Sisters in Love (Love in Bloom #1)

By: Melissa Foster

Series: Snow Sisters

Book Number: 1

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Danica Snow has always been the smart, practical one, while her younger sister, Kylie is wild and free-spirited. Between her successful therapy practice and being a part of the Big Sisters program, she has little time for dating. While waiting in line at the coffee shop one day, Danica is admiring the hot guy in front of her when he elbows her in the nose. She knows it was an accident, but while apologizing, he can't seem to stop ogling another attractive woman walking by, leaving her convinced that's he, not only a player, but a total jerk. A second encounter with Blake while out with Kylie and some friends at a bar only solidifies Danica's opinion of him. However, when he walks into her office, looking for help in the wake of his friend's death, she acts the professional, putting aside both her attraction to him and her animosity. Soon she finds that there's a great deal more depth to Blake than she thought and she quickly becomes more and more intrigued by him until she wants to throw propriety out the window. But between it being completely unethical to date a client and everything else going on in her life, she isn't sure it would be right to finally give herself that kind of freedom.

Ski-shop owner Blake Carter is an unrepentant player who has a different woman in his bed every weekend. His business partner, Dave, often eggs him on in his conquests, appearing to live vicariously through Blake, but at the same time, he seems to get that Blake is really a commitment-phobe, which is why he offers up the number of a therapist in case he decides to change his ways. Then Dave is tragically killed in a skiing accident, leaving Blake, not only grieving the only true friend he had, but having to pick up the pieces, both professionally and personally. As secrets emerge, Blake suddenly realizes that Dave might not have been the upstanding family man he always seemed to be, which leaves him reeling, wondering if he was ever a good enough friend. Suddenly Blake knows he wants to make major changes in his life. He calls the therapist Dave recommended and is shocked to discover that she's the same woman he injured at the coffee shop and saw at the bar. However, Danica is a consummate professional who really does help him with his problems. Soon Blake wants far more from her than a client/therapist relationship, but will she ever be able to trust her heart to a guy who's only recently become an ex-player?


Sisters in Love is the first book in Melissa Foster's Snow Sisters series, as well as the first in her huge multi-family Love in Bloom series that apparently has a lot of cross-over characters in future books. In this one, we have Danica Snow, a therapist with a successful practice, who's always been the smart, level-headed, good girl of the family. One day, while waiting in line at her favorite coffee shop, she's accidentally elbowed in the nose by a drop-dead gorgeous guy who apologizes but can't seem to assist her without ogling some other woman at the same time. Blake is an avid skier and owner of a local ski shop in their touristy mountain town of Allure, Colorado. He's a real player, too, who can quite literally have any woman he wants and usually does. However, after the tragic, sudden death of his best friend and business partner, Blake starts to do some soul-searching and realizes he doesn't like the man he's become and wants to change. Right before he died, his friend gave him the number of a therapist, so Blake calls her for an appointment. After a second encounter with Danica in a bar, he's not quite able to forget her, and she feels the same way. They're both shocked when he walks into her office, seeking help, but Danica tells herself she can put aside her attraction to counsel Blake in his hour of need. The more they see of each other, though, the more the attraction keeps growing, but knowing it would be unethical to date a client, Danica tries to keep her distance, until one kiss changes everything. She's quickly falling for Blake but she must decide the right course of action to keep things above-board and figure out if she can really trust an ex-player with her heart.

Despite being the older sister, Danica has always felt rather over-shadowed by her little sister, Kaylie. Danica was always the smart one, who her parents expected a lot from, but at the same time, she's not slim and svelte like Kaylie and has curly hair that often frizzes, making her feel less attractive. Their parents split after their dad cheated on their mom. Danica became a therapist and likes helping people, but it was also the route she felt her parents wanted for her, while she had a dream of opening a youth center. To satisfy her desire to help young people, she joined the Big Sisters program and regularly mentors a teenage girl. The first time, she meets Blake when he accidentally hits her, she's floored by how attractive he is, but not the least bit impressed with his gawking at some other woman while she's bleeding everywhere. She decides he's a jerk, and after a second meet-up in a bar, his actions only solidify her opinion of him. However, when he shows up in her office, needing counseling, Danica manages to set all that aside, and despite her still lustful thoughts, be the consummate professional. In fact, she becomes rather impressed with his self-awareness and seeming commitment to making major changes in his life. They're both in the wedding party of mutual friends, though, which necessitates them seeing each other outside her office and eventually leads to a blazing first kiss that leaves Danica confused about how to proceed without crossing more unethical lines and whether she should let a man who is only a recently reformed player into her life. Overall, I liked Danica. She's very good at helping people and giving them good advice, both personally and professionally, without being judgmental. By the end of the story, she's gone through some soul-searching of her own that leads her to living into the fullness of who she's meant to be.

Skiing and women are Blake's life, but a part of him envies the seemingly perfect relationships that his best friend and business partner, Dave, has with his wife and son. Although Dave jokingly eggs Blake on in his womanizing ways, his friend seems to recognize that there's an underlying cause for Blake's commitment-phobia and suggests a therapist for him. Blake kind of writes it off in the moment but then he remembers how the brunette he'd accidentally elbowed in the coffee shop gave him sarcasm and a look of disdain after he ogled the other woman. A day or two later, Dave dies in a tragic skiing accident, after which some secrets start to come out about him, leaving Blake wondering if he ever knew the real Dave at all. It also leaves him with the realization that he's been too self-centered and wasn't a very good friend, which sends him to Danica's office, seeking counseling to become a better man. He's surprised when Dr. Snow turns out to be the woman from the coffee shop who he hasn't quite been able to stop thinking about. Despite the animosity from their past encounters, Danica proves to be a skilled professional who puts all of that aside to lend a sympathetic and non-judgmental ear. And her advice seems to be spot on, too, really helping Blake with the turmoil surrounding his friend's death and what's fueling his sleeping around. She's everything he truly wants in a woman, but after their kiss, she says it can't happen again and that she's going to refer him to another therapist, which leaves Blake feeling bereft of their connection and hoping that he can change her mind. Deep down, Blake is a nice guy, hiding behind a playboy mask that he simply uses as an avoidance mechanism. Unlike when some authors merely pay lip-service to a romance hero being a player, Blake genuinely is one, but I liked that he came to the realization on his own that he didn't want to be that guy anymore. He's surprisingly self-aware, and although he initially squirms at some of the questions Danica asks, he was committed to the process of getting better, so overall I liked him.

Sisters in Love was my first read by the prolific Melissa Foster. I have to admit that it kind of comes off as more of a family drama or women's fiction with some romance thrown in rather than a straight-up contemporary romance. Danica and Blake spend a lot of page-time dealing with their own--and others'--problems. Danica has concerns about Kaylie who is basically the female version of Blake, sleeping around and being a commitment-phobe, but within the course of the story Kaylie falls for a guy and that scares her to death. As an aside here, I'll say that as far as I can tell, Kaylie is the only character who gets their own story and it's the next in the series, Sisters in Bloom. Danica deals with her Little Sister, Michelle's family issues, too. On Blake's side of things, he's handling the fall-out from Dave's death and how that's affected his friend's wife and son, while also uncovering Dave's big secret and dealing with his own desire to be a better man. It's a lot going on for such a short novel (just over 250 pages in trade paperback), so in some ways things seemed to move too fast, but in the romance department things moved a little too slowly and didn't quite have as much depth as I would've liked. Blake and Danica don't even kiss until about three quarters of the way into the story. Even then, Danica shies away, feeling that she's breached therapist protocol, and doesn't want to repeat her mistake, so it takes even longer for them to get past that internal conflict. Then they quickly fall into bed and into love without much further ado, all within the last few chapters. I've also seen this author's books described as "steamy," but this one was only moderately sensual. I really felt like the book could've been a bit longer to develop the romance more solidly, so that the other drama didn't over-shadow it so much. I also felt like Blake's issues were a little too easily overcome as was him giving up a lifetime of being a playboy to settle down with one woman. All that said, though, I did enjoy the book for what it was, so I'll probably continue with the series at some point.


Melissa Foster


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