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.

Comments

  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 […]

    ReplyDelete
  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 […]

    ReplyDelete
  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. […]

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fifteen Years Later: Review of "His Sinful Touch" by Candace Camp

Title: His Sinful Touch
Author: Candace Camp
ISBN: 0373789963
Publisher: HQN
Series: Mad Morelands #5
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2


Most readers remember their first, the first book of their particular genre that they read, whether they enjoyed the book or not.  I have two firsts--the first romance I ever read was a Harlequin Intrigue written by Amanda Stevens.  If you've read my blog before you probably already know this.  The first historical romance I read was Mesmerized by Candace Camp, which was also the first book in her Mad Morelands series.  

I was a senior in high school when this series began and I remember seeing the paperback version of Mesmerized on the shelf at the Target on Queens Blvd (yes, I spent a lot of time on Queens Blvd as a teenager), and was pulled in by the gorgeous cover.  Apparently, that book has had several covers over the last 15 years, but this is the one I remember:


Isn't it pretty?  Of course from the cover I…

Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

Title: Edge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780399583087
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so befor…

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year--Christmas in September

The day after Labor Day I woke up to an email from my contacts at St. Martin’s Press, inviting me to review six of their upcoming Christmas books, all of which have release dates in early October. For most people, this would probably be a problem — who wants to think about Christmas before Halloween — but for me, I’ve always had a soft spot for the man in the red suit. Even after I stopped believing in the Christ-Myth, I still loved that one holiday. To me, Christmas represents everything that Thanksgiving is supposed to be, but with better music and no obligatory turkey. Some of my favorite books have a Christmas theme and so I jumped at the chance to review those six books (well, five of them because the sixth has to do with cowboys and if there is one sub-genre I just cannot do is cowboys). I read the first two, With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins and Deck the Halls by Donna Alward, fairly quickly, especially since they’re both novellas. Both are being released in a little o…

Review of "New York, Actually" by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually
Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 0373804105
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96 (Audible)
Rating: 🐶🐶🐶🐶1/2


If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my posts about this book over the last week.  For the most part, they weren't very positive -- until about 20% into the book, I hated the hero.  If I could have set him on fire, I probably would have.  It was only Ms. Morgan's prose and the fact that I had been looking forward to this book for 6 months that kept me reading.  For once, I am glad I was so wrong about a character.

From the PublisherOne man. One woman. Two dogs.  Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.  Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce …

The Internet of Things: Review of "Hacking IT" by Kimberly Dean

Title: Hacking IT
Author: Kimberly Dean
ISBN: 9781386835561
Publisher: Self-published
Series: Hackers #1
Price: $3.99 (e-book) $9.99 (paperback)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2


Have you ever seen the description of a book and known immediately that it was going to be awesome and upon reading it were faced with the possibility that it might actually be better than you originally thought?  For me, that book was Hacking IT by Kimberly Dean.  A female white hat hacker using her skills to uncover a black hat hacker, who has stepped away from his computer and entered the real world?  Um, yes, please.

From the Publisher:
Independent software developer Kylie Grant is on top of her game in the world of IT. She has loyal clients, a good reputation, and a prestigious membership in technology giant Afire Industries’ small business accelerator. Things are going well until she stumbles across an innocuous issue with the lighting in the building where she rents space. When she digs into the problem, she discovers some…