Review: One Snowy Night

One Snowy Night is a winter themed sweet romance anthology from Roane Publishing containing 4 stories of romance and family oriented drama.

Story 1 of 4: Unforeseen Circumstances by Melissa J. Crispin

The first story centers on a couple who are provided with a second chance at a relationship they both thought was over for good. The cause of this breakup is not insurmountable, and so the door remained open for them. The dramatic event of an accident leading to memory loss turns the story on its head, breathing new life into something that had, up until that point, seemed unlikely.

The two main characters each have distinct and relatable personalities which are far from the cookie cutter ones you might find in a TV movie. They have their faults. but even with them, the story gains a power to enhance the intensity of the story. In other words, their mistakes can make you feel, whether it is compassion for one or expectation of inspired romance. The supporting cast is also well fleshed out, especially given the circumstances, something which can be supported by how easily one can picture their reaction to something outside of their involvement in the story.

The writer proclaims to be keen on romance, and she does not disappoint. The situations and circumstances she creates, while not particularly new or rare, are presented in a way that is indeed unusual to see in the bigger and more modest motion pictures. Often in these you might find yourself hoping for certain decisions to be made, for certain circumstances to play out. In this story, if you have the heart of a romantic, you might just find yourself celebrating, rather than, as is too often the case, either lamenting what was not or feeling shortchanged.

Instead of being obvious and cheap, the story possesses interesting and warming situations which can come as a pleasant surprise or a breath of fresh air. There are also challenging problems for the main characters to navigate, real dilemmas to negotiate, and tough decisions to make. It’s not all pretty, and the outcomes could easily surprise you. There’s a healthy helping of the real world in this story, giving it that bit of bite that helps make the sweeter moments that much sweeter. This is most certainly reason enough to have a go at this anthology alone.

 

Story 2 of 4: All The Things I Should Have Told You by T.E. Hodden

Told purely from the perspective of an Englishman, the style is uncommon. The story is a slow burn, a long fuse that takes time to burn, but you can tell its burning. Much of the writing itself often reads more like poetry, with no shortage of strong descriptions which often appeal to the senses. While there may not be much specific description of the characters’ appearance, there is nothing that is obviously missing as their actions and scenes are provided in a manner that makes it easy to read.

The flow from line to line is often fluid, perhaps making this too quick of a read, as in you can find yourself cruising along from page to page looking to find out what happens next. The characters are all interesting, there are a kaleidoscope of emotions present, and it is surprising more than once. What’s more, there is still that warming sprinkling of tender moments which serve to give the story an emotional power that fits well between the periods of rapid story flow which on their own fulfil an important, albeit unromantic, purpose.

The biggest, and perhaps the only serious, “criticism” of this story is that it is too short. Nonetheless, it is worth checking out.

 

Story 3 of 4: One Snowy Day by Charlotte Snead

Starting from a place of tragedy, the mood takes a while to pick up. It is certainly not immediately clear how the leading gentleman and leading lady are supposed to play off each other for some time. The daughter of the widower is also as prominent a character as the others, which makes this story as much of a family drama as it is a sweet romance.

Tragedy can be a way for a story to evolve and add power to moments or depth to characters. The latter is certainly achieved throughout. You end up getting to know two people who might not have seemed so complicated had the harsh realities they had to face in their past not been surfaced by the tragedy. They become more likeable and real as the story progresses, with their overcoming of a significant death putting them in situations that elicit relatable thoughts and reactions.

Another notable character is religion. The story highlights certain issues, and, while religion does not become overbearing, it is emphasised through the characters and makes more appearances throughout the story than most others of this kind. This adds another dimension to the story and its characters as well as helping this one stand out.

The story is written in a style that might be familiar to many. It is a style that works well to compress it. As a result, there can be periods within the story that can make the often necessary action of speeding through or skipping over activity to seem too obvious, but there are still plenty of moments important to the romantic and family aspects of the story that prevent it from seeming rushed.

The leading characters are likeable and interesting, and their interactions are often entertaining. The scenes are fit well together and even the secondary characters add to the overall feel of the story. Adding in the warm and uplifting moments, you get something that gives a reader a lot to bite off and chew.

 

Story 4 of 4: Somewhere Between Falling by Laurie Treacy

What is abundantly clear with this story is its quality. The degree and quality of description of both the physical environment and the thoughts and emotions of the characters are high. Perhaps this is the primary explanation for the story’s length, but either way, its a pleasant read.

The main characters are a little unusual, but are also quite real. They experience and do things that most people can relate to. They are fun, funny and interesting. The supporting cast is not far off either. They all come together to produce emotional and serious moments throughout the story, maintaining a level of drama that is varies from personal to familial to romantic.

The chemistry of the leads is entertaining on its own. They way the play off each other, observe each other, and take care of each other makes good use of their history and current circumstance. They each have their flaws, but they never let those flaws get between them in a silly or frustrating way. They not just have a romance, they have that long-term friendship they formed during their childhood that keeps them and their story grounded in a real relationship. The story might have benefited well from more focused scenes of romance between them, but, given their specific situation, they weren’t necessary.

The story puts most of the characters through intense situations that take time to play out. Despite its genre, there are genuine questions regarding their resolution. Those resolutions also seem grounded and provide a sense of a world that is not tied up into a neat red bow. Countering this is the strong romance that remained the focus of the story, and which kept it exuding a warmth and excitement that is appealing all on its own.

 

One Snowy Night is an anthology filled with good writing, strong characters, and engrossing romance. Readers of the genre are sure to find entertainment, warmth and even the odd laugh in this collection.

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