But with the welfare of a teenager at stake, she must put aside rocky first impressions and work with a man who needs her as much as she’ll come to need him.
A Change of Pace (Northern Lights Book 3)
By Freya Barker
Once again, Freya Barker has taken us on another beautiful journey to the Great White North with “A Change of Pace,” the third in her Northern Lights series, where her ordinary characters do extraordinary things.
Newt Tobias, an ex-cop in his late forties, moves himself and his troubled daughter away from the city in hopes that an easier life might renew his daughter’s broken spirit and help to heal her self-inflicted physical pain. Millie is at that age—fourteen years old—when misplaced hormones play havoc with every young teen’s mind and body as it is, so to throw her into a new school with only a few weeks left until summer vacation doesn’t bode too well for either of them.
Frederique Marchand, or Freddy as she prefers to be called, is a therapist in her mid-forties, who has a practice but also counsels kids in the Parry Sound school district. She’s smart and sassy with a beautiful heart who has had her own enormous share of pain. One of the more frightening moments in this story revolves around the reoccurrence of a past disease.
Any time Freddy sees her patients, she brings her own secret weapon in the form of her service dog, Boulder. As a matter of fact, Freddy has a bunch of animals, all who have a special supporting role in this story. There’s Timber the goat who’s best buddies with George, her pot-belly pig; next, there’s Chester, the old lovable rescue horse, the three cats, Larry, Moe, and Curly, and finally, Boulder, the best dog ever in the history of … well, dogs!
While helping Millie, Freddy and Newt become completely drawn to one another. It’s a slow process, one which I love, because to me it mirrors real life. Also, these two are not in their twenties, and as much as they are attracted to one another, they’re wise enough to realize that Millie’s well-being is what’s most important.
Let me just say that when they do get together, it’s amazing. Go us older folks!!!
Okay, forties aren’t old anyway. Newt is one smokin hot, bossy alpha—oh yes, he is! As a matter of fact, he just may be my new fave book boyfriend. Then again, I think I’ve said that every time Freya has released a new book.
It’s sometimes so difficult to put pen to paper when reviewing one of Freya Barker’s books. I think the reason might be that there are always side stories going on with other characters that are just as important. These stories are always so filled to the brim with such a spectacular supporting cast. In this case, Freddy’s uber-protective brother, Alex, and especially his twin sons, Luke and Josh, really pull Millie out of her angst-ridden head. Jordan, is another lost kid, who gets bullied in school and becomes Millie’s best friend. Sgt. Jim Baldwin of the local police department redeems himself after some bad history with Freddy, and he does it again by stepping up to be a better dad to his son, Jordan. Add in a plethora of others who all fall perfectly into the mix, and the result is a full and beautifully written story. The epilogue was quite moving and warmed my heart.
A Change of Pace is another treasure from author Freya Barker. She never disappoints with her brilliant storytelling—this one is no exception. Five stars and a must read! Reviewed by Lisa Cullinan
Freya Barker inspires with her stories about ‘real’ people, perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy. She is the author of the Cedar Tree Series and the Portland, ME, novels.