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  • Up North

  • Compass Stars, Book 1
  • By: Allison Temple
  • Narrated by: Toby James
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Up North cover art

Up North

By: Allison Temple
Narrated by: Toby James
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Summary

The last thing Jack Spencer wants to be is a fishing guide for rich tourists. But with a sister in need of help and nothing but a rusty fishing boat to his name, he takes a job at the Wild Eagle Lodge, Alaska’s newest luxury resort.

When a scandal rocks his career, movie star Damian Marshall feels like the whole world is watching his every move. That is, until he meets a gruff fishing guide who doesn’t seem to know who he is. Desperate for escape, Damian grabs at the chance for anonymity with both hands.

Away from the pressure of studios and the media, Damian and Jack grow closer. But as sparks fly and scandal follows Damian north, Jack will need to decide if he can love a man he hardly knows, or if this brush with fame is too hot to handle.

Up North is a 77k contemporary MM romance novel. It features a movie star on the run, a fishing guide who has never been anywhere, and bears of all sorts. Happily ever after guaranteed.

©2021 Allison Temple (P)2023 Allison Temple

What listeners say about Up North

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

OK story and really good performance

The narrator had an alright sounding reading voice. He was perhaps a little younger sounding than what I thought the characters would sound like in my head but he did a really good job at expressing the emotions and differentiating the characters voices and it was a pretty good listening experience.

For me this was just ok. I didn’t hate it and I was able to listen to it all without being at all bored but the plot was pretty uneventful and didn’t stand out at all in my mind. I didn’t really like Damien due to what he did to Jack and I didn’t feel much of a connection between them either. I also wasn’t fond of how it ended and how it felt incomplete to me.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Slow burn Romance.

Allison Temple is a very talented writer, I've read the majority of her books and enjoyed them all. I like how she manages to capture you from the word go, entertaining you til the end. This is a slow burn story, with some excellent character development, and an interesting pair of MCs, in David and Jack. There's some pretty great secondary characters too. It's just great all around story telling. This is the first of her books that I've listened to, and thought that Toby James did a really decent job.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Listener received this title free

A sweet, if a little predictable story

Damian and Jack's story was a sweet hidden identity/celebrity romance with a pretty standard plot. I knew exactly what the big drama was going to be from the start, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the nicely executed storyline. There was something really peaceful about the way Jack and David quietly got to know each other over long fishing trips, and though David certainly should have handled things better with Jack, I appreciate that he wanted space from his famous lifestyle. I don't know why all these book characters think keeping secrets is a good idea, but thankfully the aftermath of the big reveal felt realistic instead of being glossed over for the happy ending. Each man took some time and space to evaluate what they wanted before coming back together, and that made their reunion much more genuine. Overall, the steam level was pretty low--only a few hot kisses and more, but I didn't mind it in this story because I could focus more on the emotional connection between the main characters. I thought the narrator did a nice job bringing the story to life, even if he's not one of my go-tos in MM romance.

**I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this book. This review expresses my honest thoughts and opinions.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing!

I absolutely loved this adorable romance.

Such a great book with a solid storyline and great characters.

I eagerly look forward to reading more from this author.

A definite recommend

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Listener received this title free

Sweet, slow burn, mistaken/hidden identity

I love this author's work.
She has a knack for creating rich, vibrant and in depth characters that seem to linger long after the story has been read.
I absolutely loved Damien and Jack.
Both hiding for their own reasons but Damien's, which he kept secret from Jack is revealed and very nearly has devastating effects.
Their road to a HEA was hard but so well deserved.
Toby James did an amazing job narrating and bringing these characters to life.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gorgeous romance

Movie star in hiding and a fisherman who lives under a rock (not literally) leads to a super sweet romance. It's a (sort of) mistaken identity story. And I figured where it was going from the start but I didn't care because I just wanted to be taken on the ride.
For some reason I love stories set in Alaska. The wilderness. Men of the strong silent type. Sun. Snow. Sea.
The narration was great and the story flowed.
Can't wait for Vin's story.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing book

I liked this book. It was easy to read with a great story. I really liked Jack! The ending of the book was really good.

Now I have listen to this book also and I loved it! Toby James dose an amazing work on this book!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Not So Secret Identities

Up North is the first book in the Compass Stars series (which I'm excited about because I really hope more books are written in this setting), and it was instantly an enjoyable read. Jack Spencer is an Alaskan fisherman who cares very little about pop culture and celebrity news. In fact, he cares so little that he doesn't even recognize one of the most popular actors: Damian Marshall. When Damian and Jack meet, it's everything I have ever wanted in a secret identity romance. It's sweet, adorable, and so, so hot with enough drama and angst to give the plot a good conflict to overcome. I really enjoyed Damian/David's redemption and how he finally took control of his own life and happiness. It was such a satisfying ending with a wonderfully romantic scene.

Toby James narrates the audiobook, and he does a nice job. After a few minutes I was so engrossed in the story I forgot I was even listening to it--the book felt like it was being performed in front of me. I could see all the characters so clearly in mind.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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I absolutely adored this story!

I loved everything about this book. From the setting, on the wild and secluded fishing coasts of Alaska, to the slow burn, to the wonderful, if messy characters, that are Damian and Jack.
The book is not excessively angsty, but there is an underlying tension through the whole story that kept me glued to my Kindle wanting to see how this two could make it right in the end with everything they had going against them.
Very good writing an interesting and catching approach to difficult themes, such as the other side of fame, internalized homophobia and the fear of not being enough.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent story

I absolutely loved this story when I read it.
It’s really well-written with engaging characters and is an interesting look at the other side of fame. The characters stayed with me so I was delighted to be able to listen to an audio version whilst doing chores. I enjoyed Toby James’ narration.

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