Under the Northern Lights by S.C. Stephens
Title: Under the Northern Lights
Author: S.C. Stephens
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Action/Adventure
Release Date: April 30, 2019
From the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Thoughtless series comes a sweet, thoughtful romance set high in the Alaskan wilderness.
Mallory Reynolds is a driven woman fueled by her passion for photographing wild animals in remote locations. Every year she makes a trek deep into Alaska, but this time the unthinkable happens: she crash-lands after her plane stalls out in a storm. Injured, vulnerable, and threatened by the very creatures she loves, Mallory fears the worst—until she’s rescued by Michael Bradley, a mysterious mountain man living in self-imposed exile.
Mallory is grateful for Michael’s help but desperate to return home to let her family know she’s alive. Unfortunately, neither of them can leave Michael’s secluded cabin until spring. Mallory’s stuck with a stranger for months.
As Mallory recovers, a deep bond begins to form between the pair. Mallory is convinced that fate brought them together, but Michael is buried in his past, unable to move forward. Undaunted, Mallory tends to Michael’s heart as tenderly as he cared for her wounds—but will her love be enough to heal him?
4 iScream Cones
“We needed to be extremely cautious with each other, because despite everything out there that might hurt us—being mauled by a bear, frozen in a river, impaled by a felled tree, or lost for all eternity in the woods—losing our hearts to each other might be the deadliest of all.”
Yes, I’m one of the millions of readers who enjoyed the author’s Thoughtless series. So, of course, I was excited to get my hands on another of her stories. Though I must say, this is very very different, in every way.
What started my nailbiting was knowing in advance that Mallory’s plane was going to crash. I had already read it in the synopsis, so it was just a matter of surviving the experience since I knew she would survive the crash. But I wasn’t sure I would, that was scary as shit!
And then, once she made it through that harrowing ordeal, I was back to gnawing on my nubs as she faced the elements. Alone. In the wilderness. Injured. With hungry animals. Even though I knew she was going to be rescued—that was in the synopsis too—I was still on the edge of my seat worried for her as she fought to stay conscious and safe from attack. Because… she wasn’t safe!
For those of you that follow my reviews, this is not what I usually read. It’s more of a PG-rated slow burn rather than a turbo boosted steamy romance. What made it interesting for me was the close look at what it takes to live in a remote location without any of the modern conveniences. The dangers that I never considered and the work required to just eat or bathe. This experience takes ‘outhouse’ to a whole nother level. It really made me appreciate my toilet, bathtub, and refrigerator. I thought being at a location without WiFi was roughing it. Even though I’d been a big fan of Little House on the Prairie back in the day, I didn’t have a clue what ‘off the grid’ meant until I experienced it through Mallory’s eyes.
Michael is beyond broken. He’s living in the wild by choice. He’s doing without when he doesn’t have to. It’s more about giving up people than material things. Are you as curious as I was to find out why? That really kept me intrigued for a long time before I finally learned the reason for his self-isolation. “He was too broken for me to fix. The two of us falling into a passionate relationship…it wouldn’t just be a bad idea. It would be catastrophic.
The author’s writing is very smooth and her words made me feel like I was right there, feeling the cold of the snow and the fear of all the dangers that they faced. It was a thought-provoking tale that gave me a new respect for those that live in the wilderness.