Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
What happens when life changes in an instant, when the dreams you had for yourself are changed? Well, according to Jolie Vines’s newest book, Fallen Snow, you find a different soft place to land. Whether that soft place is family or friends or a love interest, the challenges of life can be softened, and your heart can be mended. After reading Fallen Snow, I have determined that it is my favorite Wild Scots book to date. Much like the first three books of this series, our favorite older characters are part and parcel of the story, building a nostalgia for Vines’s earlier works. More importantly, though, is Vines’s characterization of Viola and Leo. That is the ultimate gift of this newest book from Jolie Vines.
So why should you read Fallen Snow? Here goes:
*Viola is now my favorite Vines heroine. After reading other reviews, I know this is a common thought about this book. If you’ve read Vines’s other books, you know that she has a way of crafting women who are both vulnerable and strong (some of them more vulnerable than others). Viola is more of this perfect blend except that she has a sensibility too. Much like her father Gourdain, and her mother, Ella, she has a practicality to her character that allows her to look through the challenges of her romance with Leo. I personally adored that about her. When so many romances use heroines who become emotionally unglued easily when Viola encounters trials, she mourns the ease of life, but she never backs down from the trial. She encounters and endures it, coming out on the backside of it a better heroine. Vines is insightful in developing her character, showing readers how to endure and grow in the midst of challenges.
*Leo is a complicated hero. I was thinking about him in the context of the Marry the Scots and Wild Scots heroes, and he continues the Vines mantra for her heroes: love the heroine at any cost. This is my favorite part of reading a Vines book; it’s what I comment on the most in her books. She realizes heroes into stories that don’t struggle with their love for the heroine. Yes, their lives might be complicated, and they struggle to fit the heroine into that complication. However, they will always and forever love and adore the heroine. For romance readers, there is a comfort in knowing that Vines consistently writes this type of heroic archetype. Your anxiousness for their happy ending never revolves around her hero’s love for the heroine; it is always about their ability to brave their journey.
*The ancillary characters of this story remind you why you love Vines’s storytelling. Gourdain and Ella are more present in Fallen Snow than the other parents have been in the first three books of the Wild Scots series. Or maybe it’s that I fell in love again with Gourdain again. I loved his character immensely in Hero. He continues that devotion and adoration for his daughter and wife into this one. In fact, without spoiling anything, he transfers some of that onto another character which offered up some of the most emotional parts of Fallen Snow. Even more, we have the return of a somewhat villainous character from an earlier book, connecting us, once again, to Vines’s larger universe. These moments hit against those feelings of nostalgia for Vines’s earlier books.
When you finish reading a Jolie Vines romance, you come away with an admonishment for greater truths of life. Dreams are important, but life can change them easily. This is the essence of Fallen Snow, and the beauty of this story is recognizing that changing one’s dreams isn’t a rejection of them. Instead, it’s simply finding a new place to inhabit. Given our times, I think this message is a worthy one, and Jolie Vines has articulated it so beautifully into this newest book that you come away feeling like you can take on the challenges of our own world, as long as you have love. For me, Viola and Leo and Vines’s Fallen Snow is my favorite Vines book thus far.
In love and romance,