As soon as I got a notification that ‘The Northern Lights Lodge‘ by Julie Caplin was available on Netgalley, I immediately requested it. I had been introduced to the books of Julie Caplin/Jules Wake last year by a friend, and I do have lots more of her books to read on my tbr.
I loved her previous book, ‘The Little Paris Patisserie’ and I attended her book tour in November 2018 to promote that book. During the evening with Julie Caplin and Sue Moorcroft, Julie said that some of the characters from The Little Paris Patisserie would be making select cameo appearances in ‘The Northern Lights Lodge‘ and this excited me at the time because the characters she mentioned, Peter and Jane, had been lovely in ‘The Little Paris Patisserie‘. By the time I read The Northern Lights Lodge I had completely forgotten, so when I was reading, I had a little light-bulb moment when I recognised them as well as very briefly Nina and Sebastian too. I love little continuities between books that on the surface are completely unrelated.
The Northern Lights Lodge follows Lucy, who was sacked from her job as General Manager of a prestigious hotel in Manchester, and found herself unable to find work elsewhere because news of her dismissal and the viral video that formed part of the scandal had spread amongst her profession. She gets the opportunity to head to a small Lodge in Iceland to take over as General Manager in an area where no one knew her for a probationary period of two months. Broken by her past, fragile Lucy arrives in Iceland to an interesting number of Icelandic staff, together with the very handsome Scottish barman Alex. A number of mysterious things happen at the Lodge, which could be sabotage, or could even be the Huldufólk or elves. Add to that a film crew arriving at short notice to film a fly on the wall documentary, and Lucy and the staff find themselves with more than a few issues to deal with.
The setting for The Northern Lights Lodge sounded absolutely incredible, and I finished the book with a huge desire to travel to Iceland and stay in a lodge there. The cosiness that Lucy wants to instil in the lodge for the benefit of the customers ties into the Scandinavian theme of hygge, or in Iceland huggulegt. The use of hygge shines through the pages of the book, and in spite of being aware of the cold outside the lodge, the lodge itself sounds idyllic, cosy and welcoming.
I loved the growth that you see in Lucy as the book progresses. When she arrives in Iceland and ends up soaked to the skin and bedraggled, it’s a visual suggestion of just how damaged she had been by the destruction of her previous relationship and career. With new friendship and love from her new friends, and from Alex, she becomes more in control of her own life and consequently the lodge. She even finds the strength to stand up to her past and put it firmly behind her. As for Alex, I think he’s possibly my new book boyfriend, tall, handsome and with an accent like David Tennant, could he be any more perfect?
I love the way the spark between Lucy and Alex grows, and although I’m not going to use a spoiler, let’s just say that there is a scene involving the reflection in a window that was just perfect.
This was an easy 5 star for me, and if you want a journey through Iceland, finding love under the shimmering lights of the aurora borealis, then this book is definitely for you. Read this wearing cosy socks, under a snuggly throw with a hot drink and a candle at the side of you!
I loved The Little Paris Patisserie, but found myself loving this even more, and I cannot wait for book 5 in the series, The Secret Cove in Croatia which is due to be published in July.
Many thanks to Harper Impulse and Netgalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.