Title: Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts #2)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)
Release Date: eBook June 3, 2019 / Print MMP June 25, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: approx. 105,000 words / 400 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty, Kirstin
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.
“Don’t leave me,” [Toby] said instead, fear rising right along with the pain. He didn’t want to be alone with all this hurt, didn’t like how vulnerable and open he felt. Weird, but he almost missed the closeness they’d had in the lean-to, the distraction of Reuben’s stories.
“Not a chance,” Reuben answered, crouching down next to the ranger and grabbing Toby’s good hand. “We’re going to get you out of here. Man, your hand’s like ice.”
The ranger tsked. “You’re both probably chilled through. You did a good job with this little shelter though. But I’m worried about hypothermia for both of you—it’s not that warm today and with the wet and possible shock, we need to get you warmed up.”
“I’m not cold. Feel hot.” Toby couldn’t keep the edge of panic out of his voice, not sure if he could trust his own body anymore, and not liking her grave tone or expression as she checked out his injuries, making his pain spike with each gentle touch. “F—ow. Ow.”
“It’s okay. I’m right here,” Reuben soothed, not dropping his hand, apparently unconcerned what the ranger might think of that.
“We’ve got a collapsible stretcher in our gear. We’ll do our best to get you ready for transport while Quill tries to get a helicopter here.”
Transport. Oh fuck. As in he was going to have to move. He hadn’t thought that far ahead yet, and now that he had, fresh worry bubbled up. Fuck. Just like how he’d held his hope at bay, so too had he pushed aside fully realizing the extent of his injuries and the logistics ahead.
“Reuben. Man. Promise me you’ll call my boss, Annie. Tell her to tell my dad—”
“You’ll tell them both yourself.” Reuben squeezed his hand.
“It hurts.” He hoped he wasn’t whining too much, but it did, and fuck but he didn’t want more pain when they moved him. Or maybe it was the realization that he wasn’t walking away from this one. No, he was going to be carried out and laid up who knew how long. His dad. His family. His income. Fuck. He might have lived through the crash, but unlike Reuben who’d apparently had some sort of new age epiphany as a result of the crash, all he knew was dread, not hope.
Everything was screwed now. Everything. And he’d seldom felt as alone and helpless as he did, lying there, listening to the others discussing rescue options, so he clung to Reuben’s hand like the lifeline it was. Something had shifted during their ordeal. Maybe he’d feel this way about anyone else he’d been stranded with, but he felt an odd connection to Reuben, one that went beyond mere physical proximity. Deeper. Like he trusted Reuben to make this hurt less, to make the coming hours less hellish. Reuben had saved his life, gotten him this far.
And right then, Toby was grabbing onto him, searching for something in his eyes, something to find hope and reassurance in. And when Reuben said again that he wasn’t leaving him, Toby relaxed slightly. He wasn’t alone. He had Reuben. And that was something.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series.
To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.
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