Title: After The Snow
Author: Lane Swift
Characters: Dale Hepburn/Nick Harris
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Series
To be that perfect someone doesn’t mean you have to be perfect…
Christmas is over, but Dale Hepburn is determined to show his new British love, Nick Harris, how much fun a Michigan winter can be, starting with outdoor ice skating lessons. His life would be perfect—if he wasn’t secretly trying to dig himself out of an avalanche of debt that he doesn’t want Nick to know about. After all, Nick believes Dale is reliable, sensible, and solvent.
But while Dale works extra hours, and saves every spare cent, and hopes Nick never finds out about his past financial mistakes, unforeseen expenses keep piling on like Michigan’s unrelenting snow. And to make matters worse, there’s that little white lie Dale told Nick about having another teaching job lined up after the end of his current contract…
An emotionally tense romance with a satisfying HFN
This is my first Lane Swift story, but it definitely won’t be my last. After The Snow is the second in this contemporary series, and although I haven’t read More Than Christmas which introduces Dale and Nick, I was able to follow and enjoy this story without any problem.
Dale and Nick come from very different backgrounds, and although we see Nick through Dale’s somewhat rose tinted glasses it’s still a realistic relationship. I loved the fact that Nick is British and the contrast between Dale’s speech and Nick’s ‘Brit speak.’ There was also a fleeting reference to one of my favourite animes, which I must admit made me squee.
I liked the way in which the story showed how one small omission of truth can grow into an impossible situation and the dangers in trying to pretend to something you’re not. Dale’s money issues were realistically written, and showed clearly how a few wrong choices made by a man trying to do the right thing can build into a major problem. Dale and Nick are both very likeable characters and their relationship is sweet, although both are far from perfect. Their argument is well written, and I liked the way their problems are not easily fixed and they take things slow while they work things through. The author makes them work for their happy ending and I thought that made it a lot more satisfying.
I also enjoyed reading about the supporting cast. They were three dimensional, and not without their own faults and problems. The descriptions of the settings made the story very visual and easy to imagine.
I’d recommend After The Snow to readers who enjoy a contemporary romance in which the characters come from different backgrounds, and a story which keeps you reading as the author makes her characters work for their happy ending.
Reviewed By: Anne