Title: An Alaskan Christmas
Series: Wild River #1
Author: Jennifer Snow
Format: Paperback/eBook, 384pages
Publication: Sept. 24, 2019 by HQN
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
In Alaska, it’s always a white Christmas—but the sparks flying between two reunited friends could turn it red-hot…
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…
Erika is a workaholic surgeon and when her father, who is also her boss, forces a two week vacation on her before an important clinical trial she is set to lead, she's not happy. Deciding to try and reconnect with her childhood bestfriend Cassie, she heads up to her hometown of Wild River.
Reed was always intrigued by his younger sister's friend Erika but she's even more stuck-up than she used to be, until he has to help her and his sister get home after a couple of drinks. Having her help on his Search and Rescue crew has brought them together but circumstances and secrets could keep them apart.
Their tattoos had been more than just words at one time and their shared history had to mean something.
First in the Wild River series set in Alaska, I thought the author did a great job transporting the reader there. There are a couple search and rescue missions that Erika and Reed go on that help set the scene and environment, also giving a good winter wonderland feel that fits the holiday title. While I thought the environment setting was well written, I struggled with Erika and Reed's relationships with secondary characters. It's at first set-up for Erika to reconnect with her childhood bestfriend Cassie, but Cassie is not around Erika for most of the book and I missed their friendship, even while this gave more time to Reed and Erika. I also thought more interaction between Reed and his friends was needed to create more of the small town vibe and give the story more life. I just generally missed secondary characters helping to round out and fill the story.
Crazy as it sounded, nothing else seemed to exist when he was holding her. Both an amazing feeling and a terrifying one.
Our leads Erika and Reed do spend a lot of time together, this definitely helped their chemistry but the middle of the book and the majority of their time is sex scenes. I thought the sex scenes did good on emotionally connecting the characters at times but, I personally, was looking for more of them outside the bedroom; I found myself skimming some of the bedroom scenes at times.
Reed and Erika did have chemistry and I liked how low angst most of the story was, the author did a good job of creating real world problems, Erika being a workaholic due to how her father treated her after her mother died and Reed sticking around his hometown to help his sister and mother out and search for his missing father, and how this created two different worlds that put their happily ever after in jeopardy.
And it surprised him that two people who were so incompatible on the surface could be so perfect together at the core.
There was a hint of secondary romance between Reed's sister Cassie and his friend Tank that will draw you into (along with Cassie's narcoleptic dog) wanting to read the second of the series. The main characters' relationships with secondary characters wasn't filled out enough for me and the sex scenes were a bit too abundant but Erika and Reed's chemistry and emotion was there.
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