Arctic Heat

Annabeth Albert
Arctic Heat
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Carina Press
Release Date
September 2019
Book 3 of Frozen Hearts
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

A lasting connection needs more than simply surviving a winter together—they'll have to outsmart danger, let down their defenses and open their hearts.

Owen Han has a fresh lease on life—he's kicked cancer's ass and is roaring through his bucket list. The former investment banker hopes to find his next challenge in Alaska, volunteering alongside park rangers and fulfilling his childhood dreams of snowy winters and rustic life. Of course, those dreams did tend to feature big strapping mountain men in vivid detail…

Ranger Quilleran Ramsey would like to be anywhere other than dealing with newbie volunteers. And really, the only thing he needs less than a green volunteer "partner" is the flirty attentions of a buff city boy who doesn't look ready to last a week, let alone an Alaskan winter. They're all wrong for each other, even if Quill's traitorous body enjoys the flirting more than it should.

As the weeks pass, the two snowbound men give in to temptation. But can their seasonal romance last until spring? For them to have a future together, each will have to trust the other…while hoping that the harsh elements and omnipresent dangers don't destroy what happiness they've found in the moment.

Book Review by Merissa (reviewer)
Sep 08, 2019   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
38 people found the following review helpful
ARCTIC HEAT is the third book in the Frozen Hearts series, and although we stay in Alaska, we see a very different side of it. There is less emphasis placed on the beauty of the region, and more on the natural dangers that exist every winter.

In this story, we meet up with Owen, a cancer survivor, and Quill, a Ranger. Owen is out but Quill is firmly in the closet as he doesn't want to become the "gay poster boy" for the Rangers. They both have their own baggage from their pasts.

This is very much a slow-burner, filled with angst, and forced proximity. Like I said, there is less description of the surrounding area, and more detailing the kind of accidents that can happen, both natural and manmade.

Although I liked both Quill and Owen, I didn't connect with them like I have done with previous characters in this series. They both had things I liked about them, the same as they both had qualities I disliked.

On the whole, this was a book I enjoyed reading, but it didn't tick as many boxes for me as other books by Ms Albert. I would still definitely recommend it though, especially for those who like to meet up with previous characters when they make an appearance.
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Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Sep 16, 2019   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
38 people found the following review helpful
There's something I find compelling about Annabeth Albert's Frozen Hearts series, but perhaps it's the wilds of Alaska and the odd, accompanying sense of adventure and danger so far north that pull me in. Here, the urban-suave ex-investment banker and a grumpy, closet ranger come together in ARCTIC HEAT, a pairing that is as unlikely as Owen Han and Quill Ramsey meeting under 'normal circumstances' had tragedy not struck in a way to make the former reevaluate his priorities.

And they couldn't be more different, especially when the thought of such a pairing seems like a bad idea from the start. Owen is rocking what life has to offer after beating cancer, now exuberantly pursuing everything in his bucket list, Quill's stoic, cautious and reticent in his approach to jumping into everything headlong despite Owen's very obvious attempts in starting something between them. More so, because Owen's place in Alaska is temporary--a pit stop in his journey towards ticking off yet one more thing in his list--while Quill is simply opposed to having his slow, steady life upended by an eager, restless puppy of a volunteer who just won't give up.

But Ms. Albert works these kinks out slowly but surely, with action that is muted in favour of relationship development and a slow burn that's mostly found in Owen's small but significant inroads (literally and metaphorically) in Quill's closeted and closed-up life and his overall bleakness on the relationship front. It's a pairing that's good for each other, I think, despite my finding Owen a bit too pushy for my liking, even if it's meant to get Quill to let go of his regimented thinking a bit more.

Overall, ARCTIC HEAT is a gentler, more emotion-focused than adventure-driven sort of story, with an iron-clad HEA that Ms. Albert reinforces through lots of emotional affirmation. It did drag a bit and became somewhat predictable for me, but it could appeal to those who like delving into head space with some adult angst.
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