The Ice Carousel
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Goes Well With: A steaming bowl of soup and a mug of hot chocolate

The first snowflakes of winter may not have fallen yet, but it’s not too early to get caught up in the mystical romance of author Amy Hahn’s short but sweet winter fairy tale, The Ice Carousel.

Each year, a mysterious man known only as “Mr. Carousel” arrives in the small town of Harrison, Minnesota, to carve an ice carousel for the annual February Frost Festival. The stunning carousel, the highlight of the festival—one that people come from miles around to witness. And in its one hundred years of operation, numerous couples have shared first dates, first kisses, and wedding proposals in its shadow.

For as long as she can remember, Dulcie Thorton has enjoyed riding the horse that’s always included among the creatures on the carousel. Still, she doesn’t see why people find it so romantic—and she doesn’t understand why her editor at Minnesota Life is so eager to have Dulcie write about it for their next issue. But a cover story is a cover story—so she heads back home to try to interview the elusive Mr. Carousel.

When Dulcie goes to meet with the enigmatic artist, though, she finds that there’s just something about the man that seems strangely fascinating—and familiar.

Set in a magical winter wonderland against a backdrop of swirling snowflakes, The Ice Carousel is a delightful short romance. Hahn paints a vivid picture of a serene, snowy February in small-town Minnesota. It’s so beautifully portrayed, in fact, that you might just find yourself looking forward to that time of year when the temperature drops and the snow begins to fall outside your window—just so you can enjoy the same wintery magic.

But while the setting may be cold and wintery, there’s nothing chilly about the story. Though it sometimes gets caught up in explaining the picky rules and regulations that govern the various characters, The Ice Carousel nevertheless tells a sweet story about finding true love when—and where—you least expect it. Dulcie definitely isn’t looking for love when she heads out on her assignment. And she does everything she can to fight her totally irrational feelings for this mysterious man—especially after he starts opening up to her about who (and what) he really is. But, of course, love has its way of winning out in the end.

The Ice Carousel isn’t a detailed story with gripping suspense or highly-developed characters. In fact, you might find yourself wanting to know a little more about the characters and their histories. Still, it’s exactly what it should be: a warm and cozy love story with a setting that’s just as magical as its characters. If you’re looking for a pleasant little read on a chilly day, it’s the perfect pick.

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