A MelanieM Review:Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts #2) by Annabeth Albert


Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

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.

Arctic Wild is the second book in Annabeth Albert’s Frozen Hearts series that takes place in Alaska, and much like the first novel it has so much to recommend it.  It has that breath-taking setting that’s described in gorgeous vivid detail.  The research into the National Park’s, the locations, even the climate changes give this story an authenticity that can take your breath away, especially as seen from the cockpit of a small seaplane of the type(s) regularly used in Alaska.

The author’s realism extends into the everyday livelihoods, local populace, and cultural heritage, even schools and town life.   Both novels, including Arctic Wild more so with the local native inclusion into the series, ground the series not just with the incredible beauty  of Alaska but with the people living out their lives there year round. I understood the love for a place and land, listening to the dialog and conversations of various individuals within this novel.  Great job!

The transition of Reuben Graham from uptight reluctant vacationeer to someone who feels the call of Alaska itself is also well done.  I believed in it and him, the change in the man, the work and reversal in his relationship with his daughter.  All heartwarming and gems of this story.  Maybe my favorite parts, honestly.  Watching the daughter grow and become who she really was? Perfection.  That includes the characters of Tobias Kooly’s family, mostly his sister who helped her get there along with her father.

And then there’s Toby and his relationship with Reuben.  Sigh.  You see. That didn’t quite work for me.  As much as I liked Reuben?  Toby’s character seemed a little unformed in comparison.  Perhaps because he was much younger, or continued to cave in with regard to his father’s wishes. Or something.  But whatever it was.  It just felt like such an unequal matchup in characters, and not just because of the age difference.  I have loved a age gap romance so that’s not the issue here.   It just felt as though his sister came across as a much stronger person or character than he did on the page and she was secondary to the story.  However, she remains a much brighter presence in my mind even now.  In fact, quite  a few of the people within the story jump to mind and I can see them clearly, just not Toby.  So what does that say?

Albert mentions several of the local tribal customs(the families getting together to fish their quota of salmon etc)  within the story and I wish they had been enlarged on.  They enriched the tale and made it a more layered, authentic novel with their inclusion here as they would be in real life.  Loved that aspect of this book.

So while I found the relationship between Toby and Reuben to be not exactly to my liking, I loved so much else about this story that I’m definitely recommending it along with the first in the series Arctic Sun.  Loved seeing a glimpse of that couple here again as well.  I can’t wait to see what the next story brings.  I will be here for that too.

Cover art by Carina Press is lovely, especially the Alaska background.

Sales Links: Kobo | Barnes & NobleAmazon

Book Details:

Expected publication: June 3rd 2019 by Carina Press
ISBN 1488051275 (ISBN13: 9781488051272)
Edition Language English
Series Frozen Hearts :

Arctic Sun

Arctic Wild

Arctic Heat coming soon



. 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!

Tiny Stories and Tiny Universes! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words


Tiny Stories and Tiny Universes!

If you look at cable or even Amazon, you will see people consumed with the notion of tiny houses.  Amazon actually sold out of the tiny houses they sell online (yes, you can buy an entire tiny house for assembly at Amazon, several types actually) within hours! Some are looking to downsize their carbon footprint and go  small, others are obsessed with the technology and preciseness that goes into the tiny houses.  As I was watching and pondering life in one the other day, it sort of meshed together with thoughts I have been having about short stories and universe building.

My question …for myself and for all of you is…how much of universe building can you fit into a tiny story?

And how much is needed?

It’s like asking how much stuff do you really need inside a tiny house?  What’s actually necessary and what isn’t?

I’ve been reading a lot of short stories recently, fantasy and contemporary, many a part of a series.  And while the world building hasn’t been nearly as central to the contemporary series, in the fantasy stories in some cases, the authors have resorted to other options for their overall series world building.   The authors have zeroed in on creating an atmosphere and framework for that particular story but left the series foundation out in the individual shorts.  Same for the contemporary series.  They were all loosely connected, importantly so in some cases, but no one foundation novel for the entire series.  The reader sort of compiles it themselves, story by story, caching each tiny detail away to pull out as needed.

Just as spare it seems to me like living in a tiny house.  Only what is absolutely necessary, nothing extraneous.  Need something more?  Give directions and point them down the road…..Like to a Glossary that details everything. I have seen this used in more than one series and it’s absolutely a necessity to keep track of a series cultures, histories, religions etc, especially when the series is incredibly complex and layered.  So I am not decrying it’s use just hoping it’s not standing in for world building within the story completely.  Unless it has to be.  I think I’m flummoxed here.

Can you build a universe within a tiny story and does it need it?

And how much can you realistically do?


And consider this, some of the steps that might go into building your own fictional world:

  • Draw a map of your world
  • Make a history of your world
  • Include the flora and fauna for your world, what climates support them, complete natural history which will impact your other beings
  • Include your world’s background, (governments, politics, religion, cultures, infrastructures, etc.)
  • Create outlines for the above.

Whew!  Didn’t even through in mythology, my fav!  I can hear that tiny house screaming “get out, no room”! lol

I am dying to know everyone’s thoughts here.  Readers, authors, everyone, please chime in!  And tell me what you all think of tiny houses!  Did you know you could buy them on Amazon?  I hadn’t a clue! lol

Happy Sunday!  Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there!  Happy Reading and Listening!

And now to our week ahead!


This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 12:

  • Tiny Stories and Tiny Universes!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review:Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts #2) by Annabeth Albert

Monday, May 13:

  • Review Tour – GB Gordon – Match Grade (Criminal Delights)
  • RELEASE BLITZ Healing Glass by Jackie Keswick
  • PROMO Angel Martinez on The Mage on The Hill
  • An Alisa Review Unexpected Journey by JD Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Chained (Bureau #4) by Kim Fielding
  • A Ali Review : Match Grade – Criminal Delights: Assassins by G.B. Gordon
  • An Ali Audio Review Where Death Meets the Devil (Death and the Devil #1) by L.J. Hayward and Rowan Scott (Narrator)

Tuesday, May 14:

  • TOUR Once Upon A Wolf” by Hurri Cosmo
  • BLITZ At the Trough by Adam Knight
  • PROMO BA Tortuga
  • An Alisa Review Once Upon A Wolf by Hurri Cosmo
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Why We Fight (At First Sight #4) by T.J. Klune
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: ​ Alcatraz! (Repeating History #4) by Dakota Chase
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Wednesday, May 15:

  • Book Blast Last Loose End by K R Allen
  • Cover Reveal, for Nine Small Sips (Tales Of Bryant #2) by V.L. Locey
  • DSP PROMO Tara Lain
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Cowboys Don’t Samba (Cowboys Don’t #3) by Tara Lain
  • A Lucy Release Day Review: Why We Fight (At First Sight #4) by T.J. Klune
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Rook by T. Strange
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Gideon (Finding Home #3) by Lily Morton

Thursday, May 16:

  • Release Blitz for Let Me Show You by Becca Seymour
  • RELEASE BLITZ – No Ordinary Drakeling by Jessamyn Kingley
  • Release Blitz – Not Gonna Lie by S. M. James
  • A Stella Review: Made For You by Anyta Sunday
  • A Lila Review: Healing Glass (Gifted Guilds, #1) by Jackie Keswick
  • A Free Dreamer Review: At the Trough by Adam Knight

Friday, May 17:

  • Retro Review Tour – Made In Manhattan by Ana Newfolk
  • Release Blitz Sean Azinsalt – It’s In My Blood (Criminal Delights)
  • BLITZ A Cordial Agreement by Ryan Loveless
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: A Cordial Agreement by Ryan Loveless
  • A MelanieM Review: Made in Manhattan (Made In #2) by Ana Newfolk
  • A MelanieM Review: Chicken Soup by Mel Bossa
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : American Fairytale (Dreamers #2) by Adriana Herrera

Saturday, May 18:

  • Release Blitz for DJ Jamison’s Surprise Groom
  • Release Blitz – Under the Jasmine Flowers by W.S. Long
  • A MelanieM Review:  Surprise Groom (Marital Bliss #1) by D.J. Jamison
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Healing Glass (Gifted Guilds, #1) by Jackie Keswick