Friday, June 5, 2015

Review of Summer in Snow Valley

#1 Bestselling Authors of Christmas in Snow Valley, have teamed up again with six wonderful summer novellas that are sure to make your summer sweet and sassy!

Amazon * B&N * iTunes * Kobo * Smashwords

I'm going to review each story briefly and then touch on the collection as a whole at the end. My comments will be in italics after each synopsis.

Catching Caytie by Amazon Top Seller Cindy Roland Anderson

On the night Caytie Holbrook intends to break up with her cheating boyfriend, he blindsides her by announcing their engagement at a dinner party. When Caytie discovers her father is in on the scheme, she runs away from her home in Beverly Hills to hide out at her uncle’s ranch in Snow Valley, Montana. While Snow Valley is a beautiful place, Caytie only plans to stay until her twenty-fifth birthday when she’ll inherit a trust fund her grandmother left her, allowing her to pursue her dream to move to Italy. That is until she meets Jace McAllister, an incredibly sexy—although somewhat grumpy—cowboy who threatens to disrupt her plans.

This one has the best meet cute (is that what it's called?) out of all of them. You know, the moment our two future love birds meet? She runs a red light and almost takes out Jace's truck! Along the way to liking each other, Caytie also helps Kellen. If they do another Snow Valley set, I want his story!
I give this one a solid 4.

Tin Foil Tiaras by Amazon Top Seller Jeanette Lewis

Cameron Elliott has come to Snow Valley to coach Annalisa Drake in the Miss Snow Valley pageant, and prove to her demanding boss that she deserves a place at the prestigious Westbrooke Agency. But Annalisa’s handsome and protective big brother, Kyle, is determined to keep his sister from becoming a reluctant beauty queen. As Cameron tries to win Kyle over, Kyle insists some things are more valuable than a title and as crazy as it sounds, Cameron might just believe him.

Sweet insecure Cameron! Pageant queen wanna-be who thinks she's not thin enough, pretty enough, talented enough. Instead she's going to do everything she can to push Annalisa to the crown. Or is she? Kyle is very distracting, and when he finally gives his reasons for not wanting his sister to win Cameron knows she has to look at things differently. I loved this story for this real look at how pushy moms can miss what's the most important. 
I give this one a 4.

A Touch of Love by Amazon Top Seller Cami Checketts

Annie Stirland has endured a lifetime of teasing, embarrassment, and isolation due to her speech impediment. When irresistible cowboy, Luke Wilson, seems to be falling for her, she’s certain he’s too good to be true. A tragedy involving his ex-girlfriend proves she’s right. What man can resist sheltering someone they once loved? Annie knows she should walk away, but Luke isn’t ready to give her up.

This one was my favorite. And not because I know Cami and not the other authors. What I loved about this story was the fact Annie isn't your run of the mill romance heroine. She's so real it hurts! Of all the romance novels I've read, only one other woman wasn't perfect (she was in a wheelchair). None of us are perfect, and even though we read to escape, it was really refreshing to met Annie. To struggle with her as she tried to express herself. To fall in love with Luke right beside her because of his patience. Annie's insecurity and attempts to give up what she needs for someone she thinks needs it more is heart-wrenching and warming at the same time. 
I give this one a 4.5!

First Love by Amazon Top Seller Taylor Hart 

Janet Snow doesn’t expect to get caught in a full-blown make out session at her brother’s wedding. Especially not with Michael Hamilton, the boy she’d written off ten years ago. Even though they both agree to no complications, Janet's not sure they can stick to it given their past. After a trip to the hot springs, a helicopter ride, and a proposal, even the most cautious single mother would start to wonder if true love really is just about the timing. Now Janet has to make a choice—play it safe or trust that her first love could also be her last.

Ah. This might be my other favorite. I'm a sucker for second chances and this one really packs a punch. If you've read Christmas in Snow Valley, you know that Janet was battling cancer in that set. She's got a new lease on life, but she knows how tenuous it can be. Can she risk handing her heart back to the boy she's always loved when he walked away so long ago? Especially when she still feels broken?
I give this one a 4.5!

Romancing Rebecca by Amazon Top Seller, Kimberley Montpetit

Rebecca Dash loved spending her teen summers swooning over Jane Austin and helping her aunt at the Starry Skies Bed & Breakfast in Snow Valley. But as a recent college grad, she’d rather write sappy romance novels than go out with guys that make her a nervous wreck. When a team of fire-fighters set up camp on the lawns of the B&B and Captain Wade catches her eye, Becca soon learns that there’s more to a happily-ever-after than a flirty fireman with muscles the size of the Montana hills.

Ha! This one was confusing at first. So many firefighters! Who could be the real love interest? This is a bit of a spoiler (sorry!) but I love that history wins out in the end. ;) When it's right, it's right. Becca just has to give it a chance and let some of her preconceived notions go. 
This one is fun. I give it a solid 4.

Love in Light and Shadow by Amazon Top Seller Lucy McConnell

Mercedes O'Shay has sworn off gorgeous men because they have a tendency to break her heart. When she meets her new neighbor, Chet Bauer, she immediately puts him in the Do Not Date category based on his well-defined muscles and stunning blue eyes. But the more Mercedes learns about the cowboy who reads classics and forges iron, the more she realizes the heart doesn't see in black and white; it sees light and shadows.

This story made me smile all the way through. One of my favorite scenes is when Chet's sister tells him not to talk about all the boring trivia he knows. She has no idea that Mercedes loves that! Chet is just sweet in all the ways he tries to avoid Mercedes. Here's two people immediately drawn to each other like magnets, but Mercedes is afraid he'll be like all the others, and Chet is too humble to even chase her. 
I give this one a solid 4.5 for the steamy cowboy who brings art back to Mercedes life

As a collection, I have to say I love Snow Valley! It was easy to fall right in since I read the Christmas set three or four times. When the characters from those stories drifted "across the screen" I felt like I was seeing old friends while making these new ones.

I give the whole set a solid 5 to show my support for well-written, CLEAN romance! It's got steam without things I feel best left behind closed doors. 

Plus, I'm a sucker for sweet stories that tug on the heartstrings and make me smile like I'm experiencing that first love sensation.

My rating scale for book reviews
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

1 comment:

  1. You know you shouldn't be pushing books my way. I have a certain book to *ahem* critique right now...


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