August Long has come to the small town of Hopewell Springs on a temporary assignment. The harsh winters of the upper Michigan peninsula aren’t to his taste and once he finishes his current survey work, he doesn’t plan on sticking around. But when he accidentally hits a dog with his car, August crosses paths with the local vet, Eric Grover.
Eric has lived in the area since he was a boy and he knows just about everybody in town. He’s heard about the new guy, but never thought much about him until he’s woken in the dead of night to deal with an injured dog. The attraction between Eric and August is immediate, but August is forced to keep secret the details of his business. And that secret could ruin any chance they have at a relationship.
Snow Angels with Bear is a somewhat sweet and short holiday read that covers a lust-to-love romance between very different men. One is a small town vet who loves the land and the other is an ex military detonation specialist who currently works for a company that focuses on fracking. Unfortunately, Eric and August aren’t particularly well-defined. They aren’t caricatures, but there is a flatness to them that fails to bring them off the page. Additionally, neither man seems particularly passionate about his work. Eric certainly isn’t cruel, but you don’t walk away feeling as though being a veterinarian is his dream job. And that’s fine. A lot of us work at jobs we are less than thrilled with, but in this situation it would have been nice to see Eric display a bit more enthusiasm.
The plot and forward motion of Snow Angels with Bear is rather rote. There aren’t a lot of surprises here and the story plays out pretty much as you’d expect. It reads as slightly forced, with each page rushing to meet a certain fixed point of the plot. The result is a lack of flexibility or originality. Like with the characters, it’s challenging to fully appreciate the town of Hopewell Springs or the looming mining issue that threatens them. They are both background entities that could have added a great deal to the plot had they been further developed and incorporated into the narrative. All of this aside, the story isn’t bad by any means and it’s written in Bonnie Dee’s crisp, smoothly paced style. It just doesn’t resonate either. The author does do a good job of setting a sense of place as Eric and August get to explore the winter wonderland that is the upper peninsula of Michigan.
Nothing about Snow Angels with Bear is bad. Everything is fine. Just fine. There is a bit of blahness about the characters and their romance, but there is decent pace to the book and the Michigan backdrop is a nice touch. There is an overall sweetness to the story as well. If you enjoy holiday romances, you might find something to enjoy here, but otherwise it may not make much of an impression.