An intense, almost claustrophic, tale of two people trapped in a snow storm. Even if it wasn't printed on the book jacket, it doesn't take a crystal ball to guess that they will fall in love - or at least, lust - with each other and inevitably Do It before the snow clears...
So it is very predictable, and yet the pages keep turning because it is written charmingly, well even. Atmospheric descriptions set the scene so well you can almost feel the snow (OK, I confess, it was snowing in Cheshire when I read it!), and picture the two lonely souls thrown together as they build their relationship.
For there are but the two characters. Both are well-detailed and come alive in the reader's mind. The female, Nicole, takes the lead position - both as, being fully human, readers can empathise more with her and because I have a sneaking suspicion that the author is living out her own fantasy as Nicole builds a passion for the mysterious and captivating stranger. Her hidden depths, the complexities that make her become almost real not a cypher, are her own and yet believable... even if the situation in which she finds herself is not.
Although the tale is charmingly told, at one point it descends into smut... yes, it's clear they are developing a passionate relationship, and yes, they take it to its logical conclusion, but what has hitherto been evocative description turns to purely mechanical, an almost blow-by-blow account as they actually Do It... where is the romance? Where the stylish good writing? Vanished for a couple of pages...(and nearly caused me not to pass the book on to my 14-year-old daughter who loves modern vampire fiction!).
Back on track, the dilemma is well-portrayed. Unlike many vampires, this one has some morals, some regard for others, and does not want to subject Nicole to the lonely unlife he leads. For her part, she is a fairly social young lady and unlikely to take kindly to prolonged solitude, however good the sex might be! A bitter-sweet resolution, then, perhaps as inevitable as every other event in the story, but perhaps... at least Nicole knows where Michael lives and may one day return.
An interesting tale to while away an evening or two, again I return to the word 'charming' but it is an ideal descriptor for writing and story alike, very predictable, formulaic even, but written well enough to be fresh and new as each page is turned.
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Reviewed: 5 January 2011