Golden Days by Lynn Lovegreen

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Golden Days by  Lynn Lovegreen
Publisher: Prism Book Group
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Historical
Length: Short Story (132 pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Alaska is a cold place to live until love blossoms.

Elizabeth Robinson travels by dog sled to help her family mind the store in Fairbanks, Alaska. She wants to pursue her drawing and painting, but women artists are rare in 1906, and flood, fire, and a death in the family force her to take charge at home at age seventeen. James Garrett comes north to help his uncle at a nearby gold claim. An awkward eighteen-year-old who is more at home with machines than people, he becomes a man as he falls in love with Elizabeth. When a discovery about her benefactor, the founder of the town, threatens their future, Elizabeth and James find that together they can overcome any obstacle.

Sometimes love shows up when you least expected it.

Elizabeth is a well-rounded protagonist who sprung to life in my imagination before the first chapter had ended. Not only did her personality flaws help me to get to know her better, they also provided a lot of fodder for plot development later on. This is one of the things I look for when deciding what to read next, so I was pleased to see how much time had been spent on describing what Elizabeth’s personality is like and who she is as a individual.

The romance moved so quickly that I had trouble understanding how Elizabeth transitioned from being annoyed by James to finding him handsome and mysterious. They do appear to have a lot in common, but it took a long time for me to see any chemistry between them. Holding off on the romantic elements for a little longer would have given me a better chance to understand why these characters should be together.

All of the descriptions of food in this story made my mouth water. Elizabeth and her family don’t have access to as many different types of food as we do in the twenty-first century, but they’ve certainly learned how to make what they can grow or barter for in Alaska into some unforgettable meals.  I was especially intrigued by chess pie. It isn’t something I’d ever heard of before, but it sure sounded delicious!

I’d recommend Golden Days to anyone in the mood for a sweet, young adult romance.

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