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
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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