REVIEW: Christmas Comes to Snowfall by Erika Marks
Christmas with the confirmed bachelor…
Quaint Christmas or quirky vacation? Newcomer Maggie Iverson comes to the small resort town of Snowfall, Vermont, for a one-week repreive from her high-powered marketing job in Boston. She’s designing a new website to boost tourism traffic (both virtual and foot) to Snowfall for the holidays. She enthusiastically throws herself into all things Christmas, but deftly dodges each match-making hint.
Long-time bachelor and veterinarian Alden Marshall has never embraced the holiday season, but when he meets Maggie, their chemistry is powerful enough to light up a dozen Christmas trees. Suddenly he finds himself immersed in the town’s merry-making with Maggie by his side.
Will the magic of Christmas cast the spell Maggie and Alden need to let go of their pasts and finally find a love that lasts?
Dear Ms. Marks,
My reason to try your holiday novella is a strange one. The hero is a veterinarian and there were no cute animals on the cover! No puppies or kitties or iguanas luring me into buying the book. I appreciate the absence of cute creature cover blackmail. The reason behind Alden’s romance hesitance is more than a bit farfetched but I’ve certainly read worse.
Maggie’s work brings her to small, quaint Snowfall, Vermont which prides itself – and markets itself – as the town with 99 straight years of snow over Christmas. You want a white Christmas? Get one here. Only Snowfall is being left behind by the newer resorts with better cell phone access and other amenities. Maggie’s job is to invigorate their webpage and get the tourists back.
Alden has roots in Snowfall that go back over 100 years and according to town lore, it was his great grandfather jilting a beloved resident just before December, 100 years ago, that caused the lack of snow that year. Alden’s been back in town for three years and is accepted by most with friendship and respect. Still, he’s thinking of selling his practice and moving.
Maggie’s research brings her into contact with a lot of the friendly townspeople and she throws herself into discovering all she can about Snowfall in order to be able to sell it online. As she tours the town, she sees how much they admire and like Alden – or most of them. And the two of them try to maintain their “just friends” resolve. Will a town matchmaker and their growing feelings for each other overcome his bad town mojo and her past history of holiday heartbreak?
Frankly, I found the reason behind Alden’s angst-lite to be more than a little silly. Yes, the town depends on snow and having it over the holidays. But as Alden himself says, he’s a man of science and an event that took place 100 years ago being the cause of no snow this year – this one year out of the past 100 – is crazy. And it’s not as if the town has shunned him or that it didn’t snow the first two years he was back. So yeah, I just had to roll my eyes then keep going with what I did like.
Maggie is infectiously enthusiastic and good at her job. She throws herself into discovering the best about Snowfall and whips out a great new online webpage for the town. She thinks the whole bad mojo thing is silly too but she does find herself liking Alden. Even though they’re just going to be friends. Nothing more.
I liked that Alden and Maggie spend a lot of time together and truly get to know each other. He gets what’s driven her to be a job perfectionist to the detriment of her relationships and then points out to her what might really be behind her reticence while also understanding the sexism of how workplaces still expect more from women. Maggie repeatedly points out the silliness behind the (very few) people who still blame Alden through his ancestor’s actions.
Usually matchmaking women in a story will set me off and send me screaming but here it’s done more in fun and seems relatively harmless. There are no wills or inheritances hanging over anyone heads or emotional blackmail. Plus Alden actually gets to be a vet and Maggie does show her website competence. Hooray. The town is small and yes, a lot of people know you and your business but most of the people are nice and seem to like Alden and look after him so it’s more the nice side of small town than anything else. It’s a cute and quick holiday starter and despite it having some issues that can annoy me, here none of them did. B