Title: Arctic Heat (Frozen Hearts #3)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Published: 23 September, 2019
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+
I received a copy of Arctic Heat from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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.
Arctic Heat is the final book in Annabeth Albert’s Frozen Hearts trilogy, and follows the characters Owen – a cancer survivor ticking things off his bucket list – and Quill, a ranger used to long, cold, Alaskan winters.
Owen’s left his previous life as an investment banker to see the world and try new experiences, including volunteering alongside park rangers in Alaska – a far cry from his West Coast life. He thinks all his dreams have come true when he’s paired up with the socially-awkward, but enticing, Ranger Quill, who wants nothing to do with volunteers who don’t know what they’re getting themselves in for. What follows is an on-again/off-again romance that explores breaking down people’s barriers and trusting in others in an environment that is harsh and dangerous.
I enjoyed Arctic Heat, but I think the series overall pales in comparison to some of Albert’s other work. Everything about it is fine, and enjoyable, but to me there was something missing that I’ve come to expect from Albert’s books.
What I did really appreciate in this book, and the whole series, is the way the characters all come from very different backgrounds and experiences and these underpin who they are. Owen is a very fun, social guy who’s survived cancer and recognised that the man he was before his illness is not the same man he is now. He’s confident and outgoing and the total opposite of Quill who’s always been socially isolated and has difficulty connecting to other people and this causes a lot of friction between the two men – who like one another, but find it challenging to find common ground.
I also continued to love the setting of the stories – Alaska is a great backdrop and Arctic Heat is a look at one aspect of the countryside, and the dangers that it can hold for people unfamiliar with the terrain. The way Albert describes the landscape is cold and unforgiving, and still enchanting enough to entice people to want to be there and explore the surroundings.
I’m so glad to have read this series and explored a new ‘world’ from this author, and I look forward to seeing what she releases in the future.