Review: Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert

Annabeth Albert
Publication date: Jun 3, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ
Format: eARC
Source: Carina Press and NetGalley



Hotshot attorney Reuben Graham has finally agreed to take a vacation, when his plane suddenly plunges into the Alaskan wilderness. 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.

M Y   T H O U G H T S

An Alaskan trip meant to be shared with friends was suddenly a solo endeavor for New York attorney Reuben. He was laser-focused on his career, unable to connect with his teenage daughter, and completely out of his element in the Alaskan wilderness. When his plane went down and he helped rescue his pilot/tour guide Toby, Reuben had a new lease on life and was ready to make some major changes.

Toby carried a staggering mantle of responsibility on his shoulders. With his father unable to work, Toby was supporting his family, including putting his sisters through college. Despite that, he managed to be upbeat, funny and charming. But when his injuries from the crash sidelined him, his ability to provide for his father and sisters was in jeopardy. He begrudgingly accepted Reuben’s offer to help in his recuperation, but his pride took a hit.

Reuben and Toby might have experienced some instant attraction and chemistry but there was no insta-love here. They each had their own issues to overcome – Reuben’s innate need to be a “fixer”, Toby’s inability to accept help – as well as an age gap that seemed less of a problem for them as it was for Toby’s family. I enjoyed watching their friendship develop and the relationship that followed, even though in the first half of the book it felt like I was being told how they felt instead of seeing it and feeling it for myself. There were times I wanted to shake Toby’s father for his stubborn belief that accepting help made a man weak, a belief he instilled in Toby, which made for a lot of stress and conflict. And speaking of conflict, Reuben’s daughter Amelia added plenty with her surly nature and nasty attitude (translation: she was a Grade A brat). Seeing the changes in her as she spent the summer in Alaska with Reuben, and watching their relationship strengthen, was a real bonus.

I enjoyed the pacing of both the story and the relationship. While I would have liked more showing than telling when it came to Reuben and Toby’s feelings for one another, Arctic Wild was still a solid contemporary romance with a satisfying HEA.

3.5/5 STARS

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. This does not impact my opinion of the book or the content of this review. I received no compensation and my review is voluntary.

WWW Wednesday #52 | May 29, 2019

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.
Just answer three questions and share what you're reading.

Mrs. Everything - Jennifer Weiner
I'm still getting into this ARC for Weiner's latest (I'm at 6%, I think) but I'm already enjoying it. This novel spans decades and decades and follows the lives of two sisters. I'm excited to see where it goes.

While Block Shot doesn't have the same gut-wrenching emotion that Long Shot did, I'm still totally invested. I'm about 85% in and I think I know how things are going to go, but if Long Shot was any indication of Kennedy Ryan's style there could still be plenty of surprises in store.


Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Storm and Fury was all kinds of fun from start to finish. It was typical Jennifer Armentrout - and I mean that in a good way. When it comes to YA paranormal/fantasy, JLA has a formula and it works. I loved returning to the world from The Dark Elements trilogy and how JLA expanded on it. She kept me guessing on a few important aspects and getting to revisit some old favorites (Layla, Caymen, ROTH! and Bambi!) was absolutely priceless.   


I'm not going to rush through Mrs. Everything but I can tell you that just as soon as I turn that last page I am dropping everything and picking up Red, White & Royal Blue! I am crazy-excited for this one!

What are you currently reading?
I wanna know! :)

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favorite Books from the Last 10 Years

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Favorite Books From The Last 10 Years
(one book per year)

To be honest I haven't been thrilled with several recent TTT themes but I was excited when I saw the topic for this week. I love the idea of looking back at my reading over the past decade and choosing a favorite from each year. I guess I should note that I am basing this on the books I read in each given year and not choosing only from the books that were published that year.

2 0 0 9
2 0 1 0
2 0 1 1
2 0 1 2
2 0 1 3
2 0 1 4
2 0 1 5
2 0 1 6
2 0 1 7
2 0 1 8

Do we share any of the same favorites?

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Superfan by Sarina Bowen

It's no secret that I'm a big, big fan of Sarina Bowen. Her Him/Us duet is among my favorites (#Wesmie!), The Year We Fell Down is a wonderful new adult romance, and her True North series is fantastic. And now Sarina is continuing her Brooklyn series with SUPERFAN

This is the third book in the series, following Brooklynaire and Overnight Sensation, and will release on June 25. And I'm excited to be taking part in the cover reveal!


Series: Brooklyn

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Publication Date: June 25th, 2019

Sometimes lady luck shakes your hand, and sometimes she smacks your face. Sometimes she does both on the same day.

Three years ago I met the most amazing woman. We were both down on our luck. Then I got that call—the one that tells you to get your buns on a plane to go meet your destiny.

But the girl was left behind. I didn’t have her phone number, and she didn’t know my real name.

While I became a professional hockey player, she became a superstar, with platinum records and legions of fans. And a slick, music producer boyfriend who treated her badly.

But fate wasn’t done with us yet. When Delilah turns up at a hockey game, I can’t resist making contact. The internet swoons when I ask her out on a date.

She might not remember me. But her jerkface ex does. He’ll do anything to keep us apart. 

Good thing athletes never give up. This time I’m playing for keeps.



Be the first to read! Three winners (US or Canada) will win
early signed paperback copies of Superfan! 

The Sunday Post #156

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • Fairly uneventful week, but a good one. It was like a ghost town at the office on Friday with so many people getting an early start on the long weekend.
  • The Husband attended a car show in GA yesterday and won a Top 30 trophy. Go Robert! :)
  • My nephew complained of stomach pain Friday night and by yesterday evening was in surgery having his appendix removed. So thankful he is doing okay!
  • And if you're in the U.S., whether you're enjoying the long weekend, having a barbecue, or even if Monday is just another day at work, I hope you'll take just a moment to give a thought for those who have laid down their lives protecting our freedom. They deserve to be remembered and honored.

Wednesday, May 22
WWW Wednesday #51

Friday, May 24
Book Outlet Book Haul


Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts ) - Annabeth Albert
This one fell into the like-not love category for me. I enjoyed the story and it was entertaining but I never felt particularly invested in the two main characters or the outcome.  

This one was seriously way more than I bargained for. Dark and gritty - and sadly all too real - I was sucked right in to the story and it would't let me go. Emotional doesn't begin to describe it. The audio version truly brought the characters to life for me and since it was a loan from Hoopla I have since bought my own copy through Audible as well as a physical copy for my bookshelf. I can see this one showing up in my 2019 favorites.


I'm about 75% through Storm and Fury and I love being back in this world of Wardens (gargoyles) and demons. Trinity is a strong and fierce main character and just so happens to be the only one of her kind. The few scenes with Roth and Caymen (from the original Dark Elements series) have been priceless! 

As soon as I finished Long Shot I immediately downloaded Block Shot. I'm roughly halfway through and while I'm definitely enjoying it, it doesn't have that same heart-pounding emotional aspect that Long Shot did. I do have a theory of something I see coming for a particular character and I'm anxious to see if I'm right.



How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
I'd love to hear about it!

Book Outlet Book Haul

Contrary to what The Husband might think (*cough*), I don't buy that many books. No, really, I don't. Quit laughing! :) I one-click a Kindle book now and then, and I'm even kind of cheap when I do that. (I'll rarely go over $2.99 for a Kindle... I have my limits.) And I'll buy physical copies when it comes to my small handful of favorite authors - or when I'm dying to read a new release that I'm sure I'll love (I'm looking at you, Red, White & Royal Blue). So book hauls aren't really a thing for me. 

But a couple weeks ago I was casually perusing Book Outlet - something I hadn't done in probably a year - and what do you know? All the things! I want that book! And that one! And there's another one!

And, before you could say #NoRegrets, I had 18 books in my cart. So that happened. 

And because we all enjoy enabling each other sharing (sorrynotsorry), here are all my new pretties. For those interested, I'll include the Book Outlet price (at the time I ordered) in case you're tempted to nab one (or 18) for yourself. (nudge-nudge)

More Than We Can Tell - Brigid Kemmerer ($5.99)
Rev is one of my favorite fictional characters ever. I love adding the hardcover version of his story to my shelf.

9 Days & 9 Nights - Katie Cotugno ($4.89)
After loving Cotugno's 99 Days, I cannot believe I haven't read this yet. So coming across this one was a real score.

Emmy & Oliver - Robin Benway ($5.99)
Until Far From the Tree came out, this was my favorite by Benway. I adore these two main characters.

After the Game and Losing the Field - Abbi Glines ($6.49 each)
I read After the Game but only had the uncorrected e-arc and I haven't read Losing the Field yet, so I was excited to grab both of these.

The Impossibility of Us and Kissing Max Holden - Katy Upperman ($4.89 and $3.89)
I read both of these as e-arcs and love having physical copies for my shelf. Katy is a fantastic new voice in contemporary YA.

The Way I Used to Be - Amber Smith ($3.89)
I initially listened to this on audio several years ago and it was unforgettable. I'd like to do a re-read with a physical copy.

Riot - Tillie Cole ($4.89)
My first experience with Tillie Cole was an epic fail but I'm willing to give her another try. (Especially at this price.)

Riveted and Salvaged - Jay Crownover ($4.89 each)
Having just recently listened to both of these on audio (and loving them) I jumped at the chance to nab copies at such a great price.

Sin & Suffer - Pepper Winters ($4.39)
I'm still fairly new to Pepper Winters, but I know I want to read more from her.

Most of All You - Mia Sheridan ($4.39)
I adore Mia Sheridan and this one was already on my TBR.

I Found You - Lisa Jewell ($7.59)
Ditto with Lisa Jewell. I've been dying to read this one. 

Ride Hard, Ride Rough and Ride Wild - Laura Kaye ($2.79 each)
I just recently read my first by Laura Kaye. Grabbing the first three books in a series for less than $3 a book? Can't pass that up.

The Break - Marian Keyes ($3.29)
It's been a long time since I read anything from Marian Keyes but I've always enjoyed her storytelling.

So there you have it... my epic Book Outlet book haul. Because I so obviously needed more to read. (*looks away quickly*)

Have you read any of these books?
Do you ever order from Book Outlet?

WWW Wednesday #51 | May 22, 2019

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.
Just answer three questions and share what you're reading.


Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Storm and Fury is Armentrout's spin-off series of her Dark Elements trilogy and it is so much fun being back in this world. A world of Wardens (gargoyles) and demons and, in this case, plenty of secrets because at 35% in I still have no idea what main character Trinity is or what her purpose in the big scheme of things is. I don't read much YA these days, but I'll always make an exception for JLA.

On Monday morning I finished Long Shot, the first book in this companion series, and I immediately downloaded this second book. I'm brand new to Kennedy Ryan but I am hooked.



Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts #2) - Annabeth Albert
I nabbed Arctic Wild on a whim from Netgalley. This one fell into the good-not-great category. I enjoyed Rueben and Toby's story but I was never fully invested and it felt a bit long. 

Oh, my heart. This one was so emotional with subject matter that made it genuinely difficult to take in at times. Ryan created characters that felt so utterly real and placed them in situations that had my pulse pounding and my heart breaking. And the audio version was absolute perfection. I borrowed this one from Hoopla but I've already purchased my own copy from Audible and bought a physical copy from Amazon. It was that good.


I have another ARC for June that I'd like to go ahead and read, Weiner's Mrs. Everything, and then I'm diving right into Red, White & Royal Blue. I'm calling it now... I predict this one will be a 5-star read!

What are you currently reading?
I wanna know! :)

The Sunday Post #155

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • Busy week at the office but got a lot accomplished. Always a good feeling.
  • I didn't get a chance to post my book haul as planned. The whole work/adulting thing got in the way. I'll try again this week. 
  • My mom was over for dinner Friday night and we ended up watching Love, Simon. She totally enjoyed it and I loved sharing a movie that I so much.
  • And by the way, my mom is doing much better after coming down with bronchitis. Thanks for all the get well wishes last week.
  • I scored a gorgeous pair of topiaries at TJ Maxx yesterday (something I've wanted for ages) and they look fabulous at the front door.
  • BookBub shared their ultimate list of 2019 beach reads. One I've already read and two are high on my TBR. How about you... any must-reads for you on the list?
  •  I hope you're having a fantastic weekend... happy reading!


Unbroken (Loveless, Texas #0.5) - Jay Crownover
I just didn't find a lot of time to read last week so all I managed was this novella from Jay that released last week. It's the start of a new series and I'll definitely be continuing with it.  


Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts #2) - Annabeth Albert

I'm about 80% through Arctic Wild and hopefully I'll finish it today. It's falling into the like-not-love category. I'm definitely enjoying it but I don't particularly feel a real emotional investment. 

Long Shot is my current audio read... and it's killing me. This book has just torn me up. It deals with some serious themes (domestic abuse/violence) and parts have been so difficult to experience that I find myself listening to small snippets at a time because my heart can't take it. (I've taken to DM'ing Sam and Amber to discuss it). Beyond that, I adore the two main characters, I love the writing, and I will absolutely be reading more by Kennedy Ryan. 

I'm so crazy excited for this one! It's one that I'm absolutely certain I'm going to looove. So it will be happening SOON.

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
I'd love to hear about it!