Ellis Hunter was 18-years old when he left his home and two brothers in Alaska and never looked back. He did a military stint and landed in Los Angeles, living an aimless but satisfying life as a dog trainer to mostly wealthy married women. Brielle (Bree) Ives is a musher who lives in isolation with her beloved huskies in Anchorage. Will Hunter, who runs an animal rescue clinic, has become like a father to her so when he calls with a desperate message and later turns up missing, she reaches out to his sons for help. Aware that Will’s relationships with his sons were fractured, Bree was still unprepared for their indifference about his situation. Ellis, however, couldn’t get past the guilt of letting her set out alone to find him and returns to the place he left that brought him so much misery many years ago.
the heart of the story…
Ellis is not only estranged from his father but his two brothers as well. This family couldn’t be more dysfunctional and the things that got them to this place took some time to be revealed. Bree’s history is equally tragic, especially as her face is disfigured from circumstances of her childhood. But these two people find some common ground to set out in the brutal and unforgiving Alaskan wilderness to find Will Hunter. Bree’s skills with her dogs is extraordinary and one of the most compelling aspects of the story. Things get dangerous not only from the weather but a sinister force who’s determined to thwart their search. And, somehow these two people find strength from each other as well as an unexpected romance.
the bottom line…
I’m averse to cold weather and Alaska’s extreme temperatures just takes this to a whole new thing! It becomes another character and the setting is a major force on its own. You might wonder why I decided to read this story given my aversion but I’m a diehard fan of the author and have loved everything she’s written. She didn’t fail me as I was transported (reluctantly) into the search, feeling the effects of the brutal weather and the awful circumstances Ellis and Bree ended up in. But what captured my heart was something I never saw coming…those sled dogs! With names like Moonbeam, Diggy and Norte to name a few, (including a Chinese Crested called Peanut) and you get a sense of their personalities, which I hadn’t associated with the breed. I fell for all of them and they became my heroes. This trilogy has a continuing story arc so the mysteries aren’t all solved here. But Bree and Ellis get closer to the truth and I’m now hooked to find the answers. The story turned out to be much more than I’d anticipated and one I enjoyed, including the unconventional romance.
- Release Date: February 23, 2021
- Series: Northern Rescue #1
- Page Numbers: 247
- Publisher: Self