Cherish This Moment, by Sandra Canfield

>> Tuesday, June 08, 2004

A recent spate of positive posts about Cherish This Moment, by Sandra Canfield, made me move it up in my TBR pile.

It's an old (1986) Harlequin Superromance, and I couldn't find any blurbs around the net, so here's what the user (Kate Garrabrant) who posted her views about it, wrote:

Sandra Canfield has a way of writing powerful stories and this one is no exception. Cherish This Moment has so many incredibly written scenes and such passion that readers will not want to stop till the very end. The characters move you, such as Tracy who is practically afraid of men or intimacy because of being raped and the betrayal of her first husband. Cole, the too good to be true congressman, comes along and sweeps her off her feet. He is not afraid to cry and moves so slowly so Tracy can love a man again. The love scenes are powerful, passionate and emotional and you feel for them deep to the core.
A very sweet, moving book, albeit one with certain flaws. A B, for me.

What really made the book, IMO, was Cole. He was so nice and good and patient and gentle with Tracy, that he was almost too good to be true. Good thing I love those kind, gentle heros.

Tracy I liked, too, but I'm afraid the author didn't do such a good job with her characterization. When I started thinking about the book, right after finishing it, I realized I didn't really know much about her, other than she'd overcome a rape. She wasn't a woman who was like this and that, and liked this and that and had overcome a rape. It was as if she was simply "Rape Victim", period. Not very good, that.

Another problem was that the book lost a lot of momentum in the second half, once Cole and Tracy's relationship is mostly resolved. They love each other, they've already made love for the first time and we get to see them endlessly shagging, which was boring, basically because, nicely written as those scenes were, they simply didn't add anything!

And then the final conflict was telegraphed miles before it happened. It was terribly obvious that a time was going to come when Tracy was going to leave Cole, for his own good, because her past could hurt his political career. Yawn. I had to fight not to skim, during this last part.

It was also here that a plot to destroy Cole's chances at reelection comes to center stage, and this was something I didn't enjoy, either. It felt that the only reason this was introduced was to demonize Cole's first wife. Really no need for this.

Finally, I felt a potentially very interesting setting was a bit wasted. This all happens during Cole's reelection campaign for the US House of Representatives, but we don't really get a good feel for what this is like.

As you see, quite a few flaws, but the first part, when Cole and Tracy are still dancing around each other, was so good that I just have to give this a nice grade. Lots of nice tension then, especially when Cole didn't yet know why Tracy acted as she did. This is a book that uses a Big Secret plot quite The moment when the it is revealed... wow! Gut-wrenching! And the parts after that, the way Cole slowly eases Tracy's mind and helps her get comfortable with his body and hers as well were also wonderful and tender and romantic.


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