RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan


Title: Sleigh Bells in the Snow
Author: Sarah Morgan
Publication Info: Harlequin October 2013
ISBN: 978-0263910469
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Sleigh Bells in the Snow This RITA® Reader Challenge 2014 review was written by Celia. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Contemporary Romance category.

The summary:

Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green's favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.

Jackson O'Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family's resort—it's in his blood, and he can't let it fail. Now that he's got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she's out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it's terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn't believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?

And here is Celia's review:

I loved this book.  It was everything a romance should be – sweet, sexy, dramatic, funny, with a heavy dose of warm, fuzzy feelings. 

It reminded me a lot of Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski series, which is great since I love the Kowalskis.  The writing style is similar, though I have to say, Sarah Morgan’s romance scenes are undoubtedly superior.  If you’re at all a fan of Shannon Stacey’s books, you have to read this.  I think of this book as the Kowalskis at Christmas.

The Christmas theme fit so well into every aspect of the novel. Kayla, our heroine, hates Christmas-time, and for good reason. Jackson, our hero, is dealing with the very relatable nuisance of an overbearing, noisy family who show their love through arguments and cookies.  The setting, a rural Vermont ski resort, is perfect for Christmas. Kayla goes to Vermont to escape the New York decorations only to find herself surrounded by wholesome family celebrations that are even worse than the store bought kind. 

I only had two minor issues with the book. One was that the POV would occasionally switch to someone besides Jackson and Kayla. I like books that establish their POV right from the start and stick to it, not go wandering into whoever’s head seems the most interesting at that moment. It’s an interesting writing exercise, but I am annoyed when I see it in the finished product.  Thankfully, Sarah Morgan didn’t do this often and therefore her offenses were minor. 

The other point of contention is the short time span over which the story occurred. Right from the start we know Kayla’s only going to be at the ski resort for a week. A week isn’t long enough for her to completely overhaul her priorities and fall in love! In some respect, Morgan handled the situation really well. She didn’t give Jackson and Kayla a dramatic, sparring, loathing-at-first-sight relationship – they went into the week with the hots for each other. Still, I found myself having to suspend my disbelief over the brief timeline of events. Honestly, Jackson should be wary of Kayla, if she can flip flop that easily. But since it’s a romance novel and in romance novels, love conquers all, I let it go and allowed myself to go along for the ride. 

What a ride it was. The characters were intriguing and fun, the romance scenes steamy and spicy, and the story flowed well from beginning to end. Plus there were set ups for the next books in the series. Thank god for families with lots of gorgeous sons. Without them romance novels would be very dull indeed. I can’t wait for the next book to come out!

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | All Romance eBooks

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Helen R-S says:

    Hi Celia,

    I completely agree with you about it all happening too fast – while I enjoyed the book, I felt their romance moved WAY too fast (engaged after a week together??) and I also had trouble believing that it was a good idea to change her life on the basis of one week’s holiday.

  2. 2
    Jo says:

    I really enjoyed this book!!

    The second book,  Suddenly Last Summer, came out July 1st :D

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