Friday, October 3, 2014

REVIEW: "Snow Falling On Bluegrass" by Molly Harper

Snow Falling on Bluegrass (Bluegrass, #3)
Snow Falling on Bluegrass by Molly Harper
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Contemporary Romance

Pocket Star -- Published in September 2014
Ebook, 168 pages
Read in September 2014
Received from Netgalley

Beta Hero, Brainy Hero, First Person Narrative, Romantic Comedy, Cabin Romance

Kentucky Tourism Commission employee and executive assistant extraordinaire Kelsey is known around the office for having everything under control. So it’s not surprising that she and her boss, Sadie, have everything planned to the second for the office winter retreat. But there are things even Kelsey can’t micromanage.

An unprecedented snowstorm smothers half of Kentucky and knocks out the power, closes the roads, and generally shuts down the state. Luckily, the lodge has working fireplaces and enough food to keep the staff from turning on each other like something out of The Shining. Kelsey wouldn’t mind being stuck inside if it wasn’t for the tension with her not-so-secret crush, Charlie, the office’s statistician. But handsome Ranger Luke, the lodge’s only employee on hand, is there to take Kelsey’s mind off her discomfort.

Even though this weekend is supposed to be a planning session for KTC, Kelsey can’t help her mind from wandering and finds herself conflicted over Luke and Charlie. Someone’s love will keep her warm, but whose will it be?

"Responsible people do not take crotchless panties with them on business trips."

Most of my regular blog readers know how much I worship the ground that Molly Harper walks on.  Everyone has those authors that just work so well for them and she is definitely mine.  One of the reasons is due to the fact that she lives in my home state of Kentucky and often sets her books there.  Snow Falling On Bluegrass is especially fascinating to me because it was inspired by the 2009 ice storm that devastated Kentucky and its surrounding states.  I clearly remember being stuck in the house during that storm with no electricity for over a week and hearing the stories of people who had it much worse.  So I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a similar storm and how characters dealt with the difficult situation with Harper's humorous writing style.

The Bluegrass series focuses on members of the Kentucky Tourism Commission and their efforts to showcase all the quirky things that Kentucky has to offer visitors.  Fans of the series will clearly remember Kelsey and her long-standing crush on statistics expert Charlie.  Now, Kelsey gets her chance when she goes on the Commission's annual winter retreat and everyone gets stranded in the cabin without power or heat.  In addition to the love story, readers of Snow Falling On Bluegrass will also be entertained by the different reactions of the characters.

Kelsey is an amazing executive assistant whose organizational skills and sense of humor really sets the tone for the entire office.  Unfortunately, Kelsey's personal life has never been as structured as her work life due to a lazy now-ex-boyfriend and an overbearing mother.  That is why she is always excited to go to work and get involved in all the interesting things they coordinate.  Kelsey is a normal Molly Harper heroine with her lovable quirks, her dry humor, and determination to get things right for once.  I really enjoyed her and her narrative.  While she does react to things a bit dramatically, I never found her annoying or unbearable.

The summary for this book seems to indicate a possible love triangle between Kelsey, Charlie, and park ranger Luke.  I guess this might count as a spoiler, but I would want to know about this if I was a potential reader: there really isn't a love triangle here.  Kelsey and Charlie are the main focus of the story and Luke is just there to help push them along.  Love triangles are not my favorite theme and I'm glad to see Harper didn't fall into that trap though she did a good job of threatening it at first.  I did like getting to know more about math genius Charlie and how he managed to get a job with the Commission.  I have a soft spot for nerds and he really made me fall in love with him.  Luke was also nice and harmless.  He provided the stranded workers with a helping hand and some ready fun when they needed it.

Due to the nature of the plot, it is obvious that readers would also get to know the other Commission workers better.  Fans of the Bluegrass series will already be familiar with director Sadie, her co-worker and boyfriend Josh, historian Bonnie, and her small-town mayor boyfriend Will, but their scenes were some of my favorites.  I also loved learning more about Kelsey's geek squad friends who were giving me major Big Bang Theory vibes.  All in all, Snow Falling On Bluegrass is a cute, romantic, and super funny story about two likable people in weird situations.

I received a free e-galley of this book from Pocket Star via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

"Kentuckians were notoriously hypersensitive to snow predictions, immediately rushing out to buy bread, milk, and eggs at the first flake.  Because everybody knows the first thing you want to do when you're snowed in is make French toast.  Winter storms invariably sent TV reporters to the bakery aisle to report the devastation to the Bunny Bread stock."

1. My Bluegrass Baby
2. Rhythm and Bluegrass
3. Snow Falling On Bluegrass

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