Under the Northern Lights

Under the Northern Lights

From the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Thoughtless series comes a sweet, thoughtful romance set high in the Alaskan wilderness. Mallory Reynolds is a driven woman fueled by her passion for photographing wild animals in remote locations. Every year she makes a trek deep into Alaska, but this time the unthinkable happens: she crash-lands after her plan...

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Title:Under the Northern Lights
Author:S.C. Stephens
Rating:

Under the Northern Lights Reviews

  • Jo - *✽*•.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•*✽*

    Mallory has two loves in her life, photography and flying her plane. She particularly loves photographing landscapes and wildlife. Her favourite place to do this is in North Alaska. Each year she makes a trip up there in Fall and stays for a few weeks enjoying the serenity of this special place in the world.

    For Michael this unique place is his home. I guess you could call it his sanctuary. It is a place he seconded himself to five years ago after he desperately needed to be alone, to close himse

    Mallory has two loves in her life, photography and flying her plane. She particularly loves photographing landscapes and wildlife. Her favourite place to do this is in North Alaska. Each year she makes a trip up there in Fall and stays for a few weeks enjoying the serenity of this special place in the world.

    For Michael this unique place is his home. I guess you could call it his sanctuary. It is a place he seconded himself to five years ago after he desperately needed to be alone, to close himself off from everyone and everything. He has become self sufficient and enjoys the peace it offers him.

    On what should have been a routine flight for Mallory turns into her worst nightmare when she crashes in the middle of nowhere. She is always prepared for any possible scenario but she never imagined this could happen. Her survival instincts kick in and although is is a struggle, she knows enough to keep herself safe and warm for now.

    When she finds herself in danger she feels completely conflicted about protecting herself and having to harm the animals that she loves so dearly. Just when she feels her life flash before her eyes, a saviour comes and rescues her. Mallory meets Michael Bradley. Michael heard the plane go down and never dreamed anyone could have survived the crash, he was shocked to come across Mallory and manages to get her safely back to his cabin to begin her recovery. She is surprised to find out that he lives here year round and has done for a while. It is a very simple and almost primitive way to live.

    She is desperate to know more about him and what led him to live this way. He may be forthcoming when it comes to helping her but he is very much a closed book when it comes to his personal life. Unfortunately for Mallory, she is going to have to stay with Michael until Winter has passed by, then he can fly her to the closest town.

    Mallory soon adapts to this new way of life. Michael is very self sufficient and resourceful so she is in safe company. For Michael, sharing his space with someone takes some getting used to but he finds he enjoys being around Mallory. He has never really felt lonely in his cabin but now he can’t imagine not having her there. The more time they spend together, the more he begins to open up to Mallory. She finds out what led Michael to live this way and the heart breaking way his life changed so suddenly. She may not agree with the way he decided to deal with the tragedy that affected him but she understands why he feels the need to be alone.

    Underneath all of this grief is an incredibly talented and beautiful man. He has denied himself happiness for so long and she wishes that he could open himself up to love again. Mallory is falling for this mountain man and she may have been keen to leave when she first arrived but now the thought of leaving him alone again feels unbearable.

    I absolutely loved every moment of this story. This broken man literally has a woman fall out of the sky into his life and he’s feeling emotions he hasn’t felt in years. Nothing was rushed in this story, everything happened slowly and naturally. Loved this!

  • MELISSA *Mel Reader*

    4 Stars!

    (ARC provided by Montlake Romance)

    -“Love is the most precious commodity we have, and... even if it’s temporary... it should be cherished.”

    Mallory Reynolds is a woman with a lust for life. She lives in a small town in Idaho and works as a photographer. She liked to photograph animals in their natural environment and often traveled to remote landscapes untouched by man. Her job was unpredictable at times and even though she knew it could be dangerous and risky being out in the middle of n

    4 Stars!

    (ARC provided by Montlake Romance)

    -“Love is the most precious commodity we have, and... even if it’s temporary... it should be cherished.”

    Mallory Reynolds is a woman with a lust for life. She lives in a small town in Idaho and works as a photographer. She liked to photograph animals in their natural environment and often traveled to remote landscapes untouched by man. Her job was unpredictable at times and even though she knew it could be dangerous and risky being out in the middle of nowhere alone, she craved the unknown and loved the challenge. Every year she looks forward to her annual trip to the Alaskan wilderness. This year on her way to her location she encounters a storm and her plane stalls and goes down. She barely survives the crash and is hurt and scared. She's trying to stay optimistic when her savior arrives in the form of a beautiful mountain man named Michael who lives in a cabin near by. He's a sad, mysterious reclusive man who shows her kindness in her time of need.

    Michael Bradley has been content living alone for the last five years. He'd isolated himself and was disconnected from society living in seclusion. He lived a simple life that he thought he was okay with. Then Mallory enters his world and everything slowly begins to change as they create a friendship and strong bonds form. She makes him happy, but he has to keep her at arms length. He can't let himself get too attached when his heart isn't available and their situation is temporary.

    Mallory goes from wondering how she's going to survive to adjusting to living in the wilderness. Michael rescued her and she felt safe with him. As their connection grows being with him feels natural. He was such a good man, it was so easy to care about him. As they begin showing affection in small ways, she wants to open her heart to him. She never imagined how much he would mean to her, or how much she'd want him and long for his tender touch. As the temperatures outside dropped, things between them started heating up. Could she spend months with him and resist falling in love? She began to feel like he was made for her and their meeting was fate. She feared after the snow thawed she'd probably never see him again. She'd be leaving to go home, and he would stay. How could this be over when they were only just beginning. She wasn't ready to go their separate ways and say goodbye. She knew if he'd only give them a chance they could have an amazing life together.

    -He was everything I’d ever wanted in a man.

    -“The way you care for me... makes it hard to resist you.”

    -All it took was the tiniest touch to set off the spark.

    -I wanted him more and more.

    -I felt something crack inside me. Walls I hadn’t even known I’d been erecting were crumbling to pieces, shattering into oblivion, and all I was left with was... feeling, emotion... love. I cared for this man more than I wanted to admit, and broken and bruised as he was, I desperately wanted him to care about me too.

    -I would never be able to forget this man.

    Under the Northern Lights by S.C. Stephens is a slow burn survival, second chance romance with a lot of heart. It's about healing and taking a chance on love. It's an emotional winter love story full of sexual tension, and near death experiences involving wolves, bears, and the elements of Alaska. This couple had a pattern of pushing forward and then pulling away, but when they finally came together it was worth the wait. I really loved these characters, and enjoyed getting something completely new and different from S.C. Stephens.

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

  • Mindy Lou's Book Review

    This had some seriously scary moments. Mallory is a wildlife photographer and she spends a couple weeks every year in the Alaskan wild lands trying to capture pictures of as many animals she can. Just the idea that she pilots a plane all by herself is scary enough. I can't imagine then spending weeks in a tent and risking her life with all the wildlife that surrounds her for pictures. It's pretty fascinating. Then the unthinkable happens. Her plane crashes.

    5 years ago Michael left New York to li

    This had some seriously scary moments. Mallory is a wildlife photographer and she spends a couple weeks every year in the Alaskan wild lands trying to capture pictures of as many animals she can. Just the idea that she pilots a plane all by herself is scary enough. I can't imagine then spending weeks in a tent and risking her life with all the wildlife that surrounds her for pictures. It's pretty fascinating. Then the unthinkable happens. Her plane crashes.

    5 years ago Michael left New York to live off the land in Alaska. He's running from something from his past, lost his faith and wants nothing to do with civilization. When Mallory's plane crashes near his cabin, he is forced to spend time with her until she is able to return back home. He must protect her form the elements and wildlife.

    There's no way you won't be completely drawn into Mallory and Michael's story. There were so many moments that I was hanging onto the edge of my seat. It was exciting and adventurous. I have to admit, I would love to live in the wild like this, just once. I probably wouldn't last a month but it's something I've always thought I would want to do. Second best thing is reading about it.

    The only thing I didn't exactly love about the book was the reason for why Michael chose this life. It's a trope that isn't a favorite of mine only because that usually means their some pushing away between the main characters. And there is. This is a slow burn and appropriate for this couple. The good thing is there was plenty of other exciting things going on besides their relationship.

  • Bookphenomena (Micky)

    UNDER THE NORTHERN LIGHTS was an intense story that didn’t just centre on two characters, there was virtually no-one but them. This made for a surprisingly deep story with all the feels.

    Mallory was a independent type of woman, flying off into the wilderness once a year to take photographs which she’d made a career out of. Mallory got into serious trouble and Michael was the quiet saviour. Michael was a complex character but a really good guy, which is my hero-kryptonite. The interplay between th

    UNDER THE NORTHERN LIGHTS was an intense story that didn’t just centre on two characters, there was virtually no-one but them. This made for a surprisingly deep story with all the feels.

    Mallory was a independent type of woman, flying off into the wilderness once a year to take photographs which she’d made a career out of. Mallory got into serious trouble and Michael was the quiet saviour. Michael was a complex character but a really good guy, which is my hero-kryptonite. The interplay between these two characters was important and was well written in my opinion as they went through the business of survival. I found their whole story quietly compelling.

    There was enough going on in the story to make me not want to put this down which seems curious considering their isolation. The slowly building friendship and chemistry made me feel their emotions and I wanted everything for these two.

    This was a beautiful standalone romance that captured my heart and mind. I could read more like this any day.

    I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

    This review can be found on A Take From Two Cities blog

    .

  • ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰

    Mallory is on her way to the Alaskan wild. She does that every year. She goes up there to take pictur

    Mallory is on her way to the Alaskan wild. She does that every year. She goes up there to take pictures of wild animals. That's her job and her passion.

    But this year the weather is not on her side - an unforseen storm makes her crash the plane.

    She has to fight injuries, bears, wolves, and the horrible cold weather for a very dangerous while. But then she's saved by Michael. He heard the plane go down and made his way through the snow to see what's what.

    He's been living out here for five years.

    But why?

    Mallory is fascinated by the man. She doesn't want to ask him, but since they have to stay in his cabin until spring, she might get him to talk about his life .... and she might fall for him - but he's never going to leave this place - or can she convince him to start living again?

    I'm such a huge

    fan - he's still my number one book boyfriend of all time - so anything that follows in his footsteps will have a hard time with me ... But I will definitely try ... almost anything.

    I'm the biggest hater of anything to do with religion! And since I unfortunately read some reviews of this book on goodreads, I was pretty sure I was going to hate this story.

    And yeah, the praying and touching-her-cross-necklace starts pretty early into the story and it pretty much never stops - it only gets worse once she tries to find out how Michael lost his faith .... I didn't like it. Not one bit.

    BUT - I also really wanted to keep on reading because I wanted to know why Michael checked out of his old life and what happened to him and how they would fall for each other and how the story would end.

    It was hard - there was a lot of praying and faith talk. It would've been too much for me with almost any author, but it's a book by Kellan's mom and it was somewhat exciting here and there, so I didn't want to stop reading. But I constantly felt like some missionary wanted to recruit me for their cult. Ewww.

    But when we look past the whole faith sh*t. The story wasn't really all that amazing either. Nothing I haven't read in dozens of wilderness/snowed-in romance books before. Yes, it definitely had its exciting and suspensy and dangerous and romantic and heartbreaking and adorable and fun moments. But I was expecting so much more. So much more emotion and love and surprise. There's almost nothing here. No real sexiness, just some church-camp kind of tame kissing. The whole quiet and serene atmosphere has this 'holy' kind of feel to it. Ugh.

    The end was better - once Mallory finally leaves, it got a bit better. I even cried some tears.☺

    If I had to say anything about how this book would be sold/marketed, I would either sell it exclusively as a Christian Romance (ewww). Or have a very atheist editor go through it again and remove most of that praying and god stuff and add a bit more excitement and love and chemistry, maybe even a few chapters from Michael's POV

    OK. I don't want to make future readers run away screaming. Please read this book. It's a pretty ok snow adventure romance thingy. There were definitely good moments. But for me, today, there was just not enough to fall in love with this book and the people in it. Sorry.

    ... another thing that bothered me - and it's just me being weird again, I know that ...

    Some authors use expressions that they learned back home, from grandma etc. and it's totally ok to use them in your books, BUT if you do, I think only one character should use them, not all of them. Especially when they're strangers from different parts of the country and haven't grown up together!

    In this case (like in all of her books) it was EVEN STILL & SO LONG AS. Ugh, I hate these two expressions!

    ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Wendy

    Mallory is a wildlife photographer facing one of my own biggest fears...Every year she travels through Alaska to take pictures of the animals. This year though, the plane she is flying herself (how kickass is that !!) goes down. Damn I hate flying !!!

    Thankfully she lives, and is saved by a mountain man :P

    Michael has been running from his past and living a secluded life in Alaska for the last 5 years.  Mallory (literally) crashing into his life forces him to change his ways. She is depending on h

    Mallory is a wildlife photographer facing one of my own biggest fears...Every year she travels through Alaska to take pictures of the animals. This year though, the plane she is flying herself (how kickass is that !!) goes down. Damn I hate flying !!!

    Thankfully she lives, and is saved by a mountain man :P

    Michael has been running from his past and living a secluded life in Alaska for the last 5 years.  Mallory (literally) crashing into his life forces him to change his ways. She is depending on him to keep her safe...

    This was definitely an adventurous read and there were times I was sitting at the edge of my seat. The romance part was a bit too slow burn for me though... It wasn't anything like the "Thoughtless" series. That's not to say that it wasn't good...just very different.

    I also wasn't a huge Mallory fan. She came off as a bit pushy and I really don't like that trade in my heroines... It reeks of desperation. Also the religion parts...not a huge fan.

    Michael was a great guy, though he had his own hang-ups to deal with. All in all, I enjoyed this story but it didn't blow me away like I hoped it would.

  • Jemima

    Here's the thing, I would honestly read just about anything this author writes.

    I might not love them all but I will read them. why? Because Kellan Kyle? That man will forever be one of my favourite book boyfriend. *Be still my beating heart

    And it is because of him that I always have high hopes when it comes to a S.C. Stephens's book. And it is also because of that man that I will be a tad partial towards the

    Here's the thing, I would honestly read just about anything this author writes.

    I might not love them all but I will read them. why? Because Kellan Kyle? That man will forever be one of my favourite book boyfriend. *Be still my beating heart

    And it is because of him that I always have high hopes when it comes to a S.C. Stephens's book. And it is also because of that man that I will be a tad partial towards the author.

    Having said that, Under The Northern Lights is not something I will be reaching for again.

    Here's another thing, I love a slow-burn romance..I mean who doesn't right? All that angst? But this one was so disappointing!

    I think by the end I was like "that was what I was waiting for?! Tsk Tsk!".

    Under The Northern Lights was interesting. I like the whole 'adventurous' wilderness aspect of the storyline. I really enjoyed the thrill of the whole 'scary and dangerousness of being out in the wild unknown'.

    So there you have it: Under The Northern Lights was not my favourite book by S.C. Stephens.

    There was just something about it that didn't satisfy me.

    NO, it was not the 'religiousness' of it. To each their own.

    I just feel like Mallory and Michael's story was not worth the wait. I was kind of hoping for the unbelievable sizzling chemistry...which wasn't there.So yes, I'm kind of bummed out about it because I was really hoping to fall absolutely in love with these two.

  • marilyn

    The idea of a photographer crashing her plane in remote Alaska and being found by a mysterious mountain man was what made me interested in this book. Surviving the crash, badly hurt, in freezing weather and then being found by this man, to be taken back to his cabin, Mallory was in for a long winter, without anyone but that man knowing where she was and that she had survived a plane crash. I was interested in knowing about this mountain man, Michael, why he was living out there alone, and what M

    The idea of a photographer crashing her plane in remote Alaska and being found by a mysterious mountain man was what made me interested in this book. Surviving the crash, badly hurt, in freezing weather and then being found by this man, to be taken back to his cabin, Mallory was in for a long winter, without anyone but that man knowing where she was and that she had survived a plane crash. I was interested in knowing about this mountain man, Michael, why he was living out there alone, and what Mallory could learn about living for months in a remote Alaska.

    I really was not very fond of Mallory overall though because she was pushing, kept pushing, and would not take no for an answer. This had to do with her deciding she wanted a relationship with Michael pretty quickly and since he didn't want a sexual relationship with her, Mallory eventually got Michael to agree to making out and bathing in front of each other. I just don't get it, these two people are adults, filling a cabin with sexual tension and it just didn't ring true to me. Mallory should have accepted no for an answer but would not back down on that issue and several other issues concerning Michael. All of this is going on with Mallory also spouting her Christian beliefs and expecting Michael to change because "God".

    I think I was the wrong audience for the book and the sexual tension and decisions might appeal to readers who like this type of romance so I'm giving the book 3 stars. Mallory made some dumb mistakes like forgetting her weapon and not shutting a door and things like that while she was mentally obsessing over thoughts of Michael's body and that kept this book no higher than 3 stars...the romance just seems a bit juvenile to me.

    Thank you to Montlake Romance and NetGalley for this ARC.

  • Kristy K

    Even though this book is very readable (I flew threw the pages), I felt the emotions and connection to the characters were missing. While Michael’s story was tragic you never really get to connect to it because it’s told so fleetingly. Mallory irritated me some and parts of her story felt so pointless (like the part with her ex-husband- why was this even in here? He was so clingy and almost creepy in his inability to hear “no.”).

    I also was conflicted by the part religion, specifically Mallory’s

    Even though this book is very readable (I flew threw the pages), I felt the emotions and connection to the characters were missing. While Michael’s story was tragic you never really get to connect to it because it’s told so fleetingly. Mallory irritated me some and parts of her story felt so pointless (like the part with her ex-husband- why was this even in here? He was so clingy and almost creepy in his inability to hear “no.”).

    I also was conflicted by the part religion, specifically Mallory’s Christianity, played in this. It seems like purely a plot device to make us see how broken Michael was. She preaches about God and says prayers, etc but then she engages in a lot of things that are against what the Bible says. So I’m genuinely confused what the point was because it was too secular to be a Christian romance so it felt out of place.

    I enjoyed S.C. Stephens'

    series and had high hopes for this one, but unfortunately it fell short for me. If you are looking for a good contemporary romance set in Alaska, I recommend

    .

  • Bridgett

    Unfortunately,

    gave me none of those things except...wilderness. Th

    Unfortunately,

    gave me none of those things except...wilderness. This was a poorly written, elementary attempt at ?Christian? romance. Had I known it was faith based, it never would have landed on my

    list, as I have zero appreciation for preachy novels. From the moment Mallory's plane stalled, and she grabbed the cross pendant on her necklace, I had suspicions I was going to dislike this novel. I was, regrettably, correct. But, oddly enough, my distaste wasn't because of the faith-related content. The story never really got preachy. In fact, although there was praying and several God discussions, the religious aspect almost seemed more like a contrived, plot point than something the author was personally pushing. It felt...empty. Regardless, it should have been labeled appropriately.

    What I actually ended up disliking were the endless pages of Mallory's internal dialogue...it was like reading a manic's verbal diarrhea--a multitude of thoughts that had no connection, and which were about as interesting as a grocery list.

    This book would have majorly benefited from also including Michael's POV. Perhaps it would have added some depth and substance. I'm genuinely befuddled how such a well-established author could have written such a poorly put-together novel. There was zero chemistry between the two protagonists, Mallory was an obnoxious dimwit, there were sections of the story which seemed to lead nowhere and were then left unanswered (i.e. when Mallory lost the 5 gallon bucket in the river, made a big to-do about how much she dreaded telling Michael, and then never did so at all...what was the point?). Beyond that, it was very clunky...the same words and thoughts written over and over and over and over again. So much of this story was extraneous material which should have been cut during the editing process.

    I don't necessarily require graphic sex scenes in romance novels. A few are fine, but after awhile, they become tiresome. How many ways can one describe penetration? Having said that, I was dying for

    to happen. The middle school-like kissing, then the sudden cessation of said kissing due to intense feelings of guilt, became a total drag. I was intensely bored. How many times can you read about heating bathwater, or checking animals traps? (Side note: I loathe trapping.)

    Sure, there is the occasional bear or wolf...but they bring no tension or fear to the story. It reads more like a Lifetime movie.

    And don't even get me started on the medical scenarios. Apparently, in Alaska, you heal from a deep puncture wound, one which nearly went through your entire thigh, mind you...in about a week. And infection? What's infection? Michael is a DOCTOR, yet he wasn't worried about an incident which would cause a cesspool of bacteria to be introduced into the bloodstream. And what kind of doctor doesn't keep a stash of antibiotics on hand? Oh, and another question...what did Mallory use for her menstrual cycle? I sincerely doubt Michael had tampons hanging out at his cabin.

    Sorry, fellow readers. I genuinely have nothing against romance novels...this particular offering was just so unsuccessfully executed, particularly the lack of development...both in the plot and it's characters...it was laughable at times.

    Can't and won't recommend this one.

    Publication date: April 30, 2019

    Review published: April 26,2019

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