Thursday, May 2, 2019

Under the Northern Lights by S.C. Stephens

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?

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Under the Northern Lights has life threatening moments that had my heart in my mouth. From Mallory’s plane crashing at the start of the book, to encounters with wild animals, and other incidents that could easily lead to death in the wilderness of Alaska in the middle of winter, the danger is ever present. These times had me on the edge of my seat, frantically reading to see what would happen, hoping and praying that Mallory and Michael would be safe. Other parts of the story are taken up with the mundane of life and the story slowed right down.

The relationship between Michael and Mallory is a very slow burn and at times I was frustrated with Michael and it had me worried I wasn’t invested enough in the outcome of their relationship. Turns out I was I was way more invested than I realised because the closer I got to the end, the more this couple made heart bleed until I was eventually a great big sobbing mess.

Under the Northern Lights is a wonderful, emotion-filled romance dealing with issues around grief, hope, and faith. I loved it. It gets a solid four stars from me.

Mallory is a nature and wildlife photographer and she takes a trip to Alaska once a year for a few weeks. On her own and in her own plane, and she comes home with some great photos. But this year she has a problem, her plane stalls and she crash lands in who-knows-where Alaska. She is hurt, her plane is in pieces, and her stuff is scattered for what looks like miles. She has to get her tent up so she can protect herself from the frigid cold of overnight.

Michael has been alone in Alaska for five years and he likes it that way. After a terrible event in the city, Michael has moved to the wilds because he doesn't like being around humans anymore. When he heard the plane crash, he thought no one could have survived and he would make his way to it and see if he could salvage parts for his own plane. He was not expecting to find Mallory alive.

As Mallory heals and begins to trust Michael, feelings begin to grow between them both. There have been sparks between them from the beginning, but this sizzle lives just under the surface. As they grow closer, Michael seems to pull back because he is still living in parts of his past and he cannot let it go. He feels guilty for what they are feeling towards each other because he knows when it is time for Mallory to leave, they both will get hurt.

Can Mallory move on with her live when she leaves Michael? Will Michael be able to forget what started with Mallory? Will there ever be a chance for Mallory and Michael?

I was glued to this story from the beginning, it was intense and scary, but I found I couldn't put it down. I had to know what happened next in the wilds of Alaska. The only thing I wanted more of was the ending, but I guess it ended the way it should have.

Yes, this is the same author who wrote the Thoughtless series with Kellan Kyle but there is no Kellan here. It is a different story and Mallory is a religious person and she prays to God to keep her safe from being eaten by wolves and bears. And her faith is what helps her survive. I don't think it takes away from the story at all. So don't let that keep you from reading this great story about Mallory and Michael.

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/F Romance

Mallory is a photographer who loves nature. While her family doesn't quite understand why she loves it, she is done explaining her job and her love of it to her family. When she's flying to her next destination, she runs into trouble. While she doesn't know her next steps, she knows that she wants to live.

Michael is living off the grid. After a traumatic experience, this ex-doctor decided that people were not to be trusted. When he finds Mallory, he knows that he can help. Michael is a tricky character to get to know. He's incredibly closed off and at times, I wanted to scream at him. He was so infuriating.

Overall, this was not like the other S.C. Stephens books that I've read. This was much more dialogue than romance. They were forced friends who became real friends. However, they lacked chemistry for me. Also, both were so timid in how they approached their relationship that it kind of dragged on.

While it was a well-developed story, it missed the mark for me. I wanted a more involved relationship between these two. More than the push and pull of what could have been, might have been, or might be.

Mary Jo☆☆☆
Mallory's a freelance photographer who spends a few weeks every winter at her remote Alaskan cabin. Only this year, the weather doesn't cooperate, and she crashes her small plane in the wilderness. Surviving the crash, now Mallory must survive the elements, which includes wolves and bears.

Michael finds Mallory and takes her back to his cabin. During the course of the winter, Michael and Mallory forge an uneasy friendship, then a true friendship. Michael can't let go of his wife's death and can't commit to anything long-term with Mallory.

Mallory knows that Michael is the one for her, but she respects his decision to live his life in seclusion while she returns to her life.

The real question is, does absence make the heart grow fonder? Or is it just something people say when they don't know what to say?

S.C. Stephens is a bestselling author who enjoys spending every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. Her debut novel, Thoughtless, an angst-filled love story featuring insurmountable passion and the unforgettable Kellan Kyle, took the world of romance by storm in 2009. Stephens has been writing nonstop ever since.

In addition to writing, Stephens enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading fabulous novels, loading up her iPod with writer’s block–reducing music, heading out to the movies, and spending quality time with her friends and family. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her two equally beautiful children.

Connect with S.C.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Under the Northern Lights by S.C. Stephens to read and review.

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