Northern Lights

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Northern Lights

When Judith Caldwell’s fiancé, Kent, puts their wedding on hold to accept a once in a lifetime job offer, an all expense paid year in Mexico to excavate the land, Judy decides to head back home to Michigan and accepts a teaching position. She just can’t understand how her fiancé is putting his work before them planning their wedding, but she isn’t going to sit idly by and pine over him. She is going to keep herself occupied by returning home even if Kent thinks it’s a bad idea. He never wanted to take the trip to see where she grew up and now is the perfect time as any for her to return to her roots.
After she arrives in Michigan, she settles into the Quincy Hotel. Falling asleep that night she never imagines what kind of whirlwind her life is going to go through. As she is dreaming, she hears a distant voice yelling something in the background. Startled awake from her dream, she sees a stranger standing next to her bed, a firefighter, coming to carry her out of her room to safety. The hotel is on fire and her life is in danger. She wonders if this is the end for her and she burrows her head deeper into the firefighter’s muscular chest. 
Settling finally into another place, the White Birch Motel, she finds out it is purely a dump, but thankfully it has vacancies nonetheless.
Next day, she hops a ride with one of the locals and he drives her to where she is going to stay the entire school year, a near and dear family, the Andersons. When she arrives there, she sees they are no longer the happy family they used to be. Not having any other place to go, she decides to stay and make the best of it. 
If matters aren’t bad enough for poor Judith, she sees the firefighter, Paul, again in one of the local bars and can’t believe her eyes when she finally finds out who he really is.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and was pulled into it from the very first page. As it unfolded, Ms. Cole had my full attention the entire time. I wanted to find out what was going to happen to Judith now that she was going through some major forks in the road and I wondered if she was ultimately going to still marry her fiancé, Kent. I loved the tangled web of a storyline that the author wrote around Paul and I was hoping that everything would finally work out for him also. Ms. Cole revealed bits and pieces of the puzzle to me as I read it and I found myself eager to turn the page to see what was going to happen next in the story. This is the author’s debut romance novel and I assure you, it won’t be her last. I would definitely recommend this story and I look forward to reading more from this talented author in the future.

Book Blurb for Northern Lights

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 fiancé, 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.

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2009 4.00