Series: Frozen Hearts #3
Publisher: Carina Press
Release date: September 23rd 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ
Source: Pink Heart Society
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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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.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
The Faerie Queen’s review
Let me kick things off by saying that if any of the following rock your boat, preorder this book immediately: forced proximity, sharing body heat to stay warm, grumpy-sunshine pairing, M/M romance.
On the flip side, this book does need a few content warnings for cancer, abusive relationships, grief, negative reactions to coming out, and snow-related accidents, including car crashes. Yeah, there were a few quite scary incidents.
In Arctic Heat, we have two rather different personalities. Owen Han is an “aggressively extroverted” reformed businessman tackling a bucket list after facing his mortality. He loves talking to people to the point of craving it, which made spending seven months largely isolated in Alaska an interesting choice for him. On the other hand, Quill is incredibly introverted, wilfully isolating himself with his job. Interactions with people are done when necessary for the job and are quite perfunctory. So throwing these two together in a cabin sounds like a recipe for disaster. I’m someone who is very capable of putting on my outgoing hat, but at the end of the day, I’m much more like Quill here, and the thought of not being able to escape someone that likes to talk as much as Owen does sounds like my personal idea of hell.
I really didn’t know how these two would figure it out, but it somehow did out of sheer necessity. Cuddles seemed to work remarkable well. Plus, as is so important in relationships, they each had their own interests and time to themselves to balance out time together. They also talked. Like adults. Actually, like adults should do, but don’t seem to. And honestly, Quill just needed someone to love him and accept him as is so he could be introverted while also not fearing rejection, something that drove him to keep everyone at a distance.
I’d be remiss if I did not mention a big aspect of this book that kept me hooked: the heat. Annabeth kept the tension going by making it seem like these two couldn’t possibly progress before giving us just a little bit more of development in the physical intimacy department. She drove me crazy before throwing me a bone(r) before I exploded. And wow, did those scenes warm me up. Even just the first kiss was intense!
Anyone who knows me knows I like books that teach me something, and Arctic Heat did that in a few ways. For a start, there was the treatment and impact of a certain kind of cancer. I also learned about what a ranger is and what their various responsibilities are. (Alaska sounds gorgeous, by the way.) And finally, with several LGBTQ+ characters in the book – not just the main couple – I had the opportunity to reflect on different experiences of coming out, plus what life can be like for people already out. For example, Quill remarked about a lesbian ranger always being asked to be the diversity token, as if that one facet of her life was the only thing that defined her as soon as she was open about it. We cannot expect people to only talk about one part of their life constantly; they’re whole people!
I’m not sure if this book would have hit my radar if not for Pink Heart Society, so I’m very glad I’m part of this reviewing team. This was an unexpected treat for me!