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5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling love story!
7th Heaven is another one of Catherine Anderson's emotionally charged love stories set in authentic, real world circumstances.
The main characters of this book, Joe Lakota and Marilee Nelson, reminded me of Ace Keegan and Caitlin O'Shannessy, the main characters in Anderson's historical novel, Keegan's Lady. Joe, like Ace, is the epitome of the alpha male: strong,...
Published on Oct. 17 2001 by J Morgan

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3.0 out of 5 stars So much for expectations...
My first Catherine Anderson book was her latest, Phantom Waltz, which I absolutely loved. I was a little disappointed by this book. I expected the heroine to be similar in the latest book, strong and independent. While we see sparks of that in the main character, Marilee, for the most part, she is dependent on Joe to help her out of the problems she is dealing with after...
Published on July 30 2001 by emt0402


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4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely story but slow paced., Nov. 27 2003
By 
MaryGrace Meloche (Ontario, Canada.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Seventh Heaven (Mass Market Paperback)
Catherine Anderson always pens the absolute in leading men. Her romance heros are consistently tall, physically attractive, self-disciplined, and nine times out of ten unbelievably wealthy. In other words, the ideal romance hero. Anderson's leading ladies are usually cute, generally patterned after the girl next door, and nine times out of ten have a history of torment. In other words, the girl needs his help. In "Seventh Heaven", Catherine Anderson sticks to her recipe and prepares another romance delicacy.
Joe Lakota, an award winning high school and collegiate quarterback, was destined for the big times. This all-star athlete had the world by a string, including the sweetness girl in town. Marilee Nelson lived in a sheltered world. Her family protected her with love and Joe Lakota idolized her. Unfortunately, all too soon, her world came crashing down. Brutally, she was persuaded to sacrifice Joe Lakota. Instead Marilee Nelson chose to protect him by ending their lifelong friendship and love.
Ten years have slipped away and Joe Lakota has returned to the small Oregon town, of his boyhood; where he will raise his small, vulnerable son -- the small Oregon town Marilee Nelson still calls home. Joe Lakota may have returned home but not to the once naive Marilee Nelson.
In this story, Catherine Anderson has created a lovely page turner, but it is, at times, slow going. Marilee has some grave hangups and periodically the author delivers the healing with a painful pace. Nevertheless, this is a good book, but "Annie's Song" is better, if you have not read that Anderson classic, do run out and get a copy.
Grace Atkinson, Ontario - Canada.
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2.0 out of 5 stars not a great message for women, March 22 2002
This review is from: Seventh Heaven (Mass Market Paperback)
This book presents the sad tale of a woman who has been viciously raped and has severe post traumatic stress disorder as a result. She is more or less a total mess until her old boyfriend comes back into her life. He helps her heal, etc. After a lot of drama, all is well.
I mean, yuck. Rape can certainly cause PTSD, but this is unrealistic. To give just one example, Marilee achieves sexual healing remarkably quickly, once she can bring herself to be intimate with Joe. That's not exactly how it happens in real life.
But really, my main problem is that Marilee is a basket case until Joe comes back. In reality, a woman who did not pursue getting her PTSD treated in 10 years would probably not start working on it all of the sudden because her boyfriend was back in the picture. But let's say for the sake of argument that she would do this, realistically. The message of this book is still damaging IMO. Marilee does not see herself as a person of value until she has Joe's love once more.
Also, I am beyond sick of the "marriage of convenience" plot. That convention should be abandoned immediately IMO.
For the sake of those young rape survivors reading romance novels, I hope the treatment of rape gets a lot more empowering than this. Ideally, Marilee would have realized her personal worth and started getting better long before Joe came back.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Familiar ground for Catherine Anderson, Jan. 28 2002
This review is from: Seventh Heaven (Mass Market Paperback)
Catherine Anderson writes emotionally charged contemporary and historical romances where the heroines are frequently wounded young ladies and the heros are extremely masculine rescuers who are also exceptionally sensitive. "Seveth Heaven" certainly fits this mold. It is the story of Marilee Nelson, a nice Catholic girl from a small Oregon town who abruptly broke off her engagement to her football star fiancee, Joe Lakota. A decade later, Joe returns to town with his fragile young son and quickly realizes that there were tragic circumstances that caused Marilee to break up with him years ago. He proceeds to gently but persistently tear down her emotional barriers and try to recapture the romance of their youth. Anderson is an extremely sympathetic writer, and she handles the backlash of physical and emotional trama very well. Her characters are appealing, and the sensual tension is well-paced. Unfortunately, this is ground that Anderson has traveled before, and more adeptly, in "Forever After." If you've enjoyed Anderson's previous work, you will like "Seventh Heaven", but don't expect to see something new from this talented writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling love story!, Oct. 17 2001
By 
J Morgan "Writer/Reader" (South Fork, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Seventh Heaven (Mass Market Paperback)
7th Heaven is another one of Catherine Anderson's emotionally charged love stories set in authentic, real world circumstances.
The main characters of this book, Joe Lakota and Marilee Nelson, reminded me of Ace Keegan and Caitlin O'Shannessy, the main characters in Anderson's historical novel, Keegan's Lady. Joe, like Ace, is the epitome of the alpha male: strong, dominating, quick-tempered, and protective of his dependents. Marilee, like Caitlin, struggles with the trauma of her past. Two very human individuals with imperfections that make their story all the more believable.
High school sweethearts ten years before, Joe, a famous professional football player, and Marilee, an agoraphobic children's book writer/author, struggle to find their way back together. After a bitter divorce, he's returned to his small hometown of Laurel Creek, Oregon, with his son Zachary, who needs care for his PTSD. Circumstances develop that lead Joe and Marilee into a marriage of convenience to save Zachary from being returned to the custody of Joe's abusive ex-wife.
Joe immediately sees a similar behavior pattern in his son and new wife, Marilee -- both use psychological barriers to keep the world away. Patiently Joe nurtures them.
When Joe is arrested for murdering one of the men who raped Marilee ten years before, she must conquer her phobia to prove his innocent.
Catherine Anderson weaves together secrets, mystery, and real world issues with tender romance and justice in an unfair world through compelling characters that draw you into their world. As you read 7th Heaven, you'll experience a roller coaster ride of emotions and a deep sense of rightness at the healing power of love.
A touching love story that will stay with you long after the final page.
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4.0 out of 5 stars MARI AND JOE -----, Sept. 2 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Seventh Heaven (Mass Market Paperback)
I HAVE READ MOST ALL OF CATHERINE ANDERSON'S BOOKS. BEFORE SEVENTH HEAVEN, I READ PHANTOM WALTZ -----
I AM ONLY ABOUT 1/3 WAY THRU SEVENTH HEAVEN, THAT IS WHY I FELT I COULD ONLY GIVE IT A 4 RATING --
I GREW UP IN WESTERN NEW YORK - IN A TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC HOME/CHURCH/SCHOOL ---I AM REALLY ENJOYING READING ABOUT THESE TYPE OF FAMILIES IN THIS BOOK -----THE ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL REALLY TICKLED ME -----IVE GOTTEN ON FOR EACH OF MY CHILDREN - FOR THEIR KEYCHAINS ----
CATHERINE ANDERSON WRITES SO DOWN-HOME -- IT IS EASILY FOR PEOPLE TO RELATE TO HER CHARACTERS AND THEIR SITUATIONS AND FEELINGS ------
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ALL OF HER BOOKS TO PEOPLE WHO LIKE REAL LIFE SITUATIONS -----
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3.0 out of 5 stars So much for expectations..., July 30 2001
By 
This review is from: Seventh Heaven (Mass Market Paperback)
My first Catherine Anderson book was her latest, Phantom Waltz, which I absolutely loved. I was a little disappointed by this book. I expected the heroine to be similar in the latest book, strong and independent. While we see sparks of that in the main character, Marilee, for the most part, she is dependent on Joe to help her out of the problems she is dealing with after being raped 10 years earlier. This is still a good read, but I am always a little turned away from stories when the heroine is made out to be weak in her own opinions and personalities.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good characters, good idea, slow execution, Dec 18 2000
By 
This review is from: Seventh Heaven (Mass Market Paperback)
I have enjoyed all of Catherine Andersen's books up until this one. Even though the characters had conflict within themselves, they had none with each other. This made for a slow - and oftentimes boring - book. I suppose I had a difficult time accepting the heroine's retreat from the world for so long even though she had been profoundly hurt in her past. I think this book could have moved a little faster. All that aside, as always Andersen's characters were inherently good, sweet people learning to triumph over life's difficulties and setbacks. This story just did not click for me like her others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seventh Heaven--- Surely Lives Up To It's Name, Oct. 15 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Seventh Heaven (Mass Market Paperback)
I really loved this story. Its one of the best romance novels I have read in years. The author, Catherine Anderson, delivers a five star book; the best one to date. She tells a story about Joe and Mari who have shared a lifelong friendship and love until a traumatic event tears them apart. When reunited, Joe returns to find that the woman he has loved his entire life was a victim of a brutal crime ten years before. The story continues as Joe tries to convince Mari to seek the help she needs and to have faith in him and the love that they have always shared. If you love the idea of lovers who are best friends and that we each have one special and "true love" then Seventh Heaven is the book for you. It is a shining example of the healing power of love.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Oct. 10 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Seventh Heaven (Mass Market Paperback)
This is one of the best books I have ever read. I have read it 3 times now in the past week. Thanks for a great book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sexual Content: PG-13, Oct. 9 2000
This review is from: Seventh Heaven (Mass Market Paperback)
Marilee Nelson is haunted by a terrible secret (and yes, it is a very bad one). It's a secret she will share with no one, including her fiance Joe Lakota. Rather than confide in him, Marilee breaks their engagement and convinces Joe that she has left him for someone else. Heartbroken, Joe leaves for the big city and embarks on a high profile professional football career. Seventh Heaven begins ten years later...
Having recently been granted custody of his 4-year-old son Zachary, 31-year-old Joe Lakota moves back to his hometown in Oregon to raise him. After ten years, he is still and will always be in love with Marilee Nelson. All of their lives--clear up until she broke off their engagement ten years past--the couple had been best friends, inseparable from the time she was five and he was eight. It doesn't take Joe long to figure out that his boyhood sweetheart had lied about leaving him for another man, nor does it take him long to figure out her secret, or at least, a fundamental part of it. The problem for Joe now is figuring out how to get through to Marilee and pick up where they left off ten years ago.
Marilee never stopped loving Joe, but she doesn't feel any more able to confide in him at age 28 than she had at age 18. There were valid reasons why Marilee kept her secret and as far as she can tell, those reasons haven't changed. But Joe won't give up on her or the love they have shared all of these years. When Joe's ex-wife (who was abusive to their son) petitions to regain custody, Joe asks Marilee to help him in the courts by marrying him. Marilee realizes she has been handed a second chance at happiness with Joe, but will she find the courage to take it?
The irony of Seventh Heaven is that for the first half of the novel Marilee comes across as a cliche "wilting flower" heroine...not a personal favorite of mine. Marilee's reaction to her secret feels out of proportion to the secret itself, not in terms of the intensity of her reaction, but in terms of the duration (ten years) of it. But then in the second half, the reader learns alongside the hero that even if we might have thought we knew the extent of Marilee's secret, we didn't really have a clue as to how gruesome and appalling it truly is. At this point in the book, Marilee seems more like a warrior than a wilting flower. She only gets better and better as she allows herself to get in touch with her anger and emotions for the first time in ten years.
There are a couple of spots in the novel's first half where the pace of the book slows down a bit, though not so much as to bore you. The last half of Seventh Heaven is extremely fast-paced and more than compensates for any lagging moments experienced in the first half. As the reader learns more and more of Marilee's secret, and then again when a murder and an indictment come into play, it becomes next to impossible to put this book down.
-full review originally published in The Romance Reader
-see profile for breakdown of sexual content ratings
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Seventh Heaven
Seventh Heaven by C Anderson (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 24 2000)
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