by Anna del Mar
Published: August 22, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, Military
When a mysterious stranger is your only hope...
The scars of the past have left their mark, both physical and emotional, on former military pilot Seth Erickson. Off-grid in the far reaches of the bitter Alaskan wilderness, he wants only to be left alone with his ghosts. But he can’t ignore a woman in need—beautiful, stranded and nearly frozen with fear.
Summer Silva never imagined that the search for her missing sister would leave her abandoned on a wintry back road, barely escaping with her life from a cold-blooded killer for hire. Now, hiding out in the isolated cabin of the secretive wounded warrior who saved her, Summer knows she must do what she fears most. Putting her trust in a stranger is all she has left.
All defenses are down
After a fiery first night together, Seth and Summer are bound by a need as powerful as a Bering Sea superstorm—and vulnerable to enemies just as fierce. For Seth, reawakened by desire, there is no sacrifice too great, no memory too dark, to keep Summer safe. But murder and treason lurk everywhere and Summer may not survive Alaska’s ruthless winter.
ReviewSummer Silva is desperate to locate her sister, return her to her stepmother, and plant herself firmly back into her life in the heat of Miami. Alaska, however, has other plans. Greeting Summer with cold temperatures, wind, and snow, the only perk of being stranded is the handsome man who rescues her, if only he wasn't so surly. Seth Erickson doesn't let people in, he runs his company from afar, fields all visits from his family, and he certainly has no time to rescue a girl who doesn't belong in Alaska during the winter. Somehow she gets past his defenses and he past hers, their lives intertwining in a short time. He's a wounded warrior, a stranger, but Summer trusts him with her life and her sister's life. Seth will do whatever he can to keep her safe, but the Alaska winter brings with it treason, revenge, murder, and a cold that seeps into the bones and threatens their newly constructed relationship.
"Summer Silva," he murmured, his thumb idling over the corner of my mouth. "I've got your back. Nothing bad will happen to you under my watch. And always remember: you're way too stubborn to let Alaska kill you."
I will pick up anything written by Anna del Mar and The Stranger is a perfect example of why. Told with incredible detail, Anna del Mar weaves multiple story lines together to create a world filled with romance, suspense, and adventure. The characters, like always, are strong on their own and forces of nature when together. Summer is a hot head, to say the least, and I loved how much personality that girl had. She never gave up even when the situations allowed for it and she fought for what she believed in. She's the kind of heroine all novels should have, not in need of a knight to rescue her, but rather bettered by the one who wants to fight alongside her. Seth is a decorated, wounded hero who hasn't let go of his past, he's all hard edges and moodiness, as well as a total alpha. On paper these two don't make sense, but their unique circumstances bring them together and make for an incredible romance. There's several secondary characters with vibrant personalities that took the story to another level, bringing different relationships and scenarios into the mix. I loved how unique every character was and the dialogue that came with their interactions. Then there's the story line, consisting of several plots that only Anna del Mar could make work in one novel. There's family angst and drama, suspense by the bucket loads, and a slight mix of the supernatural. Don't let that keep you from opening this book though, think more like the movie The Proposal than anything strange. It brings a cute element to this serious story and allows for some humor. The circumstances are unusual, a little over the top, and highly entertaining to read. All of this is set in the dangerous winter only found in Alaska, with planes and helicopters, bears, freezing temperatures, and the odd traditions that come with the sheltered state. I loved that each plot was fully delved into, from start to completion, allowing the reader to understand the main character's personal plights and background, as well as see how they combine together. I never guessed what was going to happen next and I loved the feeling of being immersed in the suspense alongside the beautiful power couple.
It was obvious: he loved to fly. He belong in the sky just as much as he belong to Alaska.
Summer and Seth have the kind of chemistry that can be felt while turning the pages, their romance is real and the smut scenes only bring it even more to life. The suspense heightens every emotion, taking the reader on a ride filled with heated moments between the characters and terrifying moments that test their patience. Like many of Anna del Mar's previous novels, The Stranger has steady pacing, extensive detail, and requires a level of dedication to finish, but in the end it is always worth it. The Stranger can be read as a standalone and I highly recommend it to all readers of romance and suspense, especially those that love a particular breed of strong characters. I really enjoyed this novel and cannot wait for the next to come from Anna.
She didn't understand that beyond wanting her, I wanted to consume her like the air I inhaled into my lungs and convert her into the oxygen that powered my life. She no idea that she already circulated through my bloodstream and pumped through my heart, fully integrated into my biology.
About Anna Del Mar
Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy the limits of their broken bodies to protect the women they love. She is the author of The Asset (Carina Press), the first novel of her Wounded Warrior series and three other novels scheduled for release during 2016.
A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.