Review: North of Need by Laura Kaye



Title: North of Need

Author: Laura Kaye

Publisher: Entangled Publishing




May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

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."

West of Want coming Spring 2012; South of Surrender coming Summer 2012; East of Ecstasy coming Fall 2012


When I started reading North of Need, I was instantly intrigued.  The hero, a god of winter, is a snowman brought to life by the heroine’s tears of grief.  I had to read this!  I don’t think I’ve read a book about a snowman coming to life.  It made me wonder what Frosty would look like if he took the guise of a human.  Armed with the knowledge of Frosty’s fate, I was even more interested to see how the author handled the life cycle of a snowman.  Winter doesn’t last forever, so there would be more tears somewhere down the line.  How everything worked out after that also had my interest piqued.

I loved the start of this novel.  Megan is hiding away from the world, still grieving for her husband, who died two years before.  On Christmas Day, of all horrible things!  Megan feels guilty for John’s death, and she just can’t forgive herself.  She is stuck in a cycle of grief that silently eats away at her, worrying her family and her friends.

Alone in their cabin retreat, Megan is ready for another year of unhappiness without her beloved John.  He was her sun and stars, and without him, she doesn’t feel complete.  She can’t imagine feeling that much love for another, nor can she contemplate suffering another loss.  Once is enough, and Megan is resigned to living a lifetime alone, mourning for something that she can’t trust herself to have again.

After making a family of snowmen in the yard during a freak blizzard, she is shocked by the arrival of a half-naked, very sexy man.  Owen desperately needs her help, and even if he is a stranger, Megan can’t just leave him outside in the freezing cold.  What she doesn’t know is that Owen is an Anemoi, a weather god.  He is a god of snow, and he has come to help Megan move on with her life on behalf of John.  If Owen can earn Megan’s love, he can also become mortal, giving up his centuries’ long existence.  Orphaned at a young age and then betrayed by love, Owen needs just as much healing as Megan.

I loved the beginning of the book.  I even enjoyed the end of North of Need.  It’s the middle that didn’t live up to my expectations.  While I love the premise, I had a difficult time staying engaged in the story.  There wasn’t enough conflict between Megan and Owen, which left my attention wandering.  They are such nice people, almost without flaws, and that left them boring and one-dimensional.  Their perfection didn’t keep me riveted to the pages.  They get along almost from the moment that they meet, and fall instantly and deeply in love.  There wasn’t much soul searching until the end, and instead there was eating, romping in bed, eating, romping in the snow, and more eating.   It wasn’t until near the conclusion, when Megan’s fear and distrust almost causes a disaster, that I felt caught up in the plot again. 

North of Need is a pleasant read about two pleasant people.  The love scenes are smoking hot, but there is a lack of tension during the middle that send my mind wandering away from the story.  Even though North of Need fell a little short of my expectations, I am looking forward to seeing where the series goes with the next book in the series, West of Want.

Grade: C+

Review copy provided by publisher

The BLI Holiday Reading Challenge