Arctic Sun: An Alaska Romance

Arctic Sun: An Alaska Romance

by Annabeth Albert

NOOK BookOriginal (eBook - Original)

$4.99
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488051258
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 04/01/2019
Series: Frozen Hearts , #1
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 15,124
File size: 945 KB

About the Author

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. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series. To find out more visit annabethalbert.com. 

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"You need me to do what?" Griffin gave a slow blink. He wasn't used to feeling about as off-kilter as a broken tailwheel, but something about his mother's tone had him bracing for a rough landing. No way was her appearance at the hangar a good thing.

"You're our best hope, Griff." His mother leaned against an out-of-commission de Havilland plane that had seen better decades. Worry lines creased her usually smooth face and made her look older, more fragile.

"You sound like a bad action movie," he chided, if only to make her smile.

"I'm serious. The doctors say no way can Uncle Roger make this trip. His knee surgery is scheduled for Tuesday in Anchorage, and they don't want him to make the injury worse by delaying. I'd do the trip myself, but this is our busiest time of year ..."

"And you're needed here. I get it." He could already see where this was going. His mother ran the business side of his family's tourism and transport company, and while a capable pilot and driver in her own right, she was way more comfortable with her account software and customer service lines. "But what about Toby? He would love this opportunity."

He put far more enthusiasm than usual into his voice. Their freewheeling pilot and guide was incredibly popular with everyone other than Griffin, who simply didn't trust happy people. However, he wasn't lying. Toby would love the chance to spend the next ten days ferrying tourists around to the national parks, helping them find great vistas to photograph and ensuring they got their money's worth.

"Toby's already booked." His mother flipped her long, silver-flecked braid impatiently. "Trust me, I checked with him first. And I thought we had Clancy to cover, but his wife's due in two weeks, and he decided today that he's not willing to risk missing it. I knew you'd say no."

"I'm not saying no." He wasn't saying yes either, but he didn't add that. They both knew that unlike Toby, who was apparently in high demand, Griffin was only booked for some local transports and cargo runs in the next week. He seldom needed to deal with the tourists, and that was exactly how he liked it. He'd been planning to spend a lot of quality time with this Cessna engine he was tinkering with, but he could already see those plans slipping away like rocks into Tustumena Lake. "But why not reschedule the tour? They're coming to see Uncle Roger after all."

His uncle was a celebrated wildlife photographer whose personal tours were exceptionally popular among the eco-tourism crowd willing to pay top dollar to spend time trekking around the backcountry with him. At least Toby would have been charming enough to make up for his Uncle's absence. And even Clancy, another of their pilots, was more personable than Griffin, who had zero desire to entertain outsiders, no matter how well-paying.

"You sell yourself short." His mother shook her head. "You're a fine photographer, excellent guide, and this group is mainly newbies — they'll be happy for any assistance. We were able to reschedule four of the participants who'd rather wait for Uncle Roger, but that leaves five still coming. It's today. We can't afford to issue refunds and deal with their ill will at being canceled at the last second."

"Of course not." He wiped his hands on a rag. That last bit was a low blow. Griffin knew exactly why funds were tight for his mother and the business. And while she steadfastly refused his efforts to repay her, no way was he going to make matters worse for her by leaving her with a new set of debts.

"It's over ten thousand a head. And Roger said to tell you that he'll give you his entire cut from it. That should make a nice dent in the cabin fund, right?" She smiled encouragingly. Because, of course, not only would the confounding woman not take Griffin's money, she was also cheering on his plans to buy himself a little land of his own.

Ever since he'd returned to Alaska, he'd set the goal of having a place of his own. Not that he minded so much living at home in the small cabin his grandparents had once occupied, but after his stint in the military, he really valued his alone time and privacy. And she wasn't wrong — Roger's cut would go a long way to supplementing his down payment fund.

"Guess I better start packing." He sighed because he'd known this was going to be the outcome from the moment she'd walked in and made the request. One simply did not say no to Annie Barrett. "Is this one of those friend groups or a family at least?"

Those were always easier — a group of people who already knew each other and didn't require Griffin to break the ice. Hell, he could barely pull off his own socializing, let alone be facilitating it for others.

"Uh. No." His mother scratched her temple, and dread gathered in the pit of his stomach. Whatever was coming next, he wasn't going to like it. "Two married couples, not friends. One couple's from Europe. Netherlands, I think. And then there's the supermodel." She mumbled the last bit, and Griffin had to strain to hear her.

"Supermodel? Really?" Oh, Jesus, the last thing he needed was some simpering miss in high heels scared of bears and missing the big city nightlife. "I thought those girls usually travel in packs. What's she doing traveling alone?" "He," his mother corrected. "Male supermodel. That guy, you know, who wrote the book? Professional Nomad? They're making a movie of it. He's a sensation."

"I just bet he is." This got worse and worse. A male supermodel might not wear high heels, but he still wouldn't be prepared for the elements or for roughing it, of that Griffin was sure. And he had only a vague recollection of the book — probably caught mention of it on one of the talk shows his sisters liked — but he already knew he wasn't going to like its author. Those woo-woo spiritual finding-yourself memoirs did absolutely nothing for Griffin. He'd found himself alright. Right here where he'd always belonged. He didn't need some grand rich boy quest to show him what he'd always known — that this, right here, was his place in the world.

"Be nice." His mother touched his arm, her touch gentle but firm. "He's paying. I'm sure he's very ... interesting at least."

"I said I'd do it. But I don't have to like it." Griffin resisted the urge to shake off her touch. She meant well, and he loved her, but no way was he enjoying this supermodel's company. "How long till we head to Anchorage?"

"Three hours. Uncle Roger is going to come — that way he can meet the guests, introduce you, and then stay on in Anchorage for the surgery. I've booked you both rooms."

"You were that sure I'd say yes, weren't you?" He looked around, made sure he wasn't leaving things too much a mess. This engine would just have to wait.

"Maybe." A little smile teased at the corners of her mouth. She looked younger again and rather self-satisfied to boot. "Might have already laid out a bag for you on my couch too."

"Mom."

"And don't forget your walking stick — last thing we need is you too getting injured out there."

"I'll grab it." No sense in arguing with her when he knew perfectly well that his bum foot would need the cane at some point in the next ten days. Ten. Freaking. Days. Good Lord what had he gotten himself into?

He was still wondering that a few hours later when he made his way into the lobby of the downtown Anchorage hotel where they often met tourist groups. The flight in from their tiny town on the Kenai Peninsula had been an uneventful forty-five minutes — he did the flight so often, he was pretty sure that he could land at Lake Hood Seaplane Base blindfolded. He'd spent the flight quizzing his uncle about the trip details. His mother had printed off ample documentation for him, and this was hardly Griffin's first roundup with tourists, but it never hurt to be prepared. They'd picked up the rental van that Griffin would be using for much of the trip and then narrowly made it to the hotel in time to meet the customers. Oh, his mom called them guests, but really, it helped Griffin to think of them as what they were — big dollar signs that could make the difference for him and the rest of his family.

The company liked using this modern, high-rise hotel to start and end trips because customers always seemed surprised to find such luxury in Alaska, and it made a nice contrast to the more spartan accommodations that would follow. The huge multistory atrium lobby was tastefully appointed in greens and browns and was about as far from Griff's vision of a perfect little cabin in the middle of nowhere as one could get. All the high ceilings and metal artwork made his eye twitch.

A concierge who knew Uncle Roger on sight from all their repeat business helped them to set up a welcome table with a sign with their company logo. Almost immediately two middle-aged women came over to check in, and in Dutch accents, they fussed over Uncle Roger's crutches and his injury. Griffin immediately gathered that they were a couple — the matching red sweaters were his first clue as were their hyphenated last names. But his attention was quickly diverted by a ... creature unfolding itself from one of the oversized leather chairs in the middle of the lobby.

It took a moment before he placed the gender as most likely male, distracted as he was by a pair of the longest legs he'd ever seen encased in dark purple, skintight jeans. Bright blue hair topped a surprisingly angelic and youthful face, with an equally unexpected square jaw with the barest hint of stubble. A leather jacket that probably cost more than the engine Griffin had been working on earlier topped a T-shirt that advertised some band that he'd never heard of. Please, don't let this be ...

Griffin didn't even get the prayer out before the elegant person sauntered toward their table.

"River Vale," a melodic voice announced. Hint of New York to it, with just enough of the sort of lilt that always did something to Griffin's insides. He wasn't sure why he'd always been so attracted to musical voices, and this was an incredibly bad time for the libido he'd put in deep freeze to remind him about what he liked. His turn-ons were irrelevant here — he needed to be focusing on how completely unsuited for their ten-day trek this River person was.

Designer clothes. Thin frame. Delicate leather shoes better suited for a night of clubbing than any outdoor activity. High maintenance hair. Rich, floral smelling aftershave. Pants so tight Griffin seriously worried about circulation on a long van ride. Everything about River screamed trouble, the sort of trouble Griffin absolutely did not need.

The mountain man scowled at River. The older guy next to him was the one splashed all over the website — well-known photographer Roger Barrett — with the sort of craggy features that suggested a long life lived in the sun. He smiled at River, shaking his hand, and telling him what a fan his sister-in-law and nieces were of his book. But it wasn't the old guy who held River's attention at all. No, that was all reserved for Mr. Tall, Dark, and Cranky, who clearly didn't share Roger's good opinion of River, but good heavens, the man certainly made all those rumors about mountains and fresh air resulting in larger-than-average humans seem true.

He totally looked the mountain man part too — shaggy brown hair, the sort of tan that River's friends would pay good money to emulate, hazel eyes that reminded River of the greenish brown stone of a mosque he'd visited in Istanbul. And muscles for days. Big, broad shoulders stretching the fabric of a denim shirt, thighs like tree trunks, and that scowl. This was a guy who would be at home playing the sheriff in some old west drama. Or maybe a gunslinger ...

"Yes?"

It took River a second to realize that Roger had asked him a question while he'd been busy riding off into the sunset with Sheriff Cranky. Probably he'd asked more than once, judging by the deepening of the lines around his eyes.

"Um. Sorry. Jet lag." River gave a wave of his hand, but neither of the men smiled.

"I asked if you'd eaten. Typically, the group dines together here at the hotel restaurant. A chance to get to know each other before departing in the morning."

"Food sounds good," River lied. The alarm on his phone earlier had said it was time to eat, so he would, and the group setting would be nice. He always loved getting to know new people.

"Excellent. My nephew Griffin Barrett here has some waivers for you to sign before we get started."

Griffin. The name totally suited the man, all masculine and larger-than-life and a little rough around the edges ... And there River went into fanciful territory again. He'd been in Milan most recently and wasn't kidding on the jet lag — he'd been traveling over twenty-four hours now with only some catnaps on the flights. He knew the tour website recommended coming a few days early to acclimate to the time change, but River had had to make an appearance at a friend's fashion collection unveiling in Milan and hadn't had that kind of time to spare.

But Griffin's glare made him wish he'd complied with the recommendation — both so that he had the mental capacity to deal with the paperwork and because this was the sort of guy one did not like to disappoint. He dealt with the paperwork quickly — he'd been on enough tours to guess at the wording. Risk of death, not responsible, blah blah blah. River's corporate lawyer father would shudder at the speed with which River signed all liability away, but his father wasn't here to glower at River.

No, that privilege was all Griffin's, who managed to make River feel like an annoying bug. Which was weird because usually people loved River. He got along with everyone. It was a huge part of what made his travels so successful — he knew how to make friends just about anywhere.

"Tell me you brought better shoes than those." Even Griffin's voice was hypermasculine, all rich and deep with the sort of slowness and deliberate pauses that River associated with western states.

"I brought suitable clothes." River narrowly avoided rolling his eyes at the guy. This might be his first time to Alaska, but he'd survived traveling all over the globe. A little tundra wasn't about to do him in. "I just like to look glam when flying. Better service, you know?"

Griffin's raised eyebrow said that he most certainly did not know, and River had to sigh. Mountain Man had probably never been upgraded to first class before. Although one look at those thighs, and River would have moved him to the head of the line pronto.

Another couple joined the women from the Netherlands, who had been at the table when River walked up. The man and woman were both doctors from Kansas City celebrating their retirements. They were the sort of earnest, overeager Americans that River had met all over the world, the sort you could spot as tourists a mile away, but whose niceness made up for the embarrassing gaffes. They had to get a picture with Roger and hear all about his upcoming surgery as the group slowly made their way from the welcome table to the hotel restaurant.

River had received the emails about Roger's fall and the tour company's subsequent efforts to find a replacement guide. They'd offered to put him on a different tour, but River was under something of a time crunch. He needed his North American outdoor adventures done so he could write those chapters before the whirlwind of movie release activities in the fall. Because so much of his first book focused on Middle East and Asian travel, his publisher wanted the follow-up to focus more on this hemisphere, on finding himself closer to home this time.

Which was a little hysterical as River didn't have a home, didn't want a home, and wasn't going to get a home. He had a small storage unit for off-season clothes, valuables at his dad's place, and an endless string of friends to crash with when he got lonely. But he trusted his editor about what would sell — and the movie rights for this book had already sold at auction, so he darn well better finish the thing. Besides all his social media followers were expecting pictures of bears and such. He wasn't going to disappoint. And if this Griffin was the replacement guide, then he was far from disappointed as at least he could guarantee quality scenery even if it rained every day of their tour.

It would be easier, of course, if Griffin didn't seem so determined to dislike River.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Arctic Sun"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Annabeth Albert.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Arctic Sun 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
onemused 6 days ago
"Arctic Sun" is a slow-building romance that primarily takes place in Alaska. Griffin is a veteran and recovering alcoholic. He reluctantly agrees to help out with a tour group so that his family won't have to refund them, even though it's not something he likes to do. One of the people in the group is a former supermodel, River, who has a history of an eating disorder. Though they each are working through their issues, they find themselves drawn to the other. In a very slow-building romance, they come together slowly, revealing about their lives and beginning to act on their attraction. Once I got through the first third of the book, the pace did pick up a bit and the romance really grew on me. As a couple, they work really well and their personalities, although different, mesh really well. I do wish the pace was faster from the get-go. There is a lot of scenery also competing for interest in the book, and I may have gotten into it more if I thought of it as general fiction vs. romance. Overall, this book features a great couple with a fun setting and a slow-building relationship. I would recommend for people who like general fiction and character-driven plots. Please note that I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
LolaReviews 10 days ago
Arctic Sun was a good read about who men who connect. I did feel very much like this book has two parts the first half which I enjoyed less and is more lighter in tone and the second half with I enjoyed more, which was heavier and had more depth and intimacy as well. I struggled a bit with the first half as it just felt like something was missing to fully keep my attention, I also didn't like the romance as much as first as it felt one sided with how River tried to convince Griffin to have sex with him. The second half was a lot better with more depth and intimacy to their relationship and I felt their romance a lot more then. I liked both characters and how they have their strengths and flaws and struggles, making them feel real. It also deals with some difficult topics like addiction and eating disorder, I felt like it was handled well. I liked the Alaska setting, although in parts I would've loved a bit more description so I could visualize things more vividly.
ButtonsMom2003 12 days ago
Fantastic start to a new series. Annabeth Albert has done it again! I am a huge fan of this author's writing and could hardly wait to read the first book in this series. I was lucky enough to take a trip to Alaska last May and this series was announced before I left. During many moments of my trip I found my thoughts wandering to the upcoming book and how things I was seeing might appear in the story. In the story the characters venture into places that I didn't go but I could imagine the beauty of the places that are described so richly by the writing. It didn't hurt, I'm sure, that I had visited Alaska but even if I hadn't Annabeth's writing always has a way of pulling me right into the story with her beautiful words. Arctic Sun is about two broken men who eventually manage to find their HEA with each other but it wasn't easy. I happen to love a good angsty story and this one really got to me. There were happy tears and sad tears but everyone one of them was worth it. I can't wait to read the next story in this new series. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com*** (posting on 4/8/19)
Dixiecowgirl060 Dixiecowgirl060 16 days ago
Delightful slow-burn romance that will touch your heart! Both MC's have challenges and have created coping mechanisms that tend to isolate them from real emotional connections. I really found both men likable and their flaws made the story that much more compelling for me. The growth that both men experienced in communicating and learning to trust themselves and each other was good for my heart. The story took its time and their was a beautiful flow to their story. There was some angst, but these guys are a work in progress and all journeys have bumps. River and Griffin have a connection that scared them and yet attracted them at the same time. Griffin has isolated himself and become and become almost anti-social to ensure that he stays sober. Where River has real challenges with real intimacy and a intense focus on living in the moment. Both men need each other and they really balance each other out. I was so rooting for them to find their HEA!! The writing flowed and the story-line had me hooked and i read this book in one sitting. i absolutely loved the last chapter!! This is the first book in the series and i am looking forward to the next book! There are triggers in this story with an alcoholism and an eating disorder. Therapy and AA are also part of these guys journey. I was gifted this book from the LesCourt Author Services and i freely give my honest opinion and review.
ChaosMoondrawn 17 days ago
I would rate this 4.5 stars Griffin Barrett is ex-military and a recovering alcoholic mourning the loss of his best friend and a series of bad decisions. Griff's dream is to have his own little cabin in the middle of nowhere. The only thing keeping him from being a lone mountain man is helping with his family's wilderness adventures business. When his uncle's surgery means he has to be the tour guide for a group booked for photography, he is way out of his comfort zone having to deal with the customers on a 10 day trip. His mother and uncle seem determined to use this as an excuse to meddle: make Griff be more social, more involved in the family business, and more involved in life in general. But Griff is using the isolation and routine to help manage his demons. One of said customers is River Vale, a former supermodel and now travel writer. Known as a foodie and "professional nomad," he doesn't have or want a home. Or is that true? It seems he's been on the run from one place to another since his mother died. It becomes clear right away he has an eating disorder but he's not quite the pampered, spoiled model Griff was expecting. Griff's antisocial behavor intrigues River, who is used to everyone liking him and doesn't know what to make of Griff's attitude. The author does a good job of setting up a dynamic where both of them are off balance during their interactions. There is an instant opposites attract dynamic. It soon becomes apparent they both have enough baggage for an airport, and more in common than either would have thought. The seduction of a reluctant Griff is strangely fun to witness. River is enticing. What is supposed to be a casual fling gets complicated. The love scenes are meant to further the characters' intimacy and it's great to see that they match the personality of the characters--the scenes are about them, not just to tantalize the reader. Yes, they are still hot. Unused to letting people know him, Griff gets attached to the one man he has finally let in. River starts to get attached to the one man who seems to actually take care of him. It's easier to be the best you, when you are in an environment you can control. The best part of the book comes when Griff visits River in Vancouver and meets his friends; it really highlights all of the challenges they will face if they are going to be a couple. I still would have liked to see more interactions with both families and friends (even flashbacks), which would have added more depth. One of things that often frustrates me in books is where a miscommunication about something not that important is the plot device that keeps the MCs apart just a little longer. This book is a perfect example of how to use the fear everyone has that if someone really gets to know you, warts and all, they won't like you. The author gets into the psychology of the characters to show their vulnerabilities and coping mechanisms. But what helps these characters in survival mode, often doesn't benefit them the rest of the time. There is no overnight fix, just the slow working out of things over time and actually talking about the difficult things. In the end, they are sweet building their life together and planning for new adventures.
killerbugz 17 days ago
Oh, my goodness. This is the first of Annabeth Albert’s books I’ve ever read, but it surely will not be the last. It’s an angst-filled, beautifully written story that examines the recovery process in each man as they struggle with their demons. Finding the strength to withstand the yearnings doesn’t mean the healing process is done, and there is no magic cure; we see River and Griffin struggle with feelings of guilt and unworthiness. I love the message that theirs isn’t, and doesn’t have to be, a perfect love – they just need the grace to be imperfect together. I was stunned at the beauty and realism of Annabeth’s writing, and became so involved in Griffin and River that I couldn’t stop reading until I got to the HEA. I was so fortunate to receive an advance copy of this lovely book in return for my honest review.
MaryMary13 17 days ago
Beautiful love story with charming MCs and picturesque Alaska in the background! I LOVED it! I loved everything about this story, it was simply FABULOUS! I got sucked into the book right from the start, I fell in love not only with Griffin and River, but also Alaska stunning scenery. It made me crave some adventure and fun. This is one hell of an emotional story about fighting addiction, finding home and falling in love. River and Griff might no be perfect, they both have problems, fight their own demons but their relationship gives them strength and a reason to try even harder. They are not perfect as a couple, they fight, they have trouble with communication and at first it seems like they want different things. They are perfectly imperfect and it makes them feel. I loved MCs conversations, no matter if they were fighting, joking, talking about their past or fantasies. There was so many emotions and feelings it was impossible to not feel a part of this world. I couldn't stop reading, I just had to see them happy. "Arctic sun" is a first book in a Frozen Heart series and I can't wait for more!
Kat-E 18 days ago
"Maybe it's not that we're perfect for each other. But that we're imperfect". This was the most profound moment for me in this wonderful story of growth and redemption. To allow yourself to be imperfect with someone who loves you and knows you, yet accepts that you have flaws and still continues to be there for you. Griff was battling every day to stay away from his addictions and basically was going through the motions of living in fear he would mess up and hurt his family. River a former fashion model now turned adventurer/writer is booked on an Alaskan tour group that Griff's mom strong armed him into running. River may seem jovial and together but like Griff he struggles with inner demons. Griff feels out of his element as he prefers solo assignments and he was a bit overwhelmed with River in the beginning! They seem worlds apart but Ms. Albert sets a slow pace for the two men to evolve and at times fail which leads to a believable and touching relationship. The author did a marvelous job in describing Alaska, I was there on a trip and she did the state justice in her vivid descriptions. I smiled and cried as the men made their journey of self acceptance. Life is not perfect but knowing that is half the battle. Thank you for a wonderful book and I eagerly await more from this series.
Kat-E 18 days ago
"Maybe it's not that we're perfect for each other. But that we're imperfect". This was the most profound moment for me in this wonderful story of growth and redemption. To allow yourself to be imperfect with someone who loves you and knows you, yet accepts that you have flaws and still continues to be there for you. Griff was battling every day to stay away from his addictions and basically was going through the motions of living in fear he would mess up and hurt his family. River a former fashion model now turned adventurer/writer is booked on an Alaskan tour group that Griff's mom strong armed him into running. River may seem jovial and together but like Griff he struggles with inner demons. Griff feels out of his element as he prefers solo assignments and he was a bit overwhelmed with River in the beginning! They seem worlds apart but Ms. Albert sets a slow pace for the two men to evolve and at times fail which leads to a believable and touching relationship. The author did a marvelous job in describing Alaska, I was there on a trip and she did the state justice in her vivid descriptions. I smiled and cried as the men made their journey of self acceptance. Life is not perfect but knowing that is half the battle. Thank you for a wonderful book and I eagerly await more from this series.
Athira Jayakumar 18 days ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. Set in Alaska, we get to enjoy the scenic beauty and see the beautiful place through their eyes. River and Griff are opposites but also so similar. Both are wounded men and together they help heal each other. Giffin is a former military pilot who now works for his family business as a tourist guide. He has an amazing relationship with his family but also yearns for a place quiet of his own. "He was in too deep already, no life raft in sight, and worst of all, he wasn’t sure he wanted rescue." River is an ex supermodel turned writer who comes to Alaska for a visit. He is a "blue haired siren" and Griff was a goner from the start. "All he needed was this man right here, this moment, and River was going to appreciate the hell out of both for as long as he had this." The book deals with recovery eating disorder and alcoholism and I must say I haven't read many books that deals with these topics. "Griffin might be the pilot, but River was the one who had taught him to fly on wings he hadn’t even realized he possessed." Their chemistry is off the charts and the sex is really amazing too (love that it isn't focused on penetrative sex). I loved the side characters and I'm looking forward to read Toby's book which is releasing in June. *ARC provided by the author via A Novel Take PR in exchange for an honest review
HEABookNerd 18 days ago
The more I read of Arctic Sun the more I enjoyed it and got invested in the story. There is so much beautiful emotion in River and Griffin's story, both individually and as a couple. I'll admit I wasn't so sure about Griffin in the beginning but as I learned more about him I came to love him. Griffin is lonely and gruff and clearly does not enjoy big crowds and lots of social interaction. While Griffin is set in his ways and his quiet life, River is always chasing the next adventure. River's outgoing, charming, and fun-loving but there's also a deep well of hurt in his life. I really liked the balance that Griffin and River find in each other and the way that they learn to open up and lean a bit on someone else. On top of the wonderful characters, there's the gorgeous Alaskan landscape and Albert had me ready to pack my bags and sign up for a Alaskan tour. The locales the tour visited were beautiful and I could feel the peaceful atmosphere just jumping off the pages. I also really enjoyed how River's enthusiasm and wonder helped Griffin re-experience what he loved about his home. A few side characters are introduced and I'm excited for their stories.
NadineBookaholic 18 days ago
For lovers of the Opposites Attract Trope this will quench your thirst for something new. Annabeth Albert delivers not only interesting characters with complicated backgrounds but also a stunning take on Alaska itself so much so I felt as if I was on the tour with them seeing everything as vividly as they were. This book does move at a much slower pace then I am use to with Annabeth Albert's books but honestly I felt the need for that, we needed to get to know both Griffin and River better to understand their struggles. Griffin is a recovering alcoholic, a loner, and a survivor. River is recovering from an eating disorder but covers it so well most wouldn't notice if they weren't watching...but Griffin was always watching, he is full of life and while he doesn't need to be the center of attention he definitely doesn't have a problem with spending time with others. When River and Griffin meet there is an attraction but Griffin is totally against it, even though River is constantly hitting on him. At times I was thinking will this guy get the hint and let Griffin be, I did understand why he kept pursuing him, it just seemed like it was too much at times. This story deals with difficult topics which can be a hard for some to read about but I think Ms. Albert did a wonderful job staying true to the characters struggles with their addictions and disorders. She didn't make light of the true struggles that one would have with coping with such things and I am grateful for that. Arctic Sun is the first book in the Frozen Heart Series which for me is off to a great start. I recommend this book to lovers of MM Romance and those that enjoy the opposites attract trope. Happy Reading!!! **I have voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book for my Blog, https://nadineisobsessedwithbooks.blogspot.com/
amatate 18 days ago
I’m always excited when authors I enjoy launch a new series because it feels like the start to an adventure and I never know quite what to expect. Arctic Sun had that adventure feeling throughout with both main characters in this slow burner finding a bit more of themselves while on an outing in Alaska. I love the way this opposites attract coupling matched up with Griffin leading a photography tour group that includes ex-fashion model River, who’s writing a book depicting his travels. I’ve always been a fan of the heroes who appear grumpy and standoffish on the surface because it give the reader a chance to see their personality emerge. What surprised me was how I got that from both characters, with River putting on an outgoing, breezy air to hide his own personal battles. Containing a bit of a hurt-comfort theme, Arctic Sun wades through a good amount of angst, but I enjoyed learning about Griffin and River and seeing them fall for one another and grow personally as well as a couple. The writing in Arctic Sun was great, not only transporting the reader to the setting but conveying the myriad of emotions Griffin and River dealt with as they tried to find a way to make their two worlds align. I also liked that the pace of the romance reflected the time these two needed; it felt real and substantial by the end and definitely worthy of that happy ending. *Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*