A MelanieM Review: Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

He’s Mr. Right Now, but for how long?

When Russ suffers a Thanksgiving disaster, his gorgeous neighbor Esteban is there to save the day. And after an innocent mix-up leads to the former Hollywood hottie playing the role of Russ’s date, Russ thinks scoring Esteban as his fake boyfriend is a huge win. The newly discharged marine is healing inside and out and could use some holiday cheer.

For his part, Esteban is intrigued by his big, bad neighbor. He likes how his matchmaking cat brings out an unexpected caring side of Russ. Desire flares as the reasons to continue their ruse pile up for both men.

And pretending feels so good. From chocolaty kisses to late night cuddles, their burgeoning friendship is getting cozier and cozier. But as the end date for their little deception looms, all the real feelings they’ve tried to ignore come tumbling in. Each must decide whether they have what it takes to ring in the New Year as a couple.

Mr. Right Now is a stand-alone holiday novella with sweet, low-angst feels, spicy love scenes, and foodie inspired, quirky Oregon romance with a military flavor. Happy ending guaranteed with no cliffhangers!

Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert is exactly the sort of story I love to read during the holidays.  For me, it’s close to a perfect Christmas story.  Little angst, holiday celebrations, fake boyfriend trope, adorable animals (cats in this one), and a great chemistry between the main characters.

Located in Portland, a go to city for so many of Albert’s stories, I immediately took to these characters. Russ, the ex-marine trying to adjust to life without his life within the service and being  gay …outwardly gay for the first time.  And Esteban, the actor who has retreated from Hollywood to Portland and a new life closer to his larger and close family.  Two neighboring condo units, a wandering Siamese cat, and an attraction that jumps off the page.  Albert’s descriptions alone paints such a great picture of these two.

Russ is massive, tall, all marine muscles and haircut, gentle,  with a reserved nature.  Estaban is slimmer, Hollywood star gorgeous, older, and more outgoing in nature, preferring colors and a kitchen to cook in.  Albert’s writing lets us into their shared space of small condos, their introduction, and then growing relationship via the “fake boyfriend” need that springs up and doesn’t quite go away on schedule.  It’s lovely, sexy, and heartwarming.  And just what I want and love to read for the holidays.  Or anytime of the year.

It’s the romance Annabeth Albert writes so well and one of the reasons I would love for her to revisit this couple for their wedding.  I hope she is listening.  Perhaps a Valentine’s Day story?

Looking for your next holiday romance?  I highly recommend Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert.  I’m sure I will be rereading it over the holidays to capture the glow once more.

Cover art is nice but honestly I would have loved something a little more Christmassy,  but it’s ok.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published November 14th 2019 by Annabeth Albert
Edition Language English

Love Holiday Romances? Check Out the Blog Tour for Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert (excerpt and giveaway)

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Mr. Right Now

Annabeth Albert

M/M Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 11.14.19

MrRightNow-AA-f

Blurb

He’s Mr. Right Now, but for how long?

When Russ suffers a Thanksgiving disaster, his gorgeous neighbor Esteban is there to save the day. And after an innocent mix-up leads to the former Hollywood hottie playing the role of Russ’s date, Russ thinks scoring Esteban as his fake boyfriend is a huge win. The newly discharged marine is healing inside and out and could use some holiday cheer.

For his part, Esteban is intrigued by his big, bad neighbor. He likes how his matchmaking cat brings out an unexpected caring side of Russ. Desire flares as the reasons to continue their ruse pile up for both men.

And pretending feels so good. From chocolaty kisses to late night cuddles, their burgeoning friendship is getting cozier and cozier. But as the end date for their little deception looms, all the real feelings they’ve tried to ignore come tumbling in. Each must decide whether they have what it takes to ring in the New Year as a couple.

Mr. Right Now is a stand-alone holiday novella with sweet, low-angst feels, spicy love scenes, and foodie inspired, quirky Oregon romance with a military flavor. Happy ending guaranteed with no cliffhangers!

Tags: neighbors-to-lovers, fake boyfriend, holiday romance, friends-to-lovers

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48481844-mr-right-now

https://amzn.to/2JTW01L

Mr Right Now Problem Answer TeaserMr Right Now Kiss TeaserMr. Right Now Cat Teaser

Excerpt

“Russ!” A very tall, very pregnant woman engulfed the big guy in a hug. But right as Esteban was about to slip away, she locked her gaze on him. “Oh! And this must be the new guy! We’re so delighted to meet you.”

“Yes, we’re so happy for Russ,” an older, elegant woman with cropped hair added.

Russ looked utterly miserable standing behind the women, expression stricken, like Esteban’s nephews after hearing one too many siguanaba monster stories.

Hell. Russ apparently hadn’t told them about the breakup. And now he had to come clean, which would undoubtedly cast a shadow over the gathering and make Russ’s predicament the center of attention. That had to be the last thing Russ wanted.

Esteban’s stomach churned unhappily in sympathy. If Esteban had figured out one thing about Russ in their time in the kitchen, it was that he was way more comfortable talking about others than himself. He wished there was some way to spare Russ the humiliation.

Wait. They don’t even know his name. Wasn’t that what Russ had said about his ex?

Esteban tried to catch Russ’s eyes. Should I pretend? Want me to?

He’d never had a blockbuster role, but Esteban wasn’t some scenery chewer either. He could still act, spare a nice guy a little awkwardness, and maybe ease his holiday burden. That earlier moment when Russ had talked about leaving the marines still lingered in Esteban’s brain. He understood all too well that change was hard. And Russ had surely been through enough of it.

Esteban’s unspoken question seemed to hang between them for an eternity. Russ’s nose wrinkled as his mouth twisted. Then he gave an almost imperceptible nod.

“Russ, aren’t you going to introduce us to your boyfriend?” the tall woman, who had to be Judy, prompted while her husband juggled both a pie and the toddler.

“This is…uh…” Russ looked like he’d rather be auditioning for a hemorrhoid cream ad rather than deal with his family. He was back to the dejected guy he’d been when Esteban had met up with him at the dumpster. And that just wouldn’t do.

“Esteban. Or you can just call me the boyfriend. I’m easy.” With a wink, he stuck out a hand for Judy. He could do this, could act the part, and remove that air of failure from Russ’s otherwise impressive self.

Russ’s jaw had fallen open wide enough to land a 747. “Yeah…”

Roll with it, Esteban tried to tell him with a quick smile his direction.

“And you’re charming. Rusty, you didn’t tell me he was charming.”

“I didn’t know.” The grateful wonder in Russ’s tone was enough to convince Esteban that this was worth a few hours of pro-bono acting.

“What do you mean you didn’t know? You big goof.” Judy lightly docked her brother’s shoulder. She then shook Esteban’s hand, and introduced, her husband, Bob, and his mother, Connie, and the toddler, Benny.

“Here, let me take the pie,” Esteban offered. “Russ, you can help with their coats?”

“Yeah.” Russ continued to sound delightfully befuddled. As Esteban passed with the pie, Russ lowered his voice and asked, “What did you get yourself into?”

“Nothing I can’t handle.” And as he took the pie to the kitchen, he could only hope he wasn’t lying.

Annabeth Coffee Logo

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. Mr. Right Now joins her many other critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series and stand-alone titles.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: http://www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

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 particularly loves uncovering unique main characters. In her personal life, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

Website: http://annabethalbert.com/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Nb9yv

Fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/annabethsangels/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477494.Annabeth_Albert

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Annabeth-Albert/e/B00LYFFAZK

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnabethAlbert

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabethalbert

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annabeth_albert/

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Needing a Holiday Romance? Check Out Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert Release Blitz (excerpt)

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Mr. Right Now

Annabeth Albert

M/M Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 11.14.19

MrRightNow-AA-f

Blurb

He’s Mr. Right Now, but for how long?

When Russ suffers a Thanksgiving disaster, his gorgeous neighbor Esteban is there to save the day. And after an innocent mix-up leads to the former Hollywood hottie playing the role of Russ’s date, Russ thinks scoring Esteban as his fake boyfriend is a huge win. The newly discharged marine is healing inside and out and could use some holiday cheer.

For his part, Esteban is intrigued by his big, bad neighbor. He likes how his matchmaking cat brings out an unexpected caring side of Russ. Desire flares as the reasons to continue their ruse pile up for both men.

And pretending feels so good. From chocolaty kisses to late night cuddles, their burgeoning friendship is getting cozier and cozier. But as the end date for their little deception looms, all the real feelings they’ve tried to ignore come tumbling in. Each must decide whether they have what it takes to ring in the New Year as a couple.

Mr. Right Now is a stand-alone holiday novella with sweet, low-angst feels, spicy love scenes, and foodie inspired, quirky Oregon romance with a military flavor. Happy ending guaranteed with no cliffhangers!

Tags: neighbors-to-lovers, fake boyfriend, holiday romance, friends-to-lovers

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48481844-mr-right-now

https://amzn.to/2JTW01L

Mr Right Now Kiss TeaserMr. Right Now Teaser PicsMr. Right Now Cat Teaser

Excerpt

Russ didn’t consider himself an angry guy, but as he carried the blackened and flaking skillet out to the trash, he was seriously considering violence toward the misbehaving onions that had transformed from raw to charred before he could save his pan. The mess was far too gross for pitching into his small under-the-sink can.
Adrenaline pumping more than it needed to be, he heaved the pan into the shared dumpster for his condo community where it landed with a satisfying clang. “Take that, Thanksgiving.”
Now he needed to go back into his place and decide how to cope with the loss of his one large skillet. If he didn’t pass out from the stench first. He sagged against the fence surrounding the dumpster and took some deep breaths.
“Problem?” A familiar, deep voice asked.
Hell. Of course, he wasn’t alone in his humiliation. No, his next-door neighbor was right there, neat white bag of trash in hand. And not the older woman who occupied the condo on the corner. This would have to be the hot neighbor, Esteban.
With his full head of dark hair shot through with silver strands, lush mouth, chiseled features, and lean build, Esteban always managed to look like a magazine spread of forty-something Hollywood heartthrobs. He even looked good taking out the trash. Today he was wearing a black T-shirt advertising last year’s Pride Run, turquoise running shoes, and gray shorts way too short for the dreary November Portland weather.
“Not really.” Russ tried for a casual tone.
“Trying out for the next Olympic shotput team? Or did that pan commit some unpardonable offense?” Esteban laughed lightly, in his usual good humor.
His voice was as Hollywood-worthy as the rest of him, rich and sinful even when teasing. Nothing seemed to faze him, not his escape-artist cat, not the continual parking issues for their condo complex, not mail mix-ups, and not Russ taking his frustrations out on his cookware.
“The second. Ruined my stuffing before it even got started.” He groaned, hating how the explanation sounded, but also not one to lie simply for the sake of looking better. Even if Hot Neighbor Esteban was totally worth a white lie or two.
“There’s a joke there…” A smile teased the edges of Esteban’s full mouth. “Let me guess, your family assigned you a dish you’ve never made before to bring to dinner?”
“Worse.” Might as well confess everything. “I’m supposed to be hosting. And I was supposed to have help, but then my…boyfriend broke up with me last night, and now I’m on my own.”
It still felt weird, that word “boyfriend” on his tongue, even when he was almost certain that Esteban, the guy his Realtor had described as a “hot, gay, former movie star,” wouldn’t care. Heck, if he was honest, that descriptor, plus the convenient single-story layout, had sold him on the condo several months back.
“Oh, man. He seriously left you hanging, didn’t he?” Eyebrows creasing, Esteban shook his head. “Didn’t he even leave you a cookbook or a menu for the meal?”
“Nope. Just me and Chef Google. Tried to make a plan this morning.” Russ tried for an upbeat tone again. “There’s apparently a limit to what cooking videos can teach on the fly.”
“Yeah, there is. Is there anything I could do to help?” Esteban seemed sincere in the offer, voice warm and sympathy clear in his brown eyes.
It was the kind of offer Russ would ordinarily turn down. He was a former marine, and he liked to think he could handle himself in most situations. As a result, he didn’t like relying too much on strangers, or even friends, and he’d gotten a little too good at distancing himself from well-meaning buddies from the military.
But Thanksgiving meant these were not ordinary times. He was well and totally screwed for hosting dinner.
“Do you have a large nonstick skillet I could borrow?” he asked. “Most stores are probably closed, and even for the ones that are open, by the time I go and come back…”
“I’ve got you.” Esteban clapped him on the shoulder, strong grip that belied his lean build.
The rumors were probably right about Esteban’s movie-star career. He was one of those perfectly proportioned people—neither tall nor short, shoulders more in keeping with his running habit than linebacker-wide, slim torso, toned legs, and long, elegant fingers that always made Russ feel that much bulkier and clumsier.
“I…uh… Can I get it now? I’ll bring it back later. And if another disaster happens—”
“It won’t.” Laughing again, Esteban shivered as a breeze whipped through their corner of the courtyard.
“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Russ admitted, trying his best to ignore the impulse to warm up Esteban. Between his electric touch and the adorable way his cheeks went pink in the chilly wind, there was no denying Esteban’s appeal, even if Russ had sworn just last night that he was over attractive guys forever. “But I’ll replace it if it gets ruined.”
“Appreciated, but I’m coming with the pan. I can get you started sautéing without torching anything at least. You need another onion? I’ve got plenty.”
“You want to help me?” Russ blinked. This was…unexpected.
Annabeth Coffee Logo

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. Mr. Right Now joins her many other critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series and stand-alone titles. To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: http://www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

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 particularly loves uncovering unique main characters. In her personal life, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

Social Media Links

Website: http://annabethalbert.com/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Nb9yv

Fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/annabethsangels/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477494.Annabeth_Albert

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Annabeth-Albert/e/B00LYFFAZK

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnabethAlbert

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabethalbert

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annabeth_albert/


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A MelanieM Review :Arctic Heat (Frozen Hearts #3) by Annabeth Albert

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A lasting connection needs more than simply surviving a winter together—they’ll have to outsmart danger, let down their defenses and open their hearts.

Owen Han has a fresh lease on life—he’s kicked cancer’s ass and is roaring through his bucket list. The former investment banker hopes to find his next challenge in Alaska, volunteering alongside park rangers and fulfilling his childhood dreams of snowy winters and rustic life. Of course, those dreams did tend to feature big strapping mountain men in vivid detail…

Ranger Quilleran Ramsey would like to be anywhere other than dealing with newbie volunteers. And really, the only thing he needs less than a green volunteer “partner” is the flirty attentions of a buff city boy who doesn’t look ready to last a week, let alone an Alaskan winter. They’re all wrong for each other, even if Quill’s traitorous body enjoys the flirting more than it should.

As the weeks pass, the two snowbound men give in to temptation. But can their seasonal romance last until spring? For them to have a future together, each will have to trust the other…while hoping that the harsh elements and omnipresent dangers don’t destroy what happiness they’ve found in the moment.

As it turns out with Annabeth Albert’s Frozen Hearts series, third time really is the charm.  With Arctic Heat all the elements come together in this third installment of her series that’s set in Alaska to provide the reader with a remarkable heartwarming romance to remember.  It is my clear favorite to date with characters I immediately connected with, situations I understood and related to, and a rich, layered dynamic between the main characters that was so interesting, vulnerable and amazing that you couldn’t stop reading.

Plus there was all that starkly gorgeous landscape they were living in.

And while the men’s pasts stood like shadows around them, it was the fascinating give and take between the men in the present, their chemistry that kept you bound to them and the story. The fluctuating differences in dominance in their  relationships in and outside the bedroom, in Owen’s dominance in bed and Quill’s outside on the snow, both yin and yang in different elements of each other lives.  Just so perfect, watching as they maneuvered and figured it out for each other.

The dialogues and conversations felt authentic to the men and the dynamic happening between them.  The scenes often moving, the action when it happens hairraising.

What a story!  And did I say there is a dog too?

How I loved that ending.  And this story.  As I said it’s my favorite novel of this series to date.  I highly recommend Frozen Hearts and most definitely Arctic Heat. The last with a passion!

Cover art by Carina Press art department is lovely and works for the characters and storyline.

Sales Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Y3KUk9

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Arctic-Heat-Audiobook/1488206864

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arctic-heat-annabeth-albert/1129779475?ean=9781488053610#/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arctic-heat-4

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Annabeth_Albert_Arctic_Heat?id=8o6QDwAAQBAJ

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/arctic-heat/id1458215728

Book Details:

ebook
Published September 23rd 2019 by Carina Press
ISBN 1488053618 (ISBN13: 9781488053610)
Edition Language English
Series Frozen Hearts #3

 

New Release Tour for Arctic Heat (Frozen Hearts #3) by Annabeth Albert (excerpt and giveaway)

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ARCTIC HEAT by Annabeth Albert

Series: Frozen Hearts #3

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: Sept. 23 (ebook/audio), Oct 1 (print)

Length (Print & Ebook): 89,000 words

Subgenre: m/m contemporary romance/ action adventure m/m romance, interracial romance

Warnings: None.

All buy links or pre-order links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Y3KUk9

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Arctic-Heat-Audiobook/1488206864

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arctic-heat-annabeth-albert/1129779475?ean=9781488053610#/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arctic-heat-4

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Annabeth_Albert_Arctic_Heat?id=8o6QDwAAQBAJ

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/arctic-heat/id1458215728

Good reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44662238-arctic-heat

Praise for ARCTIC HEAT:

“Annabeth Albert’s delightful characters and thoughtful emotional touch give a lovely spin to opposites attract when they’re forced together in a cabin in the woods. We root for these guys–lone wolf Quilleran is a true foil for Owen, who is enthusiastically embracing his new lease on life.” -Bestselling Author, Amy Lane

“I really enjoyed the story. It was a fun read and believe it or not, I have been to the Hatcher Pass area of Alaska. The story was fun, sexy and passionate enough to melt an Alaskan snow field.” -Bestselling Author, Andew Grey

“I eagerly await every new Annabeth Albert release and ARCTIC HEAT did not disappoint. Sexy and snowbound with a touch of danger – do not miss this one!” -Bestselling Author, HelenKay Dimon

“Arctic Heat by Annabeth Albert … Owen and Quill are so wow…witnessing their friendship build is tangible and engaging …Albert’s ability to have characters connect without needing sex is astounding and speaks to this author talent!” -Denise, Shh Mom’s Reading Book Blog

Book synopsis:

A lasting connection needs more than simply surviving a winter together—they’ll have to outsmart danger, let down their defenses and open their hearts.

Owen Han has a fresh lease on life—he’s kicked cancer’s ass and is roaring through his bucket list. The former investment banker hopes to find his next challenge in Alaska, volunteering alongside park rangers and fulfilling his childhood dreams of snowy winters and rustic life. Of course, those dreams did tend to feature big strapping mountain men in vivid detail…

Ranger Quilleran Ramsey would like to be anywhere other than dealing with newbie volunteers. And really, the only thing he needs less than a green volunteer “partner” is the flirty attentions of a buff city boy who doesn’t look ready to last a week, let alone an Alaskan winter. They’re all wrong for each other, even if Quill’s traitorous body enjoys the flirting more than it should.

As the weeks pass, the two snowbound men give in to temptation. But can their seasonal romance last until spring? For them to have a future together, each will have to trust the other…while hoping that the harsh elements and omnipresent dangers don’t destroy what happiness they’ve found in the moment.

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!

This book is approximately 89,000 words

Excerpt :

“Tea for everyone. Then a hot shower and lots of blankets,” Owen declared as they entered the building, bossy streak making a blessed reappearance right when Quill really needed to not be the one thinking. If Owen had a plan, so much the better because Quill wasn’t good for much besides stripping off his gear, stowing his piece, stomping upstairs, and flopping into a kitchen chair. Owen draped one of the blankets from the couch around his shoulders before doing the same for himself, wearing it like a cape as he made tea. “Bourbon in yours? I found a bottle in the cabinet the other week.”

“Yeah.” Quill didn’t often imbibe, but he needed the burn of the liquor even more than any warmth-giving properties. The bourbon was there exactly for nights like this one where Quill had done his best and it still hadn’t been enough. Fucking universe and its random acts of cruelty.

After adding a healthy glug of liquor to each of their mugs, Owen shoved a cup at Quill. He also put a plate of cookies from the batch that got baked on the table. “Here you go. Eat something so the alcohol doesn’t hit too hard.”

“Feels like I should be the one taking care of you,” Quill admitted after he’d had a few sips of tea, let the warmth and burn work past the tightness in his throat and chest.

“We can take care of each other,” Owen countered, pulling his chair close to Quill’s. “That’s what we’re here for, right?”

A few hours ago, Quill would have argued that being alone was the best way to cope with something like this—find a way to push through and on to the next day either with the aid of some strong drink or just a restless night spent replaying the events until sleep did its thing, softened the edges of the awfulness. But when Owen grabbed his hand, squeezed, and looked at him with such compassion in his eyes, Quill couldn’t find it in himself to pull away.

“Yeah,” he said, even as he knew that he shouldn’t let himself come to need Owen like this, to lean on him. He and Hattie had always tended to retreat to their own corners after a hard shift, and he prided himself on being a strong man. Sure, accidents like this affected him as they would anyone, but he’d always tried to handle those emotions on his own. Harsh memories of his father’s comments about men who showed their feelings didn’t help any, but lately all those memories, all the family drama, seemed more distant. Less sharp.

And funny how without that mantle of a painful past, his present seemed somehow more hopeful, old wounds and past fears no match for Owen. In fact, they’d been on the verge of another disagreement when Owen had dropped everything to come help. And now here he was, taking care of Quill yet again. Owen simply didn’t seem to have it in him to hold a grudge too long. Quill would be a fool to pull away now, even if he knew the next night like this, the inevitable one after Owen left, would hurt that much more. But that moment, all he wanted to do was hold Owen close, take every comfort he offered from Christmas lights to hot toddies to underdone gingerbread to that strong hand of his, holding on when Quill needed it most.

 

Blog Tour Exclusive Q&A:

Q: Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

AA: Both characters, Quill and Owen, are special to me for different reasons. Quill, my grumpy park ranger, is special to me because he’s a more mature hero, but he’s also unaware of the extent of his own loneliness. Giving Quill the HEA he deserves was immensely satisfying. Owen, my optimistic new volunteer assigned to Quill, is special because he represents a character that I’ve wanted to do for a long time—one who survived a major medical scare and now has a second lease on life and is determined to make the most of each day.

Q: What was the inspiration for the story?

AA: My amazing critique partner and best friend, Wendy Qualls, came to me with the idea of how in remote areas, park rangers are often snowed in together for months at a time. I loved the idea immediately, and we started brainstorming. I brought in a lot of my favorite tropes—opposites attract, age gap, close proximity, building friendship, adventure, working together, and more as the plot started to take shape for me. Then later, I came up with the idea of making it series set in Alaska, and worked that plot bunny into the series. Book Three seemed to fit best for this one, so that’s where it landed, but initially it was the first plot bunny, and everything else sprang from that one.

Q: What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

AA: Love finds us where we least expect it, but most need it. Neither Owen nor Quill expects to find the love of their lives when they’re snowed in together for an Alaskan winter, but love has a way of finding people when they need it most and of healing old wounds and giving fresh courage. I really wanted to show how love can provide the best fresh start of all, even when we stay in the same place we’ve always been or when we venture thousands of miles out of our comfort zone—love finds those who need it most.

Q: What is the significance of the title?

AA: ARCTIC HEAT is actually the coldest book in the series—tons and tons of snow and snowed in fun. The heat totally comes from the chemistry between the main characters!

Q: If you had to describe the main characters in three words, what would those three words be?

AA: As the story opens, Quill is grumpy, lonely, and loyal. He’s grumpy about being assigned a new volunteer, lonely from long hours alone and with his BFF now assigned elsewhere, and he’s loyal to his job. Meanwhile, Owen is optimistic, fun, and adventure seeking. He’s an optimist who survived a health scare and now is seeking fun and adventure in Alaska.

Meet 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. Her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series include the #FrozenHearts, #OutOfUniform, #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat, #RainbowCove and #PerfectHarmony series.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Connect with Annabeth:

Website: http://annabethalbert.com/

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/Nb9yv

Fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/annabethsangels/

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Giveaway

Giveaway: 1 winner will receive paperback copies of ARCTIC SUN, ARCTIC WILD, and ARCTIC HEAT + a Swag Pack! Open Internationally, must be 18 to win.

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts #2) by Annabeth Albert

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Oh, my! This book has so many of my favorite tropes that I really enjoyed it immensely. I’d tag it age gap, May-December, slow burn, men with children, family drama, Alaska, hurt-comfort, and second chances. Plus, it had a sneak peek at past characters Griff and River to let us know how they are doing.

As the story opens, Reuben is irritated when he learns his friends aren’t going to make the flight to Alaska to begin the vacation they’d insisted he take to destress from his high-powered corporate law office. Add to his irritation the fact that his ex-wife needs an immediate answer about buying out his share in their law firm and he’s not a happy man when he boards the tiny plane in Alaska to begin a solo tour with a chatty tour operator named Toby.

Toby has been providing for his ailing father and younger sister for years so he’s no stranger to responsibility. And he’s flown this trip many, many times over his favorite areas in Alaska and is happy to give personal attention to his solo traveler. Too bad the silver fox is grumpy and straight, or so he thinks. But halfway through the trip, a sudden storm causes them to crash, and it’s Reuben who rescues Toby before their plane catches fire. 

I loved the way the author took both men out of their comfort zones and allowed them to have new experiences and new perspectives—aha moments, so to speak. One of my favorites came at the end of the book when both men acknowledge that the summer they spent together has been all about second chances and what they plan to do with those chances. I’m glad the author didn’t make the crash site the entire setting of the story and, instead, gave them the perfect excuse to spend a few months together and infuse a few other interesting characters into the mix.

Both characters are well-developed and engaging, and added to the chemistry between Reuben and Toby, we have a 14-year-old teen daughter for Reuben who was a spot-on perfect example of an annoying teen girl of that age. (Been there. Had that!) Watching her slowly gravitate toward her father, and he to her, was heartwarming. Meanwhile, Toby had to learn to rely on help from others, giving him a new perspective on how his father has felt for years. Both men changed over the time they spent together during Toby’s recuperation, and the changes had a ripple effect on their families.

When they allowed themselves to live their dreams, the impossible became possible. Set against the background of the most majestic state I’ve ever visited, how could I not love this story? I highly recommend this to lovers of MM romance, especially those who love the tags I mention at the beginning of this review.

The cover predominantly features glorious Alaska scenery with a top pane that holds a partial shot of the MCs’ faces.

Sales Links: Kobo | Barnes & NobleAmazon

Book Details:

ebook
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

New Release Spotlight: Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert (excerpt and giveaway)

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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

Warnings: None

Order now:

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arctic-wild-2

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/arctic-wild/id1449963570

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Annabeth_Albert_Arctic_Wild?id=Gfp_DwAAQBAJ

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335006905_arctic-wild.html

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arctic-wild-annabeth-albert/1129779447

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Arctic-Frozen-Hearts-Annabeth-Albert/dp/1335006907

Book synopsis:

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.

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.

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.

Website: http://annabethalbert.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477494.Annabeth_Albert

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Annabeth-Albert/e/B00LYFFAZK

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnabethAlbert

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabethalbert

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annabeth_albert/

Giveaway:

Win one paperback set of Arctic Sun, Arctic Wild, and a swag prize pack!

18 to enter, open internationally.

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts #2) by Annabeth Albert

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Oh, my! This book has so many of my favorite tropes that I really enjoyed it immensely. I’d tag it age gap, May-December, slow burn, men with children, family drama, Alaska, hurt-comfort, and second chances. Plus, it had a sneak peek at past characters Griff and River to let us know how they are doing.

As the story opens, Reuben is irritated when he learns his friends aren’t going to make the flight to Alaska to begin the vacation they’d insisted he take to destress from his high-powered corporate law office. Add to his irritation the fact that his ex-wife needs an immediate answer about buying out his share in their law firm and he’s not a happy man when he boards the tiny plane in Alaska to begin a solo tour with a chatty tour operator named Toby.

Toby has been providing for his ailing father and younger sister for years so he’s no stranger to responsibility. And he’s flown this trip many, many times over his favorite areas in Alaska and is happy to give personal attention to his solo traveler. Too bad the silver fox is grumpy and straight, or so he thinks. But halfway through the trip, a sudden storm causes them to crash, and it’s Reuben who rescues Toby before their plane catches fire. 

I loved the way the author took both men out of their comfort zones and allowed them to have new experiences and new perspectives—aha moments, so to speak. One of my favorites came at the end of the book when both men acknowledge that the summer they spent together has been all about second chances and what they plan to do with those chances. I’m glad the author didn’t make the crash site the entire setting of the story and, instead, gave them the perfect excuse to spend a few months together and infuse a few other interesting characters into the mix.

Both characters are well-developed and engaging, and added to the chemistry between Reuben and Toby, we have a 14-year-old teen daughter for Reuben who was a spot-on perfect example of an annoying teen girl of that age. (Been there. Had that!) Watching her slowly gravitate toward her father, and he to her, was heartwarming. Meanwhile, Toby had to learn to rely on help from others, giving him a new perspective on how his father has felt for years. Both men changed over the time they spent together during Toby’s recuperation, and the changes had a ripple effect on their families.

When they allowed themselves to live their dreams, the impossible became possible. Set against the background of the most majestic state I’ve ever visited, how could I not love this story? I highly recommend this to lovers of MM romance, especially those who love the tags I mention at the beginning of this review.

The cover predominantly features glorious Alaska scenery with a top pane that holds a partial shot of the MCs’ faces.

Sales Links: Kobo | Barnes & NobleAmazon

Book Details:

ebook
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

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

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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:

ebook
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!

A MelanieM Review: Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts #1) by Annabeth Albert

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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.

Buy now:
Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488051258_arctic-sun.html
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Arctic-Frozen-Hearts-Annabeth-Albert/dp/1335006885/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arctic-sun-annabeth-albert/1129705419
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/arctic-sun/id1438313132
kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/arctic-sun-1
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Annabeth_Albert_Arctic_Sun?id=G55zDwAAQBAJ
Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Arctic-Sun-Audiobook/1488206201

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Carina Press
ASINB07J3C79NH
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

Frozen Hearts Series

Arctic Sun

Arctic Wild  cpming June 3rd