Stevie Carroll's Reviews > Arctic Wild

Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert
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really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed-elsewhere

Previously reviewed on The Good, The Bad, and The Unread:

It’s refreshing to see a bisexual romance in which the gender of neither character’s previous partners constitutes The Big Issue between them. Following some of the themes of the first book in this series, we once again get to see one of the pilot-guides from Barrett Tours showing off the wonders of Alaska to tourists and finding romance with one of them in the process. This time our flyer hero is Toby, whom we’ve met briefly before, while our tourist hero is Reuben, a lawyer and nothing at all like any of the previous bunch of tourists we met. Not that Reuben is particularly keen on the idea of the trip at first – he’s broken up with the partner who was supposed to be accompanying him, and now the other couple who’d booked on the trip are backing out as well. Persuaded that he really needs to take the trip, even if he’s the only one who does, for a whole host of reasons, Reuben agrees to leave his workaholic ways behind – mostly – and try to just relax and enjoy the view. Which includes, it turns out, his young pilot.

Toby doesn’t normally go for older men, although he’s not above flirting with the clients in order to make the trips more fun and earn a few extra dollars in tips, but he does have to admit to himself that Reuben has a lot going for him – other than his aim of keeping up with work rather than simply taking in the scenery and the scheduled activities. Toby is determined to behave, however. He needs this job in order to support his father and his two younger sisters, as the main wage earner in their family. He’s had it drilled into him by his father that a ‘real man’ is self-sufficient and doesn’t need help from anyone – a line that keeps getting repeated, even now that Toby’s father is permanently off work due to an industrial injury.

The trip is going reasonably well, until the plane hits some adverse weather, and Toby winds up with a couple of bad fractures trying to get Reuben to safety. When it becomes obvious that Toby is going to need care for some weeks, Reuben volunteers to stay on and help out. His teenage daughter is feeling starved of attention and some together-time might help her as well. Toby’s not happy with the arrangement, but goes along with it due to a lack of other options – and the younger of his sisters hits it off with Reuben’s daughter as well.

I really enjoyed the interactions with the younger women in both men’s families, and it was refreshing as well to see a Jewish protagonist in an LGBT+ romance. We still need more diversity beyond sexuality and gender. Toby’s attitude jarred at times, some situations can only be worked through with help from others, and he has the example of his father to show that this is as true for his own family as it is for other people. I also saw some of the solutions to Reuben’s family situations long before any of the characters did. Overall, though, this was a very satisfactory addition to what is continuing to be an enjoyable series.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 25, 2019 – Shelved
August 25, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed-elsewhere
August 25, 2019 – Finished Reading

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