Publication Date: 3rd December 2021 (e-pub), 3rd March 2022 (paperback)
Publisher: One More Chapter
All it takes is one moment to change your life . . .
When a cleverly edited video of radio host Lucy Fairweather goes viral, she knows she needs an escape. And preferably somewhere far away.
Where better than Wild Zone – a destination for people who want to experience the Arctic Circle? Owned by the gorgeous but brooding Tommi, Lucy agrees to help with the guests in return for her stay. But getting to grips with her skis is proving harder than it looks.
Far from home and in a winter wonderland, will an encounter with the breathtaking Northern Lights change her luck, in both life and love?
It may currently be the middle of summer, yet I’ve chosen to review a wintery tale.
In Meet Me Under the Northern Lights, we are introduced to radio DJ and party girl, Lucy Fairweather. When her wild ways culminate in some very bad publicity and a lot of drama, Lucy’s friend offers her a chance to get away and reassess her life. The only catch is that the getaway is to Wild Zone Adventure Centre, a wilderness retreat in northern Finland at the edge of the Artic Circle. Maybe not everyone’s choice of holiday destination, but Lucy is definitely in need of a break from her daily life.
I must admit that I found Lucy to be a pretty frustrating character. She has a very obvious self-destructive streak and seems to be completely in denial as to the extent of her problems. However, I quickly realised that her issues stem largely from a lack of self-esteem, not helped by some horrible treatment from her colleagues and some pretty awful online abuse.
The arctic life proves to be a bit of an eye-opener for Lucy but the fresh air, change of scenery and some outdoor activities seem to do her good. Not that she will admit it! Initially, it seems to Lucy that for every step forwards she takes, she then finds herself knocked back a couple of steps due to silly mistakes or careless actions. It was therefore pleasing to see her gradually find her feet and even show interest in the local community radio station.
Her host, Tommi, is an interesting character. He’s a bit of a closed book and I didn’t feel like I really got to know him until the final few chapters. A strong and dependable man, he is the sort of person that Lucy should be surrounding herself with.
Despite the book being light-hearted and fun, the author does not shy away from addressing some serious issues. The book deals sensitively with the issues of cyber bulling and alcohol abuse. It’s all too easy for alcoholism to gradually creep up on a person when alcohol is used as a crutch, and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to Lucy’s descent down that particular slippery slope! When that ungraceful descent is published on social media for the all the country to see, well that’s a bigger hole to have to dig yourself out of.
This book isn’t necessarily a romance, but rather it’s a story of self-discovery and recovery. However, there is a soupçon of romance to warm our frosty hearts.
The setting for the story is just perfect. The author provides a real sense of the climate and isolation in the remote location. The reader gets an idea of both the frosty wonder of the impressive vistas and snow-covered forests, as well as the potential dangers that lurk in such a cold and remote location. The book definitely made me consider the Arctic Circle in a different light – I’m quite interested now to visit and try out some of those invigorating outdoor activities!
Ultimately, this is a charming and entertaining wintery tale, perfect for a night in front of an open fire (or for the middle of a heatwave when you’re hoping a snowy story might bring some relief from the heat!). It’s festive, atmospheric and the setting really is most wonderfully romantic.
A big thanks to Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter and to Netgalley for providing me with a review copy of Meet Me Under the Northern Lights.
Emily Kerr has been scribbling stories on bits of paper ever since she learnt how to write. She works as a journalist and is based in Yorkshire, England.
She can generally be found with her nose in a book, or hunched up over her laptop typing away, though she has been known to venture outside every so often to take part in various running-based activities.
Her book ‘Who Does He Think He Is?’ was named runner-up in the Festival of Romance New Talent Award.