Thursday, October 13, 2005

Snow Angel by Mary Balogh

I first read Snow Angel back in 1991 when it was first published and absolutely loved it. Mary Balogh is the queen of the traditional regency and SA went directly into my keeper box (where all my Baloghs eventually landed). A few months ago I decided to re-read some of my old Baloghs to see if they live up to my memories and give them a grade. Unfortunately, SA did not quite match my fond memories, but it still was a very good book. Something about the attitude of the hero completely slipped by me on the first read and really bugged me this time around.

One of my favorite themes is a cabin romance where the h/h are stranded alone together. Rosamund Hunter is a recent widow traveling with her overbearing older brother Dennis. They have an argument and Rosamund demands to be let down from the carriage and walks away in a huff just before a major snowstorm hits the area. Rosamund is a great character; independent, witty and impulsive with a wonderful ability to laugh at herself.

Justin Halliday, the Earl of Wetherby, is traveling in his carriage and comes upon her while she is struggling through the blizzard. He offers her a ride and shelter from the storm. So they are snowbound alone together and wildly attracted to each other. Hmmm, what to do... OK, you know the answer to that!

Rosamund has no intension of ever marrying again. She was married to a much older man and loved him deeply. But when she meets Justin she is curious about passion with a young man. Justin makes it clear right from the beginning that he is about to become engaged and that he intends to be faithful to his betrothed. So they agree to a brief glorious affair. When the snows melt Rosamund returns to her brother's house to help prepare for the visit of the man who is supposed to propose to her niece Annabelle as arranged by both of their families. Of course, it turns out that man is Justin.

She has not been able to forget Justin since their affair and when she sees him again she realizes she's in love with him. Justin is a rather flawed character but I did like him. He is determined to propose to Annabelle if that is her wish. He is still very attracted to Rosamund and even though he realizes he's in love with her, he doggedly continues to court Annabelle, and this really bothered me. He was just too passive in allowing his family to decide his future and never gave the least thought to fighting for Rosamond even when it became obvious that Annabelle was not happy. And yet, he can't keep away from Rosamund and they are caught snuggling together by Joshua, a longtime admirer of Annabelle's.

All the characters were three-dimensional and well-drawn. I especially loved Joshua who nearly 'steals the show' from Justin. Josh acts boldly to grab his own HEA with Annabelle giving Justin finally the opportunity to go after what he wanted all along. The love scenes where pretty warm and sensuous for a trad regency. This was a very short book (about 225 pages) but very deep and emotional and even though I disliked the hero's passive way to the HEA, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

My Grade: B+


Tara Marie said...

sorry OT

You've got Susan Carroll's The Dark Queen??? I can't wait to hear about it. Somehow I missed it when it came out last spring. I'm going to have to go back to B&N and find it and The Courtesean (sp??)

Avid Reader said...

I loved Snow Angel and The Temporary Wife. Those are my absolute favorite regencies then there's the longer books that I love too like Thief of Dreams, Indiscreet, Heartless, The Secret Pearl, etc, etc.


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