Alaska for Christmas
by Jennifer Snow
A Wild Coast Novel - Book 2
Release Date: October 25, 2022
Reviewed by PJ
Can a hometown Christmas bring together these two polar opposites?
After traveling to all corners of the globe, Isla Wakefield has returned home to celebrate Christmas with her adoptive family. The gorgeous Alaskan wilderness is the perfect place to recharge before moving on to her next adventure—whatever that may be. Too bad that being home means once more butting heads with Chief Petty Officer Aaron Segura, Port Serenity's resident buzzkill.
Isla’s fearless spirit has always infuriated Aaron—but fascinated him, too. Having lost his sister years ago, he’s never understood how some people can live so recklessly. But after a terrifying ice-climbing accident leaves Isla with amnesia, she and Aaron both see each other in a brand-new light. Forgetting the pain of her past makes Isla fearless in a completely different way. She’s not afraid to show Aaron exactly how she feels, yet he can’t help but wonder…will this temporary change of mind lead to a permanent change of heart?
I'm fascinated by amnesia, not that I'd want to experience it in reality or have it happen to someone I love. But in fiction I find it compelling and difficult to resist. That alone would have led me to this book but combine it with the ruggedness of Alaska (my new favorite romance setting) plus an enemies-to-lovers trope, and I'm in.
Jennifer Snow is a relatively recent discovery for me but I've been enjoying the books of hers that I've read. Her characters are well developed, the stories flow smoothly, and her sense of place fully immerses me in the majesty - and danger - to be found in Alaska. I'm also enjoying the nod to a local legend (possibly true?) in this new series.
One of my favorite aspects of Alaska for Christmas is how it explores the positive effects of Isla's amnesia and the impact on her life when she's in essence presented with a clean life slate. Not that it doesn't also focus on the emotional trauma - it does - but it's a much more hopeful, positive overall focus. Without the knowledge of her life history or recognition of anyone in her life, Isla is forced to slow down enough to take a closer look at her life goals, her motivation, herself. And when that new vision turns her in the direction of Aaron, something that never would have happened before, it affords the opportunity to both of them to discard their preconceived notions about the other and open their hearts to new possibilities.
Aaron is so endearing. My heart ached for what his family endured when he was in high school and the continuing disconnect between him and his parents. I love how he chooses to commemorate his sister through his Coast Guard rescue work and how that work results in leading him onto a new path with Isla. They have sizzling chemistry but they also have a sweetness between them that develops into a solid friendship with new parameters. Maybe all that pre-amnesia animosity between them was hiding something deeper that fear kept them from acknowledging all those years? Needless to say, I was in their corner cheering them on the entire way to their HEA, which came about in a grand-gesture way that was the perfect ending for a woman who, before her amnesia, had risked her life on a daily basis and a man who had embraced safety with all that he was.
The surrounding cast of characters is solid and also well developed, giving readers insight into both main characters, both past and present. Isla's brother, Dex and his fiancée, Skylar (Sweet Home Alaska) feature prominently in this story as well as other family members, local Coast Guard teammates, and townspeople. Even with continuing characters, this book is written in such a way that readers new to Port Serenity should have no difficulty beginning the series with Alaska for Christmas. Though I recommend book one as well.
In Love in the Forecast, meteorologist Monica Mallard signs up for Port Serenity’s annual navigation contest as a distraction from recent heartbreak. But when she’s paired with silver fox Captain Keith Beaumont, Monica finds the second chance she never could have predicted.
For fans of seasoned characters, this romance between Monica and Keith (Skylar's widowed father - Sweet Home Alaska) is an absolute delight, proving that there may be snow on the roof but there's still fire in the soul and you're never too old to embrace new adventures...or new love.
Have you read Jennifer Snow yet?
Do you enjoy books set in Alaska?
What do you think about amnesia as a plot device?
One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, October 30 will receive a print copy of Alaska for Christmas.
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