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REVIEW TOUR (Excerpt + Giveaway!): Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert

summary

43263021Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: June 3, 2019
Received From: NetGalley / A Novel Take PR

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.

gender sexuality romantic pairings

GENDER: cisgender
SEXUALITY: bisexual
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: biromantic
PAIRING: M/M

tropes tags warnings

TROPES: age gap, class disparity, slow burn, single parenthood, rags to riches, lost in the wilderness, forced proximity
TAGS: adult, contemporary, romance, queer romance, queer characters, Jewish character, Native character, multiracial character
WARNINGS: mental illness (anxiety, PTSD), plane crash, parental death mention, parental illness mention, fire, physical injury, vomiting, hospitalization, ableism, binary language, sexual content, toxic masculinity, anti-sex work, cheating mention

review

“Stop making yourself sound ancient. I get it, you’re older than me, but you are undoubtedly aware that you’ve got the whole silver bear thing going on.” Clearly the icy water had seeped inside his waders, frozen his brain cells because he’d just said silver bear aloud.

“I’ve got what?” Reuben turned toward him, which made the water ripple around them. Fuck. Toby really was going to have to explain this.

“You know. A lot of guys your age get called silver fox. But you’re kinda taller and broader than a fox…” Could he really dig himself any deeper? “But…uh…still hot. You know?”

“I see.” Reuben’s voice had the sort of gravitas that made Toby’s insides tremble. “If I had time for hookup apps—which I do not—I should put that on my profile. Silver Bear. Like a fox, but bigger and hotter. Think it would get me clicks?”

“Dunno. Put a clip of you pronouncing wine names and it might.” Toby’s tongue appeared to have a mind of its own right then.

“That’s hot, huh? Syrah, Malbec, Aligote, Vranec, Aidani…” Reuben’s tone wasn’t especially flirty, but it also wasn’t all business either. They’d definitely wandered into new territory, away from the more abstract discussion of sexual identity to something more personal. And dangerous, but hell if Toby could resist keeping this going. The whole way-too-personal conversation felt way better than it should have.

I loved this book just as much as the first of the series!

ARCTIC WILD is far less angsty and dramatic than ARCTIC SUN, but is no less thrilling and entertaining. The plot is one of those far fetched stories that don’t seem entirely plausible in real life–wealthy dude taking a sabbatical from work for the summer to spend time with his kid and insists on taking care of and helping the pilot he was in a crash with weeks before? Seems totally unreal, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the novel at all. And it perhaps bolstered it, allowing me to achieve the exciting escape readers often strive to attain when diving into a book. But whatever the case, I very much enjoyed both the characters and the plot. Albert beautifully depicts a romance between two people with significant differences, from their ages to their cultures to their monetary status and more, and creates a relationship that is built on trust and care and honesty. She flawlessly weaves together a relationship between a man who is desperate to help those he loves at every turn and a man who is resolved to take care of himself and his family with very little help from others, and creates a union built on compromise and respect and understanding. It was really lovely to see Reuben and Toby work together and build something wonderful.

And speaking of, one aspect of the novel I liked was how Reuben’s wealth played into things. It’s clear, from the beginning, that there’s a disparity in Reuben’s and Toby’s monetary status, but it doesn’t affect the relationship in the way one would expect. Because, while Toby still chafes at the idea of needing to rely on Reuben’s money while he recuperates, and struggles throughout with making sure his family is taken care of, it’s because of Toby’s own mindset, not because Reuben ever tries to force him to accept money. Throughout the novel, there are, of course, instances where Reuben is able to afford more, but he doesn’t really flaunt his wealth by trying to pay for everything and being overbearing. Instead, he respects Toby’s agency and his need to pay his own way, as well as paying for some of the things they do together once they start dating, even though money is tight for Toby and his family. And even though their big fight partially ends up revolving around money, at no point does Reuben actually betray Toby’s trust and essentially force him to accept monetary help. It was a surprisingly refreshing representation of this trope.

Also, I loved that both of them identify as bisexual but aren’t afraid to talk about the fact that they tend to have gender preferences. More often than not, in books with same gender pairings, the bi/pan character(s) seem to have a preference for the gender their love interest identifies with. But in ARCTIC WILD, Reuben expresses that he tends to have a preference for men, while Toby shares that he generally has a preference for women. It was nice to see bisexuality depicted like this, because it’s a way to show that all bisexuals/pansexuals are different and have different preferences.

Overall, this novel was really great and quite enjoyable, and I can’t wait for the next installment of the series!

rating4 STARSabout the author

6477494Frequent tweeter, professional grammar nerd, and obsessive reader, Annabeth Albert is also a Pacific Northwest romance writer in a variety of subgenres.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

buy links

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
IndieBound

review by nicky tyler

Enter for a chance to win a paperback set of Arctic Sun, Arctic Wild, and a swag prize pack!

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