Expected Release Date: September 30, 2013
Imprint: Ever After
Author’s Website: http://ejrussell.com
My Source for This Book: Gift from the publisher
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: N/A
Favorite Tropes: Estranged Lovers, Physical Disability (Limp)
Nothing gives art fraud investigator Luke Morganstern a bigger rush than busting forgers, the low-life criminals who dare victimize true artists. But when his latest job sends him to a remote cabin in the Oregon Coast Range, he’s stunned to discover the alleged forger is his former lover, Stefan Cobbe, the most gifted painter Luke has ever known.
Stefan, left homeless and destitute after the death of his wealthy partner, doesn’t exactly deny the forgery — he claims he doesn’t remember, an excuse Luke can’t accept.
But Luke’s elderly client suggests Stefan may be telling the truth and presents another possibility – a dark presence in the woods, a supernatural fury simmering for decades. Luke must face down his fear of the uncanny – and admit his feelings for Stefan – if either of them is to survive.
What Worked For Me:
- I’m not usually a fan of estranged lovers in romance, but the exception to the rule has always been for novellas — it’s a great way to avoid the whole “whirlwind romance” thing, and it leaves a lot of wiggle room for some rather baggage-laden history. In this particular case, I loved all of the baggage that came with Stefan and Luke having once been romantically involved.
- I admit, I’m a sucker for a romance protagonist who has been severely injured. Throw in a limp and a touch of PTSD, and I start to wonder if the author’s been peeking at my Christmas list. 😉 Seriously, though, I found Luke to be incredibly sexy, and his phobia and bitterness about the past made him all the more endearing to me.
- I’m also a fan of destitute and therefore somewhat desperate characters, so I fell in love with Stefan almost immediately.
- I adored the paranormal elements. The entire concept was deliciously spooky, and led up to a very exciting ending.
- The writing was superb. The history of the characters was woven in beautifully with the current events of the story, and the ghost tale blended seamlessly with the rekindling romance.
- Though there was only one true love scene, the angst and hopelessness both characters felt leading up to it lent quite a bit of emotion to what was already a sexy scene.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- The only thing that really stood out to me was the booze. I never quite grasped what was so important about that particular blend that it would have had the consequences that it did.
A delicious combination of estranged lovers, art forgery, and a terrifying tale of ghostly possession, Northern Lights was just the tale I needed leading up to Halloween.
Stefan and Luke’s failed relationship years prior and the strain of Stefan’s newest (if not illegal) painting endeavors added the perfect amount of emotional tension, and the chemistry that had brought them together in the past was still quite strong.
I loved Luke, with his phobia of mountain driving and the limp that plagued him daily, and Stefan with not only his painting for passion, but his despair over his failed relationship with Luke and even his stubborn pride that made me fall for him almost instantly.
Recommended for fans of estranged lovers finding their way back to one another, of wounded heroes, and chilling tales of ghostly possession.
A very solid 4.5/5 Stars