All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Whiteout by Adriana Anders

on October 7, 2021

Whiteout (Survival Instincts #1)
Adriana Anders
Sourcebooks Casablanca
2021, 352p
Personal purchased copy

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}: Angel Smith is ready to leave Antarctica for a second chance at life. But on what was meant to be her final day, the research station is attacked. Hunted and scared, she and glaciologist Ford Cooper barely make it out with their lives…only to realize that in a place this remote, there’s nowhere left to run.

Isolated in the middle of a long, frozen winter with a madman at their heels, they must fight to survive in the most inhospitable—and beautiful—place on earth. But the outside world depends on what Ford and Angel know and, as their pursuers close in and their new partnership burns bright and hot, they will stop at nothing to make it out of the cold alive.

Okay so anyone that knows me and what I like as a reader, would know immediately that Antarctica is an instant autoread for me. I love books set in Antarctica and I also love enforced proximity as a romance trope. This ticks so many of my boxes I had to buy it and it was only about $5 so I thought why the heck not.

It was actually a pretty decent read. Was it at all realistic? No. Did I care? Also no.

Angel Smith has been working at a research station in Antarctica over the “summer”, as the station cook. She’s provided the researchers and workers with tasty meals but now it’s time for the summer crew to leave and the station will be manned by a skeleton winter crew. One of the winter crew will be glaciologist Ford Cooper, who has caught Angel’s eye more than once but who has shut her down at every opportunity. Just before Angel should be boarding the plane she finds herself caught up in an attack on the station and left behind – just her and Dr Ford Cooper. With the station destroyed they need to leave – especially as Angel made sure that the people who attacked the station did not leave with what they wanted and they’ll be back. They have 21 days of food to make it almost 300 miles to a Russian research station across harsh unforgiving territory and no doubt with people on their heels with technology at their disposal, which Angel and Ford do not have.

Ford and Angel will have to rely on each other in ways that will test every single thing about them – especially Ford, who has always kept Angel at a distance for multiple reasons. Ford has some sensory issues, he seems to get easily overloaded by sounds and crowds and other things as well and he’s definitely a reclusive type of person who rarely gets close to anyone. Angel is a bit of a ray of sunshine and she’s been intrigued by him for a while. He also definitely thinks she’s attractive but doesn’t think that sort of attachment is for him. He’s happiest researching his ice in Antarctica, drilling his ice cores and whatever and living a peaceful and solitary life. The isolation and peace of Antarctica suits him but close proximity to Angel on the journey tests his control to the limit.

Look, the mystery/suspense bit isn’t the strongest. There’s a lot of people operating some sort of clandestine research of their own, and they need Ford’s ice cores. There’s a lot about how it goes “all the way to the top” (which by of course they mean the American government, because who else would be “the top”?) and the villains are at times, comically evil but also incredibly stupid. I’m not sure when this was written but what is in the ice feels uncomfortable to read at the moment but it could just be a coincidence (ok it was published January 2020 so it’s a coincidence which suddenly gains an all new realism in 2021).

However, where this book is excellent, is the romance. And let’s face it, that’s why I was reading it anyway! This is not quite enemies to lovers, but it has the forced proximity that is my jam and sexual tension for days. Especially because for a while, it has to remain unconsummated as well, one just can’t be going around being naked in a tent in quickly-turning-to-winter Antarctica where it’s -25 to -45. The tension is delicious and I really loved Ford’s inner struggle with himself and his tenuous grip on his control and it’s so much fun. I also liked the descriptions of the trip where they have to mostly ski across a large portion of Antarctica to the next research station and the growing realisation that they simply aren’t moving fast enough for the amount of food they have with them.

This is a series and it looks like the overall story is going to spin out over several books, so there is not closure here on the ‘big bad’ and what they’re doing. The author introduces some people Ford knows and those people are seemingly going to provide the basis for a potential number of books and it’s probably going to become this group vs the big evil that is trying to do something incredibly deadly. So this book ends without any real closure on that story and I did like this enough to want to read the next one because……it’s set in Alaska! Which is also one of my favourite settings. More forced proximity! People on the run! Sometimes you just want some fun.

Entertaining. Kept me invested and I really enjoyed the romance.

7/10

Book #170 of 2021


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