When two strangers are trapped in a blizzard, heat rises.
Haunted by what he lost in Afghanistan, Captain Jack Turner is at a crossroads. While the last place he wants to go is the Arctic, at least the routine mission gets him out from behind his new desk. But he starts off on the wrong foot with the Canadian Ranger guiding him across the forbidding and dangerous land, and Jack would rather be anywhere than sharing a tent with Sergeant Kin Carsen.
The Arctic is in Kin’s blood, and he can’t seem to leave the tundra behind. He wishes he could live openly as a gay man, but the North isn’t as accepting as the rest of Canada. Although he’s lonely, he loves his responsibility as a Ranger, patrolling the vast land he knows so well. But he’s on unfamiliar ground with Jack, and when they’re stranded alone by a blizzard, unexpected desire begins to burn. Soon they’re in a struggle to survive, and all these strangers have is each other.
Rating: Narration – A; Content – B-
Keira Andrews’ Arctic Fire is a novella-length story (the audio clocks in at just under three hours) set in the Arctic Bay area of Nunavut (the northernmost territory of Canada). The author manages to pack in a surprising amount of character detail and a solid emotional punch for such a small page-count, and although the romance does happen quickly (over just a couple of days), it’s got the feel of a slow-burn. The descriptions of the desolate, starkly beautiful landscape and the intense cold are really evocative, making the setting stand out and almost feel like a character in itself.
Recently returned from Afghanistan, Captain Jack Turner is struggling to adjust to life stateside following the loss of someone close to him while on his last tour, as well as to deal with the burnout and nightmares that continue to haunt him after his experiences in the desert. His CO has noticed his general distraction and thinks it will be good for Jack to get back in the field, so he sends him on a five-day trip to the Arctic Tundra on a fact-finding mission relating to the Navy’s plans to establish a refuelling station around the now-abandoned former mining town of Nanisivik. Jack is not exactly thrilled at being sent to a small town in the back of beyond with nothing much to do, sub-zero temperatures… and no booze allowed. At least there’s no sand.
You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.