Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts #2)

Title: Arctic Wild: A Gay Romance (Frozen Hearts Book 2)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: June 3, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Second Chances
Page Count: 400 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Read book blurb here

Although "Arctic Wild" is the second in a series, it easily can be read as a stand-alone ... although if you've read "Arctic Sun," you'll get a brief, very sweet update on Griff and River here.

Reuben is a corporate lawyer who lives to seal the deal and spends far too much time on his cell, even when he's on an Alaskan vacation being flown into amazing locations via seaplane. When he and his pilot Toby crash into the Alaskan wilderness, Reuben reevaluates his life, deciding to take a break from this career and spend the summer in Alaska with his teenage daughter Amelia. And since Toby has broken bones due to the crash, Reuben invites him to share his vacation home so he can assist Toby with his rehabilitation. "They were in this weird gray area - sort of friends, sort of roommates, no longer client and paid tour guide [...] if they were going to be friends or roommates, they might as well be the kind that had a little fun together."

Reuben and Toby's relationship gradually evolves into something neither man expects, and while Reuben realizes the crash as the huge cosmic wake-up call it is, Toby really struggles with its aftermath. Toby relishes Reuben's dominance in the bedroom but struggles with not being able to financially support his father and two sisters. And despite the obvious rightness in their relationship, it takes Toby a long time (a long, long time, which really drags down the pace of this story) to reconcile this.
He was glad that his dad had taught him to be his own person, taught him to take pride in hard work and his ability to provide, but he didn't want to spend the rest of his life shackled to an ideal when he could have had a real partnership instead.
The premise of this story and the way the plot unfolds really grabbed my interest, and I like Reuben and Toby's slowly unfolding relationship as well as how Amelia changes from an annoying teenager to a slightly less-annoying teenager (c'mon, she's 14), but the pace was just too leisurely and unfocused at times. The epilogue gives us a glimpse a few months ahead, but I hope to see how Reuben and Toby are faring in the next book in the series "Arctic Heat." 4 stars.

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