I suppose I’ve been in a “Melody Carlson” mood lately. Once Upon A Winter’s Heart was recommended to me through BookBub, a new site I discovered that emails me a daily list of discounted or free e-books on Amazon. This selection, by one of my favorite writers, was on the list. It was $1.99 and only 156 pages. (The price is back to $7 now.) I read 2/3 of it on the treadmill this morning and the rest lying on the couch before making dinner this evening. Voila!
Some might find Carlson’s books cheesy or boring, but I’ll tell you what I like about them. For one thing, the female protagonist is usually someone who has given up on love and then finally finds it. As someone who got married at 39, I can very much relate to that. There is someone for everyone, truly, and these stories confirm it. I also appreciate the fact that as “romance” novels they are far from “blush worthy.” They are always about the meeting, the does-he-or-doesn’t-he, the friendship, and eventual getting together of two very decent people. If you’re a “Fifty Shades of Gray” person who needs the kinky stuff to entertain you, I recommend you look elsewhere.
In Once Upon A Winter’s Heart, Emma Burcelli has packed up her few belongings from her Seattle apartment and moved in with her recently widowed grandmother. Ready to start anew and willing to help out in her grandparents’ book shop, Emma reconnects with her parents, her nephew, and becomes slightly disillusioned while watching a supposed romance between her younger sister, Anne, and the charming Lane.
As usual, the characters are modeled after people the reader can recognize from their own life. The plot, although a bit rushed in this short novel, is, shall we say… “feasible.” It’s light, it’s possible, it’s fun, and it can be read in a day in between workouts and housework.