The Last Snowfall
by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Book #2 in the Stand Tall series
Number of Pages: 206
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 5/5/19 to 5/6/19
After racking up serious injuries, world-famous snowboarder Nate Forrest returns to the West Virginia coal town that has been his family’s home for generations. The transition’s a challenge, but there’s nothing more beautiful than snow. Except maybe Dr. Lacey Berryville. How can Nate resist this tender-hearted vet who adores every living creature and isn’t the least bit fazed by his celebrity?
Just what Lacey doesn’t need is for this larger-than-life, adventurous Olympic medalist to melt her caution away during the season’s last snowfall. She’s spent her girlhood moving from place to place, and soon she’ll be leaving again. So, what’s she supposed to do about the avalanche of feelings Nate is unleashing in her? Can she leave West Virginia’s tree-covered mountains behind—with Nate giving her the best reason of all to stay?
I don’t know quite where to begin with this review, so I’m going to jump right in. The good, the bad, and the ugly. But there is no ugly. There’s definitely good and bad, though.
When I reviewed the first book in this series, The Fourth Summer, I found this author’s writing to be a bit stilted. I’m happy to report I didn’t have that issue with this story. I felt the narrative flowed smoothly. There are quite a few inconsistencies in the tale, but you all know I’m a stickler for continuity. There’s no one major issue or plot whole, but just little blips here and there that will most likely be cleaned up before publication (I read an ARC that was received 3 months prior to its release).
The progression of the relationship between Nate and Lacey is really quite sweet. The both jump in with both feet pretty quickly, then climb back out almost just as fast. After that, things slow way down. But it’s necessary to their particular story for that to happen. Lacey starts to learn to trust Nate and they get to know one another as friends, which is so important for them both. They drove me crazy by turns. Sometimes Nate was overbearing and not listening to what was really being said to him, not just by Lacey but also by his childhood friend Pete. I found Lacey to often be a bit too guarded and even cold. Yet, over all, I never doubted the two should be together and would make a wonderful couple.
It’s not often there is a character in a book with not only my name, but the spelling of my name. Nate has a childhood friend, Pete, who married another of their childhood friends, Cheri. Yay! But, turns out I didn’t like Cheri…at all. From the moment she is introduced physically (we hear about her quite a bit before actually meeting her) I can’t stand her and don’t trust her. Let me tell you, that was a genius move by the author. I’m not going to spoil things, but by the end of the book I figure the author knows someone like Cheri and isn’t just throwing random thoughts out there. I was also struggling with Pete for a bit of this story, and once I met Cheri and got to find things out later on about Cheri, I realized that Pete wasn’t quite as bad as I thought either.
I know, I know…much of that last paragraph is vague and confusing. I just hate giving spoilers!
For much of this story, Nate is content to go along with the slow and steady game plan with Lacey. While I felt their connection, there wasn’t a lot of butterflies or major warm-fuzzies. Then there is a scene after the gala that just punches me in the gut. Nate lays his heart out there in just two sentences and it kills me. All. The. Feels.
There isn’t much crossover with this book and the previous book. It seems like each of the snowboarders will be getting his own, very individual and different, story. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but I know I’m looking forward to Ben’s story. And meeting the REAL Colleen.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**
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