by Nadia Nichols

February 2002
ISBN: 0-373-71043-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin #1043
Mass Market Paperback

Rebecca Reed came to the great Alaskan wilderness with her husband. Since arriving she has grown to love the land and everything about this wonderful state. But Rebecca is now desperately trying to make a success out of her late husband's sight seeing and dog food business. She is also the owner of some forty sled dogs and plans to race them in the Yukon Quest, the great race across some 1,023 miles of the Yukon Territory. She is an experienced musher who knows all too well how brutal the Quest can be, but she feels she and her dogs are up for the challenge.

Bill (Mac) MacKenzie has come to the Yukon to get away from a personal tragedy and to help his brother, Brian out with his sled team for the winter. Brian wanted to go back to school and needed someone to look after his sled dogs until his return. Since Mac's life is a mess right now he is only too happy to volunteer for the job. Mac having heard about the Yukon Quest thinks it's just the challenge he needs to get his mind off his problems and put his life in perspective. The $50,000 prize money is not a bad incentive to win the race either. Too bad Mac doesn't have a clue how brutal the Yukon Quest can really be for man and dog alike.

Through the months leading up to the big race Mac and Rebecca begin to train together and help each other out. They soon become friends and each gains respect for the other. As race day arrives, Mac and Rebecca's relationship deepens. They will have to learn to rely on each other in order to survive the harsh elements that the Yukon wilderness has in store for them. Will they come through this journey as more than friends?

With Across A Thousand Miles, newcomer Nadia Nichols has created a beautiful story depicting a vast Alaskan wilderness. She does an especially nice job of making the reader feel as if they are on the sled trip themselves. The reader can feel the bitter cold and dangerous conditions right along with Mac and Rebecca thanks to Ms. Nichols vivid description.

Ms. Nichols does an excellent job of describing the extensive preparation of both the mushers and sled dogs leading up to the race. Both must go through extensive training and preparations for the grueling 1000-mile trip. I was worn out just reading about it.

Ms. Nichols writes about the subject matter with what seems like first hand knowledge. I have the feeling that she is from Alaska and perhaps has participated in a sled dog race herself. In addition to the beautiful setting of Alaska Ms. Nichols introduces us to two special people in Mac and Rebecca who have gone through some tough times and come to realize that leaning on someone else at times for support in not necessarily a bad thing. I really enjoyed my trip across the Yukon Territory with Mac and Rebecca and hope that I will get to experience the vast Alaskan beauty again through more of Ms. Nichols' stories.

Reviewed in March 2002 by Barbara.

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