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About the Author
Ann Gimpel is a USA Today bestselling author. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines, magazines, and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance to science fiction. Once upon a time, she nurtured clients. Now she nurtures dark, gritty fantasy stories that push hard against reality. When she’s not writing, she’s in the backcountry getting down and dirty with her camera. She’s published over 45 books to date, with several more planned for 2017 and beyond. A husband, grown children, grandchildren, and wolf hybrids round out her family. Keep up with her at www.anngimpel.com or http://anngimpel.blogspot.com If you enjoyed what you read, get in line for special offers. Sign up for Ann's newsletter on her website or her blog. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This story cannot be put in a box. It crosses so many of the romance sub-genres I have a hard time trying to pinpoint what it is. If I wanted to try to describe it, I'd say it was a part romantic suspense, part scientific thriller, part paranormal / supernatural romance in one. There are so many elements woven into this story to make a whole and unless you read it, you won't understand how it all comes together and it does come together. All these different elements to the story come together in a very cohesive way.
The story was a bit slow to start and most of it takes place on board a ship bound for the Antarctica. A lot of things happen along the way including mutating archaea. This is the science part. The paranormal part comes where our heroine Kayna has psychic and magical powers and the hero's archaea samples "speak" to her. Along the way, there's a dead father who won't stay dead and fallout as super powers go to war. Of course, once they get to the Antarctica which is where the archaea "want" to go to (did I mention paranormal?) things start to get really interesting. More paranormal stuff, more supernatural stuff, more science stuff.
A note on the science stuff. I don't know much about microbiology and archaea but what Ms Gimpel included in the book seemed well researched and presented in such a way it was easy for me to understand. I didn't really need to stop my reading much to go look up scientific terms to understand what was going on. I appreciated that in the writing since it meant the science did not take me out the story.
I mentioned this story was a bit slow to start. Brynn and Kayna don't meet till about 15% into the book, but of course after they meet sparks fly. There's some instalove going on but I was okay with it since there was a strong paranormal element going through the book, and of course, Brynn. I completely fell in love with Brynn and let me tell you why. He was gorgeous of course, but his character reminded me so much of my Steve. As I was reading the book, I kept thinking, oh my, you're just like my Steve and I even mentioned it to Steve and to my friend Bambi.
Brynn was logical, rational and a great communicator. I guess you need to be all those things when you are a scientist. He was open-minded too when confronted with the unexplainable - his rapid growth of feelings for Kayna, the things Kayna told him about the paranormal world, and all the crazy stuff going on with his archaea samples. He approached everything with a natural curiosity and logic, and when logic failed, he embraced the unexplainable. Along the way, he became a warrior and knight in shining armour. I could quote so many Kindle melting moments of the things Brynn said to Kayna which made me want to marry him myself if I didn't already have my Steve. He was mature and he approached problems head on. He didn't hide behind miscommunication or create false conflict by omitting information. My goodness, do you know how rare it is for a hero or a couple in a romance to actually communicate like reasonable adults and work through their problems? It is so refreshing to read. I love Ms Gimpel already for this simple fact and I sincerely hope her other characters in other books are like this too. False conflict created by intentional misunderstanding and the lack of communication drives me bonkers. At about 57% of the story, my status update on Goodreads read: "oh Brynn, I think I love you". I do. I really, really love Brynn.
As for Kayna, she's a wonderfully strong woman who is struggling with her paranormal powers and coming out of a mediocre relationship which turned south when she decided to take the assignment in the Antarctica. She was not looking for a relationship but Brynn hit her like a lightning bolt in the heart. I loved seeing Brynn and Kayna's relationship develop. It developed in such a believable way (except for the initial bit of instalove) and they related to each other in a way where I could see it happening in real life between couples. It certainly happens to Steve and I. When Brynn and Kayna talk or discuss something, I can imagine Steve and I having the same conversations. At one point, Kayna loses her temper and snaps at Brynn, then immediately catches herself and apologises as they continue on with their discussion. That is so like Steve and I. It happens to us a lot. I'm of course, the one usually losing her temper and apologising. :-) Kayna was incredibly brave in confronting things she feared and had put aside for a long time, namely her magical powers. It was great to watch her embrace her lineage and the abilities she was born with even as she as afraid of it.
Once they story kicked up its pace, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read, although, the slow start might also be partly my fault as I was having problems with my eyes and was not able to read for very long.
I'm looking forward to other books by Ms Gimpel. Her characters displayed a maturity which I have not seen in many books lately and it was such a welcome change.
Kayna and Brynn are both devoted to science. She is a medical doctor and he is a medical doctor as well as a scientist. He has spent two years away from civilization and thought he was heading home when he gets a unique opportunity. She is on the way to Antarctica and they meet on the journey. Kayna's family has both Celtic and Chinese magic and those elements become a big part of the story.
This book offers a great mix of paranormal, science, politics and romance. It is a complex story and the author really builds it slowly and thoroughly. You have a strange phenomena developing among an organism and few explanations. You then add in paranormal behavior. You also have war developing between Russia and the US. With all this going on, Kayna and Brynn develop a very special relationship and a passionate romance.
The relationship between Kayna and Brynn is so well done. I loved how well they worked together and supported one another. They both had long-term relationships end and were not looking for love but it definitely found them. There is a strong connection from that first meeting and the attraction is instant. There is a real passion to their relationship that is evident immediately. He really listens to her and is the first man to understand and accept her differences. She opens up to him and he is just as open to her. I loved that he is willing to do anything to keep her safe.
I highly recommend this book and the author's other books as well. Her books are not the typical paranormal romances you see in the genre. They offer a very different experience.
I am voluntarily reviewing a copy I received.