This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Escape
Released on August 1, 2013
This book had two things going for it shortly after I began reading it. First, I knew it would be a survivor story and second, I was going to see some amazing character development take place. At least, I was hoping like mad that I saw some character development because the heroine was not a very likeable lady in the beginning. It was all good and the reader is meant to despise the person at the beginning, sweat tears with her in the middle and adore her by the end. It was all the stuff that I wasn’t ready for that took it from a good story all the way to amazing.
The story opens in the airport with Abigail and her husband, Spencer, departing on a trip of rugged adventure to Kakadu National Park. They are not what they seem because in truth they nearly loathe each other. Abigail not only has strained relations with her husband; she has them with her teenage daughter too. Everything about the trip she is to take with Spencer has her worked up, but she is determined to go nonetheless. They board a small prop plane with a handful of other passengers and set forth.
Somewhere over the jungles of Kakadu, the plane has trouble and they crash land. Mackenzie wakes up to a nightmare. He started out the trip with the man he loves for an adventure vacation and ends up being one of two survivors. The woman, Abigail, is a selfish snobby Queen B. They have to not only learn to get along, but learn to survive. Burying their dead is only the beginning of their harrowing experiences when they realize that no one is coming for them right away. The plane sheered in half in the crash and they locate a third survivor, Charlie, who is barely hanging in there due to his injuries which he eventually succumbs to leaving behind the legacy of his field journal which will help them find edible plants and his letters to his family which tell a poignant story in their own right.
When days stretch into weeks and weeks into months, Abi and Mackenzie have become true survivors. They are remaking themselves especially Abi, but resources are running out and they must eventually discover if they can learn to survive the long trek back to civilization.
The plot on this one has a few layers to it. Its an adventure, its a ‘lose yourself to find yourself’, and its a romance. I have to point out right away that I loved how this story is rough and gritty around the edges both in the backdrop and the characters. This isn’t a glossed over and watered down version of a story. It’s very descriptive of what it might really be like, deprivations and emotional swings and all for someone who is lost and presumed dead in a jungle hundreds of miles from civilization.
It is also the story of normal flawed people. Mackenzie has a past that he has kept buried only telling the man he was in a relationship with and Abigail- wow, yeah- Abi, this woman might have all the outward fixings of the good life, but her life was messed up. I loved seeing her start out such a miserable selfish woman who Mackenzie would just assume drop kick off a cliff to someone who was a dependable partner. Mackenzie was like this awesome MacGuyver-like person who rocked the resourceful skills. He could find dinner and cook it. He could salvage things from their plane and turn it into a useful object. And he was someone with a strong enough character to take on Abigail in the beginning and give her chance after chance. Abigail wasn’t as skilled as Mackenzie that caused her no end of frustration at first, but eventually she showed that she wasn’t useless. I really enjoyed watching this two-some slowly come together not only as partners, but lovers. Mackenzie finds love for a second time and Abi learns what love is for her first time. They were really great together.
I probably should point out that ever once in a while the story would slip away from Abi and Mack’s perspectives to what was going on with Abi’s daughter back home. This was also a story of growth and survival in its own way.
Truthfully, I know my review doesn’t do the story justice. I would encourage those who would a enjoy survival-style adventure romance that is a little on the spicy side pairing a bi-sexual man and an older woman to give this a try.
My thanks to the author for sending me a copy of her book in exchange for my honest review thoughts.