Skip to main content

Review of "Snowflake Bay" by Donna Kauffman

snowflake baySnowflake Bay is a Christmas book in the same way that Winter Wonderland is a Christmas song.  It isn't one.  Instead, it is a wintertime book that made me want to crawl up in front of a nice warm fire (and then douse the fire in order to turn on the Air Conditioning because I am not that kind of girl.  No roaring fires for me).  It features a sweet romance and a clumsy heroine with slight insecurities over her past.  While the epilogue takes place on Christmas (at the heroine's sister's wedding), this book does not have the holiday feeling that I was expecting when I requested it from Netgalley.

Fiona McRae has just moved home to Blueberry Cove, which is a part of Snowflake Bay, Maine, and she is helping her sister, Hannah, plan her Christmas wedding.  She's also trying to get her interior design business up and running.  She does not have time to let her old feelings for the boy that got away get in the way of her new life plans--even if said boy is now gorgeous and finally paying attention to her.  Ben Campbell is only in town for the Christmas season, running his parents' Christmas Tree Farm now that they've retired to the Carolinas.  He's also trying to run his agricultural design company, which happened to be based in Rhode Island.  He definitely doesn't have time to notice his best friend's little sister or her Jessica Rabbit body.  Besides, she's staying in Maine and he's not sure what he's doing once the season is over.

This is the second Donna Kauffman book that I have ever read (the first being Sugar Rush, which I read last year on a plane from NY to California) and while I like these small town books, I have an issue with the anti-city vibe that I got from them both.  Fiona more or less flees New York City to return to Blueberry Cove because the people there didn't appreciate her special brand of interior design and she didn't relish doing the types of classy home decor that her rich clientele preferred.  To be honest, I didn't quite get Fi's artistic image, but then, I'm from New York City, so I guess I'm not supposed to get it.  Oh, well. (In Sugar Rush, the main character also fled New York for the quiet shores of Georgia--possibly?)  I get that the city is not for everyone, but I kept getting the feeling that Ms. Kauffman was putting down the people that thrive in a more urban environment.

Fi was also very childish at times and the main conflict of the book surrounds the fact that the hero, Ben, calls her an unflattering nickname from when they were kids.  He had no idea that she hated the nickname and was very upset with himself when he found out how she really felt about it.  I thought this was a very juvenile plot point, but it kept popping up and keeping Ben and Fi from actually pursuing a relationship.  There were times that I felt as if I was reading about a man and a sixteen year old girl because being inside Fi's thoughts were similar to being in my head when I was 16.  I don't know many people who'd want to revisit their 16 year old self.  I know I wouldn't.

Ben was a much better character and I preferred being in his head.  I really liked the way he dealt with his parents and the issues surrounding their move south.  I also thought he was very sweet when he was with Fi.  However, there weren't all that many scenes in which they actually interacted.  A large part of the book took place before they got together and so chances were he was either dealing with his businesses or was with her brother.  A part of me thinks that Ms. Kauffman relied on the fact that Ben and Fiona grew up together, so she wouldn't have to write all the getting to know you scenes.  These characters hadn't seen each other in years and hadn't stayed in contact after they both left town, making her about 14 at the last time she was around him on an almost daily basis.  Half her life was spent away from him, so you would think that there would be a lot of catching up to do, but we only got one scene of this.  One scene in the entire book!  Apparently, they were talking on the phone a lot throughout the book, but we weren't privy to these conversations.  This made it feel as if the relationship was extremely rushed, so when he started talking about being in love with her and wanting to marry her, it felt too soon.

All this probably makes you think that I did not like the book, but that isn't true.  It was a cute read and I liked the relationship between Fiona and her sisters, Hannah and Kerry.  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough of what I did like to counteract the parts that weren't as good.

3 Stars

Snowflake Bay is available for pre-order and will be released on September 29th.


  1. […] books start coming out much earlier than they do for other people.  I already reviewed one Christmas Book and now I’m on my second.  According to the description, this is a re-issue of two complete […]

  2. […] 2. Snowflake Bay by Donna Kauffman: Snowflake Bay was a fast read that I enjoyed enough to keep reading it, but I doubt it will be on my re-read shelf any time soon.  This too was part of a series, but I didn’t know that when I started reading it.  Fiona and Ben were friends as kids, but they haven’t seen each other in years.  When they bump into each other, sparks fly, sending Ben reeling (Fiona had a huge crush on him when they were kids). 3 Stars […]

  3. […] Snowflake Bay by Donna Kauffman: I reviewed this book a couple of months ago and was disappointed in the way the conflict was handled.  I did like Ms. Kauffman’s writing style and felt that had the conflict been handled better, the book would have been at least a 4 star book.  The plot involved the return of both the hero and heroine to their hometown–she goes back to open up her own business whereas he was there to take care of his parents’ Christmas Tree Farm.  It was a Friend-to-Lovers scenario that I liked. […]


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.

The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Review of "Bay of Sighs" by Nora Roberts

A couple of months ago, I volunteered to read Stars of Fortune, the first book in Nora Roberts's Guardian Trilogy for the Smart Bitches RITA Reader Challenge because ParaNoras are my crack.  If they were illegal, I'd be serving a life sentence for possession/intent to sell a controlled substance.  Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of book 1, but I'd already requested Bay of Sighs, so I felt the need to read it too.  Plus, I liked the idea of a mermaid heroine -- one whose name was not Ariel.  I really wish I resisted reading this.  It was awful.  It took everything I hated about SoF and magnified it to the level that I wasn't able to finish it.

Annika is a mermaid, sent to "the shore up above" to stop an evil goddess from getting the Stars of Fortune.  Together with the five other guardians, she must search for the stars and protect them.  Afterwards, she must return to the sea, which wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't for Sawyer King...

Sawyer has be…

Review of "Sleepless in Manhattan" by Sarah Morgan

I bought this book with the intention of reading it on a plane from San Francisco to New York City last weekend.  Of course I read about 30% before even stepping foot onto the plane and once I was actually on it, I read maybe 5%, listening to the most recent Smart Bitches podcast and watching a few episodes of Charmed on Netflix because I had an awful night sleep the evening prior and was too tired to read.  I finally sat down to read it Sunday and Monday night.

Paige Walker has lived a sheltered life, brought low by a heart condition that had her in and out of the hospital until her late teens, but now in her late 20's she's finally healthy and happy.  She loves her life in Manhattan.  She'd felt stifled in her hometown of Puffin Island and as soon as she was able she moved to New York with her best friends, Eva and Frankie, as well as her older brother, Matt.  On the verge of a promotion at work, she figures she's got it all, but then the rug is pulled out from unde…

Review of "Magnate" by Joanna Shupe

The first thing that intrigued me about Joanna Shupe's Knickerbocker Series (other than the fact that Knickerbocker is the full name of the New York basketball team) was that it took place in Gilded Age New York.  I remember reading about that time period in both my high school and college American History classes and through the 21st century liberal gaze, I saw that period as rivaling our current economic situation (which is true in some respects and utterly false in others).  This alone was reason enough for me to check out this series, but seeing as the hero of Magnate is one of those figments of the GOP's collective imagination -- the self-made man, who struggled out of the slums of Five Points and made his way into the boardrooms and ballrooms of Manhattan (of course, this description is the true difference between the late 19th Century and today, the fact that a boy from the slums actually can become a millionaire) -- my finger deftly pressed the "Buy with One Clic…

Review of "Pretty Face" by Lucy Parker

Pretty Face is pretty fucking awesome.  There, I said it.  I first picked it up based on all the squeeing about Ms. Parker's first book, Act Like It, which I am sad to say, I still have not read, despite said squeeing.  I don't usually read books by authors I know are British and I'm sure this comes from all those stuffy classics I had to read in high school.  Granted, many of those classics were written by American authors (I still have nightmares about reading Moby Dick--Mr Sullivan, if you are out there and have stumbled on my blog, I'm sorry, but Melville was an awful writer, who used the English language as a torture device), but still, there seems to be some type of block in my brain that stops me from wanting to read something by a British author.  I'm glad I made an exception for Ms. Parker.

Luc Savage is in the middle of a crisis: he can't find anyone to play Elizabeth I in the new play that he is producing.  While he's used to dealing with actors…