Saturday, December 3, 2016

#52 [2016/CBR8] "Coming in From the Cold" by Sarina Bowen

I've enjoyed Sarina Bowen's romance stories with hockey-playing college students. I was able to get Coming in From the Cold (2014) for free from Amazon, so even though I'd heard it wasn't as good, I knew I still wanted to read it. Also, I was going on a short camping trip in November, and I needed something to pass the time during the cold, dark nights. Although I was already reading a book by Cormac McCarthy, I figured I'd much prefer to read something a little lighter when I'm sleeping in the woods. That was a very good choice.

Willow is our heroine. She followed a man to a farm in Vermont where the man promptly left her. She is now stuck with a debilitating mortgage and a lot of chickens. She's drives into town one blizzardy night and almost runs into Dane Hollister. They both end up stranded on the road in the snow, and they spend some time in his jeep, waiting for the snow plow, and trying to stay warm. They have little interest in denying their immediate sexual attraction, and they act on it.

Dane "Danger" Hollister is a professional downhill skier. He is talented, fast, and skis like there is no tomorrow. His mother died of a horrible disease when he was younger, and now his brother is deathly ill. He thinks it is  just a matter of time until the same, degenerative disease hits him. Because of this, he does not get close to anyone, especially women. He'll have some one-night stands but relationships are off limits.

Willow and Dane's one-night-stand was memorable for both of them, although they both try to forget about it and move on. Unfortunately, that's harder for Willow to do when she finds out she's pregnant. Ugh, you cannot imagine my disappointment with this plot point. Then Dane tears up his knee in a race and has to convalesce in his coach's new apartment on Willow's land. The two have a lot of baggage, both separately and with each other, but in the end it all works out.

Okay, I did find this one much less interesting than the other books I've read by Sarina Bowen. The relationship between the two seems to be based solely on mutual attraction. One thing I liked so much about Bowen's other books is that her relationships were such natural progressions from a well-formed friendship. I also did not like the pregnancy plot line. Being pregnant with a virtual stranger's child is not even remotely romantic. I also wasn't very impressed by the character of Dane. Yes, he was dealt a very bad hand, and his life is tragic. He's also something of an asshole. I had a hard time believing that anyone would isolate themselves as completely as he did. I also had a hard time believing that he would be able to keep any of his life private as he does in this book.

This book wasn't difficult to read, and I finished it quickly. Dane and Willow had good chemistry, but the plot did nothing for me. It felt unrealistic and not very romantic.

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