Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just Finished: Snowbound Hearts

My favourite thing about reading short story collections is that you get a taste of many authors in one lovely package. Snowbound Hearts (published by Still Moments Publishing) was a very lovely package and I am so glad I got the chance to read this anthology. A big thank you to one of the authors Jen Daiker (the very talented voice behind the blog Unedited, check it out here!) for sending me the collection.

Here's a quick snapshot of what this collection holds:
Sophie’s Snow Day by Jillian Chantal 
“A snowstorm can be a life changing event. Just ask Sophie.”
Snowbanked by Jennifer Daiker
“Returning home can hold the best surprises, especially when love is involved.”

The White Lion by Maggie Devine
“When Pub owner Sophie Ashford clashes with the new Lord of the Manor, Shane Smith, a secret past is unearthed and a new love erupts...”
Winter Twilight by Shannon O’Brien
“Can a secret, up and coming rock musician reawaken a young woman's passion while she fumbles her way through a strange city and new life?”
I've discovered that I really like when anthologies have a theme. Usually I read Christmas books (I'm mildly obsessed with Christmas collections...) but after reading this book I've realized that I'm open to just about anything. In Snowbound Hearts each story features a big snow storm which results in the characters being snowed in. There's something very romantic about being snowed in with loved ones and this collection takes advantage of that. Usually the snow looks fresh and clean and pretty (even though it's wreaking havoc on the world outside) and you can watch the world become white while snuggled up in your house - bonus points if you have a fireplace!

I was really happy with this collection. There wasn't a story that I didn't like and that's something that I'm always afraid of - reading a few great stories and then coming to one that I just can't get into. However, there were two that stood out more for me - "Snowbanked" and "The White Lion".

"The White Lion" took place in a small town British pub. Sophie was spunky and had a great personality that enchanted Shane just as much as me. I loved the bantering and the witty conversations, especially between Sophie and her uncle, and there were several times I found myself laughing out loud. I think what I liked most about this story was the crazy twist Devine came up with. I was quite proud of myself for figuring it out but maybe I'm thinking too highly of myself... :) I liked that I went into this story expecting one happy ending and instead I got two...a great bonus!

Since Jennifer was the one who sent me a copy of the book I told myself that I wouldn't play favourites and would be as fair as I always am in my reviews. Turns out I absolutely adored her story and it was my favourite in this collection. This story also made me realize that I love the returning home stories - when a guy or girl leaves behind their small home town and their love interest to run away to the big city, only to return and realize what they've been missing. There are a couple of lines I just have to share from this story because I loved them so much:
"Snowflakes trickled outside the oversized windows while the chocolatey goodness brewed into the glass mug"
Can't you just picture yourself there, looking out at the snowflakes falling, and waiting for a tasty hot chocolate?
"You're the most gorgeous klutz I've ever met."
"I'm the only one you've ever met."
"And the only one I fell in love with."
 *swoon* I think love this because I'm such a klutz too. It's a little cheesy but it works with the story.

Overall, I really liked Snowbound Hearts and I encourage everyone to go buy it. You can get it from the Still Moments Publishing site or Smashwords and since it's only $3.99 you have no excuse not to purchase it. Stay tuned for my review of the next anthology Jennifer Daiker is a part of - Valentine Delights - I'm really looking forward to it!

Happy reading :)

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