Under the Northern Lights

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 May 2019

Member Reviews


As upsetting as it is to admit this, I just couldn't with this book. This won't be a long review because I honestly didn't make it past 28%. The biggest, single most annoying reason I didn't get any farther was because I was DONE with the repetitive nature of the entire book. 

Repeating something for a dramatic effect is ok. I can live with it, but when it's every.single.page. talking about her injuries and what happened and why she can't move and how she hurt herself and what makes her hurt....blah blah blah. STOP. I know she crashed her plane. We allll know she crashed her plane. Every single paragraph had a reference to pain, to her injury, to the pain that was caused by her injury, to the exasperating feeling of the pain caused by her injury, and of course, the pain that was caused by doing a chore that she thought she could do but failed to realize that her injury prevented her from doing said chore.... because pain. Are you seeing what I am saying? I don't want to hear about it THAT. MUCH. It makes for a long and boring read. 

Get to the meat of the story. Tell me how she is going to fall for this hermit of a man that is supposed to be all dark and mysterious - which, of course, he wasn't. Cue the "I know why you're here and this is no mystery" tune. I think I was just completely frustrated by the lack of any depth or grab to this story. It wasn't original in any aspect either because I could have told you the minute we learned of his profession why he was out here hiding in the woods. It was ridiculous, honestly. 

On top of all of this, it was very religious. I am not saying that there isn't a place for religion in books, but it should have been marketed as Christian Romance because I never would have picked this up if I was going to be reciting passages from the bible. It was way over the top NOT ok in this book at all. Like, not even a little bit. It was absolutely out of place and ridiculous. I obviously didn't feel any connection between the characters because I was out of it from basically the beginning, but the way it was going, it was most definitely not going to work for me. Again, the religious aspect of it really ruined what was possibly left of the story for me. She lost me at sheep.

This whole experience was completely frustrating because one of my top favorite EVER rockstar books gave me Kellan Kyle....all by Miss Stephens. I'm just going to walk away and pretend this never happened. 

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I admit to requesting Under the Northern Lights based on having read other books from Stephens. Had I known exactly what I was getting, I might not have chosen to read it. That being said, I have to say I'm happy to have met this "other side" of Stephens.

The story centers around Mallory and Michael. Mallory's plane crashes (she was flying solo) in remote Alaska. Fearing her chances of survival are slim in the harsh conditions, she's surprised when she's essentially rescued by a mountain man. Michael. He can offer her food and shelter but transportation home has to wait as winter begins to really sink her claws into the area. As Mallory and Michael spend days, weeks, then months together, tending wounds, chopping wood, gathering food and water, they get to know each other quite well. And a romance of sorts begins to blossom.

The story took a while to get going. Mallory's exposition early on, while necessary in "setting the scene", was a bit slow and drawn out. However, the story did eventually take off despite following day-to-day activities. Getting to know Mallory and Michael as they got acquainted as they dealt with the harsh realities of living remotely and off the grid, was interesting. Mallory and Michael spent days holed up inside playing cards as winter raged outside. They also spent days fighting off wolves and grizzlies. I thought Stephens did well in conveying the rhythm of a life lived this way.

The romance was very slow-burning but there were extenuating circumstances behind that pace. And besides, I think the story was more about family and forgiveness than romance so the slow-burn felt genuine. However, I was irritated on occasion by Michael's hesitancy and wishy-washy-ness with Mallory.

Under the Northern Lights had a religious element woven into it. Mallory was open about her faith while Michael was candid about his lack of it. I think the events in the book made it clear that a higher power was at work, whether that higher power be God, the Universe, or Fate. Mallory shouldn't have survived the plane crash but she did. And it seemed as though these two were destined to play a role in each other's lives. However, Stephens was never heavy-handed with the religious element and I never felt she had an agenda.

So Under the Northern Lights wasn't exactly what I was expecting from Stephens. But despite the slow pace at times and my aggravation with Michael, I'm glad I gave this book a chance.
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2 Stars / 2 Steam Fans 

Wilderness, LOADS of religion talk, and neither character was strong enough for me to endure myself to like them. Not my cup of tea. 

This specific video review will be included in the May/June wrap-up. 

For other video book reviews cheeck out my YouTube Channel: Steph's Romance Book Talk.
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Under the Northern Lights creates a uniquely interesting romance, firstly, by having our two main characters be basically the only two people in the story - given that Mallory is rescued by Michael when the plane she is flying alone crashes, the two are stranded together. Stephens artfully writes emotion and love and hurt in this story and executes it beautifully. 

Thank you to Montlake for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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I enjoyed Michael & Mallory's story. I have a hard time with the first person narratives, though. At times this read like a high school essay of "How I Spent My Summer Vacation". I picture this as a lifetime movie, especially with the ex coming into play. Overall it wasn't bad.
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The synopsis pulled me in and I expected something exciting, emotional, and unputdownable. 
What I got was an unrealistic and rather boring story with no connection between the characters.
Mallory’s “faith” would’ve been okay had it been more than touching her necklace and the odd wish/prayer to get in Michael’s pants. It seemed fake and contrived. 
I was also surprised to see a lot of glaring errors in both plot and grammar.
Overall, not a book I would recommend. I’ve read some amazing survival/tragedy/wilderness romance stories and this sadly wasn’t one of them.
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I went into this book blind. I was hoping for another favorite by this author.
The 3 stars is soley for the fact that this author braved all the hatred against faith and added a very small amount of prayer and faith in this romance. The heroine prayed very very shortly a few times and touched her cross. She spoke about her faith in a conversation with the hero.
That's it and people were very hateful and absolutely lied saying it should have been a Christian romance. Come on please just because you hate faith and don't believe shouldn't mean you have to be a liar too.
The romance was one sided though so I can't rate it high at all. The hero gave zero to the story until the last chapter. He lived in the past and the heroine was absolutely 2nd best. He was beta all the way through. He could have been asexual with how he talked.
I felt zero chemistry.
Sorry but 3 stars only for the fact that the author braved having a heroine wear a cross necklace and say about 4 prayers. How dare she? Remember tolerance isn't for Christians.. Only those that don't believe and that's just wrong. #sarcasm
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Mallory Reynolds is a wildlife photographer. Every year, she loads up her little plane and heads out to the wilds of Alaska. Living on her own with the cold beauty of nature surrounding her, she is cut off from friends and family until she makes it back home. Except this time, the unthinkable happens and she crashes her plane in the middle of the wilderness.

Michael Bradley left New York years ago as a self-imposed punishment after something in his past sends him running for the peace and quiet of life on his own terms. When Mallory literally comes crashing down near his cabin, and no hope of reaching civilization until the spring, his serenity is interrupted.

S.C. Stephens creates a gradual love affair with some very scary survival moments to keep you interested. Wild animals, food stores, frostbite...all of these are very real threats to Mallory and Michael, but threats that they face head-on together. The thrill of knowing that they are one small step away from disaster at any moment brings them closer together against their wills. Neither of them is looking for romance but the constant companionship of being stuck together for months without running water or electricity slowly turns into more. As they learn to rely on each other, the heat between them builds.

When I say this is a slow burn, it's a SLLLLOOOOOW burn. For most of the book, the feelings are very one-sided. There is a faith-based feel to this romance as well with Mallory trying to get to the bottom of what happened to Michael and convince him that life and faith are worth having. In spite of the slow development of the relationship, Under The Northern Lights is a page turner as they work together to survive in the Alaskan wilderness. While the ending was a little predictable, who doesn't love a HEA when both parties decide they can't live without the other. This is one book that will charm you while leaving you on the edge of your seat.
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This book has some religious lead in for example the main character wears a cross and prays a lot. Sometimes it is the faith that keeps you going in life. 
Mallory was brought up n a close family even though her job puts her out of contact for months at a time. She did not expect to crash her plane or to meet a man and be rescued. A burly man who moved away from civilization. 

I thought the story was good, however there were sections that moved a little slow for me.

** I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review**
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I thought this was a sweet adventure  romance.  I liked that it took place over a few months of isolation. It allowed me to buy into the couple's growing attraction and eventual love affair.  My only complaint was that I found some of the dialogue a little cheesy.  Still this is a couple you will root for and a story I do recommend.
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In this book, we follow Mallory and Michael who are thrust into a situation that is going to challenge both of them in ways they never thought possible. Its a story of survival, second chances, and finding our place in the world.

This book is very much like a roller coaster. It is slow then picks up, then slows down, then picks up, then slows down. The highs of the story are great. But when the lows hit, it does take some effort to keep reading to get back to the highs.

I have really enjoyed SC Stephens books in the past. The Thoughtless series is one of my favorites. But this one, just was hard for me to get through. I liked the point that she was trying to make and i loved seeing Michael's character develop from a recluse to seeing that there is more to life then the road that he is going down. This was probably the highlight of the whole story. 

This story is not like the other books that Stephens has written so be warned when you are diving into it. It's a book that takes some time to get into and if you don't like the characters, then you may not like the book
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This had such a slow long beginning, that I almost gave up.  It was due to the full monologue at the start.   I didn't realize how important dialogue was until the beginning of this book.  I think even a memory with dialogue would have helped break up the drawn out start of this book.

" . . . I just didn't know you ... noticed. " A smile softened his face.  "I always notice you."

However, I'm glad I kept reading because the moment Michael gets introduced the story truly begins.  Michael's back story is so heartbreaking of why he's in the northern bush.  But Mallory's faith and hope is uplifting and the balm that Michael needs to get out of his misery, but is it enough?

Goodbyes are so hard to write but I felt the goodbye scene in here was very well written.

"Don't be sorry for loving me-don't be sorry that I love you.  Love is the most precious commodity we have, and  . . . even if it's temporary . . .  it should be cherished."

Even though I did end up quite liking this I was left with some basic questions like:  Did Mallory get period.  Did they use birth control?  I know that is a little thing but when they are stranded up north it did leave me questioning simple basics like that.

Great story about faith, hope, love and second chances.

3.5 stars
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This book was very slow for me. I read 60% of it and just couldn’t make myself go on as I’ve been trying to read it for weeks. I didn’t connect with the characters at all. I won’t be reviewing it since I did not finish it.
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I was pleasantly surprised especially after reading the mixed reviews. Hence why I rarely read reviews. I prefer to make up my own mind. Ms. Stephens wastes no time jumping right into the action. UTNL was a heartbreaking love story born of the harshest conditions. I was glad to see the author have her characters “stick to their guns” when it would’ve been much easier to give most of the readers what they wanted. I was amazed that I was so enthralled in a story that 99% of the time only revolved around two characters. The author does an amazing job immersing her readers in the remote Alaskan wilderness.
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I was curious about this book. I love the author and the plot sounded interesting. It fell short for me though. The character, Mallory, seemed pushy instead of driven. She wore on me. Michael had a big life moment that changed him as a person but it didn't play out well. I just didn't care about their romance. It didnt matter to me where their relationship went.
They story had its good points. The landscape was described beautifully. It felt adventurous and wild, There was enough good to it that i didn't put the book down. It just fell flat at the end.
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I was really interested about the plane crash premise and the romance among survival set up. However, the female protag. was too religious for my liking and the overall writing was melodramatic.
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Mallory always finds herself in strange locations , shooting pictures that others rave about. This time they just might be the end of her. When her plan crashes she finds herself fighting off the animals that she loves to take photos of. She runs into an expected complication by the name of Michael, who exactly is this man and is he there to help her or does he have secrets? Thank you NetGalley
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In Under The Northern Lights, Mallory Reynolds wanted to capture images of the wilds of Alaska. Instead, it was her heart that was captured by Michael Bradley, a mysterious mountain man living in self-imposed exile.
A short fun read, Under The Northern Lights is about finding love in the most unexpected place. Both Mallory and Michael were not looking for love. They were content being single. But fate had other plans for them. 

A plane crash is not the best way to meet your other half. Wolves and bears are not the ideal neighbors. Yet, against these odds, Mallory and Michael still managed to find their happily ever after.

Under the Northern Lights is Rated T for Teens.
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I enjoyed this book very much.

It was not what I was expecting based off of this authors previous books but just because it was different doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. 

I first fell in love with S. C. Stephens books through her Thoughtless Series and in keeping with her fantastic writing style, Under the Northern Lights is written well with beautifully descriptive scenes that put you side by side with the characters in this story. 

Mallory’s plane crashes during a terrible storm and she is put to the test by having to survive her surrounding elements and animals all on her own. 
As her situation starts to reach the darkest of hours, her rescue comes by way of a man who lives in the world alone by choice. 

With reasons for living a life of seclusion, Michael becomes Mallory’s savior from her predicament and has all intentions of it going no further than that-despite the obvious attraction to one another. 
But when the two are forced to spend the next three months together until her plane can be fixed, it starts and builds a slow burn that is intense and emotional. 

This books definitely swims in the waters of an insta love denied. The broken man and the woman who can love enough for the both of them with the angst, drama and a little bit of suspense sprinkled in to keep you on your toes. 

As I said before, it was not what I was expecting and that is because there is a religious aspect to it which, in my opinion, toned down the steamy factor in this book. It has more sweet romantic moments as opposed to blush worthy ones. This may be from me comparing it to previous books by this author but again, I still enjoyed it.

It is lengthy but well worth the time.
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Mallory Reynolds is a part-time photographer starting her yearly trip in Alaska to capture the local wildlife.  Her usual trip takes a disastrous turn when her small aircraft loses power forcing her to make an emergency landing.  She is badly hurt in the crash but her survival skills allow her to make it until help arrives.  Help comes in the form of loner Michael Bradley.  Michael has isolated himself in the Alaskan wilderness for reasons he doesn't want to talk about.  The two must figure out how to live around each in Michael's one-room cabin until spring when they can get to the nearest town.

The characters are both strong yet vulnerable people with very strong opinions.  Mallory is a woman set to prove herself.  It shows in the Alaskan trips that she takes on her own, something that I'm sure isn't highly recommended.   She has a strong faith that she doesn't mind showing, compassionate and caring though at times those things come across as pushy or overdone. Mallory's actions beg the question that if she wasn't in such an extreme situation, would she come across as strongly as she does.  Michael, because of the secret he is keeping, is a little less fleshed out until further into the story when he opens up but his actions hint at a man who once was a caring, loving, full throttle person.

The story itself takes a bit of patience to get through.  Ms. Stephens takes the reader through not only her characters' heads via inner dialogue but paints vivid pictures of the Alaskan scenery with flowing prose.   The story goes on for several months as the two a snow-locked into their location with zero interaction for any other source except Mallory and  Michael so there are time jumps of weeks as there is a lot of monotony to be had when you are in a cabin with no electricity for months.  

The heart of the story is the two characters learning about each other and themselves in a situation so outside the norm. Under the Northern Lights is the type of read which asks you to take a look at yourself and ask how you would handle what Mallory and Michael have.  What would it take to have you just walk away from it all?  If you were faced with a do or die situation, would you make it or succumb?
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