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Monday, November 24, 2008

Northern Lights

Northern Lights by Christie Cole
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Review by Cholla

When Judith Caldwell leaves urban Washington, DC to accept a teaching position in Michigan’s remote Upper Peninsula, is she hoping to recapture an idealized memory of summer vacations spent in that beautiful wilderness, or is she defying her fiancĂ©, Kent, who has put their wedding on hold?

The moment Judith sets foot in Michigan, a hotel fire destroys her possessions. Instead of teaching high school, she is assigned to an elementary school where she must learn to relate to young children. The Andersons, with whom she will be living, are no longer the happy family she remembers, and most disturbing of all… her old playmate Paul has matured into a ruggedly handsome and strangely secretive ladies’ man who seems determined to upset Judith’s equilibrium.

The attraction between Judith and Paul is immediate and powerful, but each comes to the relationship with hidden scars and insecurities. Both have lost fathers, and Paul’s hero, his older brother, has died in a freak mine accident. Commitment seems impossible because Judith is engaged to another, while Paul is hiding an indiscretion from his past so dark that no one speaks of it.

As the year unfolds, the couple confronts many challenges, including a near brush with death as history tries to repeat itself. In spite of the obstacles, Judith and Paul’s forbidden passion heats up the northern nights and leads to a surprising conclusion.

It sounded so perfect to Judith, to get back to her roots, prepare for her wedding… and then it all falls apart. Or rather, fate changes its mind on her and takes her – and everyone with her – down a road of its own choosing, like it or not. Without waiting a second longer than possible, Christie Cole dives right in with the action. From a hotel fire in the very beginning to other shake-ups along the way, the story progresses quickly and entertainingly. Despite this not being an erotic romance, the tension and passion between Paul and Judith is scorching. It’s obvious they want one another, but so much stands between them, keeping them apart. But so much can happen in the course of a year…

Northern Lights is written in the first person, switching occasionally between Judith-- who is the main narrator, and Paul. I love the way I was treated to Paul’s view of things now and then throughout the story. It adds to the tension between the two of them as well as the understanding of the story as well. I’ve come to discover lately that a lot of people do not like the first person point-of-view, however Ms. Cole has a unique voice through Judith, one that seems to take you away and makes you feel as if she’s looking back on the story rather than narrating as it happens.

Filled with enjoyable characters that really do grow and change throughout the story, you’ll be thankful you took that trip to Copper Country.