Saturday, 11 May 2019

Review: Under the Northern Lights by S.C. Stephens

He healed her wounds ... She healed his heart.

by S.C. Stephens
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 30th, 2019
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]

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?

As a romance reader, S.C. Stephens' books are always a short reach away on my bookshelves, much like my Jamie McGuire collection. I say this because I'm an absolute mega-fan! I've thoroughly read many of her titles during many binge reads, and I have to say that I never get tired of her writing. It constantly evolves, her characters mature, and their stories become so much more real. In her famous Thoughtless series, her characters were immature, selfish, and careless, but with the Conversion series I truly saw how far deeper her characters became. With the introduction of her latest release from Montlake Romance - UNDER THE NORTHERN LIGHTS - S.C. Stephens was introducing a new, grander step into creating more realistic and heart-wrenching romance lit, and I positively could not wait to dive into it.

Let's be real - I read Under the Northern Lights three times. Yes, you read that correctly. I binge read it and rushed through it the first time because I got excited. The second time and third time around, I managed to pep-talk myself into slowly devouring my favorite chapters all over again, and I have to admit that Stephens' characters, as I mentioned before, have stepped into a whole new level of growth and sophistication. Where as Thoughtless' Kellan and Kiera came across as desperate, young, and filled with selfish desires, Northern Light's Mallory and Michael came across as older, flawed, experienced, but desperate to grow and learn. I absolutely loved the contrasting combination of Mallory and Michael, and that's probably one of the biggest reasons as to why I loved Under the Northern Lights so MUCH!

Mallory was an awesome character. She was determined, fierce, inquisitive, and refused to take "no" for an answer. Michael, on the other hand, had serious baggage and was a tough nut to crack. Nevertheless, I absolutely adored flipping through Under the Northern Lights' pages, devouring each chapter one after the other, and then binging it all over again. The story felt fresh to me, something I've never read from Stephens before, and I adored the growth not only the characters she has created have shown, but I also enjoyed the new settings and scenarios she's started to branch out towards.

All in all, Under the Northern Lights by S.C. Stephens is a book I feel every romance lover should add to their book buying list. It's an excellent, heat-driven read for romance readers looking for something a little more different.

4.5 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accepted in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

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