Monday, February 10, 2014

Once Upon a Winter's Heart by Melody Carlson (Blog Tour & Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Once Upon a Winter's Heart
by
Melody Carlson
Available January 2014 from Center Street
Christian Fiction / Contemporary / Romance
 160 pages

About the Book
Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters. But she concludes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated. To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must be decked out in sweetheart d├ęcor as Poppi would have done for Valentine's Day. Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester, who shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of Dean Martin. As Emma and Lane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive.

Just as Emma's heart begins to lift, however, she learns her sister has already staked a claim on Lane. Emma's mother and sister insist Lane only sees her as a future sister-in-law, but she can't help wondering if it could be something more.




Buy a copy  |  Read an excerpt  |  Find out what others think

My Thoughts
I've read several of Carlson's novels over the years. I've found her books to be powerful stories with strong messages (especially her stories for the YA market). So of course, I was excited to read her latest story, out just in time for Valentine's Day.

Once Upon a Winter's Heart by Melody Carlson was disappointing. There wasn't much depth—to the story or the characters. The characters seemed to be very one-dimensional, which made it hard to connect with them. Anne and Soundra were particularly unlikeable, and I kept waiting for someone to just tell them to deal with it! Emma was more likeable, but I needed her to stand up for herself.

Additionally, with nothing really happening until 100 pages in and the romance launching from 0 to 100 in about 20 pages, the timing just felt ... off. There were lots of loose ends, and the book just suddenly ended. Honestly, if the book hadn't been so short (160 pages), I probably wouldn't have finished it, but it probably needed to be longer to more fully develop the story and characters.

This book wasn't a good fit for me, but I'm sure some will enjoy it. [2 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she is a writer who loves to write! She is a bestselling and award-winning author of more than 200 books for children, teens, and adults—with sales totaling more than five million. Carlson's passion for 'true to life' fiction has had great success for both the young adult and women's markets. Informed and aware of the challenges and struggles facing teens today, she writes young adult novels that she hopes will change lives and women's fiction to which women of all ages can relate. Her popular series, Diary of a Teenage Girl (Multnomah), has sold more than 600,000 copies and her popular Christmas novellas have sold over 250,000 copies combined. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains. 

Melody Carlson Online

2 comments:

  1. Aw that's a bummer! I hope I enjoy it because I have been looking forward to reading it and recently won it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you'll enjoy it. I saw lots of positive ratings. Just wasn't the book for me.

      Delete

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