Autumn Leaves by Candace Gold
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon
While on a job interview in Arizona, Peter Saunders is car-jacked and left for dead.. However his assailant, himself, is killed in a fiery accident with an oil truck. Authorities in Arizona notify Kate Douglas, Peter’s fiancé in New York, of his death. She is devastated. And, as if that pain and heartache isn’t enough, Kate, a sixth-grade teacher, discovers she’s pregnant and must fight to keep her job. Though she never truly lets Peter’s ghost go, she eventually finds happiness with fellow teacher, Mark Winters…until fate intervenes once more.
Mark Winters, sixth grade teacher, is pretty nearly Prince Charming to some. He’s a colleague and good friend to Kate Douglas – but nothing like a certain computer IT gentleman, Peter Saunders. Kate’s thrilled to meet Peter, and it’s not just because he can solve her computer print-out issue; she recognizes that he is a truly kind man. Peter makes his attraction to her plain from the first, and events move fast. It’s exactly as any romance should go! Believable dialogue brings us right out to dinner and all the sparkling events we so want to happen… and the start of this story is as delicious as an ice cream sundae. So, when things go wrong, we feel it as sharply as Kate.
Gold reveals a gift for evoking a myriad of feelings in this story, which becomes fast-paced very quickly.
Mark Winters will have the opportunity to reveal just how good a friend he is, as Kate suffers loss, disapproval, and even, to a degree, self-doubt. Readers will share her every emotion. There are highs, lows, devastation, anger, and it is all incredibly well written.
However, I must point out that there are some slower moments, and both back-story and the occasional abrupt shift in point of view interrupt the narrative in places.
And this novel has an unusual tone or mood for a romance – there is an gentle melancholy, almost haunting, through some sections, and in other places, a frustration almost like fury seeps through the tale. The resolution is completely unexpected.
The overall tone gives the story a certain depth and many warm, evocative moments. The main character’s shared feelings and her ability (or perhaps determination) to cope is the highlight of this work.