Title: North of Need
Author: Laura Kaye
Release Date: November 1st, 2011
Genre: Adult Contemporary Fantasy Romance
While attempting to escape the agonizing memories she associates with Christmas, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband and collapses in tears against the snowman at the sight of what she’ll never have.
Called to life by the power of Megan’s tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity.
Megan is drawn to Owen’s mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things, and her heart opens enough to believe he’s a Christmas miracle. But this miracle comes with an expiration before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow’s grief and learn to trust love again, or she’ll lose Owen forever.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: If you have followed along with my blog or reviews you have probably figured out by now that I don’t read contemporary. I just don’t like it; my everyday life is ordinary so I want my books to be extraordinary and take me somewhere else! Before all of you contemporary lovers get offended, let me just say that there is nothing wrong with the genre at all. It is just not for me. I bring this up because North of Need did have fantastical elements that I loved, but it read much like a contemporary novel would. I was hesitant going in just because I had heard that about this book, but I was happily surprised by how much I enjoyed reading North of Need. I would classify it more as a crossover book between fantasy and contemporary and it had just enough of the supernatural to keep me content.
The mythology in North of Need was fascinating; I remember hearing a little bit about the Anemoi from reading Greek mythology, but I immersed myself back into the subject after reading this book. Laura peppers the mythology through the book at just the right moments so you get just enough information to follow along with who is who and how gods in this world came to be, but you are not overwhelmed with information. I appreciated the balance between the mythology and real life relationships that formed throughout this book.
The main relationship we see develop is between Megan and Owen. Megan is a widow who still mourns her husband two years after his death. She has been living a half-life since he died. Filled with grief, she still carries the burden of his death on her shoulders. I cannot imagine what kind of emotional turmoil she must be feeling when she meets Owen and her heart reacts to his presence. The guilt she feels is overwhelming at times and my heart broke for her. She feels as though she is betraying her husband by wanting another man and is having a hard time moving past that lump in her throat. Laura paints Megan’s pain so well; it is hard to not empathize with her situation. I loved watching Owen learn how to help her heal and realize that she can be happy again.
I knew I loved this book because whenever I picked it up to read it I had a smile on my face. It is a great book to just get lost in for a while. The best words I can use to describe this book are: warm and sexy. The male protagonist is just the sweetest man, err I mean god. He is so careful with Megan, treating her like she is the most precious being on Earth. That love seeps out of the pages and right into your heart. There was not a slow burn with Megan and Owen though; their passion was white hot from the beginning. But lust quickly turned to love, and Owen slowly mended Megan’s broken heart one piece at a time. The fact that it releases in November is perfect since Owen is a god of winter. While reading, I found myself wishing for snow to fall so I could curl up by the fireplace and sink into this world.
Overall, I am in love with this book. I did not go in expecting to enjoy it half as much as I did, but Laura sucked me into the lives of Megan and Owen so fully I could not put the book down. I am so interested to see the other three stories of this series when they are released. If you are like me and don’t read a lot of contemporary but want to just test out the genre, this book would be a great opportunity to do that. Or if you mainly read contemporary but want to have a little fantasy in your life, than North of Need fits that mold as well. It has a little something for lovers of multiple genres and one I will be on the lookout for in the future. I can’t wait to see whose story the next book, West of Want, will bring us.
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for letting me read this ARC through NetGalley.