Snowed In (Fitzpatrick Christmas #2), by Catherine Walsh

Snowed In by Catherine Walsh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, my first review of 2024 which starts with one of the two Christmas romances I decided to squeeze in – and sadly, it was slightly disappointing.

While I liked both Christian and Megan, the protagonists, who fake-date two weeks before Christmas in their hometown, they continuously threaten to get lost among all the characters and all that’s happening.

Because we pretty much meet the entire cast from the first instalment, Holiday Romance, in this one as well – plus a few new characters, like Isaac – Megan’s ex-fiancé from whom she ran on the day of their wedding. The film “Runaway Bride” sends its regards…

Due to the time we spend with them all, a lot of things are happening and Christian’s and Megan’s relationship can’t really develop. When they’re finally really snowed-in like the title promises, the setting of a cabin-in-the-woods is not really used. Yes, there are some cute scenes but it left me waiting for more which never materialised.

Another major issue is the role Molly and Andrew from the first novel play: While I’m usually enjoying short “cameos”, this novel actually tried to keep telling more of their story (including major occurrences!) in Christian’s and Megan’s novel which distorts the focus and is weirdly irritating.

»Andrew seems to think so too. He can’t stop glancing at her. Nor can he stop tapping his fingers against the steering wheel, a nervous gesture that I doubt he’s even aware of. But even if he wanted to, he can’t do anything with Christian and me in the car.«

There were quite a few things I liked, though: Mental health issues are addressed on an aside but neither do they feel “tacked-on” nor are they over-explored but are just a small part of the story:

»I am not having a good day.
I would actually go so far as to say that I’m having a bad day.
And that’s fine. They happen.

I also liked how Christian respects Megan and simply defers to her instead of “manly” deciding what she should do. (And don’t I know all too well how difficult that can be…)

»Christian catches my gaze, raising a questioning brow. Whatever you want to do, he seems to say. And I know he means it. If I want to go and talk with Isaac, then he’ll deal with my brother, so I can. If I want to fight my own battles, he’ll stand back and support. He’s got me. Just like he said.«

At the same time, though, there are truly grating examples of overly banal pathos and clichés that sometimes made me cringe:

»And as the exclamations of wonder start behind us, as the bonfire crackles and the stars glint overhead, I lift my lips to his once more and seal it all with a kiss.«

Something like that is just a tad overly dramatic – for me at least! If you want to read a fun Christmas romance, go for the first novel in this series instead. (And if you sign up for Walsh’s newsletter, you’ll get a free short story, A Mistletoe Kiss, continuing the fun.)

Since it was still a mostly satisfactory read, I’m at my all-too-common three stars out of five.

Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam

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