During a brutal winter, a young woman longing for love finds more than she expected in the woods, in this wickedly sensuous short story by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic.
Judith knows her sister, Alice, is the pretty one—but that doesn’t stop her from wishing for love. When a handsome and gentlemanly hunter appears in their village, seeking lodging from the cold, she believes her lover has finally arrived. He does, indeed, choose to stay—but as Alice’s husband, not her own. When another stranger comes out of the woods, looking every bit a vagrant, he offers Judith something mysterious and enticingly strange. Against reason and decency, she welcomes both men into her life, in different ways. As forbidden longings ensnare each of them, an unrelenting winter storm and an evasive wolf on the prowl have everyone on edge…and ravenous. By spring thaw, will any of their hungers be satisfied?
Dear Ms. Moreno-Garcia,
I liked this but I should have liked it more. It begins as many fairy tales do with innocence and wishes before turning darker. It has two sisters, one pretty and spoiled while the other is plainer and made to work hard. Alice has always been pampered and got what she wanted while Judith still waits for a man. When she thinks her true love has arrived, she learns differently. Does she get her revenge?
The story is dark and lush, sensuous and emotionally painful. I felt for poor Judith who has definitely gotten the short end of the stick. Yet I also wanted to shake Judith as she falls for sweet words and promises at the same time that she dismisses a person because of how he looks. Though to be honest, I’m not sure she’d get anything good from either man. I wanted this to turn the “waiting for a man to save me” trope on its head; I wanted Judith to become her own savior. The writing is lovely but the story ends up being fairly conventional. C+
Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 25 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there’s no TSTL characters and is currently reading more fantasy and SciFi.