ARC Reviews,  Reviews

Karina Halle’s Bright Midnight ARC Review

Thank you to Karina Halle and the team at Valentine PR for the advance reader copy of Bright Midnight. This novel releases on May 6th!

When I say I have been waiting for this book for years I am not kidding. For those of you who have not been long-time fans of Karina, you would not be aware that this book was sold to Simon & Schuster years ago. They had published two of my fave Karina stories Where Sea Meets the Sky and Racing the Sun. Like I love Racing the Sun so much it’s my most re-read book from Karina’s backlist. Now that the rights of Bright Midnight have been reverted to Karina after so many years she can finally independently publish it!

Check out the Goodreads synopsis…

“From the New York Times bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky and Racing the Sun comes a wildly romantic novel about a young American abroad in Norway who runs into the man who broke her heart eight years ago.

After years of bartending her way across Europe, Shay Lavji has seen almost everything the continent has to offer, but there’s one country she hasn’t crossed off her bucket list yet: Norway. It’s not that she doesn’t want to visit the land of the midnight sun—far from it; she’s obsessed with the culture and is dying to see the majestic fjords for herself.

What she’s not dying to do is run into her Norwegian ex-boyfriend, Anders Johansson, who broke her heart in America eight years ago before returning to his ancestral home. The last time she saw Anders, he was a cocky, rebellious, and tortured teenager who couldn’t stop himself from pushing all of her buttons—both good and bad. But Shay isn’t going to let Anders stand in the way of her wanderlust, and besides, it’s a big country, right?

She doesn’t count on Anders seeking her out the moment he learns she’s on his home turf. When Shay sees him again, she’s shocked at his transformation into a bearded, tattooed farmer and fisherman who values family over everything else. Is it possible that time has tamed this former bad boy? Shay wants to believe that everything can be new and bright again under the summer sun, but she knows, when it comes to Anders, the darkness is never too far behind.”

Check out my more detailed thoughts below…

  • Characters: Shay and Anders are the main characters of Bright Midnight. Shay, you may already be familiar with if you had read Racing the Sun (if you haven’t you need to, it’s one of Karina’s best books!!) She is an American who has been living and working in Europe while trying to find her place in life. While Anders is Norwegian and is that bad boy but in a Viking way. He has tattoos but also long, unkempt hair. Both characters have some deep baggage, but I expect nothing less from one of Karina’s contemporary romances. I just love the way she handles such sensitive subjects.
  • Setting: This story is set in Norway, the vast majority of the time in the town of Todalen. Karina herself is Norwegian on her father’s side and Todalen is where he was born. Karina has been many times to visit her family that still lives in the area and that sure comes across in her writing. She makes the place come alive as she vividly paints each landscape. From the humble farm to the fjords, to the Northern lights. It felt like the escape that travel provides which was such a comfort when none of us have been able to travel for so long.
  • Pacing: Karina paced this story so effectively. She used past and present-day chapters to build two stories the Shay and Andres of high school and their adult counterparts many years later. So all you’ll really know going in is that they dated in high school and had a bad breakup. How they fell in love and what caused it all to fall apart is something you get to read. That was such a nice touch and really helped me understand more about these characters and how their past defined their present.
  • Romance: This is a second chance romance of epic proportions. Shay and Anders dated in high school and fell madly in love. He really messes things up and they had such a big breakup it wrecked Shay for quite a while. Years later it is as if fate is giving them a second chance to be together. Their sexual chemistry sure comes back fast and man oh man I can guarantee all romance readers will love the amount of steam Karina infused into this story. It was never at the expense of the heart, this is such an emotive story and it’s best to let yourself be taken on this adventure with Shay and Anders. But you better strap in because the road ahead is a bit bumpy.

Bright Midnight receives four out of five stars.

You can pick up the story below…

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Thank you again to Karina and the Valentine PR team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

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