Stranded With Her Rescuer
Stranded With Her Rescuer is what some might call a problem book. On the one hand, it’s well written and the characters click together very well. However, their love story relies on a plot device that I suspect might turn off more than a few readers. If you can handle how Will and Kitty come together, you will probably love this book. If you can’t, you’ll likely find your joy somewhat clouded.
So, what do I mean by a problem plot device? Well, Kitty and Will first meet five years before the main plot action. Kitty is a freelance filmmaker, on the trail of an intriguing story in Nepal. While there, she is staying with Will, who has a rescue dog operation – and he’s married. In fact, Kitty and Will’s wife are getting along famously. We learn in the first few pages that Will feels greatly attracted to Kitty and also that his marriage has hit some rough spots. In an effort to head off more trouble, he abruptly asks Kitty to leave.
Now we fast-foward to the present and find Kitty now working for a TV network, and once more on the trail of a story that she needs to edit and turn in. Unfortunately, her plane has to make an emergency landing in Churchill, Canada. The town quickly fills up and soon the airport has placed everyone in lodging except her. Luckily, an employee remembers a search and rescue man who lives alone outside of town. Three guesses as to who that might be?
That’s right. Will now lives in Churchill – and he’s alone. Though none too thrilled to see Kitty at first, the two settle into a routine and Kitty soon learns that Will’s wife died in the Nepal earthquake. On the positive side, I did enjoy seeing Kitty bond with Will’s dogs and seeing how the two of them bring out the best in one another. For instance, Kitty has settled into her TV job but she clearly doesn’t love it and Will challenges her on that, pushing her to reignite the spark for the kind of filming she loved.
The setting of this novel is also fantastic. I loved learning more about a remote part of Canada, where the residents have to know how to coexist with polar bears pretty much showing up on Main Street. It’s a very different culture from the one in which I live, but I loved getting to visit it for a bit.
However, I found it impossible as a reader to completely fall under the spell of this romance because Will’s late wife and her fate hang over it in ways that just made me uncomfortable. Her death is tragic, but it’s also awfully convenient for Will and Kitty. It seemed believable that he would find himself wracked with guilt, but somehow that wasn’t enough to push away the shadows. I think it was the emotional, confused prologue to the book that did it. Knowing that Will and Kitty had struggled with mutual attraction even while Will was still married cast something of a pall on their later relationship.
The death of Will’s wife comes out in one of the opening chapters of the story, so it’s hardly a spoiler. Most of the book follows Will and Kitty’s subsequent relationship and the ways in which they deal with the very obvious elephant in the room. And if the way things go down works for you, you’ll find Stranded With Her Rescuer a well-done romance with likable characters. If it doesn’t, you’ll still find likeable characters, but you may find yourself unable to wholeheartedly cheer on their romance.