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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
North to Home by Crissi McDonald is a magical romance about starting over and taking a second chance at love. Nolee has made several changes in her life. After getting a divorce a year ago, she's now making another change by moving to an island. She never expected her new life to come with a second chance at romance until she meets her charming neighbor. Keet is thinking about starting over by leaving the island behind but meeting Nolee might just draw him back to what he loved about Camas Island. As their connection deepens, Nolee discovers more than new love; she finds a second chance at life and an opportunity to redefine who she is on her terms.
Nolee is an instantly relatable character through her emotional journey rooted in her desire to embark on a new chapter in her life. North to Home has an empowering tone through Nolee's endearing strength and the lovely romance that Crissi McDonald has brought to life. The location is a peaceful and quaint island that offers refuge while providing an idealistic backdrop and serving as an easy catalyst for the inclusion of whales. One of the draws for Nolee on the island is a beautiful orca that has captured her attention and shines a subtle light on the plight that killer whales face. The beautifully written perspective of the orca captures the power, grace, and freedom these majestic creatures have. McDonald gives a voice to their decline and struggles by showing the orca as a character with real emotions.
At the heart of the story is the romance between Keet and Nolee who start their dynamic with an air of mystery that draws them to each other. Their major commonality is their desire to seek a new chapter in their lives. Their chemistry delivers a romance that is sweet, genuine, and built on honesty and self-discovery. Starting over isn't always easy which Nolee learns as she embarks on a magical journey about love, second chances, discovery, and the plight of the killer whale.