Thursday, October 25, 2012

CR Review: When Snow Falls by Brenda Novak

When Snow Falls 
By Brenda Novak 
Book #2 in the Whiskey Creek Series
Contemporary Romance

After growing up in cheap motels, moving from town to town with her sister and mother, Cheyenne Christensen is grateful to be on her own. She's grateful, too, for the friends she found once her family settled in California. But she's troubled by the mystery of her earliest memories, most of which feature a smiling blonde woman. A woman who isn't her mother.

Although Cheyenne has repeatedly asked for explanations, the people who could help aren't talking. Cheyenne is set on finding answers, but without so much as a birth certificate, it won't be easy.

Things get even more complicated when her closest friend is attracted to the man Cheyenne has secretly loved for years. For Eve's sake, she decides to step aside — which lands her right in the arms of Dylan Amos, oldest and baddest of the hell-raising Amos brothers. He's the kind of guy she's sworn to avoid. She can't afford to make a mistake, not when she finally has a chance to learn who she really is and change her life for the better. But . . . maybe there's more to Dylan than she thought. Maybe letting him go would be a bigger mistake.


Cheyenne Christiansen has had the same inexplicable memory for many years, one where she's with a pretty blonde woman and has lots of gifts around her. Her mother, Anita, who is dying of cancer and has no redeemable qualities, refuses to validate Cheyenne's images. Cheyenne is also struggling to deal with her very dear friend, Eve, being interested in the same man she's had a crush on since she was 14. She'd rather step aside than do anything to damage her relationship with the one person she holds dear in her life.

This is not the prettiest of stories to say the least. Anita, though dying of cancer, is pretty despicable and I couldn't muster an ounce of sympathy. Cheyenne is pretty sweet natured and loyal and my heart broke for her when she had to smile and support Eve's courting of Joe DeMarco, the man she had adored from afar for many years. I also admired her devotion to her sister, Presley, who is a real mess. She's addicted to drugs and has promiscuous behavior. This aspect of the story was really compelling and the characterizations were well done.

I found Cheyenne's decision to sleep with Dylan puzzling. And, I also don't understand why, after maintaining her virginity for so long, her first interlude was just referenced after it was over. She spoke of passion we never were privy to and I never could invest in this aspect of the story. So much was made of the physical relationship but it wasn't chronicled at all...ever. I don't necessarily need this in a story but when it becomes a critical part of the storyline, it's omission is glaring. Adding to this is Cheyenne's shabby treatment of Dylan, which belied her nature. I had real struggles with the decision to manage the story in this manner. It made a difference with my enjoyment of the book and understanding of the relationship as it developed. It rang hollow. There wasn't anything to support Dylan being such a terrible person, especially in a town where everyone knows everybody's business.

I really, really like this series but it think this story falls flat because the details of the relationship between Cheyenne and Dylan were omitted and just referenced, even though it was pivotal to understanding the dynamics of what connected them. I couldn't manage understanding her shifting emotions between Joe and Dylan and was left frustrated. The question of Cheyenne's parentage was extremely interesting but then put on the back burner and given a rushed ending.

I loved the novella and the first book in the series but was left wanting more with this story. I'm still looking forward to the next book in the series and hope the direction taken in this story isn't perpetuated.

(I received an ARC from NetGalley)


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.