Love on the Winter Steppes – ARC Review

Love on the Winter Steppes
by Paris Wynters
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Number of pages:  194
Source:  ARC from publisher
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating: PG
Read 12/26/20 to 1/2/21

Marketing consultant Qara Whitaker loves her job, happily putting in endless hours and working through holidays. But when her grandmother asks that she accompany her on a birthday trip to Mongolia to visit their family, Qara can’t say no. Packing up her laptop, Qara boards the plane—never imagining that a shared cab ride with a stranger will change her life forever.

Hoping to push through writer’s block, author Benjamin Lacoy hops on a plane to Mongolia looking for inspiration. A chance meeting with a beautiful and intelligent woman whose smile ignites his heart leads to them playing tourists. Sparks fly and Ben is feeling far more than inspiration, yet each time he and Qara get close, she’s distracted by work.

Ben is torn; he likes Qara, but he always promised himself he’d never let work come before family and friends like his parents did. Opposites clearly attract, but can they learn to balance work with love in order to build a future together?

This is a tough one for me. I have been enjoying this author’s Navy SEALs of Little Creek series, but it’s all I’ve read from her. When I was offered an ARC of something different from her, I jumped at the chance. It pains me to say that this just didn’t do it for me.

The hero, Ben, is absolutely amazing. Even with her workaholic tendencies, the heroine Qara is a wonderful person. I can, without question, believe these two would be great for each other and hit it off. I just didn’t feel it. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t pulling for them throughout the book. I most certainly was. I just wish I would have had some sort of gut reaction to their budding romance.

I got a total Hallmark movie vibe from this story. I don’t say that as a bad thing. It’s just that there was definitely a corporate world = bad and creative/carefree world = good thing happening. Like Qara couldn’t possibly be happy in her current job. Of course, for the sake of the story, she wasn’t. But the reasons she stayed drove me crazy. I felt she should at least be honest with her sister if she was going to sit in judgement of her sister for living a much more loose and carefree lifestyle.

On top of all of that, I didn’t understand why Qara’s grandmother bought tickets for them all to travel to her home country, yet didn’t make any plans to meet up with her family. There was no dark family secret or ill will between her and her family. She wanted to travel with her granddaughters to her home country before she wasn’t able to do so as she aged. So why not introduce them to their relatives instead of spending the whole time in a big city that she didn’t even grow up in? It really seemed to me that the author missed an opportunity here.

Yet, the other cultural things Qara and the rest experienced during their sightseeing adventures were amazing. They are what kept me reading this story. That’s why I thought the addition of more of Qara’s family would have really took this story up a notch.

2 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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