ARC Review: A Winter Affair by Minna Howard

30613838Title: A Winter Affair

Author: Minna Howard

Publisher: Aria

Expected Publication Date: September 1, 2016

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Format: eBook

Page Count: 273

Rating: 3- Stars



A wonderful warm, seasonal treat, whisking you on a magical adventure to the Swiss Alps. Full of food, laughter and fun. Perfect for the fans of Trisha Ashley.

With a recent divorce and empty nest Eloise Brandon is facing Christmas alone until a harried phone call from her godfather changes everything.

Accepting his challenge, Eloise finds herself en-route to Verbier and to her godfathers chalet in the beautiful Swiss Alps to help cater for some seriously rich, high rolling guests.

What ensues makes it a Christmas to remember. A heady alpine mixture of old friends, ex-husbands, mega-rich, super demanding guests, a dishevelled proprietor and Bert the dog.


♦ Personal Thought ♦

I have never read Minna Howard‘s books before. But aside from the lovely cover, what drew me to read this was the blurb: the story of middle aged woman who struggle to bounce back after the failure of her marriage. And where did she go to make that first step? A chalet in Switzerland! Of course I’m game to read it!It turned out to be quite a lovely story; I’ll say a 3- stars from me.

The book recount the exciting life at Verbier, a premier village ripped with holiday resort and ski area in Swish Alp; in which Jacaranda – an old chalet of Eloise’s godfather’s – situated. Thrust upon the role of temporary cook at Jacaranda, Eloise must struggle with memory of happier times there, difficult house-guests and unexpected attraction to her boss slash godfather’s son.

As a non skier – I have never even seen snow in my life! – this sort of setting really awed and excited me. And let’s don’t forget the amount of food mentioned, they were all mouthwatering!! Even the incident of Bert the dog with the lamb joint, that in other circumstances might sound disgusting… (well, I really don’t want to experience that myself. But still!!) was hilariously charming. Not to mention got me hungry.

The story was told alternately as third person in Eloise’s and Lawrence’s POVs, that it gave insight to both MC’s grasp of things and each other’s misunderstandings. Even with these, I didn’t really feel the mutual attractions that slowly built between them – it was just too vague.

When it came to the characters, I loved Lawrence’s son, Theo, Bert the dog, and Vera more than Eloise and Lawrence. Part of me could understand Eloise described as feeling low and uncertain caused by her recent divorce. But I really wished she had more confidence than shown here. I cheered for a couple times she showed some backbones; yet sadly she stayed hesitant to the last page. Lawrence was no better; the way he acted around the dubious Aurelia or handled the trouble with his guests – he could have been more firm with them.

The book concluded with the hopefully ever after ending, though felt too rushed up to me. Yes, it was the ending the readers hoping for – sure. But it could use more finesse to get there. So, in a nutshell, it was a nice read for me, but nothing exceptional except the premises.

Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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