Review: Snow-Kissed by Laura Florand

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Title: Snow-Kissed (Snow Queen #1)
Author: Laura Florand
Date of publication: 1 Sept 2013
Genre: Romance / Novella  /Angst

Author's links:Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

My rating: 5 stars



Synopsis

Florand takes us to a snow-kissed Christmas cabin for this heart-wrenching tale of love, loss, forgiveness—and hope. After the utter destruction of her marriage and her happiness, Kai knew it was better to shut herself away from the world than to hurt and be hurt. Holed up in her mountain cabin, she planned to spend her Christmas alone. Until her not-quite-ex-husband shows up as the first flakes start to fall. Now should she send him back out into the cold? Or can she be brave enough to let this winter snow bind them back together?


Review

This is a novella that can be read as a standalone or as the first book of the Snow Queen series. I'm currently reading book 2, Sun-kissed which released on May 11.

I knew from the blurb that it would be about a marriage in trouble and I love this trope in romance but I haven't read many books dealing with it so far. What I didn't know was the cause of the marriage troubles. It touched me on a very personal level and the story as whole affected me deeply. 

The story is told in the careful, sensual style of writing of Ms Florand that we know from her other works. What sets this story apart is the profound sadness and pain. Kai's (the heroine) sense of guilt, her inability to deal with the tragedy which struck her marriage was overwhelming.

It a story of two people who love each other very much and who are trying to find the way back to each other after experiencing the worst kind of pain and loss. They are lost in a world of snow and work slowly to rediscover the possibility for Christmas joy and most importantly, hope for the future. Kai and Kurt reconnect first physically presented in exquisitely sensual and intense love scenes. Their true coming together involved some painful confessions and ultimately forgiveness. Kai and Kurt rediscover their love, why and how they love each other. 

Despite the short format of the book, we see real growth and development of the characters - the time apart has changed them both and this change makes it possible for them to be together again. Things cannot go back to the way they were before, their loss is irreversible but they can try to find something new and good for them both.

I fell so in love with the characters that I didn't really want their story to end. Since Ms Florand doesn't give us a definite HEA or an epilogue, I wrote one for myself in my head and it's beautiful and magical, just what Kai and Kurt deserve.

I had a minor issue with the names, not liking either Kai or Kurt but when the review in Dear Author brought to  may attention the connection with the Snow Queen fairytale and Kai, the boy with the piece of glass in his eye and in his heart making him unable to love, it all made sense. I can't believe I missed the connection and I've been listening to the Bulgarian audio of the fairytale these days with my daughter, I'm truly absent-minded these days. This adds yet another dimension to a story which is already complex and multi-layered. 

This is one of my favourite books of Ms Florand and one of the best I've read this year. I can recommend it to everyone but beware it will break your heart before putting it back together.

My reviews of other books by Laura Florand:
The Chocolate Touch (Amour et Chocolat #4)
The Chocolate Heart (Amour et Chocolat #5)
The Chocolate Temptations (Amour et Chocolat #6)

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