Saturday, February 18, 2017

Molly Harper - Snow Falling on Bluegrass

Kentucky Tourism Commission employee and executive assistant extraordinaire Kelsey is known around the office for having everything under control. So it’s not surprising that she and her boss, Sadie, have everything planned to the second for the office winter retreat. But there are things even Kelsey can’t micromanage.
An unprecedented snowstorm smothers half of Kentucky and knocks out the power, closes the roads, and generally shuts down the state. Luckily, the lodge has working fireplaces and enough food to keep the staff from turning on each other like something out of The Shining. Kelsey wouldn’t mind being stuck inside if it wasn’t for the tension with her not-so-secret crush, Charlie, the office’s statistician. But handsome Ranger Luke, the lodge’s only employee on hand, is there to take Kelsey’s mind off her discomfort.
Even though this weekend is supposed to be a planning session for KTC, Kelsey can’t help her mind from wandering and finds herself conflicted over Luke and Charlie. Someone’s love will keep her warm, but whose will it be?

Comment: This is the third installment in the Bluegrass series by author Molly Harper, featuring a team of employers from the Kentucky Tourism Commission. I wasn't totally excited about this because the previous book kind of let me down but I had hopes for this one. Again, the characterization is perfect but the romance not much.

This is Kelsey's story. Everyone has wanted her to leave Darrell, the boyfriend who spend her money and didn't work, always complaining about this or that. When this book begins, the employers are leaving for a team retreat and Kelsey has recently broken things up with Darrell. Maybe this will be the time to see if her long lasted attraction and love for co worker Charlie might have some chance.
However, the team is caught on a snowstorm at the hotel and there's only one employee to help them, ranger Luke. He seems interested but can Kelsey just put aside that Charlie is right there?

The best thing about these little stories is the humor and the details about each character, and every single thought behind anything they do. The author took time to create them and to give them all specific quirks that make look funny and cute but also a little bit cartoonish at times. But there's a good balance in what they think and what they stand for so it's more a feeling of getting to know someone different but likable.

Another great aspect is the details about the character' work. I mean, we do learn a lot about how certain things work or can be dealt with if all these informations are correct. At least they do look well researched and presented. I liked the thought I was seeing how real people deal with situations, even obviously knowing the characters are fiction. But the possibility work related to Tourism Commissions can have some sort of truth in all the elements given is interesting.

What wasn't as amazing was how the technical side of every little thing the characters did seemed to be given more focus than the character's interactions or the relationships between them. When we do had this, something would happen and the emotional development I was hoping for wouldn't be addressed as seriously as I would have liked. I understand this is supposed to be funny and that's great but in some details, less could be better.

The romance too, wasn't as explored as it deserved. After getting a hint here and there in the previous books about Kelsey's crush on Charlie and the possibility he might like her as well, I wanted a more intense romance, or more "romantic". The conversations they had weren't as deep as I think they should have been and when they do talk and agree to try, something happens and there's some angst before the final HEA. The book is already short and with so many pages dedicated to other stuff, I really think the romance was barely dealt with, even if we acknowledge they were already in love.

The whole snowed in aspect was interesting and allowed for some funny scenes and developments but... I don't know, I expected something along these lines, this is not my first book by the author but I think there is some balance missing from this book and the previous, at least when comparing to the first one and some other titles by the author.
I understand the fun side of things but in some cases, it can be a little too much.
Grade: 6/10

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