Category Archives: Catherine West

Review: The Memory of You by Catherine West

Title: The Memory of You by Catherine West
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it.


The Memory of You by Catherine West is an engrossing novel of faith, forgiveness, healing and love.

Natalie Mitchell has spent very little time at Maoilios, her family’s Sonoma vineyard, since the tragic death of her sister, Nicole, thirteen years earlier.  At her father’s urging, she agrees to return to Maoilios in order to check on her Grandpa Hal, who recently suffered a heart attack.  She is also expected to begin the process of closing the vineyard since profits have fallen in the years since her grandmother’s death. Natalie is in no hurry to do her father’s bidding, but her former crush and current vintner Tanner Collins is skeptical of her reassurances she is looking for ways to make the vineyard profitable again.  However, the animosity between them begins to fade once Tanner realizes how emotionally fragile Natalie is as she tries to reconcile her grief and guilt over the accident that claimed Nicole’s life.  Will Natalie find the peace she desperately needs? Will she find the strength to go against her father’s wishes and save the vineyard? Can Natalie help Tanner heal the rift within his own family?

Natalie is suffering from depression, nightmares and PTSD but she is reluctant to let her parents knows how fragile she is. She is very reluctant to return to Maoilios, but her love for Grandpa Hal quickly overrides her reservations.  Natalie also thinks it might be time to face her past in order to lay her ghosts to rest.  She is uncertain whether or not she will be able to resist her father’s entreaties to close the business but she is hopeful her examination of the financial records will bolster her plans to keep the vineyard open.

Tanner is immediately suspicious of Natalie’s intentions for vineyard and he is rather prickly initially.  Unbeknownst to Natalie, his family is going through a very difficult time and he is struggling to make peace with a decision that will forever alter his family. Tanner is extremely stressed about dealing with his long estranged family members and a recent crisis in faith leaves him feeling unmoored.  It is easy for him to lash out at Natalie amid his growing concerns about the future of the vineyard.  However his compassion and tangled feelings for her overcome his hostility and Tanner is finally begins to work with Natalie as she tries to come up with a viable plan to save Maoilios.

The relationship between Tanner and Natalie grows naturally from their renewed friendship.  Tanner is an unexpected source of comfort for Natalie as she finally faces the ghosts of her past.  Once Tanner is willing to open up about his family’s troubles, Natalie offers useful advice that helps him sort through his confusing emotions.  Although neither of them are expecting to fall in love, they are both receptive to the growing feelings between them.  However, both Tanner and Natalie must fully deal with their issues before they can plan a future together.

With a gentle undercurrent of faith, The Memory of You is a wonderful journey of healing, redemption and love.  The cast of characters is multi-dimensional and although each of them is dealing with serious issues,  Catherine West deftly handles the difficult subject matter with a great deal of sensitivity.  An absolutely delightful novel that fans of contemporary Christian romances are sure to enjoy.

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Filed under Catherine West, Christian, Contemporary, Rated B, Review, Romance, The Memory of You, Thomas Nelson Publishing

Review: The Things We Knew by Catherine West

Title: The Things We Knew by Catherine West
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.

Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.


With a gentle undercurrent of faith, The Things We Knew by Catherine West is a heartwarming novel of family, forgiveness and redemption .

After her mother passed away twelve years earlier and her older siblings left home, youngest daughter Lynette Carlisle has shouldered the burden of caring for their aging father and the family estate.  With her father’s health worsening and the home falling into disrepair, Lynette is becoming desperate for help from her long absent siblings.  Following the advice of close family friend and her longtime crush, Nick Cooper, Lynette knows it is time for her brothers and sister to return to Nantucket so they can discuss selling the family home.

Lynette is emotionally and physically exhausted as she tries to take care of her father when she realizes that their financial situation is at a crisis point.  At the same time, she is haunted by nightmares about the accident that claimed her mother’s life.  Unable to remember the events of that day, Lynette’s memories are slowly returning but the most important details surrounding her mother’s death remain elusive.  She is delighted when her siblings return to help out but she is troubled to learn they have all been keeping secrets from her.  As the youngest, Lynette’s siblings have always tried to protect her, but she finally finds the courage to stand up for herself as they try to come to an agreement about what to do about the family’s financial problems.

With only four of the five Carlisle children present, they cannot finalize any plans about selling the family estate.  Their concerns over the future of their home often take a backseat to the individual issues facing Lynette’s siblings Gray, Liz and David.  Gray is a rock star who is on the verge of success when his demons get the best of him.  Coming home might be an answer to his prayers but will he revert to old habits when things get tough?  David is married with two young children and he is currently going through a rough patch with his wife.  He is quick to begin repairs on their home, but will a more than generous offer on the house persuade him to vote for selling? Liz is a workaholic lawyer who is hiding a terrible secret about her wealthy boyfriend.  Although not a blood relative, the Carlisles have always treated Nick like family and his once close friendship with Gray is on very rocky ground.  He is also burdened with a secret  that could destroy the other family  members if the truth were to be revealed.  At the same time, Nick is working with his father but their relationship is strained.

The Things We Knew is a captivating novel that deals with difficult subject but Catherine West handles these delicate matters with sensitivity and ease.  The various story arcs are seamlessly woven together into a heartfelt story of healing for each of the characters. Beautifully written with relevant issues that are realistically portrayed, this touching novel of faith is sure to be a hit with readers of contemporary fiction.

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Filed under Catherine West, Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, Rated B+, Review, The Things We Knew, Thomas Nelson Publishing

Blog Tour Stop, Review & Kindle Fire Giveaway: Hidden in the Heart by Catherine West

Title: Hidden in the Heart by Catherine West
Publisher: OakTara
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Fiction
Length: 248 pages
Book Rating:

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Blog Tour Company


Everything Claire wants seems to be beyond her reach…

After losing her mother to cancer and suffering a miscarriage soon after, Claire Ferguson numbs the pain with alcohol and pills, and wonders if her own life is worth living.

Adopted at birth, Claire is convinced she has some unknown genetic flaw that may have been the cause of her miscarriage. She must find a way to deal with the guilt she harbors. But exoneration will come with a price. With her marriage in trouble and her father refusing to answer any questions about her adoption, Claire begins the search for her birth mother. For the first time in her life, she really wants to know where she came from. But what if the woman who gave her life doesn’t want to be found?

Hidden in the Heart has been nominated for a 2013 Grace Award and is on the long list for an INSPY award.

The Review:

Catherine West’s Hidden in the Heart is an incredibly moving novel about forgiveness and second chances.

In the beginning of the novel, Claire Ferguson is not a likable character. Following her mother’s death and the miscarriage of her first child, she has turned to prescription pills and alcohol to numb her pain. Separated from her husband, James, Claire is out of control, inconsolable and mired in grief. She pushes everyone away and refuses her family and friends pleas to seek help for her drinking.

Claire is convinced that her miscarriage was not a random event. She blames herself and since she is adopted with no information about her genetic history, she wonders if a genetic flaw could have caused her to lose her baby. Desperate for answers, Claire embarks on a search for her birth mother.

It is at this point in the story that Claire becomes more likable. As she begins taking steps to regain her sobriety, she becomes less self-centered. Claire also finds a newfound faith that gives her the strength she will need to face her past.

Sometimes difficult to read, Hidden in the Heart is a mesmerizing novel that is full of emotions. Catherine West provides an unflinchingly honest portrayal of addiction that is quite heartbreaking. Her characters are realistic and flawed but this is what makes them easy to relate to. A compelling story of redemption, faith and unconditional love that I highly recommend.

Meet Catherine West:

Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Her first novel, “Yesterday’s Tomorrow”, released in 2011 and won the INSPY for Romance, a Silver Medal in the Reader’s Favorite Awards, and was a finalist in the Grace Awards. Catherine’s second novel, “Hidden in the Heart”, released in September 2012. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children.

Learn more about Catherine by visiting her website.

Contest Info:

Catherine West is celebrating with the Hidden in the Heart Kindle Fire Giveaway! Enter today.


One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • A copy of Hidden in the Heart and Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 21st. Winner will be announced on 4/23/13 at Catherine’s blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Questions about the contest? Please click HERE for the official rules.


Filed under Blog Tour, Catherine West, Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, Hidden in the Heart, OakTara, Rated B+, Review