Author: Debbie Macomber
Narrator: Allyson Ryan
Audiobook Length: 4 hours 31 minutes
Savor the magic of the season with #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber’s newest Christmas novel, filled with warmth, humor, the promise of love, and a dash of unexpected adventure.
Ashley Davison, a graduate student in California, desperately wants to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle. Dashiell Sutherland, a former army intelligence officer, has a job interview in Seattle and must arrive by December 23. Though frantic to book a last-minute flight out of San Francisco, both are out of luck: Every flight is full, and there’s only one rental car available. Ashley and Dash reluctantly decide to share the car, but neither anticipates the wild ride ahead.
At first they drive in silence, but forced into close quarters Ashley and Dash can’t help but open up. Not only do they find they have a lot in common, but there’s even a spark of romance in the air. Their feelings catch them off guard—never before has either been so excited about a first meeting. But the two are in for more twists and turns along the way as they rescue a lost puppy, run into petty thieves, and even get caught up in a case of mistaken identity. Though Ashley and Dash may never reach Seattle in time for Christmas, the season is still full of surprises—and their greatest wishes may yet come true.
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Dashing Through the Snow follows Ashley Davison who is a social work graduate student who finds herself at the airport in California trying to book a Christmas flight to Seattle. Unfortunately, all the flights are books, and she believes that she has a stroke of luck when there is one rental car left at the entire airport. She runs into an obstacle, though, when she is unable to rent it as she is 24 years old, and you need to be 25. Luckily, the handsome man, Dashiell (Dash) Sutherland, who was also having bad luck booking a flight to her same destination of Seattle, steps in to help as he is 30. As Ashley is desperate to visit her mother for Christmas and Dash is adamant about making it to Seattle for his job interview, the two of them strike a deal to travel together.
If you take out the idea of “stranger danger,” this was a fun set up for the story. The two characters start off on the wrong foot and many obstacles keep popping up. First, Dash loses his phone, then Ashley ends up adopting a puppy along the way. The entire dog scenario takes a lot to forget all the real-world issues with this, including the fact that Dash would have to pay a lot of extra money since rental cars charge extra for cleaning after pets are in it. Plus, it is never discussed how it would be cared for until they reach Seattle or general logistics of dog friendly places. I am an extreme animal lover and probably would have adopted the dog, too, but I would have thought of all the questions, too. For me, this scenario came early in the story, and it just cemented how childish Ashley was. She came across like this since the beginning, but this just added to it, and it kept building all the way until the end.
While it is predictable that Dash will thaw towards Ashley and the two will end up together, it was a difficult relationship to connect with as it just did not work. Ashley acts like a lovesick child who is obsessed with getting Dash to notice her. Instead of reading as Dash is warming up to Ashley, it read like Dash was fascinated by her, which comes across as a father figure watching a teenage who has a crush on an older man, which I am sure is the opposite of the attention. By the time Dash begins interacting more with Ashley, it seemed that Ashley just wore him down rather than Dash developing feelings for Ashley.
Overall, this novel did not read like any other Debbie Macomber work that I know, so readers may consider this to be a positive or negative. Ashley was a very immature character where she gets joy out of pestering Dash to the point where I was embarrassed for her and her obsession with getting Dash to like her back after she fell for him at first sight. There is a case of mistaken identity and other scenarios that readers will need to suspend belief, including timelines (San Francisco to Redding took almost a day when it’s about 4 hours with heavy traffic) and logistics (how Ashley obtained a collar and leash for Little Blade). I loved the concept and even could get behind the whole mistaken identity absurdity, but I could not stand Ashley at all. She was completely obsessed with Dash that it came across stalker-ish even though they just met. For me, her character took away from everything else into the story and I lost all interest in ever considering this a re-read. As this was made into a Hallmark movie, I may try that in case they fixed Ashley’s character, but, unfortunately, this book was absolutely not for me.