When Nicole Whitcomb’s car runs off a Colorado mountain road during a blinding snowstorm, she is saved from death by a handsome, fascinating, and enigmatic stranger. Snowbound with him for days in his beautiful home high in the Rockies, she finds herself powerfully attracted to him. But there are things about him that mystify her, filling her with apprehension.
Who is Michael Tyler? Why does he live alone in such a secluded spot and guard his private life so carefully? What secret—or secrets—is he hiding?
Nicole has secrets of her own and a past she is running from—but Michael understands her better than anyone she has ever known. Soon, she is falling as deeply in love with him as he is with her—a profoundly meaningful experience that is destined to change their lives forever.
As the sexual tension between them builds, however, the clues mount up. When Nicole learns her host’s terrifying secret, there is nowhere for her to run but into the blizzard raging outside, and Michael may be the only one who can save her life.
To begin with, I love the structure that Ms. James has set up with only having two voices total in this story, Nicole and Michael. Speaking as a writer, it is very difficult to keep up the tempo with only two people in your entire cast for anything longer than a novella. But she does this quite well, and I didn’t really notice until reading the Author’s Note at the end of the book that while the two characters talked about other characters, the only two people you as the reader see are Nicole and Michael. It works without any real push towards the reader, though the setting, of course, helps in making it a natural progression.
I really should have liked this book more than I did, though. So many things were working in its favor. The plot works, the setting works, and the ending completely astounded me in how real it felt, how right it was for the story. My only problem with the entire book was that the characters were too perfect for each other. All of their hobbies were shared, all of their feelings were identical, and I just couldn’t get that enveloped in the story to the point that wasn’t jumping off of the page every time they turned around. Maybe it comes down to the idea that while the force of the story was true love, I don’t believe that true love means that you’re the same person. I want my heros and heroines to be more realistic, with different thoughts and feelings on the same topics.
That said, the ending really did make up for my unease at the characters. I was surprised in the way that she ended the story, but happily surprised that she didn’t treat it as a standard HEA (that’s Happily Ever After for the non-romance crowd). It was real, and it was right. Though I don’t know if her Author’s Note was more of a “it’s nice to think of it moving on” or a hint at a sequel in the works.
On the whole, if paranormal romance is your bag, I recommend this book, even with the characters not being my “thing”. The writing is well-paced, and I really loved the story as a whole. If you’ve not previously been a fan of paranormal romance, I’m not really sure if this book will be good as a first run into the genre.