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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ice Cream in the Snow by Diana Castilleja



Ice Cream in the Snow by Diana Castilleja
Publisher: Purple Sword Publications
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (126 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rated: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

A past she never knew, a debt never paid. Will it cost her life, and her heart?

Jessica Harden has lived her adult life raising and protecting her son. Except her surprises have been lying in wait. With the inheritance of her own business, her ordered life begins to experience the darker side of her ex-husband's history, involving secrets and money. And someone in the shadows knows about both.

Castilleja’s Ice Cream in the Snow starts in desperation and zooms forward, anxiety building… only to step into a whole other story: slower, reflective. It gains ground as it goes, however and events happen rather quickly.

This IS a charming story – in more ways than one. It brings a certain homey charm to the fore. The characters of Jessie and son Jacob could be ‘everymans’ in ‘anywhere’ USA. They seem familiar, and the affection between them is real and believable. The comforting sections of this story contrast sharply with all that is going on in Arthur’s life. The changes in pace reflect the characters featured – my biggest complaint is that too much of the characters feelings and thoughts are simply told, even though in other sections, they are beautifully expressed.

There’s more than a measure of originality, too. Brick, the hovering tough guy-slash- businessman is by turns intimidating, kind and even seductive. We readers have as much trouble as Jesse does deciding if he’s a good guy or not. There are undeniable sparks of passion between them… but there is a whole lot of money to be accounted for, too.

Castilleja’s Ice Cream in the Snow does make me hope for more works from her. It's short, full of hope, and has that element of the unpredictable: do read.

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