Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert
Series: Frozen Hearts
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: April 1st, 2019
ARC from Netgalley
| Book Review |
I’m sure that out of those of you who have visited my blog before, exactly zero of you are surprised that I’m reviewing Annabeth Albert’s newest release. Arctic Sun kicks off her Frozen Hearts series that takes place in Alaska, and as a huge fan of this author, my hopes were pretty high for this one. Though it didn’t exactly live up to them, this story did still have some of the things I love about Annabeth’s writing. First of all Griff – he was so gentle and sweet. I swear she writes the best gentle heroes while still maintaining their masculinity, and I really appreciate that. There’s also something that she does with setting that almost always makes it a prominent part of the story; I find it easy to imagine I’m wherever she’s writing about, and this Alaskan adventure setting was no exception. But this book felt a little…off to me. The first half was so fun and flirty while River worked to get Griff to open up to him. You could tell they had their issues, but they were bumbling through, and those issues didn’t define every aspect of their lives. Until about halfway through, when they did. The lightheartedness from the first half disappeared, and the tone for the second half of this book was very dark; the two didn’t mesh well, and it almost felt like I was reading the halves of two different books. Griff and River both fell into pretty dark places, and while I was able to (mostly) understand Griff and what drove him, River’s character never became clear to me. It made it really hard to see where he was coming from, and I feel like once a character comes full circle, you should understand what motivates them throughout the story. And I have to be honest – I felt like Griff was trying so hard, and I just didn’t feel like River was. Griff was so comfortable in his self-imposed solitude. It was painful to see him try to break out of that for River, especially when I didn’t feel like River appreciated it. It was almost like when River left the Alaskan wilderness, he left everything that had defined his character up until that point behind. It left me feeling confused. I will say that there was a storyline with River’s dad that really tugged at my heart strings and had me tearing up, and I really feel like if River’s character had been more fleshed out, I could have loved this story. Griffin’s family, on the other hand, felt a bit busybody-ish, and I kept getting frustrated at the lack of trust they had in him. I sort-of understand why, but I just feel like throughout most of this story, no one gave Griffin a break. My heart hurt for him, because he was trying so damn hard, and I loved his character so so much. Another highlight for me were the people that ventured through Alaska with Griff and River at the beginning. I felt like we got a good piece of all them without them overwhelming the story, and I really enjoyed spending time with them. I wish that part of the story had gone on longer. As for the pacing, I’m not sure if it was River’s underdeveloped character or what, but this story did seem to go on for too long. Both men just kept beating themselves up over and over again, and at points, it seemed neverending.
Overall, I feel like Arctic Sun just wasn’t a good fit for me. But I know Annabeth Albert is, and so, of course, I’m looking forward to her next book.
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