Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert
Series: Frozen Hearts #1
Published: April 1, 2019 by Carina Press
Genre: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
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.
The more I read of Arctic Sun the more I enjoyed it and got invested in the story. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Annabeth Albert’s writing and her character driven romances. There is so much beautiful emotion in River and Griffin’s story, both individually and as a couple. I’ll admit I wasn’t so sure about Griffin in the beginning but as I learned more about him I came to love him. Griffin is lonely and gruff and clearly does not enjoy big crowds and lots of social interaction. But a lot of his solitude is also a coping mechanism for the mistakes of his past. Both these men have struggled deeply in life and are still working through finding a new normal and this builds the majority of the emotion and angst in Arctic Sun.
“It wasn’t until I met you that I realized that maybe it wasn’t a place I was wanting all along but a person. Someone to call my own. If home can be a person, then you’re mine.”
While Griffin is set in his ways and his quiet life, River is always chasing the next adventure. River’s outgoing, charming, and fun-loving but there’s also a deep well of hurt in his life. He’s working to overcome problems just as much as Griffin is and a lot of their healing comes from recognizing a kindred spirit. I really liked the balance that Griffin and River find in each other and the way that they learn to open up and lean a bit on someone else. It’s hard work and they make some mistakes along the way, but ultimately River and Griffin learn how important trust and communication is to a successful relationship.
On top of the wonderful characters, there’s the gorgeous Alaskan landscape and Albert had me ready to pack my bags and sign up for a Alaskan tour. The locales the tour visited were beautiful and I could feel the peaceful atmosphere just jumping off the pages. I also really enjoyed how River’s enthusiasm and wonder helped Griffin re-experience what he loved about his home. A few side characters are introduced and I’m excited for their stories.
**Reader Safety: Hero is a recovering alcoholic (on page); Hero is recovering from an eating disorder (on page)
4 stars – it was enjoyable
ARC provided by NetGalley for honest review
Frozen Hearts reviews
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