian) that "she's probably smarter than you are!" when Tucker makes the (wrong) assumption that Laura won't understand enough about veterinary medicine to be married to a veterinarian. Given that Laura was, prior to her accident, an environmental scientist, Isaiah's point is doubly valid.
  • Lifetime Movie of the Week: Poor Molly, really. Ditto Rainie. David also seems to treat Brianna's story like this in Lucky Penny, much to Brianna's ire. Only By Your Touch reeks of this, right down to the stalker and the sickly child.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Luke and Mandy unknowingly treat each other this way for years until Zach Harrigan knocks some sense into both of them.
  • Love Martyr: Molly Sterling would do anything to please her slimy former husband, until she realized how dangerous he was.
  • Maybe Ever After: Here to Stay doesn't explicitly say whether Luke Pajeck and Laurie Patterson actually do get married — it only notes that they had been dating "hot and heavy" and that Frank Harrigan had reassured Mandy that just because they're young doesn't mean their relationship won't last. Given that this is an Anderson novel, however, the probability is quite heavily in favor of it working out.
  • Morning Sickness: Carly Coulter suffers an agonizing case of this in Blue Skies, and only brussel sprouts, sauerkraut and chocolate milk can soothe her.
  • Murderers Are Rapists: The Sebastian Gang in Early Dawn always gang rape a woman before they kill her, unless they plan to sell her.
  • No Accounting for Taste: How do these heroines end up married to such sleazeballs (or in the case of Seventh Heaven's Joe Lakota an abusive shrew) anyway?
  • One True Love: Parker Harrigan discusses this with Rainie, telling her that as far as Harrigan men are concerned, there's one woman for them and that's it.
  • Police Are Useless: Jack Pine's law enforcement in Only By Your Touch, big time. In Catherine's other books it often seems to be going this way at first when the heroines are unable or afraid to press charges due to their abusers being so powerful and influential, but they ultimately subvert it in the end.
  • Raised by Dudes: Samantha Harrigan, due to her mother's Death by Childbirth.
  • Rape as Drama: Way too much: Annie Trimble, Marilee Nelson, Moira O'Keefe, Caitlin O'Shannessy, and Maggie Stanley all suffer this. Eden Paxton only escapes this because the bandits want to sell her.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Tucker Coulter lives in a white cottage with a picket fence and elegant, feminine furnishings and if his brothers have a problem with it they can go fuck themselves. (Subverted in Sun Kissed when he realizes such dainty furnishings don't suit him as well as he thought, though).
  • Shown Their Work: Anderson goes to great lengths to get the details of things like veterinary medicine, horse training, and general horse care right.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Ellie and Tucker in Always In My Heart. Loni and Clint start out this way in Morning Light, and Natalie's own parents have this going on in Bright Eyes. But Brianna and David in Lucky Penny take the trophy for this one.
  • Surgeons Can Do Autopsies If They Want: As an ob-gyn, Dr. Stevenson has no business presiding over the care of a critically ill newborn — that's an entirely different specialty.note  But having her do both not only cuts down on the number of characters important to the plot, it lets her kick some serious medical ass. Because she kicks so much ass, nobody cares.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Eden Paxton was trained how to handle herself by her brothers. However, due to the society she was living in, she wasn't allowed to carry her guns on her. As a result, she gets kidnapped and is overpowered in a fight against her captors.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Mandy Pajeck in Here to Stay starts going to therapy to help her get over her fear of marriage. It's really rather refreshing to see a romance novel admit that The Power of Love can't cure everything, and sometimes professional help is the best answer. Also averted in Always In My Heart, when the Grant family finally realize they need to deal with the loss of oldest son Sammy in a better way than they have.
  • The 'Verse: Anderson's Kendrick/Coulter/Harrigan and "Mystic Creek" series are set in the same 'verse, as the protagonist of Silver Thaw, the first Mystic Creek novel, knows (and contacts) a Harrigan to help him out of a tight spot.
  • Weight Woe: Molly is constantly fretting about her figure and weight in Sweet Nothings. It doesn't help that her ex-husband constantly compared her to a cow. To Anderson's credit, this is solved not by weight loss, but by Molly actually accepting her body.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: Matthew Coulter. Ever since the rape and murder of his wife, he will not stand by and let anything bad happen to a woman.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Belinda tries to have sex with an uninterested Isaiah, but when they get caught by another vet at the clinic she claims he was trying to rape her. Luckily for Isaiah it doesn't work.