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

While her work is generally well-received among fans of the genre, others are quick to point out that her plotlines and characters aren't very original, Mrs. Giggles especially.
Tropes associated with the author's work include:
  • Abusive Parents: Used almost gratuitously as a means of setting up a heroine's trauma. If she wasn't abused by her own parents, her no-good husband beat up on her kids before she kicked him out of her life. Notable examples include:
    • Mandy Pajeck's father in Here to Stay was an abusive alcoholic who forced Mandy to do all the chores after her mother left. Except she didn't really leave, she was murdered by her husband. Who then built a fancy patio over where he buried her remains.
    • Joe Lakota's ex-wife Valerie in Seventh Heaven used to lock their son Zachary in closets while she had wild, drug-filled parties in their home-and the boy still knew what was going on from the sounds and the debris left over after. When Joe divorces her and takes Zachary back to his home town, Valerie shows up demanding custody despite not having changed a bit.
    • Annie Trimble's parents in Annie's Song take the cake on this one, however. When Annie was a child, a high fever left her deaf, but they mistook it for mental retardation. Ashamed of their "crazy" daughter and the possibility of her public existence ruining James Trimble's political career, they locked her up in the house, hit her every time she tried to speak, and forced her to dress in rags while giving her older sisters all manner of luxuries and showing them off. When Annie is raped, they trick her into marrying the hero Alex Montgomery in a shitty excuse for a ceremony and give him a long list of things she's not allowed to do-and a switch to hit her with if she "misbehaves"! When Alex realizes Annie is not retarded and the gravity of what her parents have been doing to her really sets in, he storms their house and gives them hell, loudly declaring his intentions to never let Annie return to them. Thankfully, Annie's mother Edie realizes her mistakes when the family doctor tells her an examination concluded that Annie was only deaf, not retarded.
    • Nancy Hoffman's father in Walking on Air is probably worse. Not only did he engage Nancy to an abusive bastard, but he instructed the man to rape and impregnate her so he could have a grandson. Then sat cozily in his parlor sipping wine and listening contentedly while his daughter was assaulted. Nancy managed to escape both the rapist and her father, and had to spend years pretending her little sister was her daughter so she could take care of her and no one would try to find her father to take them home. It's no wonder she's a textbook man hater who refuses to give the hero a chance until halfway through the story.
  • Angst Coma:
    • Rebecca Morgan collapses into one that nearly kills her in Cherish, after coming face to face with the remainder of the outlaws who killed her family.
    • Franny Graham goes into one while pregnant in Comanche Magic after her younger brother discovers her secret double life as a prostitute and slut shames her six ways from Sunday.
  • Author Appeal: Catherine loves animals and the wilderness, which are featured heavily in every one of her stories.
  • Babies Ever After:
    • Annie's Song: The heroine gives birth to a child by rape late in the story, but later becomes pregnant with the hero's child-after the hero was thought to be sterile. Though he did start to doubt this fact near the end.
    • Always In My Heart: After the formerly divorced Tucker and Ellie re-marry, Ellie tells him she's pregnant while they're on a picnic with their sons.
    • Walking on Air: Nancy is pregnant with Gabriel's child, in addition to them having adopted a little boy.
    • Only By Your Touch: Chloe becomes pregnant with Ben's child after the two marry.
    • Blue Skies: Carly Adams gives birth to the child she was pregnant with throughout the story.
    • Morning Light: Loni's pregnant with Clint's baby at the end.
    • Perfect Timing: Not only is the Coulter-Harrigan family celebrating the first birthday of Quincy and Ceara's daughter Stormy, but Samantha is finally pregnant after suffering a miscarriage before the events of the story.
    • Sweet Nothings: Molly is pregnant in the epilogue.
    • Comanche Moon: Loretta is pregnant with Hunter's child.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness
    • Beauty is Bad: Some of the romantic rivals are lovely women, but it's made clear that their looks are all they have going for them, and that the ugliness of their personalities overshadows their physical beauty. They're also shown flaunting their appearances, where the heroines are far too sweet and humble to do such things.
  • Break the Cutie: A lot of her heroines, but most notably Molly Sterling, Maggie Stanley and Rachel Hollister.
  • Broken Bird: Almost every heroine has some kind of trauma in her past.
  • But We Used a Condom: At least Carly Adams thinks Hank Coulter did in Blue Skies, anyway.
  • Cartwright Curse: Perfect Timing reveals that a variant of this happened to the Harrigan family thanks to one of their ancestors spurning a druid's love: every first wife of every Harrigan male will die young in a manner involving blood. This is revealed to be the cause of Emily's death by childbirth, as well as Loni currently suffering a rare form of leukemia that almost kills her...and the reason Ceara leapt forward in time to find Quincy, because as the only remaining Harrigan bachelor, he must break the curse by marrying her.
  • Chickification: Indigo Wolf goes from a spitfire who nearly rips her almost-rapists a new one in Comanche Heart to a trembling submissive once she's married off to Jake Rand in her own book. Justified in that her former white boyfriend betrayed her by trying to have her gang raped, and she's seen how Comanche women are abused and punished if they don't behave properly for their husbands.
  • Child By Rape: A few heroines have them, and Eden Paxton is one herself. Luckily, the children are still loved by their mothers despite the dark means of conception.
  • Cute Kitten: There's a few of them here and there, particularly in Lucky Penny.
  • Cute Mute: Loretta Simpson in Comanche Moon.
  • Daddy Issues: Erin De Laney's father wanted a son, so he raised her to be tough, competitive, and taught her that anything less made her weak and worthless. This turned her into a basket case of angst who pushed herself to near-collapse to appease him, even after moving away from the city for a fresh start in Mystic Creek. She slowly starts to get better over time.
  • Death By Childbirth:
    • Emily Harrigan, the mother of Sam and her brothers
    • Moira, Brianna's sister and the mother of her niece Daphne
    • Phoebe the rottweiler in My Sunshine
  • Did Not Do the Research and Shown Their Work: It varies. She doesn't seem to know much about aphasia (or conveniently glosses over the nitty gritty), but puts painstaking effort into the details of veterinary medicine.
  • Distress Ball: Samantha Harrigan is a fearless badass most of the time, but in the climax of Sun Kissed, her ex-husband attacks her and she screams for help.
  • Distressed Damsel: Pretty much every heroine in every book she's ever written.
  • Does Not Like Men: Many a heroine in an Anderson tale will have severe trust issues with all men due to an abusive father or husband in their past, being cheated on, dumped, or raped. Nancy Hoffman, Brianna O'Keefe, Chloe Evans, Sissy Sue Bentley, and Caitlin O'Shannessy are prime examples of this trope.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • When Rodney attacks Molly in the climax of Sweet Nothings, he's attacked in turn by Sunset, the horse he'd horribly abused prior to the events of the story. Sunset likely would have trampled him to death if Molly hadn't decided Rodney wasn't worth killing.
    • Rainie's ex-husband Peter kidnaps and drugs her, but because she's been taking self-defense lessons from Parker, she manages to get one over on him by breaking a wine glass and stabbing him in the face. Then she beats him unconscious with a wine bottle before passing out from the drugs.
    • In Samantha's backstory, she beat the shit out of her ex-husband when he tried to kill her, decking him with a chair and throwing his body out onto the lawn.
    • Vickie Brown ran over her abusive husband's foot while she was backing out of the driveway to get her kids to safety.
  • Domestic Abuse: One of the main reasons for the heroine's distrust of men. Poor Molly Wells, Samantha Harrigan, Rainie Hall, and Amanda Banning, really.
  • Faux Action Girl: Indigo Wolf was trained in combat by her father Hunter and initially displays her fighting skills when she's kidnapped and almost gang raped in Comanche Heart, but is quickly overpowered and needs Swift to rescue her. In her own book, she's kidnapped and assaulted by those same men and nearly buried alive until Jake rescues her.
  • Fiery Redhead: Eden Paxton
  • Finger-Poke of Doom: How Marvin's poking of Ellie is seen in Always In My Heart
  • Friend to All Living Things: Laura Townsend in My Sunshine
  • Gaslighting: Rodney does this to Molly throughout most of their marriage, forcing pills down her throat and convincing her and everyone around them she's insane and needs to be locked away, all so he can get his hands on her father's money.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: If the heroine slept with anyone before the hero, it was either joyless and awful or worse.
  • Guilty Pleasure: Sure, all her novels are ridden with Mary Sues and 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.
  • Hair of Gold: Rachel Hollister, Carly Adams, Ellie Grant, Laura Townsend
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Pretty much every Anderson book features a dog or several.
  • Heroic Bastard: Hunter of the Wolf in Comanche Moon, due to an American soldier's rape of his mother.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Molly Sterling in Sweet Nothings.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: Loretta's aunt Rachel in Comanche Moon would rather kill Loretta herself than let her live as a "Comanche's woman" or even after being touched by one of them in any way.
  • Idiot Ball: The whole damn town takes turn carrying this and passing it back and forth in Only By Your Touch, choosing to side with the obvious villain Bobby Lee Shuck while he stalks and tries to rape the heroine Chloe instead of taking Chloe seriously when she tries to report his behavior. All because he's the chief's son. Even at the end it's unclear as to whether or not he got the punishment he deserved.
    • Vickie Brown takes this and spends 40 years clinging to it when a woman brags to her about sleeping with her fiancé Slade. The woman is an unapologetic vamp who would do anything to get into Slade's pants, and Vickie believed her word over the word of a man she'd known since they were kids, and who loved her enough to marry her. It takes her until near the end of the story to drop the ball and throw it away.
  • If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good For You: Quincy Harrigan enters the saga as a health food nut who strictly monitors not only his eating habits but those of his family (even going so far as to smack his father's hand away from the fried chicken on a cafeteria line and force him to go for the red potatoes instead of potato salad). He's the butt of many a joke for this until his own book, when having Ceara in his life forces him to adjust his shopping habits and he eventually rediscovers his own love for foods like pastrami and full-fat cheese.
  • Insecure Love Interest: The majority of Anderson's heroines don't think they're good enough for the hero, but Laura, Molly, and Annie are pathological about this.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Laura Townsend in My Sunshine, Bethany Coulter in Phantom Waltz, Annie Trimble in Annie's Song
  • Instant Birth Just Add Water: Played very much for drama in Perfect Timing. Ceara's water breaks when she's barely in her third trimester of pregnancy, and she ends up giving birth in Quincy's truck on the way to the hospital.
  • 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.
    • Clint Harrigan in Morning Light blames himself for his mother dying in childbirth. He was busy playing with a puppy when his mother called him in, and he hadn't realized why. When he tried to apologize his father told him sorry didn't mean anything, causing him to refuse to apologize for anything for the rest of his life. Not out of selfishness, but out of fear that once the damage is done there is no recovery. Loni manages to talk him out of such a mindset, though.
  • Karma Houdini: Possibly Bobby Lee Shuck. He does get his ass kicked by the heroine and called out on his behavior, but even then the police say they might have to let him go.
  • Lifetime Movie of the Week: Poor Molly, really.
  • Love At First Sight
  • Madonna Whore Complex: A few of the books use this juxtaposition between the heroines and their romantic rivals. The heroines are sweet and chaste, far too shy and gentle to ever make a move, and the hero is the one doing the seduction. The rivals forcefully throw themselves at the man, who is flagrantly uncomfortable and turned off by such behavior. Examples are Ellie vs Liz in Always In My Heart and Laura vs Belinda in My Sunshine.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Molly's ex-husband Rodney in Sweet Nothings. AND HOW!
  • Murderers Are Rapists: The Sebastian Gang in Early Dawn always gang rape a woman before they kill her, unless they plan to sell her. Also used by both American soldiers and the Comanche tribe in Comanche Moon; Loretta's mother and Hunter's wife were both raped repeatedly before they were killed.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Edie Trimble has this reaction in Annie's Song when she realizes how poorly she's treated her daughter for years, thinking Annie had inherited her uncle's mental illness and basically hiding her from the world while dressing her in rags and smacking her around. When she sees Annie looking like the grown woman she truly is, she bursts into tears.
  • 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?
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Any woman who actively pursues the hero is painted as an evil hussy, and the hero is completely uncomfortable with even the most basic actions of asking him out or flirting with him. Heroines, by contrast, only initiate affection of sex after the relationship begins, and even then it's rare.
  • Obviously Evil: Maggie's stepfather in Baby Love.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Basically the whole A plot of Strawberry Hill happens because Vickie was naive enough to believe some vicious bitch's lies about sleeping with her fiancé before she told him off and ran away from him, even after he told her the other woman was lying through her teeth.
  • Precious Puppy: Oh, so many. My Sunshine in particular features thirteen Rottweiler pups, which Laura and Isaiah assume responsibility for after the mother dog dies in labor.
  • Premature Baby Panic: Quincy and Ceara Harrigan's daughter Stormy in Perfect Timing. She survives, though.
  • Rape as Drama: Happens quite a bit, the most notable examples being Annie's Song and Seventh Heaven.
  • 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. Eventually subverted in Sun Kissed when he realizes such furnishings don't suit him as well as he thought.
  • Red Herring: Jeb Pritchard and his boys in Summer Breeze.
    • James in My Sunshine, to a lesser extent. When someone starts framing Laura for mishaps around Isaiah and Tucker's clinic, James becomes a suspect after he tries to ask Laura over to his place for Thanksgiving. Isaiah immediately suspects James might have a thing for her and that being spurned could turn him crazy, but when James meets with Laura to discuss it, he tells her they need to let their supposedly budding romance go for the sake of their careers. He's very sweet about it, and when Laura explains to Isaiah he stops worrying and is more amused than anything. In the end, the villain turns out to be Belinda Baxter, who has a thing for Isaiah.
  • Relationship Sabotage: April Pierce did this to Vickie and Slade in Strawberry Hill. She wanted Slade all to herself, so she lied to Vickie about sleeping with him so she'd break it off. The sabotage worked, but April still failed because Slade got royally pissed at her for it.
  • Rescue Romance: Anderson's bread and butter.
  • Science Marches On: In My Sunshine, two cats are mentioned as having been declawed, and it's seen as a good thing. These days, declawing is seen as one of the worst things you can do to a cat and many shelters refuse to perform the procedure anymore.
  • Screaming Birth: Played very much for drama in Perfect Timing. Ceara goes into premature labor and screams quite a bit from pain and fear as she gives birth in Quincy's truck.
  • Second Love: Eden Paxton becomes this for Matthew Coulter in Early Dawn.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Ellie and Tucker in Always In My Heart, Natalie and Valerie Westfield's parents in Bright Eyes, David and Brianna in Lucky Penny.
  • Smug Snake: Rodney Wells.
  • Supreme Chef: Laura Towsend is praised for her amazing cooking and baking skills throughout the story.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Ellie and Tucker's oldest son Sammy is implied to have been this in Always In My Heart.
  • Third-Act Misunderstanding: In a good chunk of these stories, the heroine will inexplicably run away from the man. Sometimes for a stupid reason, other times because she blames herself for something that was out of her control.
    • My Sunshine: Laura overhears Tucker yammering to Isaiah that he shouldn't marry Laura because of all her shortcomings. Laura runs away before she can hear Isaiah put his brother in his place, breaks up with Isaiah, and refuses to accept his love for her until the very last page before the epilogue.
    • Phantom Waltz: Ryan gets hurt, Bethany blames herself, and runs away from him out of guilt.
    • Blue Skies: Carly and Hank are finally getting it together, all seems well...and then Carly almost drowns in a pond due to her failing eyesight. She freaks out and runs home to her father.
    • Morning Light: Loni and Clint's rescue of a missing child brings the media vultures in droves. To protect Clint from further unwanted publicity after a bunch of reporters break onto his property, Loni runs away.
    • Here to Stay: Mandy drives Zach away with her fear of marriage and refusal to commit to him. A rare instance of the man running away, and the heroine actually seeing a therapist for her issues instead of true love being the cure-all.
    • Early Dawn: Matthew and Eden have a big fight over his obsession with putting down the bandits who killed his first wife. They make up before he leaves, but Eden is still angry at him and is called on it by her brother.
    • Strawberry Hill: The story's entire A plot is this trope dragged out for 40 years until the very end, when Slade confronts the woman who caused the trouble in the first place and strong-arms her into telling Vickie the truth.
    • Thankfully averted in Indigo Blue when Indigo finds out Jake was engaged to another woman and hadn't officially broken it off before marrying her. She gets upset, but instead of running away from him she lets him explain, and takes it fairly well.
  • The Unfavorite: Zach and Kody Grant see themselves as this since the death of their older brother Sammy. Their parents spend more time mourning the loss of their oldest, basing everything they do around how much his death hurt them, and barely letting Zach or Kody do anything fun because it's too dangerous. The two boys leave detailed letters about how much this upsets them, causing Ellie and Tucker to realize what a mistake they've made.
  • The Vamp: Liz in Always In My Heart, Belinda in My Sunshine
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Rodney Wells in Sweet Nothings manages to convince everyone, including Molly's own stepmother, that Molly is mentally unstable and needs to be kept in an institution, even going so far as to stalk her to Jake and Hank's ranch to try to take her back. Jake marries Molly to protect her, but Rodney still manages to show up to cause trouble one last time before Molly snaps and sics the horse he abused on him.
    • James Trimble wants to be this in Annie's Song, but Alex Montgomery has money and is willing to do anything to ruin James's career if he doesn't let Alex assume responsibility for his brother's rape of Annie. Later, he rips James a new one for how he abused Annie for years to protect his reputation, and threatens him to stay away from Annie for the rest of her life.
    • Taffeta Brown's husband in New Leaf bribes a judge during their divorce hearings in order to get custody of their daughter, accusing Taffeta of abusing the girl. He ruins her life and forces her to leave town and start all over again.
    • Bobby Lee Shuck takes the cake for this one in Only By Your Touch. He stalks Chloe relentlessly, tries to rape her twice, and when Chloe tries to tell the police they accuse her of false rape accusations. Because he's the police chief's son and he'd never do anything like that. She's denied any sort of justice until the very end when she stands up to Bobby once and for all and he's finally given some form of punishment for his behavior. And even then it's ambiguous as to whether said punishment will stick.
  • Weight Woe: Molly Sterling in Sweet Nothings thinks of herself as a fat, ugly cow due to her ex-husband's constant ridiculing of her looks. She obsesses over counting calories, tries to impose her healthy eating habits on the men at the ranch at first, and freaks out at the thought of Jake seeing her naked. The problem is eventually solved by Molly accepting her body, and realizing that Jake actually does think she's beautiful despite her pudginess.
    • Natalie in Bright Eyes has a bit of this, too, feeling unattractive as her body's changed after having two children. She gets over it a bit more easily, though.
    • Erin in Strawberry Hill diets like crazy due to her massive control issues, feeling like she's a failure if she gains even one pound.
  • 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.
  • Woman Scorned: Issaiah's co-worker Belinda Baxter in My Sunshine, which leads to...
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Belinda attempts to have sex with an uninterested Issaiah, but when they get caught by another vet at the clinic she claims he was trying to rape her. Luckily for Issaiah it doesn't work.
  • Wrong Guy First: Several heroines inexplicably marry abusive, cheating bastards. In Joe Lakota's case he married a heartless Gold Digger who abused their son.
  • You Know What You Did: Basically what Vickie's reason for leaving Slade days before their wedding amounted to. She believed the lies of a jealous bitch over the word of someone she'd known and loved since childhood.
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