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Snow in Summer by Tess Farraday
(Jove, $5.99, PG) ISBN 0-515-12475-3
**
Snow in Summer has an interesting premise but there are some inconsistencies in the story line. In addition, the pace is slow too much time passes before important revelations, concerning the respective pasts of the heroine and the hero, are shared with readers.

The hero in this book is a ghost. Four hundred years ago, Kit Gallatin, the Earl of Swanfort, was murdered and buried in unhallowed ground. After his death, his brother removed Kit's heart and placed it in a silver box. The story of Kit's untimely demise becomes legend and the box with his heart is dubbed the Graveyard Rose.

Although Kit shed his earthly remains when he died, he didn't let go of his earthy nature. For the first one hundred years of his afterlife he found pride, if not pleasure, in being substantial enough to perform in the bedroom. When his interest in "aftersex" waned, Kit drifted about, traveling to different continents and countries.

Convinced he cannot move onto the next world until he retrieves his heart, Kit is determined to find the Graveyard Rose. Many times Kit has found himself drawn to close to the Graveyard Rose, but he's never been strong enough to retrieve the silver box.

Sparrowgrass, California is a place that holds both wonderful and tragic memories for Miranda "Andi" Fairchild. Andi has returned to Heart's Ease, her Aunt's home, to get her bearings and heal her emotional wounds. To help a friend, she works at a Renaissance Fair selling replicas of the Graveyard Rose completely unaware that genuine article is hanging around her neck.

When Kit realizes that Andi has the Graveyard Rose he will do anything to get it back including posing as a writer and persuading her to rent him the carriage house on her Aunt's property.

While Andi is surprised by her attraction to Kit, he is stunned by his reaction to Andi. For the first time in his afterlife, Kit actually feels pleasure in a woman's touch.

Snow in Summer proves it isn't easy loving a ghost especially one that can't make up his mind and seems to lose his, uh, substance at the most inconvenient of moments. At first, Kit wants the Graveyard Rose in order to move on but then he decides he wants Andi and what's his hurry?

Then he changes his mind and decides he doesn't want Andi, then he changes it back again, etc. I couldn't understand why, if Kit can make himself substantial enough to have sex or ride a horse during the past four hundred years, he could never find the strength to grab a silver box small enough to fit around a woman's neck?

In addition, I was bothered by Andi and Kit's continual, unexplained references to persons in their respective pasts. These people are mentioned again and again without any explanation as to what role they played in either Andi's life or Kit's afterlife.

If the purpose of these unexplained references was to whet my curiosity it worked the first time, but not the second or third or fourth. In fact, by the time explanations were finally offered, I no longer cared to hear them.

--Judith Flavell


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