What it’s about: (from Goodreads) Sparks fly like snowflakes when a klutzy but gorgeous novice crosses skis with a hot resort owner in this tempting tie-in to New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby’s popular Love Under the Big Sky series!
Grace Douglas is on a practice run for her friend Cara Donovan’s bachelorette party ski weekend in Aspen. The problem is, despite living in rugged and picturesque Cunningham Falls, Montana, Grace is the clumsiest person ever born. To prepare for the trip, she is taking lessons at a local ski resort. She just prays that they have an ambulance on standby.
Sexy hotelier Jacob Baxter is ready to play ski instructor, but he quickly discovers that the best place on the mountain for Grace is in the lodge with a hot toddy. Her sense of humor and easy laugh quickly pull him in, and soon he’s determined to help her get off the bunny slope for a fun vacation with her friends. He just didn’t expect their steamy chemistry to trigger an avalanche of desire straight to his heart.
What worked for me (and what didn’t): I haven’t read any other Kristen Proby books and so I didn’t know anything about the series going in. There is obviously a group of friends, some of whom are in wedding planning mode but their involvement in the story was fairly short-lived and it was easy to understand what was going on without having read any of the earlier books in the series.
Grace, a sixth grade teacher, is a self-confessed klutz. I thought it was played up a little bit too much – kind of like when someone laughs too hard at a joke – but as I’m a klutz myself, I could definitely relate. I’m pretty sure Grace had far more success with ski lessons than I would have (of course, she’s significantly younger too so that helps). When she first meets Jacob “Bax” Baxter, she mistakes him for her ski instructor. Jacob doesn’t disabuse her of the notion but he otherwise is truthful with her. I was pleased that the deception didn’t last overlong and that Grace was smart enough to read the signs she was seeing.
The novella only covers the weekend they meet for the most part but there is a satisfying HFN type ending where they agree to keep seeing each other. (Readers know that means they will get their HEA but it’s just too soon to put it on the page).
Jacob is originally from Britain and my peeve with the novella was that he called her “love” or “darling” ALL THE DAMN TIME. Like, seriously, almost every sentence he spoke to her ended with one of those two words. My feeling was that this was meant to signify he was not American but really, a little goes a long way. Real people don’t talk like that.
What else? Otherwise, the story was fun and entertaining enough and for 99c I can’t complain too much. It didn’t take much brain power to read – which was good because I was in the post-Christmas haze of not-concentrating-ness and it made me smile. Perhaps because it’s short, there isn’t a lot of conflict but that said, I was glad that Grace didn’t make a mountain out of molehill over Jacob’s “white lie”. In context, it wasn’t a hanging offence IMO.