Kate longs for things neither Chicago nor her men can provide. She travels to Lapland, intent on seeing the Northern Lights and seeking out new adventures.
Ruth is desperate to free herself of her overbearing sisters and to carve some time—and a life—out for herself. Awaiting them are two local guides who are keen to teach their favorite guests new techniques—one struggling to hide her own needs and sexuality, and one struggling with a wounded heart.
An accident in the wilderness changes everybody’s priorities, and against the background of the Northern Lights, passions explode and their lives are forever changed.
As she opened her eyes, Kate could see the orange glow of the streetlights reflected in the puddles all the way down 135th Street. The gusting wind pushed a wave of color as far as the intersection, where it disappeared in the pre-dawn gloom. It was beautiful she thought, but it was a long way from the Northern Lights she hoped to see in a few weeks’ time.
Her body still ached from the hard session her coach had given the team on Lake Michigan the previous evening. The rowing season hadn’t even started, but he was keen to crank up the level of work because he felt they had a good chance of making the district finals the following month. He was incensed when he heard of Kate’s holiday plans, but he soon cooled down. As long as she promised to look after herself, he would put up with it.
She looked at the clock and saw she had woken up ten minutes before the alarm, as she often did.
Ian stirred next to her. They had been living together for six months, against the advice of most of her friends, and she realized they were right. She wasn’t sure whether that meant they knew her better than she knew herself, or that they were a better judge of men. Either way, she had to do something about it soon.
He was damned sexy, but there wasn’t much going on between the ears and he was surprisingly unadventurous. She could have put up with that, but while she was away last week, he had been seen in a clinch with one of the local “cougars”. It was the final straw, and she would deal with it when she got back from holiday.
She had moved through shock, denial, anger and acceptance in only one evening. The trust had gone and so had the love. All that was left was the kind of disappointment one felt after not winning the lottery. She would be able to move on quickly.
Perversely, she still fancied him, and her awareness that she was going to end it soon made her feel curiously uninhibited. She stroked his hair. “Wake up Ian,” she whispered. “We’ve still got ten minutes if you hurry.”