Enter Josh Montgomery, local corporate bigwig and the 'Casanova of Manzanita'. He generously agrees to help her with her little problem and soon he can't get enough! He convinces Angela to try a short-term affair with an option to renew after six months, thinking that's plenty of time to get her out of his head.
Josh is a little heavy handed and Angela's a tad too independent. How in the world are these crazy kids going to get together? Don't worry, it's a romance, so you know it will all come out in the end. Along the way though, be prepared for some nail-biting tension and some very steamy sex scenes. Angela tells Josh at one point that she may not have any experience, but she does read a lot. My guess is that she's been reading some of Cathy Yardley's unpublished work. I can't wait until I get to read it, too!
Yardley's writing style is very lively: the characters are well fleshed-out and engaging. However, there was a little too much emphasis on the main characters for me, even in a series book. Josh's best friend, Adam, provides great material for a follow-up book with his cavalier attitude and bleeding heart interior. Angela's friends and coworkers are fun characters who hint at their own tantalizing stories.
Josh never really explains his reasons for being wary of a relationship. Angela, on the other hand, has some compelling reasons to avoid a casual relationship. Her mother married her father after only a few days and he left them when Angela was a young child. Growing up, she had to watch her mother work herself to the bone to provide for them. Angela is absolutely determined to not let history repeat itself. Once she gets involved with Josh, she finds it difficult to keep her emotional distance and fears she is headed down the same road as her mother.
Interestingly, Josh and Angela are in positions of role reversal. Yardley makes a point of allowing the reader to visit Josh and Angela in their heads, providing wonderful insight into the characters' psyches. Josh is worried about making things romantic and perfect. For example, he cannot wait to take Angela home to meet his parents. Angela, on the other hand, just wants to get in his pants! On the night of their "first date", Angela shows up at Josh's house, ready to jump his bones. Instead, Josh hurries her out the door and into a play performance. Not exactly what Angela had envisioned!
THE DRIVEN SNOWE is full of moments like these, snapshots of a fully realized romantic journey along with some spectacular sex. I would not hesitate to recommend THE DRIVEN SNOWE to anyone looking for their own "sure thing!"
--Reviewed by Lisa Shininger for Escape to Romance Reviews
The romance between Angela and Josh is incredibly well-developed and credible, and it evolves at a reasonable, adult pace. While I enjoy "everything's all happy in Love Land even though the characters have only known one another a week" romances, I really appreciated that Yardley gave Angela and Josh's relationship the time to mature.
Even more, I appreciated that the barriers to their happiness were credible ones, based not on misunderstanding or jumping to conclusions or any of the myriad of reasons that we see in romance novels, but on real emotions and defense mechanisms.
The only weakness I see in "Snowe" is that the love scenes, while erotic, don't really do anything to separate "Snowe" out from the crowd. Unlike another reviewer, I didn't see Josh's fear of commitment and need to control the situation as requiring an explanation. To me, they were simply normal human reactions to falling in love.
I read and enjoyed Yardley's last offering, the Duets book "The Cinderella Solution," but "Snowe" is definitely a step up in Yardley's evolution as a writer. I am, quite frankly, staggered that this is her second published novel.
I truly recommend this to anyone looking for a well-developed romance. Enjoy!
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