Book Review: Walking on Air by Catherine Anderson

Walking on Air by Catherine AndersonTitle: Walking on Air
Series: Valance Family, Book 1
Author: Catherine Anderson
Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality Rating: Mild
Source: review copy provided via NetGalley
Published: February 4, 2014 by Signet

Random, Colorado, is just another stop on the road for solitary gunslinger Gabriel Valance. Known for his drinking, gambling, and womanizing, he prefers to remain a stranger to anyone who crosses his path. But when an upstart gunslinger catches Gabe off guard and shoots him down, he regrets his empty, lonely life with his dying breath....

Golden-haired beauty Nancy Hoffman settled in Random after fleeing an abusive past. Caring for her younger sister and working in a hat shop help her to forge ahead, though she remains fearful and mistrustful of men—and marriage....

Their paths will cross when Gabe gets a second chance at life and a divine mission: to sweep Nancy off her feet, gain her trust, and convince her to believe in his love. And in doing so, the once-hardened cowboy may save himself.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: This may be a book for a reader who enjoys PG Christian-themed romance but that’s not me.

The Set Up: Gunfighter Gabriel Valance is offered a second chance before the angels decide to permanently judge him to return to earth for a mission to make spinster Nan fall in love with him. Nan thinks she killed a man and has lived in fear of men since her attack but Gabriel’s laughter and devotion slowly thaws Nan. But Gabe’s mission is only until Christmas and then what will Nan and Gabe do?

Why I Read this Book: Cheyenne Amber by this author is one of my favorite historical MF romances so I thought I’d try her new book.

What I Liked: I liked Gabe and Nan. Gabe has had a rough life growing up the son of a prostitute and then becoming a wandering man trying to avoid gunfights. But the charming thing about Gabe is that he retained his love of laughter and accepting who he is. I’m no religious person but his ruminations about God were humorous and heartfelt and the only part of the religious theme that didn’t feel like it was clobbering me over the head.

Nan was so intent on creating a safe life for herself and her sister that she was stuck in a rut and was leading a bland life. I liked her slow thaw to Gabe and how he seduces her with laughter and light. This was a nice change in the male-female historical dynamic I usually read and this worked for me.

What I Didn’t Like: This book has no subtlety except when it comes to sex. The first fail for me is that the “mission” that is hinted at in the synopsis is religious in nature and I NEVER would have read this book if I knew that. All the Christian themes of love-thy-neighbor and God-helps-those-who-help-themselves are checked off in this book as Gabe and Nan save a homeless boy, a dog, and a lonely old man. The plot reads more like a parable than a historical romance with big pronouncements like “I can’t hide from God, Nan. Nobody can.”

The only subtlety in this book is the sex scenes which are PG and full of descriptions like Nan was “spinning with him through starlit blackness when their passions peaked.”

IMO: I’m not the intended audience for this book and I was cursing my inability to DNF a book because I should’ve quit once I realized this is a Christian romance.

J9’s Rating:
1 Frog

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


  1. Sadly this was a DNF for me, I too had no idea how strongly based in religion this was. If the faith is in context I am usually ok with it, but this felt more like a message. Wonderful review

    1. Thanks so much for commenting! I always try to say it's just my opinion but I wondered if others could see my issues here so thank you for confirming that!

  2. You have me interested. I have this book on the way to me, I usually love her novels, and maybe I will love this one too, but will wait and see.

    1. Let me know what you think when you read it. I'm always curious what others think of a book I've read.


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