New Release Spotlight:
Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert
Series: Frozen Hearts, #2
Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)
Release Date (Print & Ebook): eBook June 3, 2019 / Print MMP June 25, 2019
Length (Print & Ebook): approx. 105,000 words / 400 pages
Subgenre: Contemporary Romance
When a plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, the best place to land is in the arms of a younger man…
Hotshot attorney Reuben Graham has finally agreed to take a vacation, when his plane suddenly plunges into the Alaskan wilderness.
Just his luck.
But his frustrations have only begun as he finds himself stranded with the injured, and superhot, pilot, a man who’s endearingly sociable—and much too young for Reuben to be wanting him this badly.
As the sole provider for his sisters and ailing father, Tobias Kooly is devastated to learn his injuries will prevent him from working or even making it back home. So when Reuben insists on giving him a place to recover, not even Toby’s pride can make him refuse. He’s never been tempted by a silver fox before, but something about Reuben is impossible to resist.
Recuperating in Reuben’s care is the last thing Toby expected, yet the closer they become, the more incredibly right it feels, prompting workaholic Reuben to question the life he’s been living. But when the pressure Toby’s under starts closing in, both men will have to decide if there’s room in their hearts for a love they never saw coming.
🌟🌟🌟🌟 4.5 stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 3.5
An interesting journey to discovering yourself and a new love you never thought you’d have!
Annabeth’s writing is incredible. Diverse, dynamic and entertaining. I enjoyed the adventure with Tody and Reuben. What starts as a surprising solo vacation turns into a summer full of discovering, connection and healing.
Both Reuben and Tody are great characters, each with their own issues and opinions. When Reuben is forced to take a previously organized group vacation solo he hopes to just get it over with and have plenty of downtime to stay on top of work and his cases. Little does he expect the charming, young, charismatic Tody to be his tour guide. As they set off on the exclusive tour, Toby tries he best to get Reuben to appreciate where he is and tries to get him off his phone and be present. As they form a friendship and flirtation, Reuben starts to disconnect from work and explore the idyllic scenery around him. Their tour continues and tragedy strikes forcing both Reuben and Toby to face a new reality and turns Reuben’s life onto a path of self-discovery and growth. He decides to take a leave of absence from work to help Toby heal and reconnect with his daughter Amelia. As they all spend more time together, bonds are formed and a new family is created. Reuben and Toby develop strong feelings for each other and with pride, ego and Toby’s family getting in the way their journey together is not easy!
I found Toby and Reuben’s connection organic and enjoyed their constant back and forth, I didn’t like how they couldn’t admit to their feelings but there has to be some angst so I get it. Other things I didn’t really like was Toby’s father and sister Nell’s instant judgment and dislike of Reuben, which seemed to be solely based on his age and bank balance. I got frustrated at Toby’s father’s pride and “a man handles his own shit” mentality and was saddened at how much this affected Toby. I wished these issues with Nell and Toby’s dad could have been explored more and discussed to find a resolution rather than, “oh, you’re happy, then okay” kind of switch later in the book. My other comment is that Reuben didn’t really express his past out load. There was a lot of talk that he started with nothing and worked damn hard to get where he is. I thought this being discussed could have softened Toby, Nell and Tony’s dad to Reuben a bit more and see what a good and generous person he was.
Either way, this was a great story of self-discovery and a once in a lifetime chance at a new life and a love both these characters deserved. I love Annabeth’s writing and look forward to Book 3 up next!!
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Read an excerpt from ARCTIC WILD:
“Doing better?” Toby’s voice was kind, and Reuben couldn’t help but enjoy the way he really did seem to care about whether Reuben was miserable or not.
“Yeah. I am. Thank you.” And he could admit that he’d used his phone at the restaurant in part to avoid staring at the handsome guide—a trick he’d used before to keep from revealing more than he wanted to. Because Toby truly was that attractive with those soul-deep dark eyes and chiseled face and lean body, and the more time he spent around him, the more Reuben found himself caught up in his charms. He had to keep reminding himself that arousal was every bit as unwanted as airsickness.
“We’re turning into Harris Bay now. You should have a good view of the glacier field.”
Field turned out to be something of a misnomer, as it was more like undulating rivers of snow and glaciers. The whole region reminded Reuben of a giant bowl, only the walls were granite and lined with hanging glaciers and impossibly tall. It was like something out of a movie, and for the first time, he understood why Craig had been so keen on coming. The scenery was unlike anything he’d seen before, and he’d seldom felt so small and insignificant as he did when confronted with the vastness of the landscape. He was more used to feeling like the gear in the center of a machine, everything else rotating around him. These sensations of having shrunk and being a speck in time compared to eons of ice were more than a little disconcerting, but also riveting at the same time.
Blog Tour Q&A:
Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels? ARCTIC WILD is book two in the Frozen Hearts series, and there is something about book two in a series that is definitely challenging! Beta Test, At Attention, and now this one were all unique challenges for me. Each book is its own challenge, though. Book One can be a challenge because you’re creating a brand-new world, all new characters, places, important themes etc. But in book two, you’re carrying that universe forward and you’re also limited by what you did in book one, and not just the obvious plot ways. The tone, length, themes, and pacing of book one absolutely affect book two as you try to make sure the series will be cohesive as a whole. And I’m sure it’s just me, but my book two of several series now have taken more intense rewrites to get the story exactly as I want it for my readers. But it’s work I love doing, and I love all the books in my various series!
What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing this entire series? I loved all my research into Alaska. I discovered so many amazing details, many of which made it to the books, and others which ended up on the cutting room floor so to speak, but which still influenced the series. The research into the food was among the most fun for me, and not just menus, but food storage and preservation and seasons as well.
Who is your favorite character from the Frozen Hearts series? I loved all of the heroes in this trilogy so much. I think River from book 1 and Owen from book 3, who you’ll meet in September, were among the most fun POVs to write. Book Two, ARCTIC WILD, had my favorite secondary characters of the whole series, and I loved writing both heroes too.
Can you share with us something about Arctic Wild that isn’t in the blurb? The blurb is tightly focused on the romance between the heroes, but one of my favorite things about the book is the secondary characters. You’ll meet Toby’s sister, Nell, and Reuben’s daughter, Amelia, and several other characters who I really enjoyed writing. Also? The blurb won’t tell you that there’s shower sex, but I totally will!
What is the key theme and/or message in Arctic Wild? To me, this book is all about family—the family we are born to, the family we form, and the family we find in unexpected places leading to unbreakable bonds. And love—love creates family, love heals old hurts, and love leads us unexpected places as it renders all those differences between two people irrelevant. I want the message to be that we can form a family and find love even in the most trying of circumstances, even when we least expect it, and that family comes in many surprising packages.
About Annabeth Albert:
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.