Cloud Bay #2
by Emma Douglas
Published on October 3, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
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It's Christmastime in the quaint island town of Cloud Bay, where love is always in season...
Will Fraser has believed in love at first sight since the day he first laid eyes on Mina Harper five years ago. There was only one problem: She was happily married. Then, when Mina's husband was killed by a drunk driver, Will figured she'd want nothing to do with a guy who owns a whiskey distillery. So he's kept his feelings locked away, knowing that not even a Christmas miracle would be enough to melt Mina's heart. . .
Mina believes her days of true love are behind her. Since losing her husband she's kept to herself, content to do her own painting and stay out of the limelight that comes with her famous family. But when, after a freak accident, Will comes to her rescue, Mina can't quite get him out of her mind. As curiosity turns into a fling during Cloud Bay's first Christmas Festival, she finds it harder to convince herself that her feelings for Will are just mistletoe-inspired. Could Mina be ready to lay the past to rest and finally admit that what she really wants for Christmas--and forever--is Will?
I took a trip back to Cloud Bay in the second installment of the series, A Season of You, and I’m not sure I’m completely impressed. After reading Need You Now in August, I decided that this was a series that I definitely wanted to check out (despite having issues with that first book). And in the same fashion, while I had some problems with this one, I ultimately enjoyed it.
It’s odd talking about a book centered around Christmastime in early fall but if you’re looking for something for your winter TBR you can definitely add this one to the list (even if it doesn’t feature a winter wonderland because, well, island near California and all). The female protagonist, Mina, came up in the last novel though played a minor role. She’s very different from her sister, Faith (featured in Need You Now). More reserved and still dealing with the death of her husband. Overall, I liked Mina quite a bit. She wanted to make a name for herself that didn’t involve the family name and despite not needing to work, she still volunteered in the town. Mina has a lot of heart and it showed.
But her character started failing for me when it came to Will. He’s been crushing on Mina since he first saw her but didn’t pursue her between her being married and then widowed. Every choice he made was the default “good guy” which didn’t bother me too much though it came off a bit trope-y at times. I liked Will but I didn’t understand him and Mina. Once they actually started dating it wasn’t so bad but I never understood why he fell in love with her those years before or why, despite her reservations made clear because she was still grieving her husband, Mina was the one to initiate most of the scenes between them. It didn’t quite fit the character that had been built for her in the story.
Other than the romance, I actually enjoyed this one more than Need You Now. The ending was a bit rushed, the conflict leading to the happy ending (and then the HEA) happening within about 15-20 pages compared to the rest of the plot which was more drawn out. I expect to see them more in the next series installment like I did Faith and Caleb in this one, which is good because this is the kind of series where the couple doesn’t necessarily end up getting married (like you see more often in historical romances).
These books are fun. I have my issues with the relationships but the story and the world of Cloud Bay and the easy-to-read writing style makes them quick and light, perfect for fans of small town romances. It looks like Faith and Mina’s brother, Zach, has his own story up next and he’s been pretty absent for these first two books so excited to see how that plays out. As for A Season of You, this is a good book to get you into the holiday spirit, warm weather and all!