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Beanbag Love

I read. I write. I talk about reading and writing. That is when I'm not driving kids somewhere or teaching them. Married, educated, domesticated. I really enjoy the friends I've met through a variety of different message boards and venues regarding reading and authors. I try to take a positive view when I write reviews but sometimes I can't. Those times are few and far between, but they do exist. I'm mostly an old softy, though. I think so anyway.

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Snowbound - Janice Kay Johnson This was a Kindle freebie (still is, I believe) and is a surprisingly nice read, even though serious PTSD is a main topic.

I wasn't expecting much when I downloaded it and I took months to finally read it, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. If nothing else, it has me dying to go to a lodge in the mountains and sit in front of a roaring fire.

John and Fiona are a nice couple. He's a veteran of Iraq, wounded both inside and out. Fiona is a teacher, stranded in a blizzard with eight teenagers at his mountain lodge. Their relationship seems to happen very quickly, but their time together has such a deadline, this seemed pretty natural. Their subsequent courtship over e-mails was a nice development and then their whirlwind romance before the inevitable break-up was also believable.

I have to admit I was worried about the subject matter, but this author didn't take any political sides or try to moralize. She stuck with the two leads and what they needed from each other and I have to stand up and applaud her for that. No doubt she does have an opinion, but I didn't feel like I was hit over the head with it at any point. Other authors could take a lesson. Stick with the personal relationship -- it was refreshing.

Parts of it are a little hard to read. Anyone who's followed the news knows the kind of things he experienced really did happen. John has some powerful demons and he's going to be wrestling with them his entire life, but Fiona is a natural for him. A really nice couple.

I did have a problem with the wrap-up. I don't want to spoil anything, but I was a bit disappointed in her decision at the end. The HEA is lovely, but we are introduced to and engaged by a group of people who need her in other ways and I fear they're forgotten in this conclusion. I can't help thinking they'll be a bit worse off without her. Not that she should have to choose, but ... the author brought us into their world and let us know them. I don't think it's odd to wonder how they'll handle it.

All that said -- I have to confess that I was not expecting much from a Harlequin romance, snob that I am. But this was really pretty darn good. And it was a quick read, so there's no pressure. Just a nice interlude between the Big Books. ;^)