by M. M. Crane
The Fortunes of Lost Lake - Book 2
Release Date: September 27, 2022
Reviewed by PJ
Bowie Fortune has always liked a risky proposition. A bush pilot out in the Last Frontier, flying in and out of places that give most pilots nightmares is what he lives for. That and his off-the-grid home out by Lost Lake, where his family has been living up close with the elements for generations. When his sister dares him to participate in the local version of a mail-order bride contest, he’s not interested—but Bowie doesn’t back down from a challenge. Even when the challenge turns out to be a woman who makes him want every last thing he knows he shouldn’t.
Entering a summer-long publicity stunt in far-off Alaska might seem extreme, but Autumn McCall has always had an indomitable spirit. She took care of her sisters and father after her mother died, and this is more of the same—since she intends to win the contest. Immersing herself in the pioneer lifestyle is one thing, but what she isn’t expecting is brooding, sharp-eyed Bowie with his wicked smile. As the sparks fly between them, will they burn each other alive—or learn how to simmer their way to a much bigger prize...together?
What a fun, heartwarming, adventurous story! First of all, it's set in Alaska which is my new favorite contemporary romance location. Set your book in the stunningly beautiful, rugged, test-your-pioneer-spirit state and I am there for it. Second, it features a reality television, mail order bride contest premise and yeah, I'm totally into that. Third, both Bowie and Autumn are much more complex than they appear at first glance. Another plus! Add unexpected danger into the mix, a quirky, caring community of family and friends, emotional baggage the depth of which I was not expecting, and you have a totally immersive story I couldn't put down.
These characters were so endearing. I loved Bowie's adventurous spirit, his kindness, his humor, and his immediate attraction to Autumn even though the contest was not about romance. I loved his family, how they all embraced their Alaska lifestyle, and how they loved and supported one another...while still maintaining that teasing, snarky, sibling dynamic. Autumn's family was a bit more complex, with an unbalanced relationship dynamic to sort through, but no less staunch in their love and support of one another. I loved how Autumn threw herself into the contest, her competence and determination to win. My heart ached for how she viewed herself in relation to her sisters. It was so satisfying to watch her slowly begin to view herself as others viewed her. And so much fun to watch both Autumn and Bowie navigate the unexpected feelings that slowly developed between them.
The danger Autumn and Bowie faced was an unexpected twist but one that afforded them the opportunity to confront their deepest fears and uncertainties as well as, for Bowie, the secret emotional trauma that had steered his life for too long. Kudos to the author for crafting this unexpected, life-altering scenario that left me with a bundle of feelings, including tears, laughter, breath-stealing anxiety, enthusiastic cheering, and the confidence that these two were destined for a long life of love and adventure together.
If you're looking for a fun, fast-paced, heart-tugging story filled with adventure, witty banter, a community of quirky characters, well-placed humor, plenty of chemistry, danger, and unexpected emotional depth, join Autumn and Bowie in the Alaskan back country in M. M. Crane's Reckless Fortune. It has my enthusiastic recommendation.
This is book two in Crane's The Fortunes of Lost Lake series. You do not have to read the books in order though now that I've met the main couple from book one, I will definitely be reading their story too.