REVIEW: Up North (Compass Stars #1) by Allison Temple

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. HEA guaranteed.


m/m romance, actor and fishing guide, opposites in many ways, HEA


Up North is the newest offering from Allison Temple. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have read a few books by Allison Temple and in different genres. Romance is definitely Temple’s wheelhouse… and I love that her characters are always quite original… different from one another. They have really unique voices.

In this novel… Jack is a fishing guide working at a wilderness resort in Alaska. It’s a job that he doesn’t mind but he’s doing it mostly because he needs to help his sister out while she deals with her relationship.

Damian is an actor fleeing some bad press that isn’t really his fault. He blew up at his director but there was much more to it than is being portrayed in the media. His agent is worried about his career and when he ends up in a tangle with the same director once more in public, he’s banished up north.

One of the best things about the resort trip for Damian is that Jack doesn’t seem to have a clue who he is. That never happens to Damian, and he settles into being “David” – the person who fled a small town and homophobic family a long time ago. He hasn’t been able to be just David for so long, that he is instantly at ease with Jack… and they begin to get to know one another.

Of course, you know it’s coming… the outside world catches up with them when they are at their most vulnerable and Damian finds himself in the middle of another public relations storm. This is where I really appreciated Temple’s writing. This is a real traumatic mess that Damian and Jack are both caught up in. The reactions of the characters and the people in their lives read as really authentic to me and I appreciate that. I am always in the position of not wanting to give too much away… suffice to say the two main characters are rocked by what happens and have a lot of emotion about it.

There is a switching POV in this story and I enjoyed it. Sometimes, I have trouble telling the characters apart and that didn’t happen with this book! I really enjoyed knowing what was going on in each of the MC’s minds when they were getting to know each other. It was refreshing to read about them!

One other thing that you can be guaranteed of is a satisfying ending in all of Allison Temple’s books. I will definitely read any books that come out in this series. I already have my hopes for who I think future installments may be about!


Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) drinking, vomiting (sea sickness), character deals with invasion of privacy, character is outed by media.



Goodreads || Author

I received an ARC of Up North  by Allison Temple from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

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