An Alaskan Christmas
by Jennifer Snow
Release Date: 9/24/19
Publisher: HQN Books
Book #1 in the Wild River series
Number of pages: 384
Source: Net Galley/Publisher
Contemporary Romance/Holidays M/F
Read 11/20/19 to 11/22/19
If there’s one gift Erika Sheraton does not want for Christmas, it’s a vacation. Ordered to take time off, the workaholic surgeon reluctantly trades in her scrubs for a ski suit and heads to Wild River, Alaska. Her friend Cassie owns a tour company that offers adventures to fit every visitor. But nothing compares to the adrenaline rush Erika feels on being reunited with Cassie’s brother, Reed Reynolds.
Gone is the buttoned-up girl Reed remembers. His sister’s best friend has blossomed into a strong, skilled, confident woman. She’s exactly what his search-and-rescue team needs—and everything he didn’t know he craved. The gulf between his life in Wild River and her big-city career is wide. But it’s no match for a desire powerful enough to melt two stubborn hearts…
This is a new-to-me author and I’m so excited to read more of her books. A few weeks ago I was invited by the publisher to participate in a blog tour for some of their Christmas titles. I’ll be honest, I probably would have missed this one if that wasn’t the case. I love holiday romances, but I have a lot of books to read right now and this was an unknown author to me. I really liked the description though, so decided I had to make room on my schedule. I’m so glad I did.
Erika is a compassionate person, but she doesn’t really know how to show that compassion. Losing her mom as a teen and having a dad that withdrew into himself made her inability to express her emotions even harder for Erika as she progressed in life. Not only did she throw herself into school and then work, she also let any personal connections she had fall by the wayside. The only personal connection she craved was one from her father, the one she was chasing to no avail.
While Reed’s upbringing was much harder that Erika’s in some ways, his single mother struggled to pay the bills and give her kids all they wanted, he had the love and support of his sister and mom no matter what. This makes Reed better able to handle emotions. But he still has his own issues he hasn’t dealt with that are perhaps unhealthy. His father disappeared years ago. Most people assumed the man took off on his family, but Reed couldn’t accept that explanation and always held out hope of finding his dad while out on one of his search and rescue missions. Like I said, not so healthy.
Somehow Reed and Erika round each other out perfectly. He teaches her to let go a bit and she helps him to understand that there’s more to life than an occasional hook-up. Not only are they good for each other, they also entered each other’s lives at the right time. Or, I should say, re-entered. Growing up in a small town, Erika was Reed’s sister’s best friend. Although Cassie and Erika haven’t spoken in years, the time eventually melts away when Erika comes back to town to take a forced vacation.
There is a lot Erika and Reed have to go through before they can have their HEA. They are both extremely stubborn so need to learn to compromise. Cassie calls Erika out on her need to please her father more than once, and that needed to be done. But Erika has to come to certain realizations on her own. And Reed has to exercise patience…something he didn’t know he had.
While there is a thing or two that I didn’t feel got a full wrap up, I can’t help but think that may come in another book. After all, I’m sure (hoping, pleading) Cassie will get her story told. All in all, I’m happy to have found a new author and hope to get to some of her back library very soon.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**