It's a fantasy come true for Noah Shepherd when he rescues sexy "international woman of mystery" Sophie Bellamy on a snowy winter's night near the frozen shores of Willow Lake. There is nothing like instant chemistry between characters to begin a steamy novel and lust between two people ready to live in the moment, spontaneous and uninhibited.
A tragic hostage situation at the Peace Palace in The Hague Holland changes Sophie and ignites fear into this workaholic international lawyer. Sophie's instinct for survival is to run to the family members she left in pursuit of a high-powered career as a lawyer on the International Criminal Court on war crimes. Sophie's life has been consumed by ceremonial events, couture wardrobes, ornate palaces, dignitaries, drivers and security agents, and translations whispered into an earpiece from exotic locations. It has been her dream job for most of her adult life. But at what price? Sophie sacrificed her family life and her marriage. Her ex-husband is now happily remarried, her daughter has a child out of wedlock and her son is a teenager trying to find his way to manhood. Sophie begins a personal journey to find her place among her family and make up for lost time, realizing that "life lived without family was meaningless."
Contrary to her prior addiction to a successful career, Sophie is now ready to surrender to living in the moment and immersing herself in her children and baby grandchild, a tight-knit community in small-town Avalon in the Catskills and in the arms of a much younger man. For years, Sophie was driven to stopping "transnational crimes against children," "tortures beyond imagining --- rape, ethnic cleansing, genocide" at the expense of missing the events in her own children's lives. Sophie closes the door on her career and pursues a new direction in her life, surrounding herself with people who make her feel good about herself.
Being snowed in for days at a time forces Sophie to slow down, explore her feelings and her new home, and be completely self-indulgent, impulsively falling into the welcoming arms of Noah, the sexy stranger who rescues her from a snowdrift and stitches her leg and her soul. Sophie's wild attraction to Noah takes her completely by surprise, but she feels desired in a way that awakens her passions and releases her inhibitions. "Sophie's brush with death in The Hague had changed her...then when she was a hostage, she'd regretted the many times she hadn't acted on desire, the times she'd put something off, thinking she had all the time in the world."
New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs tells the story of Sophie's monumental decision to walk away from a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit on the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague Holland in order to free her soul to discover who she is and who she really wants to be. She gives herself the greatest gifts: time to think, time to live, time to love.
Unexpectedly, when she lets go of the past, surprises beyond her imagination await. Sophie's wild attraction to local veterinarian Noah Shepherd takes her by surprise, and she succumbs to a boy toy who professes to follow her to the ends of the earth. Noah has the hot body of a man training for the Ironman triathlon and "a smile that took her breath away." Readers will appreciate the torrid imagery, and identify and cheer as Sophie acts on her desires and builds enduring relationships that heal and transform.
The message in SNOWFALL AT WILLOW LAKE is clear: Follow your heart's desire, and make rediscovering yourself a priority, not a luxury. Pursuing desires and passions opens the door to enormous surprises.
--- Reviewed by Hillary Wagy