Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Review: Winter Wonderland

Author: Belinda Jones
Publication Date: November 8, 2012
Publisher: Hodder

Imagine waking up in a snow globe...

That’s how travel journalist Krista feels when she arrives in magical Quebec to report on Canada's glittering Winter Carnival.

Over ten sub-zero days Krista's formerly frozen heart begins to melt as she discovers an enchanting world of ice palaces, husky dog-sledding and maple-syrup treats galore. And then she meets Jacques, a man as handsome and rugged as he is mysterious…

The two share a secret that could bond them forever, but can they find a way to break through the protective layers around their hearts to warm up this winter wonderland?

…let the snow-spangled adventure begin
“I retrace my steps to the front entrance and find myself gaping at the black snow-flurried sky. Yesterday was a whisk of confetti compared to this onslaught but I can’t deny the beauty of the scene – not so much a blanket of snow covering the earth as an overstuffed duvet. I almost don’t want to disrupt the crystalline surface with my nubbed boot sole and, when I do take a step, the white engulfs me up to my thigh.” – Paperback Copy pg. 17

“Over yonder a factory puffs smoke as if pumping out fluffy white clouds to decorate the silky blue sky. Winter can be as monochrome as newsprint but here there is a warmth to the vista – the Christmas-card-perfect rows of terraced houses bring rusty red, butterscotch, sage green and duck-egg blue to the scene.” – Paperback Copy pg. 28

“‘My boyfriend. Soon to be ex. But it’s not always as easy to get out of a relationship as it is to get into them, is it? I keep hoping he’ll give me an ultimatum – “It’s me or the cake!” and then I’d choose the cake, obviously, and lead a very happy cream-frosted life.’” – Paperback Copy pg. 37 & 38

“I may be a travel writer but I’m a girl first, and when they told me this was the major shopping centre of the city, I couldn’t resist a look.” – Paperback Copy pg. 213

“I don’t know of a better feeling than being with someone you like and it becoming more and more apparent just how much they like you. Deep down you know there is a kiss coming but there’s no need to rush it because, in this state, you have all the time in the world. Of course we don’t at all. But it feels that way. Tucked in this candlelit nook we can exhale and meander in our conversation and not worry about future logistics. For now anything seems possible. Maybe because we’ve just shared a glass of Caribou…” – Paperback Copy pg. 292

How can you go wrong with a title like Winter Wonderland? Let me answer this for you: YOU CAN’T! Everyone is getting in the Christmas spirit as the first winter chill flows through the air, and we all are looking for books just like this one to help bring on some Christmas Cheer! Even though this book is not necessarily Christmas themed, the setting and all other aspects of the book are perfect for a chilly winter’s night all snuggled down by the fire with a warm cup of cocoa. On the very first page we realize that we are in Quebec, Canada in, well…an ice castle. This story follows Krista who is a travel writer on her newest excursion to a real winter wonderland, and we are her lucky guests.

The setting of this book was enough to fascinate me. We are literally in a world full of sparkles, ice beds, and a ton of snow. However, reading the story and the setting did make me really cold. I kept wondering, how in the heck do you sleep on an ice bed? I am going to share some beautiful pictures below that Belinda used for her inspiration, and to my understanding she actually went there. I think this is so awesome and only make the story that much more real. This story is based on an actual place, and the descriptions that Belinda includes are almost hypnotic. I honestly would have to put the book down and try to imagine the scene that had just been described to me.

Krista was such a fun-loving character and I would not have chosen anyone else to walk me through this story. She is kind of quirky in a way, but very energetic. Not to mention she has just had her heartbroken, well…not really broken. She has just gotten out of a long-term relationship that was destined to fail way before she cared to admit it. But, of course, now she is vulnerable and really down on herself, like most women are and is reluctant to step back on the dating scene. This is where her best friend, Laurie, comes into play. I loved Laurie just as much as I loved Krista. She was spunky and had a real knack for always making Krista feel better. To my understanding, Belinda is working on telling Laurie’s story next!! I am so excited for this.

The romantic aspect of this book was cute and sweet and even a little mysterious. What I loved most about it was that our male love interest, Jacques, has a secret and a past that sometimes make him seem unapproachable to Krista. The romance was not overdone in this book; however, I sometimes found myself wanting a little more. The chilly setting would have been the perfect place for it. But, the entire story was well done and I am anxiously awaiting whatever comes next for Belinda Jones!!


***A HUGE thank you to Belinda for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

Now to share some pictures with you from Belinda’s website so you can really get a feel for the setting…


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for introducing me to this book! I hadn't heard of this one before, but it seems like a perfect Christmas read! Plus I really enjoy Belinda Jones's books :) Will definitely check it out soon!