Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Arctic Heat

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Arctic Heat (2019) Annabeth Albert

Arctic HeatOwen Han is checking one more item off his bucket list–spending the winter in Alaska, and he’s doing it as a volunteer for the Alaska park service.

Quill’s tone didn’t exactly encourage more talking, but Owen was nothing if not friendly. And persistent. His sister the therapist called it aggressively extroverted, and she wasn’t entirely wrong.

Quilleran Ramsey has spent the past 20 years being a ranger because he likes the solitude, being with nature, and not having to deal with people. But budget cutbacks mean that it will be him and a volunteer this winter, and all the worse for him that the volunteer he gets is obviously interested in him.

Quill had never fully understood. He’d never figured out why some people enjoyed filling a perfectly good silence with inane questions.

If you think things are going to go badly from there, you’d be partially correct, but not for the reasons you necessarily think.

First, Owen is a very nice guy, so he might talk a lot, but his goal is almost always to make other people comfortable.

Soft spoken, Nancy had a reticent demeanor, and Owen spent some time trying to bring her out of her shell as they waited for the first-aid instructor to start. She reminded Owen of one of his sisters in her shyness, and making her comfortable took priority over more flirting.

Second, although Quill is deeply in the closet, out only to his previous partner at work, he has decent reasons for fearing what coming out could mean to him. And he hates arguments and confrontation. But he knows he has these issues.

Quill wasn’t without understanding that most people preferred to live a little more loudly than he was capable of.

But as they get to know each other, they discover they do have things in common.

Quill had almost lost his damn mind back there on the ridge, almost kissed Owen, and as they headed back to the center where warmth and a long night ahead waited for them, he honestly didn’t know if he could be that strong a second time.

And it wasn’t that Owen had looked particularly sexy in his many layers of winter gear. No, it had all been about the joy in his eyes, the way he’d looked out over the place Quill loved with every gnarled fiber of his being. Owen’s reverence and awe had hit a deep, powerful chord within him. A resonant bass note of understanding that made his soul, not his lips, not his libido, want a piece of Owen.

The thing I particularly liked about this story is that after the Event that comes after the This Isn’t Going to Work, everything isn’t suddenly perfect and OK. Yes, one character changed his mind and came to a realization, but the other wasn’t so sure about St Paul on the road to Damascus conversions, and is less ready to take the change of heart as a done deal, which is both realistic and healthy.

Publisher: Carina Press
Rating: 8/10


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