From Alaska With Love
A soldier has six weeks to convince the only woman he has ever longed for to take a chance on life with him in Alaska....Sara's letters were the only bright spot during Gabe's devastating tour in Iraq. With each new correspondence he fell harder, needed her more, wanted to be with her. Now, after initially rejecting his offer to meet, she's shown up at the door of his isolated cabin in Alaska looking for...what? Gabe's not sure what made Sara change her mind, but he knows he never wants to let her go.Major Gabe Randall is everything Sara Ryan wants but nothing she feels she deserves. A modern-day spinster, Sara hides behind family obligations and the safe, quiet life she's resigned herself to living. But secretly, even though she may have stretched the truth about who she is in her letters to him, she wants Gabe. Will he still want her when he discovers the real woman behind the pen?Once they meet, Gabe asks her for six weeks in Alaska. Six weeks to spend getting to know each other, and then she'll have to decide whether they are better together or apart.

From Alaska With Love Details

TitleFrom Alaska With Love
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 3rd, 2020
PublisherBerkley
ISBN-139781984806956
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, War, Military Fiction, Adult

From Alaska With Love Review

  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
    January 1, 1970
    2.75/5 starsI wanted to give romance a chance. Perhaps it's the cozy season of the year or the cute dog on the cover...whatever it may be, I wanted to give this a chance since I don't read romance novels usually. From Alaska With Love is the story of a deployed soldier receiving a letter by chance from a young woman in North Carolina and a pen pal relationship ensues. Sara, the spinster in her thirties, is working in the home of her brother to take care of her little niece. Though Sara loves her 2.75/5 starsI wanted to give romance a chance. Perhaps it's the cozy season of the year or the cute dog on the cover...whatever it may be, I wanted to give this a chance since I don't read romance novels usually. From Alaska With Love is the story of a deployed soldier receiving a letter by chance from a young woman in North Carolina and a pen pal relationship ensues. Sara, the spinster in her thirties, is working in the home of her brother to take care of her little niece. Though Sara loves her niece dearly, the other jobs around the house that come along make her feel taken advantage of and not appreciated by her family. During a local charity event collecting Christmas cards to pass on to troops deployed overseas, she sends her random act of kindness with a sweet card that lands in Major Gabe Randall's hands at his office in Iraq where he is currently serving his 7th deployment. With a great focus of the communication that develops between the two strangers, first nonchalant and distanced, then curious and anticipatory, the story moves forward with him purchasing a plane ticket for her to visit him in Alaska after his deployment. On his way back from Iraq, Gabe attempts to surprise Sara with an unexpected visit that turns into a fiasco, leaving both of them derailed before any hope in a relationship takes off. In turn, Sara is tired of her family's disregard and is ready to take a stance. She risks a trip to Alaska, where not only the weather chills her to the bone, but Gabe's coldness towards her makes her question the entirety of their 7 months long investment into letters, phone calls and video chats. Will Gabe come around for her before it is too late?***A perfectly sweet little romance, however not what I was expecting. Keep in mind, I am a lot less gullible at my age and the wife of a military war veteran of almost 25 years. I have had my share of lone times during several year-long deployments, moved around 15 times, adjusted my life over and over, and seen the good and bad that come with it. I had anticipated the novel's focus to be on Sara and Gabe's time in Alaska. He has a rustic home and cute dog and some time off after his deployment to spend with her. There certainly were cute moments, a little bit of sexy in it too, but mostly the plot revolves around the two characters writing, contemplating, guessing and uncertainty. Like any relationship that goes beyond the surface, there is angst and an overwhelming sense of betrail when the smallest glitch occurs. In the case of Sara and Gabe, that happens before they even make it to Alaska and because they have not had any time to build upon more than their long-distance conversations, the whole thing almost ends before it even starts. I wished the novel would not have hovered so much in that area, but elevated the romance in the last part of the novel in Alaska. Both of the characters are lovely and handsome, though Sara is insecure. What I did like about the novel was Gabe's portrait as a military man and the application of his skills to all aspects of his life. His leadership, the use of forethought/caution in the relationship are his strengths and he gives off a general sense that he is not the kind of man you mess with. His tenderness behind all of that, admittedly ;) had me swoon just a little for him at the end. Wishful thinking has me hoping that these kinds of romances still exist, but the overall feel of this novel brings me back to the time of the '90s and 2000s when people actually still wrote cards and letters. In all, I found the characters to be 'too good' if that makes sense, at the same time, I am that kind of person too, but they trumped even me. Are people still writing letters these days?Give From Alaska With Love a chance or give it to someone who might need a bit of hope. Perhaps it's time to get back and send some random acts of kindness to someone deployed or left at home, waiting. Cheers!I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much. More of my reviews here:Through Novel Time & Distance
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  • Chris C - A Midlife Wife
    January 1, 1970
    Awwwww beautiful story! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I was really looking forward to reading this story. I am a huge supporter of our military and James created a sweet, delightful story that brings to light some of the difficulties our soldiers experience when deployed and on active duty.I love the way Sara and Gabe connected. The awkward conversations along with the letters and emails that cement their understanding, and dare they say, love for each other.But all things are not what they seem or are Awwwww beautiful story! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I was really looking forward to reading this story. I am a huge supporter of our military and James created a sweet, delightful story that brings to light some of the difficulties our soldiers experience when deployed and on active duty.I love the way Sara and Gabe connected. The awkward conversations along with the letters and emails that cement their understanding, and dare they say, love for each other.But all things are not what they seem – or are they?When Emma shows up in Alaska, you can feel the tension and uncomfortable situation. I kept wondering in Emma will ever come into her own when her family has taken her for granted for years. I love watching her slowly grow and become stronger. You find yourself cheering her on when she takes on the “mean girls”.The frustrating part is we have to wait until close to the end for them to finally figure it all out. A slow ride, but one filled with a strong connection and one you can believe in.James brings a true blue Americana love story reminiscent of the old days into today’s world. Sweet and romantic. You cannot miss on this one!* copy received for review considerationFull Review - https://amidlifewife.com/from-alaska-...
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  • Melissa H
    January 1, 1970
    Im not one to usually read military romances but I decided that this one sounded interesting enough to give it a try. This is a story about Sara, where at the start of the book she is feeling seriously down about her life. Her aunt publicly humiliates her at a family function, announcing to everyone she is a spinster who never had a boyfriend. This starts a pity party that continues throughout the whole book. But it also kickstarts her to decide to participate in writing letters to a those in I’m not one to usually read military romances but I decided that this one sounded interesting enough to give it a try. This is a story about Sara, where at the start of the book she is feeling seriously down about her life. Her aunt publicly humiliates her at a family function, announcing to everyone she is a spinster who never had a boyfriend. This starts a pity party that continues throughout the whole book. But it also kickstarts her to decide to participate in writing letters to a those in the military, since her brother was in it, she knows how lonely it can be. Her letter happens to come across the desk of Major Gabe Randall and the story progresses. Sara has a lot of self-esteem issues. She’s constantly comparing herself to her cousin Chloe and putting herself down. I understand that… but it NEVER changes. She continues to do this until the end of the book. This ties into the fact that this book relies heavily on the mean-girl trope. Having several characters who are a witch with a B. Sadly I’m so exhausted with seeing this and the men in the stories that just put up with it. I had trouble with the pacing of this book. It seemed like we would be in one place and somehow switch topics or scenes and it seemed really odd. Also, the beginning of this novel has letters & emails between Sara and Gabe, which normally I really enjoy but the author would have the letter in the book TWICE from the letter writer & then the one receiving it. So, it was extremely redundant, and I would end up skipping the letters the second time because they were not needed. I did like Gabe and his character. How you see a change in his character arc. Also, all the scenes with Trouble, his dog, was just sooo adorable and is literally not helping me not want a dog myself. I enjoyed this book for the most part. I wanted to see what would happen next and I highly enjoyed the Alaska setting, which didn’t happen until 60% or so of the book. I thought the family troubles were believable and sadly I’m sure other have families are not supportive of them and use them because they can. Due to these things I decided to give this book a 3 star rating.
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  • ♥Rachel♥
    January 1, 1970
    Sara being a doormat and the pity party ensuing is got old quick. To top things off the secondary cast were a bunch of highly unlikable characters. Kaylee, her five-year-old niece, sounded more like a ten-year-old with her observations, and wasn't particularly likeable in my opinion either. I was lured in by the cute cover, falling in love through letter writing, and left wanting.
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  • Kayla Brunson
    January 1, 1970
    I dont really read military romances, but the cover and the synopsis for this book made me pick it up. It had a really sweet romance, however, I would call this Womens Fiction more than Romance. Mainly because it focuses on Saras character development more than the romance. I am a big lover of books where the couple fall in love via written messages or email. Its always great to see them build a relationship and get to know each other before they find out if they have that same physical I don’t really read military romances, but the cover and the synopsis for this book made me pick it up. It had a really sweet romance, however, I would call this Women’s Fiction more than Romance. Mainly because it focuses on Sara’s character development more than the romance. I am a big lover of books where the couple fall in love via written messages or email. It’s always great to see them build a relationship and get to know each other before they find out if they have that same physical chemistry. Both of the characters here are both deserving of a romance to sweep them off their feet. I said earlier that it was mainly surrounding around Sara’s character development. When the book starts out we see what a pushover Sara was. I’m being completely honest when I say that she let her family walk over her and became so adjusted to it that she couldn’t even see how stuck she was in her life. It really did take the majority of the book before she decided to change things and I think that’s where my issues were. I have no problem with someone fixing their life, but if you fix it for the sole purpose of another person then it doesn’t really seem as honest and genuine. Yes, Sara had wants to change her life but she never felt serious about it until I’m not trying to sound negative, just honest. That’s the vibe I got. Overall, it was a decent debut. I don’t know if there is going to be more books set in this world, but I would be open to reading about more characters. Especially Chole and Jason. Together if possible! I received an ARC via NetGalley for an honest review.Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • 1-Click Addict Support Group
    January 1, 1970
    Letters brought them togetherI loved how Sara and Gabe met two souls connecting through words, then tech. The slow build up allowed them to learn so much about each other without the usual pressures of face to face dating life. Sara was funny and self-deprecating, the perfect foil to Gabes quietness. They connected, each finding someone who listened, was thoughtful and simply brought a smile their faces. That was why it was so hard when a bold move brought things crashing down. And my heart Letters brought them together…I loved how Sara and Gabe met – two souls connecting through words, then tech. The slow build up allowed them to learn so much about each other without the usual pressures of face to face dating life. Sara was funny and self-deprecating, the perfect foil to Gabe’s quietness. They connected, each finding someone who listened, was thoughtful and simply brought a smile their faces. That was why it was so hard when a bold move brought things crashing down…. And my heart with it.This story ended up being two connected but distinct reads, the before and the after. If I thought the first half was sweet and gentle, the second matched it in angst and uncertainty. A bit uneven, yes, but what bound it all together so perfectly was love and its determination… A great first read that has this author firmly in my radar. ~Diane, 4 stars
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  • ☕️Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    I am a sucker for military romances, romances with pets and Alaskan settings and From Alaska with Love delivered all of those elements and more. An awkward hero, an insecure heroine, an overbearing family and a dog that will melt your heart.Sara took over watching her niece when her company downsized and slipped into handling her mothers finances when her father passed. You might say she is the glue that hold everyone together. She is sweet, lonely, unsure of what the future holds and genuinely I am a sucker for military romances, romances with pets and Alaskan settings and From Alaska with Love delivered all of those elements and more. An awkward hero, an insecure heroine, an overbearing family and a dog that will melt your heart.Sara took over watching her niece when her company downsized and slipped into handling her mother’s finances when her father passed. You might say she is the glue that hold everyone together. She is sweet, lonely, unsure of what the future holds and genuinely a good person. Which is why she sends an Easter card to a soldier stationed overseas.Major Gabe Randall is a lifer. He has never had a serious relationship but hopes to eventually settle with his dog, Trouble in Alaska. He never takes part or takes letters sent to the troops; preferring to give them to his men. A hold up with mail created an excess he receives Sara’s letter.Sara thinking to never meet the soldier offers him a glimpse of her life in a humorous way. Gabe responds via email. They soon begin exchanging emails. I loved these awkward exchanges and getting inside their heads. Before you know it, they move to text, and finally video chats. Gabe makes arrangements for Sara to fly out to Alaska for the holidays with him….only Sara doesn’t know how to tell her family. The tale that unfolds made me laugh even as I wanted to slap sense into a few characters.The romance was a slow-build and low on heat. In fact, I almost wondered if that first kiss would ever happen. The story slowed and struggled before kicking into high gear and I admit to wanting to Gibbs slap (NCIS) both of them. It felt right though and fit the characters and their personalities. The drama was kept low and focused on the character growth. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer
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  • *The Angry Reader*
    January 1, 1970
    You know that saying about how If everyone around you seems like an asshole youre probably the asshole? Sara should take that to heart. Our story starts with our heroine at a family reunion - where an aunt introduces her as a spinster. Not sure why shes being introduced at a family reunion. Not sure why theres shame in being unmarried in your thirties. For sara, this announcement is akin to everyone knowing she buys her Izods at an outlet. She begins to question everything about her life. From You know that saying about how If everyone around you seems like an asshole you’re probably the asshole? Sara should take that to heart. Our story starts with our heroine at a family reunion - where an aunt introduces her as a spinster. Not sure why she’s being introduced at a family reunion. Not sure why there’s shame in being unmarried in your thirties. For sara, this announcement is akin to everyone knowing she buys her Izods at an outlet. She begins to question everything about her life. From there we learn that Sara is a nanny for her brother and his wife. And that Sara’s sister in law is just an amalgamation of nasty female stereotypes. A career-focused “bad mother” who relies upon and resents Sara. And Sara is absolutely revolting here - mocking, shaming and judging her sister in law every chance we get. We are to imagine Sara as the poor put upon Cinderella rather than expecting her to be an adult who gives a rational voice to her concerns and unhappiness. Why should Sara have a conversation to explain how she feels when it’s so much easier to chip away at a successful woman?Sara’s brother is a condescending enabler. Her mom is co-dependent and abusive. And sweet, dare i say it, angelic Sara is the martyr who keeps her chin up and holds this entire family of evil trolls together. How brave Of her to play the victim rather than hold others accountable and treat them with the respect Sara claims she never receives. All of this and we haven’t even gotten to the stilted, awkward, and bizarre relationship. The emails were unrealistic and uncomfortable. Gabe is a jingoistic “ultra-manly” sketch of a soldier. We are told - repeatedly - that he keeps his feelings to himself. And then when things go awry for them he becomes cold and manipulative in order to shame Sara for a pretty normal reaction to their nutso relationship. This book felt like someone said “Siri, write me a romance,” And the poor AI struggled to robotically combine a plucky heroine and a he-man and a cute kid and a dog according to some kind of binary code. I wanted a comfy read. My last book was grisly and depressing. It involved murdered children - and I now gaze upon it will full appreciation of all its finer points. I shall now return to my regularly scheduled ARC embargo. As always, thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to offer my honest opinion.
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  • Amy (TheSouthernGirlReads)
    January 1, 1970
    4 🌟.Final thoughts...that was fairly adorable..Ally James is a new to me author. If I am being fair...the cover of this book...thats what drew me in 😍. That and Alaska. I love all things Alaska 🤷♀..Imagine my surprise to find out that a large portion of this book is based in North Carolina. Very, very delightful..Alright lets get to some coherent thoughts..If this book has a description from me...it would be warm fuzzies. Cozy romance? Whatever we want to call it.. Im going to call it lovely. 4 🌟.Final thoughts...that was fairly adorable..Ally James is a new to me author. If I am being fair...the cover of this book...that’s what drew me in 😍. That and Alaska. I love all things Alaska 🤷🏻‍♀️..Imagine my surprise to find out that a large portion of this book is based in North Carolina. Very, very delightful..Alright let’s get to some coherent thoughts..If this book has a description from me...it would be warm fuzzies. Cozy romance? Whatever we want to call it.. I’m going to call it lovely. Sweet character with fantastic chemistry. Lovely supporting characters. The format was perfect to build their relationship and story. The story went by in a blur as I sat down one morning a read and read. Finishing in one setting and it perfectly allowed itself to do so. My only complaint is the last 1/4 of the book. I felt like the discourse between the characters was a stretch...a bit unnatural. I do think it took a smidge of my love for the characters away 🤷🏻‍♀️. Overall the bulk of the book carried the story enough to still end with 4 🌟’s.
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  • ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received via Netgalley for an honest reviewThis book was all kinds of adorable."Spinster" Sara (pssshhh what would they call me then) and Gabe are not a couple that you would really expect to come together, but they do and it works.I liked that they communicated via emails for a chunk of the time - much more cute and romantic than just text message to me.My heart hurt for Sara - she is having a bit of a pity party, and I wanted her to stand up to those making her feel that way - and the fact ARC received via Netgalley for an honest reviewThis book was all kinds of adorable."Spinster" Sara (pssshhh what would they call me then) and Gabe are not a couple that you would really expect to come together, but they do and it works.I liked that they communicated via emails for a chunk of the time - much more cute and romantic than just text message to me.My heart hurt for Sara - she is having a bit of a pity party, and I wanted her to stand up to those making her feel that way - and the fact that is was her family that treated her like Cinderella made me mad, mad, mad!I was laughing out loud at times, as the first half especially was full of humour. I found the second half more emotional and deeper It takes a look at modern relationships, familial relationships and the growth of both Sara and Gabe as the story progressed.I would like to see more of the secondary characters in this story, particularly Jason and Chloe.I wonderful read that I enjoyed in an afternoon.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    From Alaska With Love is a pen pal military romance.When Gabe is in Iraq, he receives honest and forth right emails from Sara that makes every day worth living. She is funny and says exactly what is on her mind, even if its a little off the wall. Their relationship blossoms through their letters, then texts and video chats. But when it comes time to meet, Sara baulks. Devastated by Sara not meeting him, Gabe returns to his assignment in Alaska. Sara realizing her mistakes jumps on a plane and From Alaska With Love is a pen pal military romance.When Gabe is in Iraq, he receives honest and forth right emails from Sara that makes every day worth living. She is funny and says exactly what is on her mind, even if it’s a little off the wall. Their relationship blossoms through their letters, then texts and video chats. But when it comes time to meet, Sara baulks. Devastated by Sara not meeting him, Gabe returns to his assignment in Alaska. Sara realizing her mistakes jumps on a plane and shows up to find Gabe in Alaska. Its touch and go for awhile but eventually Gabe understood why Sara wouldn’t meet him initially and then he decides he just has to convince her to give him six weeks to see what Alaska and he have to offer.I really enjoyed the story right up until about 60% in. Once that happened it really didn’t compute for me. I mean there were cute moments, but it wasn’t based on anything beyond the surface. There were a bunch of things thrown at us that just didn’t make sense for the character’s that had been developing up until the 60% point. In my opinion, their character’s choices and the plot direction just went off the rails.I received this ARC copy of From Alaska With Love from Berkley Publishing Group - Berkley. This is my honest and voluntary review. From Alaska With Love is set for publication March 3, 2020.My Rating: 3 starsWritten by: Ally JamesMass Market Paperback: 304 pagesPublisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)ISBN-10: 1984806955ISBN-13: 978-1984806956Genre: Military RomanceAmazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alaska-Love-Al...Barnes & Nobles: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/from...
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  • Heather andrews
    January 1, 1970
    Gabe really is a sweet man, yep. He grinned, before putting a hand on her thigh. And do you seriously imagine I give a damn when or how you speak the words? Baby, you could have screamed them out in the middle of a wet T-shirt contest, while showcasing your stripper moves, and it would still be the second- best moment of my life. I liked this book, I liked Gabe. Gabe really is a sweet man, “yep.” He grinned, before putting a hand on her thigh. “And do you seriously imagine I give a damn when or how you speak the words? Baby, you could have screamed them out in the middle of a wet T-shirt contest, while showcasing your stripper moves, and it would still be the second- best moment of my life.” I liked this book, I liked Gabe.
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  • Miki ✖siempre romances✖
    January 1, 1970
    It wasn't what I was expecting because when I read the synopsis I thought the book was going to start with Gabe going after Sara after he have been emailing her for months but the book starts with Sara writing the first letter.It wasn't bad though and it worked, I think emails are more old-fashioned and for me it was more romantic than writing a simple text message. We get to read all the "courtship" in a modern way, at first they email each other, then they exchange phone numbers, do face-time It wasn't what I was expecting because when I read the synopsis I thought the book was going to start with Gabe going after Sara after he have been emailing her for months but the book starts with Sara writing the first letter.It wasn't bad though and it worked, I think emails are more old-fashioned and for me it was more romantic than writing a simple text message. We get to read all the "courtship" in a modern way, at first they email each other, then they exchange phone numbers, do face-time and in the end they meet in person.Gabe was the one that suggested to exchange numbers and do face-time and I liked that he always told her not to feel any pressure and he was completely aware that even if he was a good man she could be afraid because it's more insecure for a woman to meet someone through social media. For us there's always that fear: "what if he's a stalker? a sexual predator?"Gabe was too good to be true at first but then in a certain situation he reacted in a way that I wasn't completely happy with but that made him seem more human and real to me.There's a bit of the trope "she doesn't know she's beautiful" that I usually find annoying but here it's because Sara has low self esteem and she knows it's because of that and that she has to change some of her actitudes so I could understand her.This is a slow burn romance because they meet in person at like 60% and kiss on 80% but it was sweet and I wasn't bored. It was a bit cheesy towards the end and Sara's relationship with her family wasn't resolved in the way I wanted and I would have liked if Sara had a job, a hobby ANYTHING aside from Gabe. But I could totally see her being a housewife and a mother.Overall: It was ok I liked more the first part, all the courtship, writing the letters, receiving them, being nervous about seeing each other and meeting in person. That was so cute to read, but after they meet in person the story dragged a bit and I think Sara needed a life aside from Gabe. To sum up: I requested this book just for the synopsis and the cover with zero expectations and I had fun while reading it. I also liked the fact that they talked about their feelings, in a certain point towards the end Sara said that Gabe was a macho men and he wouldn't do something that wasn't ultra manly (a friend was joking saying "I'll be forced to watch you two braid each other's hair and talk about your feelings") but I just laughed out loud because that wasn't the impression that he gave me because he always told her how he was feeling and he was super nice.
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  • Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this book until the 50% mark and then it became a bit of a mess which was so disappointing. This couple meets through a card to any service member campaign and spend months sharing emails, then private messages and even Face timing. I loved their interactions, the way they got to know one another, and how, dare I say, they fell in love while sharing their thoughts and feelings. There was something so refreshing about this part of the book and then Gabe returns from deployment I absolutely loved this book until the 50% mark and then it became a bit of a mess which was so disappointing. This couple meets through a “card to any service member” campaign and spend months sharing emails, then private messages and even Face timing. I loved their interactions, the way they got to know one another, and how, dare I say, they fell in love while sharing their thoughts and feelings. There was something so refreshing about this part of the book and then Gabe returns from deployment surprising Sara and things go rapidly downhill.Here’s the thing, after Gabe surprised her and realized that she hadn’t shared their relationship or her plans to go and visit him in Alaska he ran away. Then when her family got on her she ran away from them to Alaska to visit Gabe and they were not in a good place. This part of the book was counterproductive, it really did nothing to further the story all it did was add in unnecessary and manufactured angst to what had been an excellent romance. While they do eventually begin to rebuild what they had, for me they never got the spark back, it was gone, lost, and I missed it, leaving me less than satisfied with the remainder of the book.So you are probably asking why 3 stars and not less, because that first 50% was superbly entertaining and I fell in love with their story, I just wish the last half had been even a fraction as good as that first half.From Alaska With Love started out strong but in the end it fizzled leaving me disappointed. Maybe for another reader this story will work better but for me, it did not.Review copy provided for a voluntary review.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars
  • Irene
    January 1, 1970
    From Alaska with Love by Ally James. Enjoyed the story and the characters including Trouble who is every bit as adorable as the cover picture. Romance between Gabe and Sara develops slowly into a HEA while overcoming, obstacles and unsupportive relatives. The first half was a sweet romance and the last half had quite a bit more intimacy. The humor throughout the story was at times laugh out loud funny.Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    This book was really cute. I really liked Sarah''s growth throughout the novel and how she broke away from her ungrateful family and learned to stand on her own.
  • Barb Lie
    January 1, 1970
    From Alaska With Love by Ally James is a sweet and different kind of romance. We meet our heroine, Sara Ryan, as she attends a family function and is embarrassed by her aunt, who tells everyone she is a spinster. Sara lives with her brother and his wife, as she takes care of her niece; and though she is beautiful, Sara has no confidence and does not believe she will ever marry. Her family, other than her niece, takes advantage of her, and expects her to do their bidding. During a local event, From Alaska With Love by Ally James is a sweet and different kind of romance. We meet our heroine, Sara Ryan, as she attends a family function and is embarrassed by her aunt, who tells everyone she is a spinster. Sara lives with her brother and his wife, as she takes care of her niece; and though she is beautiful, Sara has no confidence and does not believe she will ever marry. Her family, other than her niece, takes advantage of her, and expects her to do their bidding. During a local event, everyone is collecting Christmas cards to pass on to troops overseas; and Sara sends a sweet funny card to whomever receives it.Major Gabe Randall, our hero, is now in his 7th deployment and when he is given one of the cards coming in, he gets a kick out of Sara’s card, and decides to respond, and a pen pal relationship begins. What follows is a warm-hearted sweet story, where both Gabe and Sara welcome the friendship their correspondence has given them; especially with Sara’s funny posts, which were a bright light for Gabe during his hard tour in Iraq. With each new letter, which they now uses Facetime, they both begin to have feelings for each other; they decide they need to meet.While in the planning stages for Sara to visit Gabe in Alaska, where he has 6 weeks before being deployed again; Gabe decides to make a surprise visit to North Carolina, which due to her brother’s comments turned into a fiasco, and Gabe leaves. Sara is determined to fix things with Gabe, and tell him he misunderstood her brother. She decides to fly to Alaska and spend time there as intended with Gabe, but at first, he was surprised she showed up and was somewhat cold. In a short time, Sara learns to love Alaska, and Gabe’s army friends. Slowly their romance heats up, and they succumb to their feelings for each other, as everything falls in place; Gabe knows he has to find a way to somehow bring Sara’s family and their lives to an acceptable arrangement.I loved many of the characters that James created, especially Chloe, Jason, and especially Trouble the dog, who I absolutely adored. From Alaska With Love was an enjoyable sweet romance, which was well written by Ally James. BarbThe Reading Cafe
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  • Mari
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsAfter a few Alaska set books I looked forward too seing this the blurb had me intrigued plus the dog covered. Sara's life was stagnant somewhat and pity party going which lasted throughout the book. It lead to the writing a letter to someone deployed military overseas. The pacing was slow and a bit disjointed at times with scene transition. Sara had a pen pal going with Gabe who was deployed in Iraq but stationed in Alaska. They grew close through the letters and chatting. Sara was 3.5 starsAfter a few Alaska set books I looked forward too seing this the blurb had me intrigued plus the dog covered. Sara's life was stagnant somewhat and pity party going which lasted throughout the book. It lead to the writing a letter to someone deployed military overseas. The pacing was slow and a bit disjointed at times with scene transition. Sara had a pen pal going with Gabe who was deployed in Iraq but stationed in Alaska. They grew close through the letters and chatting. Sara was scared to move out of her comfort zone, her family took advantage and helped with low esteem. While her first actual meeting with Gabe didn't go well, she sought him out when left because of her indecision. I agree I was frustrated with Sara in the first half especially when her family was condescending. The Alaska part starts at 60% which I started to get into it more. I loved Trouble the dog in the cover made it better. Gabe had a good story arc you saw the change in him. I would have to see more from Sara aside from just leaving her family.While I was hoping for life in Alaska in general aside from the love story it was more Sara finding her place in Gabe's life and an adjustment to finally being on her own. It wasn't like the other books that had some degree of loneliness of isolation and coping with being self sufficient. But it was cute and sweet too in how Gabe and Sara overcame things. It felt a bit cut short since it was more focused on the relationship aspect. The whole family issues made it more realistic. I liked it enough.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC through Netgalley. Thanks to Netgalley, Berkley Publishing Group, and the author Ally James. All opinions expressed are my ownRating: 4.5 / 5 starsThis was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I wanted to read From Alaska with Love, because it reminded me of Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata, and I loved both books. Both books start with similar circumstances (single woman writing to a soldier) and love is built through letters. Both are slow-burn romances. I felt so much for Sara. I wanted I received an ARC through Netgalley. Thanks to Netgalley, Berkley Publishing Group, and the author Ally James. All opinions expressed are my ownRating: 4.5 / 5 starsThis was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I wanted to read From Alaska with Love, because it reminded me of Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata, and I loved both books. Both books start with similar circumstances (single woman writing to a soldier) and love is built through letters. Both are slow-burn romances. I felt so much for Sara. I wanted her to celebrate her worth and take a chance in her life. And I really wanted to shake her mom & brother to wake them up and for them to see the beautiful woman they were taking advantage of. Gabe is in the military. This has kept him from forming deep attachments to other people. But through their correspondence, Gabe begins to fall in love. Sara is sweet, funny, and caring. And the letters keep his morale up as he completes another tour of duty in Iraq. BTW, I have my fingers crossed for a book with Sara's cousin Chloe. She needs a HEA.
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  • ★¸. • * ° *Jillie Anne * ° *•.¸☆
    January 1, 1970
    Dear God we have to wait till spring to read this !!! I'm going to send myself to my room for the temper tantrum I'm planing on throwing ! #CountDown2020Wanted #NewAuthorAlert #ReadabookInFlorida #BeachesAndBooks #YouWriteIllRead #MyOpenBookAtTheDragonfly
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  • Noemie | allmybookthoughts
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Berkley for the gifted e-book!I thought this was a cute, feel good read. It was a fun romance that had a little bit of steam to it, but mostly told the story of Gabe & Sara getting to know each other. Their relationship started off via letter from Sara (addressed to a soldier unknown to her), progressed to email/text/Facetime, and then ended up with them meeting in person with disastrous results. The conflict was believable, but I felt like the arc of the whole story fell a Thank you to Berkley for the gifted e-book!I thought this was a cute, feel good read. It was a fun romance that had a little bit of steam to it, but mostly told the story of Gabe & Sara getting to know each other. Their relationship started off via letter from Sara (addressed to a soldier unknown to her), progressed to email/text/Facetime, and then ended up with them meeting in person with disastrous results. The conflict was believable, but I felt like the arc of the whole story fell a little flat for me. It was cute, though, and I did enjoy the story!
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  • Erin (erinevelynreads)
    January 1, 1970
    From Alaska with Love is the story of Sara and Gabe. When Sara sends a postcard to the troops she doesnt expect to hear back let alone develop a relationship with its recipient. But when her card lands in the hands of Gabe, the two become pens pals while Gabe is in Iraq. But as Gabes tour comes to an end, the two make plans to meet in Alaska and try out their relationship for real.This book could really be divided into two parts. The first part is Sara and Gabe as pen pals while Sara is in N.C. From Alaska with Love is the story of Sara and Gabe. When Sara sends a postcard to the troops she doesn’t expect to hear back let alone develop a relationship with its recipient. But when her card lands in the hands of Gabe, the two become pens pals while Gabe is in Iraq. But as Gabe’s tour comes to an end, the two make plans to meet in Alaska and try out their relationship for real.This book could really be divided into two parts. The first part is Sara and Gabe as pen pals while Sara is in N.C. and Gabe is in Iraq. I thoroughly enjoyed this part with their letters and their Facetime conversations. It did a great job of building up excitement for the two of them eventually meeting. The second half of the book fell flat for me, especially with Sara’s character. In the first part of the book, Sara is this sassy, funny, genuine character. But then she gets to Alaska and none of that really comes across. It felt like two different books.The best way I could describe this book would be a cross between the Simple Wild and a Nicholas Sparks book. Maybe one with a dog. Trouble, Gabe’s dog was by far my favorite character. He was adorably endearing. My only wish is that he was a bigger part of the book.Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for the review copy!
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.This was one of the most romantic love stories I have ever read and it definitely screamed like a potential lifetime and hallmark movie. From Alaska with Love, tells the story of Sara and the letters she wrote overseas to Major Gabe Randall who fell in love with Sara just by the letters she has written. Sara herself is so smitten This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.This was one of the most romantic love stories I have ever read and it definitely screamed like a potential lifetime and hallmark movie. From Alaska with Love, tells the story of Sara and the letters she wrote overseas to Major Gabe Randall who fell in love with Sara just by the letters she has written. Sara herself is so smitten with Gabe that she flees to Alaska to his secluded home to meet him. Gabe then asks her to spend 6 weeks in Alaska to get to know each other. Sara is then afraid that Gabe will not love her for the person that she is and if he finds out the real woman "behind the pen" he will not love her as much as she loves him. This book reminded me a lot of The Lucky One meets the Christmas Card. I can definitely see this being a potential hallmark movie in the making.We will consider adding this title to our Romance collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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  • Katrina
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my heart, I loved this book! I cried, I laughed, and I cheered. I love that they were pen pals for so long before meeting in person, I think that added a level of realistic depth that is hard to achieve in fiction. Definitely one of my favorite books of the year!❤❤
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  • Eileen
    January 1, 1970
    I could not put down Sara and Gabes story in From Alaska with Love by Ally James, This is a sweet, humorous, and heartwarming story, featuring two lonely people. Sara Ryan lives with her brother and his wife, as she takes care of her niece, and also helps her widowed mother. Although she is beautiful, Sara has little to no confidence and because she has no life, seldom socializes, does not believe she will ever marry. Other than her niece, Sara is taken advantage of her by her family, as they I could not put down Sara and Gabe’s story in From Alaska with Love by Ally James, This is a sweet, humorous, and heartwarming story, featuring two lonely people. Sara Ryan lives with her brother and his wife, as she takes care of her niece, and also helps her widowed mother. Although she is beautiful, Sara has little to no confidence and because she has no life, seldom socializes, does not believe she will ever marry. Other than her niece, Sara is taken advantage of her by her family, as they all expect her to do their bidding. While listening to the radio Sara hears that they are collecting cards and letter to pass on to troops overseas; and Sara sends a sweet funny card to whoever receives it. Major Gabe Randall received Sara’s card and while enjoying her sense of humor decides to respond; and thus a pen pal relationship begins. What follows is a warm-hearted sweet story, with both Gabe and Sara welcoming the friendship their correspondence has given them; especially with Sara’s funny posts, which were a bright light for Gabe during this hard tour in Iraq. With each new communication, email or Facetime, both begin to have feelings for each other; so they decide they need to meet. Making a surprise visit to Sara’s home turns into a disaster thanks to comments made by her brother. Determined to repair their relationship, Sara flies to Alaska and spends time as intended with Gabe. Not knowing what changed her mind, Gabe eventually realizes that he never wants Sara to leave. In a short time, Sara begins to love Alaska and Gabe’s army friends. As their relationship and love falls into place, Gabe realizes he has to find a way for Sara’s family to forgive her for “deserting” them and work out a plan for Sara to still visit with them. Sara and Gabe were perfect together, finding a magnetism that keeps them together with off the chart chemistry and explosive electricity.Ms. James wrote a sweet, humorous, and heartwarming story that is not to be missed. I loved many of the secondary characters that James created, especially Chloe, Jason, and especially Trouble the dog, who I absolutely adored. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and will definitely not be the last. I highly recommend The From Alaska with Love to other readers. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    I am not a big romance reader, but I have read several contemporary romances lately that I enjoyed. So maybe I am softening to the genre. I also always find stories set in Alaska to be fascinating. And I thought the concept of this story sounded interesting, about a woman who goes to Alaska to meet up with the military man she has been writing back and forth to while he was stationed overseas.Unfortunately, this book was not the right book for me. I found the story and dialogue to be cheesy and I am not a big romance reader, but I have read several contemporary romances lately that I enjoyed. So maybe I am softening to the genre. I also always find stories set in Alaska to be fascinating. And I thought the concept of this story sounded interesting, about a woman who goes to Alaska to meet up with the military man she has been writing back and forth to while he was stationed overseas.Unfortunately, this book was not the right book for me. I found the story and dialogue to be cheesy and melodramatic, and the pacing seemed slow. It took a long time for these two to figure out that they should be together with so many little misunderstandings that could have been fixed much quicker if they would have just talked to each other. I think some people enjoy this type of story, as this is a fairly common storyline in romance novels, so it may be a better fit for someone else. One little example of something that rubbed me the wrong way in this story were the nicknames that Gabe and Sara used for each other. Gabe frequently called her "Angel" or "sweetheart" while Sara would call him "baby." I don't know why exactly, but this really drove me nuts. Perhaps because I am not one to use nicknames like this for people in real life. So it felt silly and not very genuine to me.I was most disappointed because I thought that the Alaskan setting would play more of a role in this story. Besides causing Sara to be separated from her family, the setting didn't really come into play. In other books I have read, the land of Alaska almost became a character in the story itself with harsh conditions and long winters playing a part in the storytelling. I was expecting a large part of the conflict to come from Sara adjusting to the Alaskan environment, and that just wasn't what this book was about. I had very different expectations for this book compared to what it turned out to be.While it wasn't the right book for me, I am thankful to NetGalley and Berkley for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARSSara Ryan has essentially retired from life at a young age by only doing the bidding of her family. She is nanny to a five-year-old niece whose parents are too busy to raise. She is also a prime helper for her widowed mother who cannot be bothered to learn the business side of life. Sara has only had a few boyfriends and none of them serious. Sara loves her niece, Kaylee, but since she is treated little better than the hired help with few outside opportunities, her life is lonely. On 3.5 STARSSara Ryan has essentially retired from life at a young age by only doing the bidding of her family. She is nanny to a five-year-old niece whose parents are too busy to raise. She is also a prime helper for her widowed mother who cannot be bothered to learn the business side of life. Sara has only had a few boyfriends and none of them serious. Sara loves her niece, Kaylee, but since she is treated little better than the hired help with few outside opportunities, her life is lonely. On impulse, Sara decides to answer the call to write to deployed soldiers which turns out to be a game changer.Major Gabriel Randall spends much of his job overseas in difficult places as a career military officer. When he receives Sara’s quirky and entertaining letter, a brightness comes into Gabe he did not know was missing. As they spend months communicating including FaceTime chats, Sara and Gabe form a relationship that seems right for both of them until a surprise meeting in person when Sara retreats back into her shell. Gabe’s home base is in Alaska which is where he and Sara finally get the chance to see if what they had online can become a reality for both of them. Gabe has a full military persona and does not like to let his feelings out. Sara has been subjugated by her family for so long that standing up for herself is very difficult. Sara’s doormat personality and Gabe’s emotional walls add a lot of angst and drama to this story. It reads more like Women’s Fiction than romance as much of the chapters are their individual lives including Sara’s quotidian duties. It is actually quite late in the book before they are together in person. If you are an impatient reader when it comes to the romance, this can be frustrating. Oddly, the author repeats their letters twice in the text which seems unnecessary and redundant. Most of Sara’s family are quite cringe worthy; it is a wonder she is so nice. Fans of military romance will likely enjoy this story as the author does well in positing what life is like for men and women in harm’s way.
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  • Smitten
    January 1, 1970
    Sara is a modern day spinster who works as a nanny to take care of her brothers daughter. She is not exactly quite content with her status in life. On a whim she sends a card to soldiers overseas. It falls in the lap of Gabe who is doing a tour. Gabe ends up sparking more conversations with Sara. She can be anyone she wants to be on paper which makes her happy until Gabe decides he wants more.The story starts off when she is at a family reunion. Her aunt is introducing her to everyone as this Sara is a modern day spinster who works as a nanny to take care of her brother’s daughter. She is not exactly quite content with her status in life. On a whim she sends a card to soldiers overseas. It falls in the lap of Gabe who is doing a tour. Gabe ends up sparking more conversations with Sara. She can be anyone she wants to be on paper which makes her happy until Gabe decides he wants more.The story starts off when she is at a family reunion. Her aunt is introducing her to everyone as this lonely single woman in her thirties. I guess that is a bad thing. If this was not a contemporary romance I would have thought Sara was better suited for a historical. I did wonder why the aunt was introducing her at the family reunion when everyone kind of seems to know everyone but okay let’s push on.The story is cute and hallmark-ish but it almost misses the mark. The author spends too much time inside the characters’ head. Sara has deep rooted self esteem issues. She doesn’t believe she is attractive nor have anything to offer. In her mind she is not deserving of any happiness. She constantly envy her cousin, Chloe. It started out okay but as her relationship with Gabe developed, I did come to expect that her character would grow into someone stronger. She stayed the same until the end.The one thing that I loved was the fact that Gabe gave Sara a sense of family. She had family but they were not the loving supportive group. Gabe and his dog became that for her. In return, Sara was able to thaw out some of the ice from Gabe’s heart.This is not a bad debut. I think that I wanted to see more of the happily ever after for these two. I’m still curious about Chloe.~ Samantha
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  • Whitney Mcgregor (A Literary Perusal)
    January 1, 1970
    I adore Alaska and the cover for this book is I just had to read it. Im not familiar with the author so I went in with hope but not a lot of expectations. Our heroine, Sara, is still single in her mid 30s and is horribly taken advantage of by her entire family. Her self esteem isnt great but she definitely has a spark and shes a wonderful person. Just too bad her family doesnt see her clearly. On a whim she sends a Dear Soldier card which happens to fall on Gabes desk while hes stationed in I adore Alaska and the cover for this book is I just had to read it. I’m not familiar with the author so I went in with hope but not a lot of expectations. Our heroine, Sara, is still single in her mid 30’s and is horribly taken advantage of by her entire family. Her self esteem isn’t great but she definitely has a spark and she’s a wonderful person. Just too bad her family doesn’t see her clearly. On a whim she sends a ‘Dear Soldier’ card which happens to fall on Gabe’s desk while he’s stationed in Iraq. Gabe is a man of few words but with a big heart. He finds himself falling for the silly girl behind the letters quickly. Letters turn into emails and FaceTime and before you know it, these two become the brightest part of each other’s days. I won’t rehash the plot but obviously there’s trouble in paradise and Gabe, being the frustrating man he is did make me a bit mad. The book is written in dual POV though so at least we understand how much he is hurt which does justify much of his actions. The end is quite fulfilling though so thankfully all’s well that ends well. A couple things... Gabe’s dog steals most of the scenes he’s in. The book is a little slow and I got bored at times. The letters written are often up twice for the reader (when Sara or Gabe write them and again as the other reads them) which is very tedious. It doesn’t happen a ton but it was annoying. I’d definitely read this author again as the bones of the story were good even if it wasn’t executed the best. I’d love to see Sara’s cousin hook up with Gabe’s friend/boss.
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