I have to say, I didn’t want this book to end. You know how I’ve talked about the way I read, masking the page with my hand so my eyes won’t go faster than my brain (#dyspraxia), especially when I’m so involved in what’s happening? I had to make myself stop reading a few times to allow my eyes to reboot, so to speak.
Olivia Santini fell in love with the Evergreen Resort and Spa when she was a teenager and has basically lived and breathed Evergreen ever since. She’s worked her way up to the assistant manager position, thanks to her work ethic and her love for the place. For the last six months, she’s been acting manager and totally deserves the job. But life’s not always fair and someone else is the new manager. Hayley Boyd Markham is the youngest child and the only daughter of Benton Markham, the owner of the Evergreen resort (and many more hotels, most of them bigger and more successful). Unlike her much older half-brothers, she doesn’t really care about the family business. Her happiness comes from painting, a talent she’s inherited from her mother. Since her mother’s death two years ago, Hayley has lost her way, spending too much of her father’s money on nightclubs and parties. Her father’s way of teaching her a lesson (and of punishing her for looking and sounding so much like the love of his life) is to send her to Evergreen, asking the impossible from her.
When they first meet, Olivia and Hayley don’t know they’re going to work together, or that Hayley is reluctantly taking the job Olivia believes should be hers. The attraction is immediate, and the chemistry is obvious from the start. Georgia Beers is excellent at describing those feelings, the way they grow, the hope and the doubts. She’s also done a great job of making the setting part of the story. The walk in winter of the title is not just for show, it’s where the whole story begins.
There’s something magical about snow. There’s also something very romantic about snow and quite a few of my favorite lesfic novels have a totally sweet and sexy snow scene. Kiss the Girl by Melissa Brayden for example has one of the best. In One Walk in Winter, the snow is almost a character in and of itself. It has its own sounds and silences, almost like feelings (I’m all for feelings, they’re why I read).
This is a sweet romance, with a little angst but not so much. Still, I was whispering « No no no » at some point (you’ll probably know when when you read it) and my sigh of relief was a huge one. And don’t even get me started on Hayley’s relationship with her dad. Both are lost in their grief since her mother died and can’t seem to be able to communicate nor understand what the other is going through. This leads to Hayley basically being all alone, without a family, another contrast to Olivia’s life and her very present, warm and loving Italian family.
This book is not perfect but my ratings are not meant to reflect perfection, they reflect how affected I have been by the book I’m rating. This one gave me all the feels so it gets 5 stars.