Tag Archives: Alaskan setting

Great mix of slow burn and outside tension adds to a wonderful romance

Up north EbookUp North by Allison Temple

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great read, it had just the right amount of tension versus enjoyment and the slow burn element fit perfectly within the narrative.

I really liked the setting too, Alaska is a place which fascinates me and I know I’ll never be able to visit so I love to see it through the eyes of a book character.

Here it’s somewhere our unwilling hero Damien aka David is sent when he has a blow out on the red carpet at Cannes with his ex-boyfriend director (that no-one knows about) and he really doesn’t want to go.

However, he soon falls in love as much with the location as he does for the solid strength and steady nature of the resort’s fishing guide Jack.

There’s massive troubles on the way though, because Jack has no clue that David is also Damien, world famous action hero actor, and for a lot of the book I was just yelling in my head for David to tell him.

Of course, he doesn’t and the proverbial hits the fan and this was another element where I really appreciated Allison’s narrative because Jack doesn’t just roll over and forgive David. He rightly points out he doesn’t really know him at all and heads off to try and re-find his own life’s direction,

David does get his head out of his backside though and makes the changes he knows he should have done years ago, he comes out and starts putting his fame to good use and he plots to find Jack and try and make things right.

I loved the final few chapters as both men realise they they have the potential for something special if they’re willing to put in the work. There’s no magic solutions, just honest emotions and genuine feelings which blossom.

The ending – and Epilogue available via Allison’s website – are lovely and round out the story beautifully. Now I’m looking forward to hopefully getting Vin’s story next!

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Cover Reveal: Up North by Allison Temple

Up North | Allison Temple

A Compass Stars Novel

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Release Date: July 26th, 2021

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Blurb

The last thing Jack Spencer wants to be is a fishing guide for rich tourists. But with a sister in need of help and nothing but a rusty fishing boat to his name, he takes a job at The Wild Eagle Lodge, Alaska’s newest luxury resort.

When a scandal rocks his career, movie star Damian Marshall feels like the whole world is watching his every move. That is, until he meets a gruff fishing guide who doesn’t seem to know who he is. Desperate for escape, Damian grabs at the chance for anonymity with both hands.

Away from the pressure of studios and the media, Damian and Jack grow closer. But as sparks fly and scandal follows Damian north, Jack will need to decide if he can love a man he hardly knows, or if this brush with fame is too hot to handle.

Up North is a 77k contemporary MM romance novel. It features a movie star on the run, a fishing guide who has never been anywhere, and bears of all sorts. HEA guaranteed.

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Excerpt

“I’m sending you to Alaska.”

The next morning, Roberta glares at me from behind her desk. The expression is one hundred percent do not fuck with me, and I resent it to the core of my being. If anyone’s been fucked with, it’s me.

“Alaska?”

“You’re lucky it’s not somewhere farther,” she says. “After your outburst last night, the studio is very unhappy. A bar fight with your director is not the kind of publicity they want right now.”

“It wasn’t a bar fight. He was being a drama queen. And I’m not exactly tap dancing for joy either.” In fact, I’m pacing on the rug. Sitting still is impossible. My whole body feels electric with anxiety.

“Yes, but you don’t stand to lose three hundred million dollars when this film flops. The premiere weekend box office numbers aren’t good.”

“That’s not my fault. If they hired someone who knew how to write dialogue better than a middle schooler, we’d be in much better shape.”

“That may be.” She knows as well as I do the script for Shadow League 4 was written and rewritten by no less than nine people over the last two years. Over the course of a bloated nearly-three-hour final cut, my character, supposedly a mafia son out for revenge, had done everything from drive a tank through the jungle to perform open-heart surgery on his assassin girlfriend while they were hiding out from the bad guys on a glacier. It was nonsensical. “But you calling your director a—” She glances down at a legal pad on her desk. “—talentless prick jockey in front of the entire world means it’s easy enough to pin the failure on you. And then you decide to pick a fight with him at a dive bar.”

“How many times do I have to tell you it wasn’t a fight? He made it—”

She cuts me off. “And that, in turn, will make it very difficult for you to work on any future franchises at this level again. How badly do you want to keep your job, Damian?”

She’s right. It’s already starting. The headlines this morning when I checked them still included recaps from the Cannes incident, but also featured new eye-catching questions like Damian Marshall in Barroom Brawl and Is it Time to Cancel Damian Marshall?

I sink into a chair. “Hawaii is farther. I could go to Hawaii.”

Unfortunately, though, Roberta is bulletproof. She’s been around the block too many times to be swayed by my appeal. Instead of melting and booking me a jet to Honolulu, she arches a perfectly plucked eyebrow—quite the feat considering Roberta’s face hasn’t moved in at least the last thirty years—and says, “Would you rather it be North Dakota?”

I cross my arms over my chest. “No need to say hurtful things like that. I thought we were friends.”

“I’m never friendly with the talent. Wouldn’t want you to get the wrong idea about how this relationship works.”

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About the Author

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Whether she knew it then or not, Allison has been a writer since the second grade, when she wrote a short story about a girl and her horse. Her grandmother typed it out for her and said she’d never seen so many quotation marks from a seven-year-old before. Allison took that as a challenge and has tried to break that record in all the stories she’s taken on since then. It’s good to have goals, right?

Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s cutest team of rescue pets. She tries to split her time between writing, community theater stage management, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean the house.

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Giveaway

To celebrate the steamy cover reveal of Up North, Allison is giving away 3 advanced e-copies!

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Release Blitz: Alder’s Hart By Misty Walker

Alder’s Hart | Misty Walker

Brigs Ferry Bay #2.5

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Blurb

I’m a loner.
Never getting too comfortable or allowing anyone to get too close.
So when I log onto the hook-up app on my last night in Ketchikan, Alaska,
I assume it’ll be a quick lay before I go south for the winter.
Until I see the man who shows up at my door.
He’s young, wide-eyed, and perfect.

All I want is a one-night stand with no attachment,
I should’ve known things would be different with a man named Hart.
After the best night of my life, I’m desperate to run.
Except we’re snowed in.

I try to keep him at a distance.
But there’s something about him that has me opening up,
letting him in against my better judgement.

Suddenly I don’t want to be alone anymore.
I want to be with him.
My Hart.

*Adler’s Hart was originally a 15k word short story with a happy for now. This version (36k words) has been revised in order to give Adler and Hart their happy ever after.
*Adler’s Hart is book 2.5 in the Brigs Ferry Bay Series. Brigs Ferry Bay is a steamy MM romance series. While each book can be read as a standalone, to get the full experience, they’re best read in order. Enemies to lovers, hurt comfort, age-gap romance, and so much more. Fall in love with the charming small-town gay romances of Brigs Ferry Bay.

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Excerpt

Adler

“That makes thirteen.” Jeff, my boss, sets the last of the one-hundred-dollar bills in my hand.

“Thanks, man.” I stuff the cash in my pocket and shake his hand.

“You plannin’ on coming back in May?”

“Not sure. Depends on where winter takes me.”

“No plans?” He folds his arms across his chest, resting them on top of his considerable belly.

“Nah. Heading south before the snow hits too hard, maybe Seattle or Portland.” My skin itches to leave this conversation. Never have been good with small talk. It’s why I don’t stay in the same place too long. You stick around, people start asking questions. Try to get to know you. I have no interest in that.

“All right. Well, take care. You’re always welcome back next season.” We shake hands one more time, and I hightail it off the dock.

I make my way back to my temporary housing, a little motel in the heart of the village, taking in the sights for the last time. I walk underneath the large arch that welcomes you to town. It reads Welcome to Alaska’s 1st City. Underneath that, Ketchikan is in large block letters, and on the bottom in a cursive script is The Salmon Capital of the World.

The business storefronts are all brightly-colored, as if it can make up for all the liquid sunshine this place gets—over a hundred and fifty inches a year. Then add in snow, and it makes for a pretty gloomy climate. If I were to settle anywhere, it would be here. At least then I’d have a reason to be so surly. No one expects you to be nice when you’re deficient in vitamin D.

Ketchikan has been my home for the last few months. It’s longer than I like to stay in one place, but the money was good, and the fishing was better. Earned more than enough to spend the winter doing whatever the fuck I want.

Which is probably a whole lot of nothing, like every other winter.

I thought I’d found a home once. I had friends. Archer, Mason, and I owned a boat catching king crab up north. It was the closest to settled I’d ever felt in my life.

But there was an accident, and now that dream is as dead as Mason is. He and Archer were together, and Archer had even planned on proposing. Then the ocean took Mason, and not long after, I lost Archer to Brigs Ferry Bay, Maine.

Haven’t talked to him in a while. Probably should call him.

I unlock the bright teal door to my motel room and flop down on the bed. This place is a dump. Torn-up carpet, threadbare bedding, a TV as wide as the screen is big, and a lumpy mattress.

The only thing that makes it my own is the duffel I keep my clothes in and the wooden cross lying on the nightstand. Not because I’m particularly religious. It’s just all I have left of Mom and Dad, other than the memories, and I wish I didn’t have those, so I tote it around to remind me of where I’ve been and what I’ve survived.

I pull out my cell phone, some fancy thing I bought since I don’t have a computer and the motel doesn’t offer Wi-Fi anyway. I pull up my contacts, or more accurately, contact.

Archer Warren.

My finger hovers over the call button as I debate pressing it. Last time we spoke, he was packing up to move to Maine to help his sister out while she went through a divorce.

Fuck it.

“Adler?” His deep voice sounds over the line.

“Hey, Archer. How’s it goin’?”

“Good. Really good, actually.” I hear the smile in his voice, and it’s like a balm to my soul. “How are you?”

“I’m fine. In Ketchikan. Just finished up the king salmon season, getting ready to head out.”

“Oh yeah? Good fishing?”

“Fuck yeah. It was a blast. But tell me why things are goin’ so well for you?” I ask in an effort to divert the conversation.

“I met someone.” His tone deepens and slows, guilt dripping from each syllable.

“You’re allowed.”

“I know, but it’s been hard.”

“Mason wouldn’t want you to pine over him for the rest of your miserable life.” I try to comfort him. Not sure it works.

“You’re right.”

“He make you happy?” I ask, curious about the man who could stop my mopey friend from wasting away.

“He does. He actually reminds me a lot of Mason.” He chuckles.

“Found yourself another bubbly son of a bitch, huh?”

“Sure did. Doesn’t look anything like him, though. He’s shorter, smaller, has a great ass.” I hear a scuffle, and then, not to me, he says, “Ow. What? You do.”

“It’s real good to hear you’re doing so well.”

“What about you? Anyone special in your life?”

“Archer,” I warn.

“What? I’m just asking. I thought maybe hell had frozen over, and you were ready to put yourself out there.”

“Not going to happen. And if I was putting myself out there, I wouldn’t tell you.”

“Fine. Have it your way and die a miserable old bastard.”

“Thank you. I will,” I grumble.

“You could always come to Maine for the winter. There’s not much fishing this time of year, but it’s beautiful.”

“I’m a West Coast kind of guy. You know that. Think I’ll head to Seattle or Portland. Hang out with those freaks for a while.”

“You mean sit alone in a hotel room for a while.”

“Maybe. Listen, I gotta go. I’m happy for you. Mason would be, too.” I hope he hears the sincerity.

“Thanks, Adler. Don’t be a stranger. Let me know where you end up. Someone should keep tabs on you.”

“I will.”

We hang up, and I sigh loudly. Wasn’t lying when I said I was happy for him, but something about it makes my belly ache, and I don’t know why.

That’s a lie— I do know. I’m jealous. Not that he’s found someone to spend his life with. I’m jealous that he lives his life in the open.

About the Author

misty walker

Misty Walker writes everything from dark and delicious, to sweet and spicy. Most of her books are forbidden in some way and many are age-gap, because that’s her jam.

She’s lived quite the nomadic life, never staying in the same place for long until she met her husband. They’ve recently settled in Reno, NV with their two daughters, two dogs, and two hamsters, because everything’s better in pairs.

Misty is fueled by coffee and the voices in her head screaming for their stories to be told. Which is why the coffee is necessary, because there’s only so many hours in a day and who needs sleep anyway?

Social Media

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authormistywalker/

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Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Misty-Walker/e/B07VWS6VKF

GR:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19382300.Misty_Walker

Twitter: @mistywalkerbook

Tiktok: @authormistywalker

Giveaway

To celebrate Misty’s new release, we are giving away 3 e-copies of Adler’s Hart!

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Adler's Hart Teaser 1- Available

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