Sleigh Bells in the Snow
I was so pleasantly surprised by Sleigh Bells in the Snow. I hadn’t expected to like it too much since I’m a person that rarely gets into the Christmas spirit and, thus, I tend to avoid Christmas themed books. I’ve always worried they would be too schmaltzy. However, I never felt that way while reading this book. I found Sleigh Bells in the Snow to be a great wintery romance with plenty of chemistry and heart.
Marketing agent Kayla Green hates Christmas and all of its trappings. She has done her best to totally avoid the holiday season and working seems like her chance to do so this year. She agrees to stay at the Snow Crystal resort over the holidays and help to develop a marketing plan to save the family run business. However, her hopes of avoiding the holidays are dashed when the resort owners, Jackson O’Neil and his large family take her in. It is difficult to avoid the Christmas spirit when you are surrounded by such a loving family that is always making gingerbread cookies.
Jackson O’Neil left his role running his business in Sweden to come back and run Snow Crystal after his father’s tragic death. The last eighteen months have been a stressful time for him as he attempts to push the resort forward and his grandfather stubbornly refuses to change. He knows that Kayla has what it takes to put Snow Crystal on the map. His heated attraction to her is just an added bonus that might help to make up for the past year and a half of all work and no play.
There is excellent chemistry between Kayla and Jackson from the word go, which is a good thing considering how many times the narrator uses the word chemistry to describe Kayla’s feelings. Had the scenes between the pair fallen flat, it would have felt a bit like beating a dead horse to be constantly reminded of the chemistry. I enjoyed their budding romance and I really liked Jackson as a character. He came off as sexy and confident, which was a nice foil to Kayla’s closed-off nature and insecurities. I will say, that if I were someone as sexy and accomplished as Jackson, my patience with Kayla might have run short. Due to her unhappy past, she is completely and totally shut down to the idea of relationships, holidays, fun, enjoyment, or pretty much anything besides work. At times, I found this trait to be a little too over the top. While I could see her desire to want to avoid potential heartache, you would think that someone who feels lonely would be more accepting of friendly overtures.
Where this novel really flourished was in the setting and secondary characters. Snow Crystal is set in the freezing, snowy mountains of Vermont and Morgan’s descriptions of the surrounding nature were completely charming. It made me want to run away to somewhere that actually gets snow, unlike where I live. I could easily believe how Kayla was taken in by the beautiful resort because I, as a reader, was falling in love with it at the same time. The family that runs the resort was just as wonderful. The O’Neils are a big family, but Morgan balanced the number of characters very well. We got to know a little about each person without it overpowering the main story. The romantic storylines for the next two books of this series were established for Jackson’s brothers, Tyler and Sean. We got just enough about them to make me want to read their books, but not so much that it took anything away from Jackson and Kayla or felt like sequel bait. I really liked the story lines concerning Jackson’s stubborn grandfather and his niece, Jess. I look forward to getting to spend more time with the whole O’Neil family in the next two books from Morgan.
Even if you are normally reluctant to read Christmas books, like myself, you will be swept away by the winter wonderland and steamy romance presented in Sleigh Bells in the Snow . Morgan has really shown her talent in this longer-length piece and infused so much love, both romantic and familial, into her characters that I am anxiously looking forward to what she writes in the future.