Oh my gosh I am such a liar. After reading my fourteenth Debbie Macomber book earlier this year I declared at the end of its review that “there is no good reason for me to read any more by her.” So what gives? Why did I pick up The Snow Bride as my first Christmas read of the 2023 season? I know the answer: I am such a sucker for a happy Christmas read. Over the past year I have amassed a small pile of Christmas novels–after depleting such a pile last year–that had come to me mainly as unwanted library donations. The Snow Bride, however, is a library book and one of Macomber’s earlier Christmas novels from 2003.
The Snow Bride is Jenna Campbell, who quit her job in California to meet a guy in Alaska whom she only knew on-line. First of all, with a title such as The Snow Bride, the reader is going to know immediately that someone–Jenna–is going to get married, and it likely won’t happen until the end of the novel. No spoiler there with a title like that.
After having read so many of Macomber’s books I knew what was in store from nothing more than the blurb on the inside flap:
“On the flight to Fairbanks, she has the misfortune to sit beside Reid Jamison, who obviously isn’t sensitive, gallant or romantic.”
…which told me without even starting to read the book that Jenna would end up falling in love with this brute, which is typical Macomber modus operandi.
I was puzzled by Jenna’s actions after she arrived at the Fairbanks airport. Instead of waiting for her cyber boyfriend, Dalton, to pick her up, she agreed to hop into a plane with Reid. Why wouldn’t she wait for Dalton, or at least call him to say she had arrived? But no, when she doesn’t see Dalton there she gets into a plane with Reid, a guy she clearly dislikes, yet after spending some time with him snowed in at his cabin:
“What a complex person Reid Jamison was, Jenna mused, studying him. Rarely had any man made her so angry. Nor had anyone ever frustrated her more. He could be arrested for what he’d done, but she’d never press charges. Despite her frequent annoyance with him, she actually liked Reid and enjoyed his company.”
Also typical of the Macomber “Christmas” oeuvre is to treat Christmas as an afterthought. I suppose she felt that the snowy location of Alaska would make up for it, but a Christmas read this wasn’t. My Christmas reads have to feature the holiday prominently in its plot, otherwise all I’m reading is a substandard soppy and unrealistic love story which could have taken place at anytime.
A third man vying for Jenna’s affections is introduced into the story, and the reader is left wondering whom she’d pick. Macomber did have me guessing yet the blurb on the inside flap assured me who it had to be.