Saturday, October 29, 2016

Reviews: Artic Fire by Keira Andrews

Book Title: Arctic Fire

Author Name: Keira Andrews

Genre: contemporary M/M, action/adventure

Book Description:

When two strangers are trapped in a blizzard, heat rises.
Haunted by what he lost in Afghanistan, Captain Jack Turner is at a crossroads. While the last place he wants to go is the Arctic, at least the routine mission gets him out from behind his new desk. But he starts off on the wrong foot with the Canadian Ranger guiding him across the forbidding and dangerous land, and Jack would rather be anywhere than sharing a tent with Sergeant Kin Carsen.

The Arctic is in Kin's blood, and he can't seem to leave the tundra behind. He wishes he could live openly as a gay man, but the North isn't as accepting as the rest of Canada. Although he's lonely, he loves his responsibility as a Ranger, patrolling the vast land he knows so well. But he's on unfamiliar ground with Jack, and when they're stranded alone by a blizzard, unexpected desire begins to burn. Soon they're in a struggle to survive, and all these strangers have is each other.

Note: This gay romance features emotional repression, hurt/comfort, adventure on the tundra, and love where you least expect it.

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*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Jack Turner is sent struggling at his desk job that he was assigned after injuries in Afghanistan and is sent to the Arctic on a routine mission.  Jack is not sure where he belongs in this world anymore.  He doesn't fit with his family, he doesn't fit with his friends and he doesn't fit at a desk job.  He's struggling with the death of his previous lover and his survivor's guilt.  He has a tendency to insert his foot into his mouth and say the wrong thing, giving many the wrong impression of what he's really like.  This happens with Kin Carsen, a Canadian Ranger who will be guiding Jack on his trip in the Arctic.  Ken may think Captain Jack Turner is good looking but it's usually ruined every time he opens his mouth.  But these two men spend all their time together for a couple of days and allow them to learn more about the other, and for Kin to see that Jack is not what he seems. 

There is so much that can be learned from reading this novella about the Arctic and the Inuit culture.  Not that I ever want to experience weather below freezing or eating raw seal meat (or eating any type of seal meat) BUT, I think it's great insight into this world.  And along with that is the everyday danger of living in this type of environment.  The work of not getting frostbite, being aware of polar bears in your vicinity, and the chance of falling into a crevasse.

This novella was packed full!  The relationship between Kin and Jack was a slow build up but it occurred naturally and didn't feel forced.  Though it didn't feel like instalove, in reality, this story took place over a couple of days.  There was less of a HEA and more of a HFN, as there was a lot left open ended at the end and a lot of struggles I would imagine happening if their relationship did continue. 

Rating:  4 stars

3* Well-written, but not long enough to allow justice to the tale, the leads, their romance or the arctic.

This is a very short tale that I read in one go in about 45 mins, and it was well-written. I can't say how much research or how authentic it was to this part of the arctic, as the author didn't go into too much detail other than mentioning eating raw seal and melting ice for water.

The leads spent all of 2/3 days together and therefore didn't get a chance to fall in love/lust, though an attraction of sorts was there - but apologies, it felt like two gay guys getting together because both happened to be gay and to be there. One seemed entirely unsuited to the arctic, the people and their way of life, and yes, I know he'd had a tough time in his past, but he was a bit of a prat. The other seemed to have no desire to do much other than exist in his small tundra.

With a lot more length, or with perhaps even a short HEA showing these leads in their future together, this could have been a 4*. As it was, with the leads agreeing to explore their attraction - there was nothing more at the point that the tale ended - this was not a full-on romance in my book, pun intended.

ARC courtesy of the author and Bayou Book Junkie, in return for my reading pleasure.

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