Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Kara Braden | Cool Off in Canada with THE LONGEST NIGHT

July 15, 2014

Kara BradenTHE LONGEST NIGHTThe middle of July in Arizona means it’s been steadily creeping over a hundred degrees for the last two months. What better time to dive into a book that’s set in the snowy winter wilderness of far northwestern Canada? While a lot of you live in areas of the country where you’ve got to shovel snow and de-ice your windshield, I assure you, after twenty-plus years of living in Arizona, I’d trade in a heartbeat!

My heroine, Cecily Knight, went a step further. After getting out of the Marine Corps, she moved up to the middle of nowhere, Canada, so far outside the little town of Pinelake that she uses a small plane to do her grocery shopping. Everyday chores for her are a matter of life and death. She has to have enough fuel and firewood to stay warm through the winter. Every time she goes out, she’s surrounded by threats, from falling and breaking her ankle to encountering a bear face-to-face.

Living under a constant challenge is her coping mechanism. By surviving, she proves that she’s strong enough to get through another day without anything bad happening to her or anyone else around her. It’s not a healthy coping mechanism, but it works for her, for seven years. She gets pretty good at it, in fact. She takes up hunting, barters with her neighbors, and starts building a life writing children’s books on an old manual typewriter.

And then, Ian Fairchild comes into her life like an unwanted storm.

Poor Ian. He grew up in a politically connected Virginia family with a tradition of military service. Instead of going to West Point, he went to law school, moved to Manhattan, and withdrew from most of the family—all but his older brother, Preston.

Ian thrived in Manhattan. He loved everything about the city, from the nighttime lights to the never-ending party that was his social life. As a prestigious criminal attorney, he knew how to play a crowd and get attention from the press. And if, after his car was run off the road, he had to abuse his prescription painkillers to stay on his feet through one more closing argument or one more charity dinner, that was the price of his lifestyle.

He was as ill-suited to life in the Canadian wilderness as a duck is to ice skating.

But isolation was the best way for him to get clean from his addiction to painkillers. Preston arranges to send Ian to Cecily—and carefully doesn’t tell Ian the details of the recovery plan. Ian had been expecting a luxurious spa, perhaps with skiing or snowboarding or at least hot tubs out on a deck overlooking the mountains.

He hadn’t even packed for the sort of snow that was measured in feet, not inches, and wouldn’t melt until late spring. He hadn’t been expecting a cabin in the woods, instead of a luxurious retreat. And he certainly hadn’t expected an ex-marine who barely came up to his shoulder—one who wasn’t going to put up with his usual tricks.

With two such strong personalities, snowy nights, a crackling fire, and close quarters are a recipe for either romance or disaster. What better way to cool off in the middle of July (or to celebrate the winter, in the southern hemisphere!) than to see what happens in THE LONGEST NIGHT?

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