By Becke Davis, RBTB Contributing Editor
Did you know Alaska is the largest state in the nation – twice the size of Texas? It contains twenty-nine volcanos, 100,000 glaciers, 33,904 miles of coastline and its capital, Juneau, can only be reached by air or sea. Alaska has the tallest peak in North America and has the eastern, western, northern most points in the U.S. Everything about the 49th state, once called “Seward’s Folly,” is larger than life and everyone I know who’s been there talks about its majestic beauty in capital letters and exclamation points.
In Kay Stockham’s lyrical ode to the Alaskan wilderness, “She’s the One,” Alexandra Tulane is far from her Tennessee home – and that’s the way she likes it. Her photography work is a good disguise for her secret life as a travel writer, and she’s well prepared for anything Alaska has to offer. What she’s not prepared for is Dylan Bower, a handsome bush pilot hiding behind a Grizzly Adams-type beard; a guy whose wounds make him distrust everything about her. Sparks fly whenever they’re together, but Dylan won’t leave his solitary home and Alex can’t stay.
Dylan’s heart has been encased in ice until Alex’s warmth begins to thaw him, but he can’t let his feelings guide him. Others rely on Dylan – his father is recovering from a heart attack and his young son, Colt, is fragile and withdrawn. He has his own reasons for escaping from the world, reasons he’s not ready to share, no matter how strongly Alex tempts him.
Kay Stockham will have you grinning before the end of page one, chuckling as her heroine later “pokes the bear,” and by the time you’re halfway through the book you’ll be planning an Alaskan vacation. “She’s the One” is a love affair on two levels – it’s a romance between a self-sufficient heroine with wanderlust and an outdoorsman hero who gives so much he doesn’t know how to take what he wants. But it’s also a love affair with a simple way of life that’s lost to most of us. If you read for escape, you’ll get double your money when you --
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What is it about those huntin’ and fishin’ outdoorsmen that appeals to us, even though they seem able to survive perfectly well without women in their life? Or is that the attraction – the challenge they offer in both romance and real life?