Snow Day by Shannon Stacey, Jennifer Greene and Barbara Dunlop: Review

January 28, 2014 Reviews 0

It’s funny that I’m sitting here writing a review of a collection of stories set in an epic blizzard, when just outside my window here in Melbourne, it is 32°C (or 90 degrees for the Northern Hemisphere folk among us) at 10 in the morning. However, I’m a sucker for a winter romance. The snow, the roaring fires, snuggling under the doona…. Sounds perfect. Admittedly, the folk of Tucker’s Point didn’t get to have much snuggling under the doona in front of an open fire, but the three romances from three wonderful authors were still sweet and emotional, and I loved how well the stories connected and wove themselves together.

What is Snow Day about?

Snow Day - Stacey, Greene, DunlopTucker’s Point three-day forecast: stormy with a chance of romance.

Prepare to be…

Heart of the Storm by Shannon Stacey

Brody Rollins is back in tiny Tucker’s Point, Maine, for the first time in five years, and now he can’t escape…from former neighbours, old regrets or maddening glimpses of his ex-fiancée.

Seeing Red by Jennifer Greene 

Stranded at her grandfather’s seaside cottage, Whitney Carr prepares to face the blizzard alone. But unexpected help soon arrives—in the form of her secret high-school crush.

Land’s End by Barbara Dunlop 

Tessa Ambroise is desperate to ditch the charming, infuriating hotelier circling her late aunt’s century home like a vulture. But the snow piling up outside the mansion puts both their plans on hold.

When a child goes missing, this perfect storm of cramped quarters and freezing temperatures brings old flames and new acquaintances closer together…but will they go separate ways once the sky clears?

So, here’s what I thought of the stories in Snow Day!

Heart of the Storm by Shannon Stacey

This story was the reason I originally requested the anthology. I love Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski stories, and her in general as an author, so I was excited to read this. I wasn’t disappointed. Heart of the Storm is full to the brim with all that I enjoy about Ms Stacey’s work – the humour, the relationships and great characters.

Second chances at anything don’t often come around, particularly with love. These two, Delaney and Brody, just radiated chemistry and you knew that if given the chance, they would grab it and run full pelt towards their happy ending. I love a good reunion romance, and even though a school gym in the middle of Snowmageddon is hardly the most romantic of venues, I totally bought in to their romance.

I can understand why Brody may have left – the weight of the past and expectation obviously proved too much. However I have to say good on you, Delaney for not curling up in his lap straight away! She wasn’t willing or sure about getting back into anything with Brody, because she remembered how much it hurt to lose him the first time around. 

Things did get serious and the romance did progress fairly quickly. However the close confines of their temporary shelter made the speed at which Brody and Delaney reconnected believable. I would love to have seen more of them, but the few pages I got to spend with them were great.

I give Heart of the Storm 4 out of 5.

Seeing Red by Jennifer Greene

As much as I enjoyed the first tale in the anthology, I think Seeing Red just edges it out as my favourite of the three stories.

Whitney got dumped on the night of the prom by Red and never knew why. To not know why something happens, particularly in the emotional teen years, is awful, however I liked that Red wasn’t made out to be horrible or the worst person on earth. Let’s face it, teenage boys do some stupid crap (teenagers in general do). Ten years is a long time to be apart and we don’t always see things the same way. However the connection that was there when they were teenagers was still there for Whitney and Red after all that time. Their reactions to each other and their romance were totally on song.

The joining of this story to the first was well done, with the missing child’s story resolved here. This could have been done purely as a way to bring Whitney and Red together more than once, however the way Ms Greene wrote it, it didn’t feel that way to me.

I give Seeing Red 4 out of 5.

Land’s End by Barbara Dunlop

This was probably my least favourite of the three. It’s not to say that I didn’t like it – I did, but the other two in the anthology just did something for me that this one didn’t. I enjoyed the fact that this couple were a little different to the others – Tessa and Colton have only been apart for a short period of time, whereas the others were long-ago sweethearts.

However I didn’t quite get them. Tessa didn’t like who she had become when she was with Colton, but won’t really talk to anyone (particularly Colton) about why she didn’t. There did seem to be a lot going on in this story – the romance between Tessa and Colton, a secondary romance is hinted at, a busload of people suddenly at their doorstep, family drama – and I think it might have been a little too much for a novella-length story.

Land’s End probably would have worked a little better for me if it had been a full-length story, because all of the external stuff would have been able to be spread across more pages so there could be more focus on the relationship between Tessa and Colton. There was humour and the attraction between them is never in question, it just wasn’t my favourite.

I give Land’s End 3 out of 5.

Release Date: 31 December 2013

Purchase Links: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Harlequin – iBookstore

Note: I was provided with an advance reader copy by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

PS: In the time it took me to type this, the temperature outside is now upwards of 35°C – or 95°F. We’ve got a scorcher on our hands.

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