Captain Jack Turner is trying to make sense of his life and his Army career after being seriously injured in an incident in Afghanistan. When he’s sent up to a remote town in the Arctic Circle to reconnoitre the site of a potential new Army base, he doesn’t expect it to be anything other than a routine mission. Everything changes when he meets Kin, the part-time soldier charged with showing him around the area. Circumstances contrive to throw Jack and Kin closer together than they could have expected, and force them to make a series of life-changing decisions – not least what to do about the intense attraction they feel for each other…
There’s nothing like a good story about men in uniform, but with military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan scaled down and all but over for US and UK forces, writers need to find different backgrounds to keep their Army tales relevant and contemporary. Kiera Andrews does that admirably in Arctic Fire, and has clearly put in plenty of research to make the Army jargon, authentic and the small-town life in Kin’s home town on Nunavet feel real and yet somehow detached from the rest of Canada (which, I suppose, is pretty much how most of us picture the Arctic). Kin’s an outsider, from a community that isn’t accepting of gay men, and there’s also a culture clash between himself and jaded Jack, who’s used to more tolerant attitudes and a faster pace of life. Jack, meanwhile, is both literally and metaphorically scarred by the improvised explosive device that wounded him and killed one of his men, and haunted by his failure to prevent it. When Jack and Kin are trapped by a blizzard and forced to huddle together for warmth (yes, it’s a cliché, but it’s used well here), their initial prickly relationship turns into something more intimate. It’s the old story of opposites attracting, but they’re both believable, rounded characters and their growing lust is nicely handled. Mutual suspicion turns to passion, the protective barriers both men have built around their hearts start to come down, and the resulting sex is hot enough that it ought to melt the ice around them!
This is a quick, engrossing read, and fans of hurt/comfort fiction and those who want a fresh take on Army life are bound to enjoy Artic Fire.
Artic Fire is available from Kindle Unlimited in the US and globally. You can find out more about Keira Andrews on her website. I was given a copy of the book by Indigo Marketing and Design in return for an honest review.