Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Everything’s bigger in Alaska, especially the HEAs. Annabeth Albert kicks off the brand-new Frozen Hearts series with Arctic Sun, an opposites-attract romance between a rugged outdoorsman and a smoking hot former male model.
He’s built a quiet life for himself in Alaska. But it doesn’t stand a chance against the unrelenting pull of a man who’s everything he shouldn’t want.
Ex-military mountain man Griffin Barrett likes his solitude. It keeps him from falling back into old habits. Bad habits. He’s fought too hard for his sobriety to lose control now. However, his gig as a wildlife guide presents a new kind of temptation in superhot supermodel River Vale. Nothing the Alaskan wilderness has to offer has ever called to Griffin so badly. And that can only lead to trouble…
River has his own methods for coping. Chasing adventure means always moving forward. Nobody’s ever made him want to stand still—until Griffin. The rugged bush pilot is the very best kind of distraction, but the emotions he stirs up in River feel anything but casual, and he’s in no position to stay put.
With temptation lurking in close quarters, keeping even a shred of distance is a challenge neither’s willing to meet. And the closer Griffin gets to River, the easier it is to ignore every last reason he should run.
Arctic Sun is another successful contemporary romance from Annabeth Albert, one of my go to authors. This wonderful story manages to combine the breathtaking scenery and isolated landscape of Alaska with the romance between two complicated, wounded men, highly different on the surface and yet so alike deep underneath.
With the state of Alaska as a third main character as well as a location, Albert also deals with some serious subject matter, also through her two main men. While it’s obvious from the start that each man is struggling with some demon or demons, what they are exactly is a slower reveal. The exact nature of what each man is battling is hinted at and given away in the synopsis so I don’t mind spelling it out here. For Griffin Barrett, it’s sobriety and gambling. For River, a eating disorder and a toxic way of life. And neither one has exactly finished dealing with their addictions in a way that’s helping them move forward. One is hiding and one is running.
Both away from themselves until they find each other in Alaska. And Annabeth Albert brings us intimately into their journey and the larger than life wonder that is Alaska.
I loved the use of the photography group as a format for bringing Griffin out of his typical hermit like state and the other participants were great characters. It let the model River slowly ease away to the real person underneath and I enjoyed that journey as much as Griffin. And all the sights they took in. The locations and the beauty of Alaska is described in depth as is the joys of travels by aircraft of all sizes and type. What I did think was underplayed was the long arctic nights and extreme cold as well as the distance between people and small towns. But that’s perhaps for another story as this is but the first in a series.
The complications, angst, and rediscovery here is saved for River and Griffin. It’s one tough journey and a very rewarding one. I loved the men and the HFN they received at the end. It was realistic and heartwarming. And I’m ready for more.
An Annabeth Albert story is a cause for joy. The people are so real, the books so well written, that you just fall into them fully, connecting with the romance and their lives. I highly recommend all her series and this story. Pick them and this up and get started today.
Cover art is gorgeous with the seaplane and the mountains in the backdrop.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arctic-sun-annabeth-albert/1129705419
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Annabeth_Albert_Arctic_Sun?id=G55zDwAAQBAJ
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Carina Press
Edition Language English
Series Frozen Hearts #1
Publisher’s Note: Arctic Sun deals with topics some readers may find difficult, including sobriety and eating disorders