It’s forever the bane of my reading life to never read seasonal books during the season they use as filler. When Once Upon a Winter’s Heart came around, I figured it was high time I snagged a copy and actually read it. So that’s what I did. Set during the Valentine Day period, it tells the story of the jaded Emma whose trust in love is nothing if not fragile. Her grandparents were the prime example of what it means to be in a marriage with God at the center but then there are her parents. And her sister. With her grandfather’s recent death, Emma leaves behind her life in Seattle to help her grandmother around the house and slowly begins to open her heart to Lane Forrester. But things get complicated when she learns her sister has a claim on Lane.
Reading this novel (which is very short on average though probably longer than a novella), makes its reader feel nostalgic. It makes me think of folding colorful cardstock and cutting out hearts or writing out Disney Valentine’s. This is the kind of vibe its cover illustration (and it’s gorgeous!) has, and I suspect, exactly what Melody wants the book to feel like. Those of us who prefer more time for characters to grow – both as individuals and as a couple if that’s the path of the story, will be disappointed as there is very little depth of characters. The story takes a more lighthearted, easy approach to its subjects which is nice.
BOOK REVIEW | ‘It Had to Be You’: A Charming Follow Up to Book One!‘ONCE UPON A WINTER’S HEART,’ BY MELODY CARLSON #FWarchives Click To Tweet
I don’t respect some of the choices in the book though that falls into being a question of personal preference. There are cute classic book references and a scene that debates The Phantom of the Opera then there is the banter between Emma and her family which is cute – especially the scenes with her dad and I giggled over Emma adjusting to her mother rooming with her (note the scene of Emma taking her bubble bath), and in fact could even relate to Emma with certain of her personality quirks. Anyone looking for a cozy read will probably enjoy Once Upon a Winter’s Heart. For a holiday read, there’s plenty of hearts, sappy moments of nostalgia, and of course a sweet romance albeit one that does end with ambiguity though, any well-read inspirational romance reader knows… the implication speaks volumes. *wink*
About the Book:
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Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Center Street
Publication Date: 2014
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Genre: Fiction; Contemporary, Romance, Christian
Rating: 4 out of 5