Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowbound Colorado Christmas by Tamela Hancock Murray, Lena Nelson Dooley, Susan Page Davis, Darlene Franklin

Four stories of romance set against the great blizzard of 1913 in Denver, Colorado. Curl up with this cozy collection of historical romance.

In Tamela Hancock Murray's opening novella, Fires of Love, Thalia Blooms’s Christmas party on December 3, 1913, is the talk of Denver, but no one dreams the gently falling snow will continue six days and accumulate to nearly four feet. Thalia’s only dread is having to see the man who once jilted her. Could an allergy to rhubarb ruin her whole party or bring together two people who are meant for each other?

In Lena Nelson Dooley's The Best Medicine, Rose Fletcher attends her friend's party and becomes reacquainted with a man who used to work on her father's ranch. Are her feelings just lingering infatuation, or could there be a future for two people from such different backgrounds?

In Susan Page Davis's Almost Home, Patricia Logan leaves the party and sets out on horseback with her old friend Jared, but they soon regret leaving the safety of town and plunging into the snow. Can Patricia rekindle an old camaraderie and see it transform into lasting love?

In Darlene Franklin's Dressed in Scarlet, heiress Natalie Daire nearly runs down a man in the storm. She takes refuge at the famous Brown Hotel. What could a sudden friendship with a ordinary mechanic teach her about life?

My Review:
This book is a collection of four romance novellas. It is easy to pick up and put down because each story is under 90 pages. The story lines are straight forward and simple to follow. They share the same setting: a Colorado blizzard in 1913, and even the characters move from one story to another.

However, these are four distinctly different tales. The first is not written as well as the others, and quite frankly, that turned me off. The final novella is simplistic. Uneven writing makes for a frustrating read.

Characters are not well developed. Maybe it's me; I just don't care for romance novellas. I prefer plots with twists and turns. I appreciate sparkling dialogue and a bit of intrigue. A lover of romance stories might enjoy this book.


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Thank you for reviewing our novella collection. One of the problems with novellas is the fact that character development can't be as deep as in longer novels. But there are a lot of readers who like the short format, and they love romance. So these books are for these readers.

Please check out my website for books for more depth.

Susan Page Davis said...

Hi, Sally! Thanks for giving us your take on this book. Reviews like this make us all stretch to make the next one better. If you'd said, "I love it!" that wouldn't help us grow as writers. Personally, I found Darlene Franklin's novella (the last one) charming. I loved the way she worked in her research on the storm and the Brown Palace hotel. The elephants were my favorite part (a true incident). I know what I'll be working on in my next book, though--character development! Hope you have a great Christmas.