I know it’s super early for Christmas reads, but what better way than a fun and funny sweet romance with a touch of mystery to curl up with? Today I have a mixed-format review for Snowbound at Christmas by Debbie Mason, the fifth in her Christmas, Colorado series. Please read on for my review of the audio version of the title, see my excerpt, be sure to check out the other tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win one of Three (3) $25 Amazon Gift cards.
I spent my time reading then listening to this title, curious to see just how the story would come together from written word to narrated performance. The first I have read in this series, I didn’t have any difficulty immersing myself in the world and plot, and often found myself laughing out loud at the character’s actions.
Cat left the police force to play assistant / bodyguard for her actress / twin sister Chloe. She’s bored to tears, although with Chloe’s flair for the dramatic, I wonder just how. But, Chloe is wanting to explore other options, even though her contract with the soap opera is iron clad. She’s not going to let that stop her: looking at Cat is just like looking in a mirror. Of course, Cat will step up and ‘play’ her for a few days while she heads off to audition for this plum role.
Grayson is on assignment with the FBI, and he’s undercover posing as an actor. A bit over-the-top for a backstory, but his keen insight and observations, particularly of Cat, are delicious. When threats to Chloe’s life start appearing in the form of notes and small accidents soon have Cat trying to discover who would harm Chloe and why, and keeping the whole mess a secret from her because, well, the term Drama Queen should contain Chloe’s likeness.
When the cast and crew move filming to the girls’ hometown of Christmas, Colorado, the whole plot jumps up a notch, and the moments of steam between Grayson and Cat fairly leap off the page. Not a quick dive into consummation, these two circle one another and we see the build of emotions and connection that is not to be dismissed. Among the many friends and family members of Christmas who fill out the secondary characters and add more depth to the story, the dynamics between Chloe and Cat often takes center stage. Chloe is insecure to the nth level, and everything is a production, not necessarily taking advantage of consciously, but her behavior and reliance on Cat to ALWAYS be there wears thin, she’s difficult to like for long periods of time. Comic relief is presented with Ty, Chloe’s stylist, who is hysterically funny and is never without a comment.
A slow build for a solid romance between Cat and Grayson gives a solidity to this story that is, in many ways, up for chance. Twists in the mystery lurk around every corner, and the reveal was a satisfying surprise. Sweet, homey and comfortable with enough action to not allow drifting off, this was a wonderful dip into the holiday season.
Narration for this story is provided by Becket Royce. This was a solid narrative performance, best when delivering longer passages with interior monologues or explaining action. While I would have preferred more distinction between character voices throughout, the care with which moments are given time to develop or action is pressed forward worked well and kept me engaged. What missed most for me was the emotional component in the narration, it just didn’t add the little nudge or poke that had me ‘feeling’ more than I was just hearing. A solid, if workmanlike performance that would have benefitted from a touch more of Chloe’s dramatic flair.
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 3 Story: 4
Title: Snowbound at Christmas
Author: Debbie Mason
Series: Christmas Colorado #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Themed
Narrator: Becket Royce
Published by: Forever, Hachette Audio
Published on: 29 September 2015
Source: Hachette Audio, Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 18 minutes
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Surviving the holidays will take a Christmas miracle...
Ex-cop Cat O'Connor is bored working for her sister, Chloe, as a personal assistant on the set of her soap opera. Until Chloe gets an opportunity to audition for the role of a lifetime and asks her identical twin to substitute for her on the soap with no one the wiser. It's a perfect switch—until Cat attracts the attention of the mysterious Mr. Tall, Dark, and Way-too-handsome leading man.
Grayson Alexander never thought being snowbound in the charming town of Christmas, Colorado, for the holiday would get so hot. But between working with sexy, tough Cat on set and keeping his real reason for being there under wraps, he's definitely feeling the heat. And if there's one thing they'll learn as they bring out the mistletoe, it's that in this town, true love is always in season...
See the Christmas, Colorado Series on GoodReads
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio, Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.