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.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
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
"What do you mean she's not coming?" Reuben tried to catch his breath after the long dash from the security checkpoint to the gate for his flight. While waiting for Craig to explain this turn of events, he slipped off his suit jacket. He wouldn't ordinarily wear a suit for a long day of travel, but after an early morning meeting ran late, he'd had no time to change.
"She just called. Someone leaked the Henderson Motors buyout news, so now they're having to work double time to both get the deal done and find the source of the leak. Heads are going to roll, and she's on the warpath. You know Leticia. Damn it." Craig looked both impressed by his spouse's reputation and ready to kick something. "And now I've taken a week off to spend time with my wife — no offense, Rube — and she's going to be in meetings while I'm four time zones away with no cell coverage. Fuck this. Last three vacations we've planned have all either been canceled or turned into working trips."
"I know." Reuben wasn't sure what else to say. This whole trip had been Craig's idea. Ever since another partner at Reuben's law firm had returned from seeing his adult kid in Alaska, Craig had been full steam ahead on the idea of going on an Arctic wilderness adventure and had settled on Reuben's impending birthday as an excuse to drag him along. The argument that Reuben and Leticia worked too hard at their law firm was an old one, and Craig had made a passionate case for the trip. He'd also lobbied for Reuben bringing someone along, but that plan had fallen through when Dan broke up with Reuben around Passover. Still smarting from that dismissal, Reuben had no desire to bring someone just for the sake of not being a third wheel. And zero time to date. That too.
"I seriously don't know what to do anymore. We never see each other, and when I do see her, she's shackled to her cell or laptop." Craig rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet. "My marriage is crumbling, and hell if I know how to save it."
Reuben was the absolute last person to hand out relationship advice, but he tried for a sympathetic tone. "Do you want to just forget the whole thing?"
"You'd love that, wouldn't you?" Craig's eye roll was worthy of Reuben's teen daughter, not a forty-something corporate event planner. Unlike Reuben, he was dressed more casually in a pullover and khakis and his rumpled hair suggested he'd spent more time that morning worrying about his wife than his appearance. "More time to work for you. But, no, much as I want to run after my wife, we can't completely cancel. This is the family company that Vale's kid's boyfriend works for. They're counting on our business, and it would be beyond rude if all three of us back out. And it's your birthday in two days. Come on, Rube, you seriously want to turn what ... forty-eight this year in an office with a stack of papers in front of you?"
"Eh. It's just another day." Reuben shrugged. And really, it was. He wasn't a big sentimental guy. Amelia, his daughter, had made noises about skipping her end of the year eighth grade field trip to spend the day with him, but he'd insisted she go with her class. It was simply another number on the calendar for him, but Craig loved making productions about holidays. And unlike Reuben, Craig was obsessed with how close to fifty they both were now, something Reuben really tried not to stop and think about. "And I'm not saying to cancel for me. You're going to be miserable. If you stay, at least you can try to see Leticia when she's free, maybe go out to dinner, catch a show with your time off. Staycation or whatever. Try to talk to her, maybe."
"You're not wrong." Craig slumped against a nearby concrete column. "I really do want to save this thing before it's too late. But I know you. If I say I'm not going, you're going to back out as well. And then you'll be at your desk on your birthday."
"Priority boarding for flight 435 to Seattle-Tacoma should begin shortly," a female flight attendant announced over the loudspeaker. Fuck. Not much time to argue with Craig, who was clearly spoiling for a fight.
"Let me worry about my birthday. If I say I'll go ahead and go, would that help?"
"You'd really do that? Go to Alaska without either of us?"
"Is it really that big of a deal?" Reuben didn't like Craig's implication that he'd be helpless on his own. "Sure, it's a long flight, but I did Brisbane and Tokyo last year, Jakarta the year before. Did Europe with Natalie back when we were together, more than once. It's not like I'm a stranger to travel. And there's a guide, right?"
"Yeah, but this is roughing it. Bush planes and national parks."
"Which you were all for even a few hours ago," Reuben reminded him.
"Yeah, I was. And I'm still pissed to have to miss it. Damn Henderson news. So you'll do it?" Craig didn't bother to disguise his skeptical once-over, eyes traveling over Reuben's suit and his leather carry-on.
True, Reuben wasn't exactly dressed for Alaska, but he drew himself up to his full height and gave his friend his best hard stare, the one that usually sent first-year associates scurrying for their desks. "Sure."
Now going felt almost like a point of pride. If Craig really thought he wasn't up to the task or would chicken out, something ridiculous, he'd forgotten who Reuben was. One of the most sought-after corporate lawyers in the tristate region, a fixer with a reputation he'd honed for twenty-five years now. Partner in a large firm with an impeccable reputation for getting the job done. He didn't shy away from challenges. Sure, he'd rather do almost anything other than fly to Anchorage today, but he was perfectly capable of going, making Vale happy — which might give him an ally in the current management drama at the firm — and proving Craig wrong at the same time. Win-win.
"Okay. Okay. Thank you." Craig smiled for the first time since Reuben had shown up, but it was a tentative grin with none of his usual confidence.
Reuben clapped him on the shoulder. "I'll handle this. You handle your relationship. I've got faith you guys can get through this." He tried to put conviction behind his words. Granted, his own relationships seldom survived his career, but he did believe Craig and Leticia were good for each other. If anyone could make the never-ending work and life-balance thing work, it would be them.
"Yeah. And who knows, maybe this will be good for you. A nice escape on your own. Tell me you're not bringing work."
"Just for the flight," Reuben lied. He figured with a string of boring nights ahead of him, he could get through a backlog of document reading as long as he had power. But Craig would scoff at that plan.
"Socialize. Chat up the guide. Hike. Enjoy yourself."
"Now boarding for our first class and priority members for flight 435 service to Seattle-Tacoma."
"That would be me," Reuben said, mainly to avoid more life advice from Craig. "Take care of Leticia."
"Okay, will do. I'll message the guide, tell him it'll only be you."
"You do that." Reuben forced himself to smile and not grimace at the sudden realization that he and this tourist guide were about to be stuck with each other, like it or not. Probably some grizzled old mountain man pilot, older than Reuben, like those guys on the reality show Dan had made him watch an episode or two of. Maybe he'd be the strong but silent — please God silent — type and leave Reuben to his reading in peace. Yes. That would be perfect. If the guide kept to himself and didn't expect much out of him, maybe this whole thing wouldn't be so terrible.
* * *
"So, the bear is like right there, staring us down, near the doors to the plane, and we need to take off soon to get the folks back in time for their flights home. And what you think we did next?" Toby deliberately widened his eyes and leaned forward, enjoying how the two other patrons at the hotel bar did the same thing.
He hadn't yet figured out whether the two young out-of-towners were brother and sister, friends, or a couple, but he did love a captive audience, and they were an excellent distraction while he waited for this week's client to show. Client, singular, because apparently one of the other two was some high-powered super attorney who'd bailed on the Alaska vacation at the last possible minute. And knowing how lawyers loved to nickel and dime people, he had no doubt the missing two would suggest that a refund was in order. A personalized private bush plane tour wasn't cheap, and Toby had been counting on his percentage of the take from three tourists, not one. One who was late at that.
"Drink?" The bartender asked a well-dressed man walking up to the bar area right as Toby was about to continue his story. Given that the dude certainly looked like he could afford Toby's services even as his pricey duds hardly looked ready for the backcountry, Toby got off his stool and moved away from the eager duo.
"Not yet. I'm meeting someone." The guy had an East Coast accent with a tone that said he was used to being listened to. He looked around, distracted, eyes scanning right past Toby. Typical. Thousand-dollar suit and not the sense of a reindeer.
"Mr. Graham?" Toby stuck out a hand. He was wearing an official Barrett Tours polo — new this season because his boss was never going to stop dreaming up expansion plans — and clean jeans but he still felt decidedly unkempt next to this guy's smooth elegance. He supposed some people would call the guy a silver fox — older, distinguished face, well-trimmed facial scruff and full head of silver-tinged hair — but silver bear might be more accurate, given his height, broad shoulders, and overall bulk. Older didn't usually do it for Toby, but he had to admit the guy was hot in that aging-movie-star, rich-dude sort of way. "I'm Tobias Kooly, your guide. Glad you made it."
"Call me Reuben, please." He shook Toby's hand — nice firm grip, large hand, the sort of confidence Toby associated with a guy who got things done. "This is supposed to be a vacation. I can be Mr. Graham back in the office. And since it's just us, we might as well be informal."
"You've got it. My friends mainly call me Toby. And speaking of friends, I'm sorry yours couldn't make it. Man, passing on a vacation to stay in the office. Can't imagine doing that. But lawyers, right?"
Reuben did a slow blink, the sort of thing that immediately told Toby he'd screwed up. "I'm a lawyer too. And yes, these things happen. Way too often, actually. Millions — possibly billions — are on the line in the deal Leticia stayed behind for."
"Oh, sorry." Fuck it. He didn't usually suffer from foot-in-mouth disease, but he'd clearly gone for the wrong tone here. Not the start he wanted. "Didn't mean to be flip. And I thought my boss said you were an events planner."
"No, that's Leticia's husband." Reuben's sigh made Toby feel like he hadn't done a good enough job listening to Annie's rundown of the clients. "And good that you mentioned boss as I suppose you have some paperwork for me? Waivers and such? We might as well get that over with."
"I do." Toby grabbed his folder off the bar. The guy sounded like Toby was offering a colonoscopy, not a week of fun, which meant Toby was going to have to work harder than usual to make a good impression. "But you're probably starving. Let's grab a table. It's dinnertime here, but you're a bunch of hours ahead. We usually tell people to come a day or so early to get acclimated to the time change."
"We didn't have that kind of time." Reuben followed Toby to a nearby table, but cast a glance over his shoulder at the other tourists. "You don't need to finish up with your ... friends?"
Damn it. Not that Toby had been doing anything wrong, having a soda to kill time and getting a little bit of flirt on, but Reuben made him feel like he'd been goofing off on the clock.
"Nah. Let's get you some food." He did spare a smile and a little wave for the other tourists though, just to prove he wasn't a total ass, raising his voice to say, "Sorry. Business calls." The duo waved back and returned to their drinks.
Reuben had the sort of distant but respectful manner with the server that Toby had come to expect from rich people, fussing over the wine list but not dipping into rude territory. Toby stuck with his soda and ordered the burger he always got when meeting clients at the hotel. He could expense his food, but he tried not to take advantage of that. He'd leave the steak and garlic mashed potatoes to Reuben, who also ordered a red wine with a name Toby wasn't even going to try to pronounce.
"Thanks for suggesting food." Reuben cut his meat into small, precise bites. "The options on the plane were decidedly lacking."
"Your friends did tell you that most of the meals on the trip are fairly rustic, right?" Toby didn't want him getting his expectations up that all meals would be this nice. "It's all small local lodges and simple but hearty meals. Some of the lodges have wine or beer, but the selection is usually limited."
"I'll be fine." Reuben waved Toby's concern away. "I grew up in Brooklyn on very basic fare. I'm not a picky eater."
"Good." Toby pulled out the paperwork Annie had sent, glancing down at the itinerary before handing it to Reuben. "I'm planning to stick mainly to what we worked out for the three of you, but you can tell me if you don't want to do something, and we can change it up."
"Excellent. I'm sure Craig and your boss came up with a good plan, but I don't mind more downtime. I brought plenty to keep me busy."
"I can't guarantee Wi-Fi at most of the stops." This wouldn't be Toby's first corporate client who couldn't disconnect from work, and explaining the limited cell and internet service was never fun.
"I expected that. I preloaded plenty of reading on my laptop, which has a long battery life."
"That should be okay. Most places have electricity." Personally, Toby couldn't see the value of bringing a stack of work on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. And why look at a laptop instead of the scenery? But he nodded anyway. He knew better than to argue with a client. If Reuben wanted to work the trip away, so be it. "We leave first thing in the morning — it's an early start, which is why we usually meet up the night before. But you did have a long trip in. Do you want me to try to push the flight plan back?"
"Don't be ridiculous." Reuben's stare had a hard edge to it, a man who would not stand for coddling, which Toby could respect. The look also made his insides heat, an unexpected spark of arousal — commanding didn't usually turn his crank, but as he was in the midst of something of a dry spell, he supposed even hot, older, presumably straight silver bears could get his motor humming.
"Sorry." He looked away, not wanting to reveal his line of thinking — this was not a guy who would take kindly to being Toby's eye candy for the week.
"I'm used to long days. As long as there's coffee, I'll be perfectly fine."
"There will be time to grab coffee before we head to the seaplane," Toby assured him.
Dinner almost finished, Reuben took a long sip of his wine. "Now, about that paperwork? I really should think about checking my email."
The man had to be exhausted and in dire need of sleep, but Toby had a feeling this guy would never admit such mundane needs. So Toby focused on getting him to sign the necessary waivers. Exactly like every other lawyer Toby had ever met, Reuben took his sweet time reading the waivers, frown lines deepening with each page until finally he let out a mighty harrumph.
"Not your doing, but your boss needs better boilerplate." Reuben shook his head.
"I can't take you up in the plane unless you sign." Toby had been down this road before with clients who wanted to cross out sections or write in others. Someone please save him from the rich and picky.
"Fine. Guess I'm putting my life in your hands." Reuben signed, and Toby's insides did a weird shimmy, like maybe he didn't want that responsibility, didn't want the possibility of letting this man down.
"Thank you." Toby took cell pictures of the signed documents for Annie and returned them to his folder so she'd have a hard copy for her records.
"So ..." Reuben sat back in his chair, not in the apparent hurry to get up to his room that Toby would have figured. "How does the story end? What did you do to the bear?"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Arctic Wild"
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed Arctic Wild and it brought a lighter tone to the series compared to the previous book, Arctic Sun . On top of that, the stranded theme is one of my favorites and while it's only a small portion of the story, it's the catalyst for the rest of the character's actions and decisions. As always, the writing was spot on and Albert has such a sense of pace when writing a romance. Reuben was easily my favorite character and I loved that he was a softer, gentle kind of guy. He's dedicated everything he has to his work at the cost of his personal life and his relationship with his 14 year old daughter, Amelia. After the plan crash, Reuben reevaluates his life and decides to take the summer to assess what he wants and reconnect with his daughter. While Reuben lets go of his workaholic ways pretty easily, I didn't mind because it was great to watch him fall in love with Alaska and a more balanced life. Reuben loves to care for his partners, in and out of the bedroom, and I liked this side of his personality. He might be too obsessed with his work but he's also a genuinely nice guy. It was also really sweet to watch him deal with a moody teenage daughter. Toby is the carefree, fun loving, pilot who is used to casual flings. He's given his all to care for his younger sisters and his father whose health is deteriorating. From the outside, Toby is always trying to prove his competence and take care of everything on his own. Being confined to a wheelchair while he heals just about kills Toby as he's forced to rely on Reuben and deal with the mounting bills and no income. I never connected as strongly with Toby but I did like him as a character and I thought he was a great match for Reuben. Both men are used to taking on a lot of responsibility but that handle it in very different ways. The only thing I really struggled with was Toby's family who I felt were kind of awful most of the time. His father and his sister don't like Reuben and hate the idea of Toby being with him. Toby's father is also the one who's constantly pressuring Toby to be a man and take care of his own business. While his sister begins to come around to the idea of Reuben I still dreaded anytime they appeared in a scene because they were just both downers.
Arctic Wild was a little different from my usual reads and I'm curious as to how many readers can say that. We have all read books with an age difference I'm sure, even some where they outright call the man a silver fox but can you say that you have read one about a silver bear? Or what about religion, I don't think it's mentioned in the majority of books I've read and I honestly can't remember the last time I read a book where the main character was Jewish. So yes this book is a little different because Reuben Graham is both a silver bear and Jewish. ;) He's also a lawyer who works crazy hours, divorced, the father of a teenage daughter that he just doesn't know how to connect with, and about to embark on the trip of a lifetime without his two friends that were supposed to join him. Tobias, Toby, is a tour guide in the beautiful state of Alaska. He takes care of his ailing father and is raising his two younger sisters. If I said he had a lot on his plate that would be the understatement of the year, but he works hard and is doing everything he can to make sure his sisters finish college and his father is taken care of. His pay helps but his tips help even more so when he finds out that two people of his three person tour has cancelled he's not happy but is committed to make the tour the best one possible so maybe the lone tourist will leave him an even better tip. What neither Reuben nor Toby expected was the attraction they would feel toward the other, or the way meeting would impact either of their lives. I enjoyed the slow burn between Reuben and Toby, watching them progress from tour guide/client to friends and then to lovers. I also LOVED a couple of the secondary characters, Reuben's daughter Amelia and Toby's sister Nell, for me these two young ladies added a lot to the story. I listened to the audiobook version of this book and I have to say that the narrator did a wonderful job with the different characters. I never had to guess who was saying what at any point because each of his different voice inflections were very precise and held true throughout the book. Arctic Wild is the second book in the Frozen Heart series but can easily be read as a standalone. I would recommend this to any one that is a fan of Annabeth Albert's work, and if you haven't read any of her books before this is a great place to start. If you enjoy MM Romance that has a slow burn, a silver fox/bear, or low angst I would recommend this book to you as well. Happy Reading!!!
3.5 stars- Arctic Wild is the second standalone in the Frozen Hearts series and a good slow burn, May-December romance. Despite liking the characters and the bulk of the story, I’ve gone back and forth over how to rate this book, reflecting on what did and didn’t work for me. In the end, I realized that some of the things that didn’t work for me weren’t necessarily problems that needed correcting, but rather an honest portrayal that life isn’t always clean and perfect, even after finding a special love, making Arctic Wild worth the read and one I’d recommend. From the outset I liked the characters of Arctic Wild. Toby was outwardly engaging and happy and Reuben curt and disinterested, a classically good opposites attract pairing. However, the dual point-of-view narrative ensured readers knew early on that there was more to both men than initial impressions suggested. I was excited to get to know more about these men and eager to see a relationship develop, but the book suffered from a pacing shift. Arctic Wild starts off fairly quickly with the characters involved in a plane accident early on. Once their ordeal resolved, the book downshifted for me, taking on a more meandering pace and allowing room for the slow-burn romance between Toby and Reuben to grow. Unfortunately, the abrupt change in pace meant my interest wavered a bit through the middle of the novel. I liked that these two took their time and the things that gave both Toby and Reuben pause in pursuing a relationship were completely valid for the characters, I just wasn’t as interested as I’d expect. The familial situation also threw me off a little. I loved how the author included Reuben’s teen daughter in the story, developing her character along with Toby and Reuben. And while I admired Toby’s commitment to his family and loved how that part of his personality fit with Reuben, his sister and father’s negativity and nay-saying got old for me. After sitting on this review for a bit though, I realize what rankled me was that things weren’t perfect for these two as the book closed… instead they were a bit messy and an honest look at a couple who chooses love for one another and for their family, even when it can’t be all tied up with a neat little bow. So yes, though Arctic Wild wasn’t all I thought it might be at the start and the pacing change threw me off a little, I would recommend this title, especially if you appreciate the beauty in love when things aren’t so easy. *Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
Reuben is begrudgingly going on a vacation alone when his two friends have to bail. Overworked, too driven and unable to connect emotionally with his teenage daughter he is cajoled into this Alaskan adventure. The plus side for Reuben after he realizes he truly needed this respite from the rat race is his pilot and tour guide Toby is not only attractive but has an infectious personality that makes Reuben yearn for more than the work waiting for him in his law office. The crash scene was heart stopping and very realistic. The aftermath with Reuben helping the very injured Toby was a great building ground for the two men to realize there were deeper feelings between them. Yes there was a bit of an age difference between the seasoned lawyer and the headstrong younger pilot but the men just seemed to mesh. Cody had to take on heavy responsibilities when his mother passed away and even though he appears happy go lucky he worries alot with having to take care of a father with a disability and keeping his younger sisters on track with their schooling. This financial strain wears him down and he is very serious for his age. This made his being drawn to Reuben understandable. We get introduced to Reuben's daughter Amelia and I loved watching her blossom in her new environment. I treasured the vivid description of Alaska. Ms. Albert never disappoints. A fantastic read that sweeps you away.
i am enjoying this series so much, i can't even tell you guys. arctic wild, is book 2 in the frozen hearts series. and in this one we have the young, adventurous pilot, tobias kooly finding something special in the arms of his workaholic, non-outdoorsy passenger reuben graham. the attraction between them is there from the moment they meet, but when they survive a plane crash everything changes. reuben reassesses his outlook on life, and tobias needs him. tobias has been the primary breadwinner/caregiver for his family, and the injuries he sustains in the crash will make it difficult to survive the months it will take him to recover properly. there's some injured pride and tobias has his self-reliance threatened, but i loved the may/december aspects of this romance. and also how this isn't just a case of instalust and love, yes the characters are attracted to each other from the start, but they take their time to get to know each other and you feel the depth of the emotional connection between them. **arctic wild will publish on june 3, 2019. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/carina press in exchange for my honest review.
I enjoyed this story very much. Great characters all around and they gave the story life. We have Reuben, 48 yr old corporate lawyer, Amelia his 14 yr old temperamental teenager, and Toby the 31 yr old tour guide who bears the weight of financially caring for his entire family. Reuben is the typical east coast workaholic who ends up going solo on what was suppose to be a group vacation. At first he's abrasive but then he seems to mellow (thankfully)! Reuben and Toby are involved in an airplane accident that leaves Toby injured. Feeling responsible Reuben offers to stick around and help Toby during his recovery. The romance between these two builds slowly and when Amelia joins them they form a nice little family unit. But can this last considering how different these two men are? Will Reuben and Amelia stay and make a home with Toby or will he return to his high powered job? Their story is one I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys a nice M/M romance.
I would rate this 4.25 stars. This is the second book in this series, but can be read as a standalone without any issues. Rueben's best friend Craig, the spouse of a colleague at his law firm, has talked him into finally taking a vacation for his 48th birthday. Unfortunately, his friends cancel, leaving him alone with his guide. This trip wasn't his idea and he doesn't want to be in Alaska. It takes time for the scenery and companionship to grow on him. After Rueben unplugs from his phone and laptop, he is grudgingly starting to have a good time, and flirt with his guide. Tobias may be a smooth talker, but he has hidden depths behind his charming personality and quick smile. He also digs out his ethics and doesn't sleep with his client when he has the chance. By the time the plane crash happens, I was already hooked on both these characters. Tobias is devastated his injuries might keep him from helping his sisters and his dad. He has little choice but to accept help from Reuben while he recuperates. The crash mades Rueben question his future and what he wants out of it. He vows to spend more time with his 14 year old daughter Amelia. What could go wrong with renting a house for the summer for all three of them? For a relationship guy like Rueben, who likes to care for people, to agree to a summer fling is rare. For a hookup guy like Tobias to be friends with, and basically live with someone he's having sex with, is equally unusual. I liked watching them both learn more about themselves. It's not the age gap coming into play so much as the fact that this is Tobias's first real relationship; he is not used to dealing with sharing his feelings or burdens. It's also the first time he has prioritized something he wants for himself. Tobias's father is such a large influence on him and his thought processes, that it takes him time to navigate through his inner conflict. Rueben hasn't had the best luck at relationships, learning to put his job first because it gave him most of his sense of self worth. He has to work through breaking old habits--relearning to prioritize his daughter over his job, his life over his work. This had all of the great writing, depth, and hot love scenes I would expect from this author. This book had an expansion of characters without making them flat or sacrificing any of the love story for the main characters. I thought the interactions with their respective family members all rang authentic. As a long novel, this really takes its time to immerse the reader in details about the activities, scenery, and characters. I found the plane crash to be realistically described while actually adding to the character development, rather than only as an excuse to trap the MCs together. This has some great tropes: opposites attract, fish out of water, age gap, slow burn, hurt/comfort and second chances. I would recommend reading both of these and look forward to the third one.
Arctic Wild is the second book in the Frozen Hearts series. I absolutely loved Arctic Sun so I was pretty excited to get into this one and let me tell you, it did not disapoint. I loved both Reuben and Toby. I loved how their relationship was developed, how it progressed from client/tour guide to lovers. The hurt/comfort trope worked very well. All the secondary characters were well written. I especially loved Reuben's daugher Amelia and Toby's sister Nell, though I would have like to know more about Toby's culture. Once again, Alaska it's a character of its own and it's almost imposible to finish this book and not want to go hiking, fishing, kayaking or simply exploring The Last Frontier. I loved the Griff/River cameo, the little peak on how they are working out and I absolutely adored the epilogue. I can't wait to back to Alska for Arctic Heat! ARC provided by the author through A Novel Take PR
I really enjoyed Rueben and Toby’s story. I’m loving this new series set in Alaska and this was a great addition. Rueben and Toby were each two totally different people, and it wouldn’t seem like they could work. Something Toby’s family had no problem mentioning every chance they got! Rueben was a well-off, vacationing attorney from New Jersey; Toby an Alaskan native who was a bush pilot with a proud family. After a crash landing brings Rueben some life clarity, he finds himself renting a vacation home and living in Alaska with his teenage daughter, and a healing Toby. What was supposed to be a summer fling, doesn’t seem to be panning out so lightly. If you like a little adventure, a sweet story with a slow burn, and age gap then this is the read for you! After reading their story, you’ll know no one else could have been better partners for these men!
Toby and Reuben are so good together! Arctic Wild is my favorite type of age-gap story…it doesn't beat the age difference to death like some books do. It's book two in the Frozen Hearts series but you won't feel lost if you haven't read book one, Arctic Sun (you will be missing a great story, though). I'm loving this series so much; mostly because it's Annabeth Albert but also because I got to go on a bucket list trip to Alaska last year with friends and family. The things that Annabeth describes in the book remind me so much of what I saw when I was there; it's absolutely beautiful. I have to be honest, though, I don't think I could take the dark winter days and that is something that Toby warns Reuben about in Arctic Wild. We know from the books blurb that Toby and Reuben are in a plane crash but to experience it while reading the book was nail-bitingly real. I can't even imagine the research that Annabeth did to help her writing be so realistic sounding. I loved everything about this story: how workaholic Reuben learns to slow down and connect with his daughter and how Toby eventually learns that it's OK to accept help from people who care about you. Arctic Wild is another great book from one of my favorite authors. I can't wait for the third book in the series. A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com*** (posting on 6/3/19)
3.5 I’m sorry to say I couldn’t really connect with these characters. It’s me I know, this author always writes good stories, so this one was good put together. Only I didn’t get the click. Maybe it was because I felt it had too much story around them. I don’t know. My expectations were from another level. It took a while before the crash actually happened (I was looking forward to it), and after it happened there was so much story I had to focus on, my attention drifted. I will give three point five stars because the writing had no errors, only my head had them.