Author ~ Francis Gideon
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 12th October 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
When Jason Flores moves to the Yukon for a new job, he’s not sure what to expect. His son Micah seems enchanted by the wildlife, but his recent fear of the dark means that the eighteen-hour nights in the winter will be a difficult adjustment. When Jason takes Micah to the local museum’s interactive lecture series on the gold rush, it turns out to be one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
Pete Odjick, a tattooed First Nations and Inuit man, dresses up for the weekly lectures as Skookum Jim, one of the first prospectors to find gold. He takes an immediate interest in Micah and an even bigger interest in Jason.
As their flirtation grows into something more serious, Jason’s job at a big name oil company and Pete’s volunteer work with an environmental group become a point of contention. Can they come to an understanding and give Micah a family again? Or will the drastic differences between them tear them apart? As the winter nights grow longer, Pete and Jason worry their love won’t be enough to chase the darkness away.
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I’m always keen to read about a place that’s new to me so I was very pleased to be offered the chance to review this romance set in the Yukon, a place I only know from the poems of Robert Service. “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” is jolly good fun but I thought it is most probably far removed from the realities of life in the not-quite-as-Frozen-as-it-used-to-be North.
Chasing the Light is a very sweet romance with a featherlight paranormal aspect plus some very valid points about the environment and modern technology.
The balance of protagonists is particularly interesting. On the one hand we have Jason Flores. He has fairly recently become a single father, responsible for a small child with considerable abandonment issues and a fear of the dark. As if that wasn’t enough of a responsibility he has taken a job – working for a company who has interests that are generally considered to be bad—that required a move far away from anything familiar to a town called White Horse, where he and Micah will have to start afresh. On the other hand is Pete, with a First Nations and Inuit background, whose roots are set deep and who works at the local museum. Peter has a spiritual side, is passionate about protecting the environment and belongs to a small but committed group of activists determined to stop Jason’s employers from ruining the land. This sets them up to have very serious differences right from the beginning, but they fall for each other before they discover the causes for contention.
They have similarities too. Both are kind and civilised souls, doing what they feel is right under somewhat stressful circumstances. Neither feel completely safe in their employment, their bosses wield such power over them, both feel real fear at the prospect of losing their jobs. Jason’s is due to the huge and cold corporate environment that pays very well but doesn’t have his personal welfare at heart. Pete is paid far less well and is employed season by season with no guarantees of future employment, small museums being very hand to mouth organisations.
Then there is the looming threat as the autumn begins that Micah, with his terror of the dark, will not cope with winter’s long, long nights. Jason knows that if the worst happens he will have to leave White Horse and try to find a place with more daylight. Throughout the book, light vs dark is used as a metaphor. The corporate threat vs those who wish to prevent their actions, the loneliness endured by both Jason and Pete vs the potential of happiness together, and distrust and betrayal vs trust and openness.
So there are a load of hurdles for Jason and Pete to cross before they can attain their happy ending and one reads waiting for the inevitable explosion. Thank goodness for the Romance tag so the end is never really in doubt!
I really enjoyed the development of the threat between the two main characters and the descriptions of Pete’s work at the museum were great fun, likewise Jason’s for his corporation. I also enjoyed the MCs interactions with the secondary characters, especially with the environmental group. I mentioned a paranormal aspect but I’m not sure if that’s the right word. There’s a distinctly spiritual vibe to it and a feeling that some greater power may have a hand in events. Dreams and coincidences and sheer dumb luck do add up. But it is only a suggestion.
In conclusion, the story was a fun one, very sweet and a very satisfying way of spending an evening.