Wednesday 26 September 2018

Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn Blog Tour

Recent months have seen me reading a lot more of the crime/thriller genre, which although I have been enjoying them, I'll admit I have missed reading my regular romance novels and then I was offered the chance to join in the blog tour for Darcie Boleyn's latest book, Love at the Northern Lights.


‘Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…’
Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind - find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.

When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date - the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.

Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.

The story begins with Frankie preparing herself for her wedding day. A day when most women would be nervous but excited, looking forward to their future but this doesn't seem to be the case here. For Frankie the thought of this marriage going head is scary, not because of the unknown but because she isn' certain that it's what she wants, does she even love the man she's supposed to be walking down the aisle towards?

It's actually her father that confirms her fears and in just then as she sneaks out away from the guests, she becomes a runaway bride.

But just where the hell is she going to run to?

What we discover as the tale unfolds is that her mother who seemingly disappeared out of her life oh so many years ago actually contacted Frankie on her 18th birthday, leaving her with an address and a decision to make, and that decision is finally being made as she stands in an airport toilet trying to change out her wedding dress. 

And so begins a journey to Oslo, Norway. Perhaps not in search of her mum but a search to finally find herself.

Could this be the beginning of something wonderful or a wrong turn?

Well when Jonas Thorsen steps into her life, I don't know about Frankie, but I started to believe that she'd made the right decision. I won't lie, I swooned. He sounded like the type of man I'd like to sweep me off my feet. But Frankie is her own worst enemy, never quite allowing herself to be happy, to decide things for herself instead of basing decisions on other people's feelings.

Love at the Northern Lights is filled with emotion. From friendship to family, from utter sadness to elation, this is a novel that although quite a simple read, really tugs on your heart strings.


‘What are you doing?’
‘Oh… uh… I was just…’
‘I’m not supposed to see you before the ceremony, you know, or it’s bad luck.’
Bad luck be blowed! Wait until you know why I’m out here.
‘Well, you can’t really see me, can you? Just a part of me.’

She shivered as a gust of wind whipped at the thin material of her dress. It would’ve been fine in the heated marquee, but outside, in the chilly November air, the dress was doing little to keep her warm.

‘You haven’t answered my question.’
‘No. Right. I was just…’ She sighed. What was the point in lying to him now? He’d soon find out and at least if she told him, he’d be prepared to deal with the aftermath. ‘Stay where you are and I’ll come to you.’

She tucked her case under the hedge then retraced her steps to the front of the maze and hurried through to where she’d seen Rolo. It took a while to reach him as her heels kept sinking into the soft earth, but as she rounded a sharp corner, she almost ran straight into him and threw up her hands to prevent them cracking skulls.

‘Bloody hell, Frankie, look at the state of you! You look absolutely beastly! I hope you’re going to sort yourself out before people see you. Mother will completely flip out and if your grandmother spots you like that… Well, rather you than me, what?’

She glanced at her torn muddy hem and the bodice of her dress where fake-tan had streaked the sections under her armpits then bled into the rest of the fabric. She folded her arms over her chest, as much to hide the mess as to try to keep warm.

‘Yes… I am in a state. Not exactly what you were expecting, right?’
‘Not exactly.’ He frowned, and she realized that he was holding one arm awkwardly behind him.
‘What’s behind your back, Rolo?’
His eyes widened a fraction, a sure sign that he was hiding something.
‘No… not really.’ He shrugged then showed her the cigarette packet.
‘You were smoking?’

He moved his foot and showed her a cigarette butt that he must have hastily stubbed out.

‘I didn’t know you smoked.’
‘I suspect there’s a lot we don’t know about each other, Frankie. Like why you’re running around the gardens in your,’ he eyed her up and down, ‘rather soiled wedding dress. Didn’t that cost your father around forty thou—’
‘Don’t! Just… please don’t talk about that right now.’ Her chest ached with guilt. 

There had been no need for such an expensive designer dress but it had all been part of the charade that Frankie had gone along with. And perhaps part of her had fallen in love with the bespoke dress that made her think of fairy-tale castles and handsome princes who didn’t make their fiancĂ©e feel like she was often in the wrong, who didn’t secretly smoke in their family maze and… was that another cigarette butt with lipstick on it just behind Rolo’s fancy black brogue? He didn’t look like he was wearing lipstick.

‘Are you going to answer my question now?’ He pulled a cigarette from the packet and slid it between his lips then lit it with a rather fancy-looking butane lighter engraved with his initials. People bought lighters like that as gifts, so presumably someone had bought that for Rolo. But who? The only people she knew who smoked were her grandmother and Lorna, and now Rolo, and she couldn’t imagine Grandma sneaking out here for a cigarette.

As smoke drifted from his nostrils, Frankie thought back to times when he’d kissed her – not that often, in all honesty – and he’d smelt strongly of peppermint and cologne. She’d wondered if he was trying to hide something from her then and now she knew. Rolo was a smoker… possibly something else judging from the hint of Chanel No 5 that she could smell on him as he moved closer.

‘Well, Frankie?’
‘Rolo, I’m so sorry but I can’t do this.’

‘Don’t be ridiculous! Go on back in and tidy yourself up post-haste. I don’t really want to hang around talking when we’re getting married in what…’ He pushed up his left shirt cuff and peered at the diamond-studded gold Rolex Frankie had given him to celebrate their engagement. ‘Gosh, is that the time? Thirty-two minutes.’

‘No, Rolo… what I mean is that I can’t marry you. I can’t go through with it.’

He shook his head. ‘Don’t be such an ass, Frankie. Of course you can. You’re just in some sort of a state. This is the right thing to do.’

‘The “right thing to do”? Bloody hell, Rolo, is that how you see joining ourselves together for the rest of our lives?’

His light-blond eyebrows rose slowly up his clear, square forehead.

‘What’s wrong with that?’
‘It’s not exactly romantic, is it?’

‘Romantic? Frankie… we’ve known each other for yonks, dated on and off since we were seventeen and been together properly now for two years. What we have might not be a grand passion but it’s… well… it’s all right.’ He shrugged as if he was talking about wine or a suit, not about the relationship they were preparing to commit themselves to for life.

She stared at him, wondering if he realized what he was saying or if the nicotine had gone to his brain and made him more tactless than usual. He dragged on the cigarette hard then exhaled a long plume of blue-grey smoke that was carried away by the breeze.

‘Is that enough for you then? To spend your life with a woman who’s all right? Not the love of your life or someone you can’t spend a day without thinking about?’

He puffed on the cigarette again then dropped it and ground it out with the sole of his shoe.

‘I guess so… It made our grandmothers and our parents happy when we got engaged.’
‘But it’s not about them, is it?’
‘No. We’re a good match financially and we’ve got that prenup, so neither of us loses out if something goes wrong, because we know what we’re getting into. I oversaw the finer details myself. Besides, we have to go through with it now.’
‘No, we don’t.’
‘The money, the guests, the vicar, the… the bloody fancy marquee.’ He gestured behind Frankie in the direction of the house. ‘The honeymoon if nothing else!’

His cheeks and the tip of his nose had reddened, revealing his annoyance as he realized he was losing control of the situation. Frankie normally went along with things because it was easier than putting up a fight with Grandma and with Rolo. She let Rolo choose where they would eat, park, shop, holiday and more.

But not today.

Not any more.

Something inside her had changed.

Honestly I can't fault this novel.

With the colder weather setting in, this is the perfect story to be snuggled under a blanket reading with this book in one hand a glass of wine in the other. Not forgetting the box of tissues to hand because I guarantee you'll be tearing up at some point. And I can tell you, I'll definitely be reading it again!

And if my review hasn't enticed you enough (I hope it has), you can now read an excerpt of the story below, enjoy:


Do follow the rest of the blogs below for more reviews, excerpts and interviews as you begin to fall in love with the Northern Lights yourself.


  1. I also like to change from thrillers and crime novels at this time of year. I've started reading a series of Christmas stories that I'm really enjoying :)

  2. This sounds like a very evocative wintry novel! I'm still enjoying autumnal and spooky reads but come November I'll be getting stuck in to winter reads. #readwithme

  3. I like the sound of this. Several different strands to it too

  4. I have to admit this doesn't sound like my kind of book, but I can understand the appeal of a nice romance novel after reading a lot of thrillers and gritty novels! #readwithme

  5. I like to read thrillers pretty much all of the time, with the occasional literary novel thrown in. This sounds like a good story, but I know it wouldn't be my cup of tea as I don't like romance novels.


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