Northern Lights by Nora Roberts
After losing his partner in the line of duty, Baltimore cop Nate Burke is looking for a change to kick him out of his depression. But accepting a job in Lunacy, Alaska may have been more than he bargained for. But as Nate settles into this small and hearty town and survives his first winter, he begins to realize it was exactly where he was meant to be. Bush pilot Meg Galloway doesn’t do serious relationships but in Nate she finds a surprising attraction that continues to linger. But everything changes when the body of a man is found up on the mountain…a man that everyone thought just walked away 16 years ago.
I first read this book when I was in high school about a decade ago and I remember not really liking it. But re-reading it now, I enjoyed it a lot more. This one is very long and though it has it’s trademark Nora Roberts town development it maybe could have been a little shorter.
I’ve never been to Alaska but I feel like Nora Roberts describes Lunacy and the surrounding area so well that I can practically feel the frostbite setting in. Lunacy has your typical small town quirks but with it’s own twist since living in such an isolated place under such dangerous conditions isn’t for everyone.
I really liked Nate in this book; he was still emotionally wounded over his partner’s death when he first comes to Lunacy and it was great to read about his change as he embraces life again. Some of that comes from doing police work again and some of it comes from meeting his love interest Meg. But a large part of his recovery comes from the natural beauty around him and the very life altering experience that nature can provide.
Often times we expect our romance heroines to be feminine, to fall in love first in the relationship, to want something serious and to always be pleasant. That is not the case with Meg and though it means I can’t relate to her I’d rather have an authentic character. Meg might be a little too tough sometimes but she can certainly bend when the occasion calls for it and watching her fall in love with Nate is great because she so uncomfortable while doing it. Though Meg wasn’t really a character I could relate to (she’s a bit too grumpy and independent to the point of stubborn) I do really appreciate that Roberts is never afraid to explore a different character type.
3 stars – it was good
The town of Lunacy, Alaska, was Nate Burke’s last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he’d watched his partner die on the street – and the guilt still haunts him. With nowhere else to go, he accepts the job as chief of police in this tiny, remote Alaskan town. Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose, he finds his first few weeks on the job are relatively quiet. But just as he wonders whether this has been all a big mistake, an unexpected kiss on New Year’s Eve under the brilliant Northern Lights of the Alaskan sky lifts his spirits and convinces him to stay just a little longer.
Meg Galloway, born and raised in Lunacy, is used to being alone. She was a young girl when her father disappeared, and she has learned to be independent, flying her small plane, living on the outskirts of town with just her huskies for company. After her New Year’s kiss with the chief of police, she allows herself to give in to passion – while remaining determined to keep things as simple as possible. But there’s something about Nate’s sad eyes that gets under her skin and warms her frozen heart.
And now, things in Lunacy are heating up. Years ago, on one of the majestic mountains shadowing the town, a crime occurred that is unsolved to this day – and Nate suspects that a killer still walks the snowy streets. His investigation will unearth the secrets and suspicions that lurk beneath the placid surface, as well as bring out the big-city survival instincts that made him a cop in the first place. And his discovery will threaten the new life – and the new love – that he has finally found for himself.
Published by Berkley on October 12, 2004