Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary Christmas romance from Jennifer Snow. AN ALASKAN CHRISTMAS is set small-town Alaska and features a driven doctor making time for romance with her old bestie’s protective brother.
If there’s one gift Erika Sheraton does not want for Christmas, it’s a vacation. Ordered to take time off, the workaholic surgeon reluctantly trades in her scrubs for a ski suit and heads to Wild River, Alaska. Her friend Cassie owns a tour company that offers adventures to fit every visitor. But nothing compares to the adrenaline rush Erika feels on being reunited with Cassie’s brother, Reed Reynolds.
Gone is the buttoned-up girl Reed remembers. His sister’s best friend has blossomed into a strong, skilled, confident woman. She’s exactly what his search-and-rescue team needs—and everything he didn’t know he craved. The gulf between his life in Wild River and her big-city career is wide. But it’s no match for a desire powerful enough to melt two stubborn hearts…
Dr. Erika Sheraton is a workaholic surgeon in metropolitan Anchorage, at the same hospital where her father is the surgical department chair. She has put in countless hours as a clinician in order to prove herself to her father, and work on a research project to test a new anti-rejection drug for organ recipients. Her own mother had died when Erika was a young girl–due to a failed kidney transplant. This life-long mission is interrupted when her father suspends her privileges at the hospital for a mandatory vacation–since she hasn’t had one in years.
At loose ends, Erika returns to her small hometown of Wild River, to reconnect with her childhood best friend, Cassie. It’s awkward, mostly because Erika has arrived with barely two weeks until Christmas and the few hotels in town are book up–and Erika’s now imposing on Cassie to sleep on her couch. Not one to stay still long, Erika’s soon finagling her way into Search and Rescue missions with Cassie’s brother Reed, who has surely grown up. As part of this team, Erika makes some medical situations way easier, earning the gratitude of her father’s old boss at the community hospital.
Her attraction to Reed is inconvenient–now that Erika has time off she has time to reflect on happier days in Wild River and lament all the things she routinely gave up for a career she’s not convinced she wants any longer. Not now that her father’s pulling power plays and possibly removing her from the drug study. Reed is the emotional rock she remembers, only taller, more muscled, and sexier. It isn’t long before these two are burning up the sheets and each other. But life in the arctic wild is dangerous and soon Erika’s surgical expertise is necessary for Reed’s survival.
I’ll be honest, there were a LOT of issues in this book that didn’t make sense to me–because they fell short of the realism I enjoy in my contemporary romances. In previous careers I ran medical studies and have decades of working experience within the American medical system. So, Erika’s experiences in the hospital felt like gross exaggerations which pulled me from the story. Likewise, her assertions of power on Search and Rescue seemed farfetched and unrealistic. The romance between Erika and Reed felt rushed, and the environmental challenges of an Alaskan winter seemed conveniently mild to allow for situations that would foster the romance. In the end, Erika needs to make a choice between her previously self-sacrificing career and some level of work-life balance in a new position. She makes the only realistic choice, though it seemed a bit of a false choice within the constraints of the story. To me the story was more melodramatic than I had anticipated, and I didn’t really connect with Erika as a character until well past the halfway point in the book. I’m on a huge Alaska reading cycle now, and this was not the best book I’ve recently come across.
About the Author:
Jennifer Snow is an award-winning author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and five year old son. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta, the Romance Writers of America, the Canadian Author Association, and SheWrites.org. She is a contributing author to Mslexia Magazine, WestWord Magazine and RWR. She has also taught RWA Chapters courses online.
Her publishing credits include two holiday novellas, previously published by The Wild Rose Press, now re-released as self-published editions through Amazon. The Mistletoe Fever was an Amazon bestseller for two weeks in the category of Kindle Short Reads. Her six book small town, Brookhollow series is published through Harlequin Heartwarming and her MMA sports romance series Beyond the Cage is published through Berkley/NAL Intermix.