Reviewed by Vicki
AUTHOR: Keira Andrews
PUBLISHER: KA Books
LENGTH: 91 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 24th, 2016
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.
Note: This gay romance from Keira Andrews features emotional repression, hurt/comfort, adventure on the tundra, and love where you least expect it.
Arctic Fire first appeared in the M/M military bundle Unconditional Surrender in 2014.
This is the story of Jack and Kin, and a few days in the Arctic. Jack is sent to the small community of Arctic Bay, on a trip my husband would refer to as a boondoggle. Jack is lost and floating, suffering from PTSD, not fitting in at home or at work. His commander sends him to Arctic Bay to check out the area for a potential training or refueling base, but really, it’s just to give him something to do. Jack has a bit of an attitude, and isn’t overly friendly to Kinguyakii Carsen, then local Ranger assigned to showing him around. Kin picks up on Jack’s attitude pretty quickly, especially when Jack admits this trip is a waste of time. Kin, a teacher by day, is irritated he’s taken time off from work to show a jackass around. But they both suck it up and head out on the tundra. Things don’t go as either man planned, as they experience danger which draws them close together. Jack finds the healing he needs, and Kin the lover he needs, all in the frozen north.
I loved both of these characters, damaged men are kind of my thing. And these guys have issues. Both are suffering from PTSD in their own way. Jack more obviously so, due to his recent time in Afghanistan, but something from Kin’s past is hurting him. Both are serving their country in their own way, Jack in the military and overseas, Kin in the Arctic, protecting the northern border. There are major differences too. Jack is out and open about his sexuality, Kin is not at all. Jack is fairly uneducated about the Arctic, and unfortunately shows it in his untimely comments to Kin. Jack is rash, he runs toward danger in Afghanistan only to be injured, then repeats that same reaction in the Arctic, to not quite the same degree, fortunately. Kin is calm and caring, and loves his home. They are both attracted to the other, but fight it, not knowing the other is gay. It takes a small tent and a blizzard before they relax and get with the program!
I love books that teach me something, and this one totally did. The area this book is set in is unfamiliar to me, as is the language. I loved the scattering of Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit people, that Kin uses, and his gentle correction of Jack when he gets something wrong. I loved Jack’s use of military acronyms, and the amusement Kin finds in that habit. I loved the slow unfolding of Jack’s story through brief flashbacks and explanations, and I loved that we never really got the full story of what happened to him. I loved the sex, I was just thinking recently that so many times in m/m books the ultimate sex act is penetration, and I was wishing for a book that showed caring sex, hot sex, can NOT include that act. This book gave me what I was looking for! Great sex, without penetration. It worked!
This is a really good book. I’m a big fan of Keira Andrews, and this short book is a great example of her excellent writing. This story was perfect as it was, but I kinda wish there had been more. Not because it NEEDED more, but because I’m greedy and I loved Kin and Jack’s story. I want to know what happened next! This had everything I need in a tight little package. Great characters, a great story, an interesting setting, and a great ending. Loved it!