Last year I read the second book in the Northern Lights series, A Change of View. I really enjoyed this story, so I was very excited for A Change of Pace. One of the main characters has a career similar to what I studied for, so this was relatable. What else did I think of this book? Keep reading to find out!
Title: A Change of Pace
Series: Northern Lights Collection
Author: Freya Barker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 16, 2018
Once a man who lived by the letter of the law.
Newt Tobias will do anything for his little girl. Even take early retirement, sell his city home, and move to cottage country, hoping that the simpler life will provide a better balance for his troubled teenage daughter.
Yet, not long after they’ve settled, he finds himself toe-to-toe with a stubborn, fiery tempered woman with pretty brown eyes.
Once a recluse preferring to live alone.
Working with troubled adolescents, Frederique Marchand doesn’t suffer fools and won’t put up with bullies. Especially handsome strangers like Newt who think they can run roughshod over her. She loves her work, but on her own time she much prefers the company of her menagerie of animals.
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.
Cover I love that this author doesn’t have the typical romance covers of shirtless men, haha. These covers are really tasteful. I love that all of the covers in this series are outdoors. They match really well.
Plot I loved A Change of View, but this one sucked me in from the beginning! I instantly connected with the characters and really felt for them. I can’t imagine what it was like for Millie to lose her mother at such a young age. On top of that, after all that happens living with your father fulltime all of a sudden and him being a cop. That had to be hard. Newt is an amazing father though. That little girl is his world and he will do everything to make sure she is okay. Freddy seems like a wonderful person. Not only does she do the hard work as a therapist, she loves animals and doesn’t have the easiest past either.
A Change of Pace is a story I couldn’t put down. Freddy and Newt don’t have the greatest first meeting and this made it so much more fun. There was no instantlove or anything like it. At first, Freddy is only there to help Millie and neither of them expect to feel anything for each other. The romance and story in this book is slow, but that is the perfect pace. No rushing, because of the attraction, but really thinking it out and thinking about Millie. It takes them so long, even Millie tells them they should date, haha.
All of the characters in this book have their own past and things they need to deal with. And each and every one of them is stronger because of this. There are some obstacles along the way in this book, but they didn’t feel out of place. It was nice to have a romance without the drama of cheating, a crazy ex coming back to haunt them or break them apart. The troubles they had weren’t something they could control. While I felt bad for the characters, this was refreshing to see in a romance. This was a perfect addition to this series and I was sad to say goodbye to these characters.
Characters Freddy has had a share of problems and loss in the past and if anything, she has come out a lot stronger. She is an amazing woman who loves her job and the animal family she has at home. Freddy was a relatable character to me, because I studied something similar in college. I could really look at her in a different perspective because of this. She is very dedicated to her work and the children she helps. Her dog Boulder makes this even more perfect. I love how animals can be so much of a help. I loved that Freddy still let herself open up to something new after all of the pain she had already been through.
Newt is an amazing father. Millie is his life and when he realized things were wrong, he turned his life upside down. Retiring early, so he could move Millie to a new surrounding, is very big of him. Millie really is his world and he wouldn’t see it any other way. Just like Freddy, he knows what loss is, but not in the same way. His most challenging thing is how to help Millie deal with her emotions. Newt can also be very stubborn, haha. When he realizes he is being manipulated into getting a dog, he wants to stop it, so it can be on his terms, haha. He is very rotective and loving.
Millie was a surprise to me in this book. A lot of the times in romances, after the inital introduction of the child, they disappear to the background. Especially once the romance begins. Not in A Change of Pace. She was an important character from the start and stayed that way. This made me very happy. It’s not realistic to think children disappear in that way, haha. Millie hasn’t had an easy few years and doesn’t know how to deal with all the emotions. I love that Freddy is able to get her to open up and how much the animals help her. We slowly seee her become herself again and enjoy a bit of happiness. While being the typical teenager she’s supposed to be!
“How was school?”
“Fine.” It’s the same answer Millie gave me yesterday and it doesn’t tell me anything. I read somewhere once that when a woman says ‘fine,’ it means she’s everything but.
“Anything exciting?” I try again, which earns me an eye-roll, and I turn my eyes back to the road.
“Actually,” she suddenly says, surprising me. “I met a dog today.”
“At school?” I’m confused; I didn’t know they let dogs in the school.
“Yeah. Dad, can we get a dog?”
“Wait. Is that even allowed? Bringing a dog into school?”
“I guess so. He’s some kind of service dog. But, Dad, can we have a dog?”
“What—like a Seeing Eye dog?”
“No, he belonged to a therapist visiting the school. So can we?”
“You saw a therapist?”
“It was just some kind of welcome thing they do with new kids.”
“That’s pretty neat.”
“Whatever, it wasn’t a big deal. Can we pick up a donut at Tim Hortons?” she asks, changing tracks at lightning speed. We’re coming up to Nobel and Timmies is just down the road. “I just really liked the dog. So?”
“Sure, we can.”
The screaming that follows almost has me running the damn Jeep off the road.
“Yes! Thanks so much, Dad,” she says with more enthusiasm than I’ve heard her express in the past four years. “Can we get one this weekend?”
Now I’m confused. Does she not want me to stop now?
“You want your donut this weekend?”
“Donut I want now.” She turns to me with big wide innocent eyes. “But we can shop for the dog this weekend?”
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.
Freya is the recipient of the RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for best first book, “Slim To None,” and is a finalist for the 2016 Kindle Book Awards for “From Dust”. She currently has two complete series and three anthologies published, and is working on two new series; La Plata County FBI—ROCK POINT, and Northern Lights. She continues to spin story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention!
A Change of Pace is an emotional, but beautiful story. Freya Barker is good at writing these stories and I hope we get more in this series! Have you ever read anything by this author? What did you think?