I’m going to be doing something new. I’m calling it a Semi-frequent Book Review. I’ll be posting them when I finish a book that I enjoyed or I’ve been asked to review.
By Bev Oz
Full Disclosure: This book was provided to my by Melissa Snark for free to review. This review was originally posted at The Snarkology.
Santa’s got a special problem that only Jack Frost and Christmas Spirit “Krista” Claus can help solve. Six-year-old Cecilia Monroe has written her Christmas wish letter with a magic pen and asks Santa to make sure her mother keeps the apartment and restaurant she runs when the hotel they’re living and working in is sold. But Jack and Krista have their hands full when the man selling the hotel turns out to be the class nerd of 1998, who is resolved to sell the hotel and start a new life in California, thus getting over his unrequited love for Tansy Monroe, Cecilia’s mother. The situation becomes more complicated when the seventy-three year old registration desk clerk is convinced hotel guests Jack and Krista are CIA agents!
The door to the kitchen opened and Lee teetered out with a stack of dishes. On her heals was Tansy, most beautiful girl in world.
Eric’s breathing stopped. His lungs constricted and his heart twisted. The terrible, lonely ache he’d known every day of his teenage life again filled the cavity of his chest. All for the goddess walking toward him with a casserole dish in her mitted hands. Just like the old days. After nine years, how can she still affect me this way?
He mentally shook his head. Damned it all. He had to stop the infatuation with Tansy and move on. She was just another girl who happened to go to the same high school as he did, and those days were long gone. Her long, chocolate brown hair really wasn’t mink, and the stars didn’t actually shine through her hazel eyes. And despite the fact she was a complete knock out in her faded jeans and the soft, pink sweater she filled out so well, she couldn’t be allowed control of him. He was here to sell the hotel and move on with his life.
Six year old Cecilia “Sissy” Monroe writes a letter to Santa about what she wants for Christmas. Eric Olsen, owner of the hotel her single mother Tansy runs a restaurant in, has decided to sell, mostly because of his unrequited love for Tansy. All Sissy wants is for Eric to change his mind, and for her mother to find someone who loves her and be Sissy’s father. Since a good little girl’s Christmas heart wish made using a magical pen can’t be allowed to go unanswered, Santa dispatches Jack Frost and the Christmas Spirit Krista to make the wish come true, despite Tansy’s fear of being hurt again.
At about 55 pages in length, When Hell Freezes Over is a quick and lighthearted read. There is plenty of humor in it, most of it provided by the hotel clerk Lee McBride. Tansy’s love and concern for her daughter is evident throughout the book, as well as her own broken heart from past disappointments in love. Eric’s misery at his unrequited love for Tansy is quite palpable. Sissy reminded me of my niece, right down to her dislike of broccoli. I do have some issues with how some of the characters who were obstacles to the couple were treated. I was able to guess the plot points until the twist at the end, a clever thing that if I had been paying attention, I would have seen coming.
There are a few spell-check mistakes that the editor should have caught, but there are no glaring grammar errors. The book would rate a PG in terms of explicitness. If you’re looking for a fast Christmas read with just a touch of the paranormal, When Hell Freezes Over is just what you want.
Brenna Zinn writing as Bev Oz
I remember reading about Texas in an Illinois grade school and thinking I probably would never see the great state where real cowboys ride their horses to work every day and everyone wears western hats and boots. Then again, I never dreamed I would elope in Gibraltar with a Navy man who hailed from the Lone Star state. But here I am, smack dab in the middle of Texas, still married to the same wonderful man and boasting not only the greatest daughter on the planet, but three dogs who are as big as long horns.
In between grade school and now, my journey through life has taken me all over the United States, as well as many places throughout the world. Using my travel experience as a guide and peppering in interesting characters I’ve met along the way, I love nothing better than weaving tales of romance and leaving readers yearning for adventures of their own.