This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on January 28, 2020
A barren, frozen land that strips a person down to the basic essentials needed to survive, a pair alone on the ice with only each other and the drive to live, and a formidable force prepared to ruthlessly kill everyone in their path to get what they want all converges in a frigid, suspenseful adventure at the bottom of the world. Whiteout left me shivering from the cold suspense, but tingling from the slowburn sensuality of the romance.
Whiteout is the first full-length story in the Survival Instincts series, but it follows the thrilling prequel novella, Deep Blue, that tells the story of Ford’s brother and what was happening stateside while Ford and Angel were fighting for their lives.
Whiteout begins at a scientific research post on Antarctica where Dr. Ford Cooper, as stark and cold as his environment, conducts geological research by drilling deep into the ice and extracting core samples. He has a few friends at the research post and tolerates the summer workers, but for the most part, he stays to himself out on the ice which is what he prefers. Numbness, control, existing… until her.
Angel has come for the duration of the Antarctic summer to cook for a camp full of workers and researchers. It’s as good a place as any to lick her wounds and get over everything she has lost. Surprisingly, she likes what she’s doing and being appreciated by this eclectic bunch. Okay, except for the Ice Man- what she calls Dr. Ford Cooper. He not only resists her smiles and attempts to befriend him, but he scowls and ignores her when he can like she is an irritant to him.
Too bad that when everything goes belly up, it is the Ice Man who comes to her rescue and will be the means of getting them out of alive if by some miracle they beat the odds against the environment and elements as well as the armed and equipped killers who are hot on their tail. If she’s going to die out on the ice, why does it have to be with him? Or, was it always, only ever going to be him…
Deep Blue was the first time I’d experienced this author’s writing and I enjoyed what I got and was excited for more. But, even then, I was not prepared for what the scope of a full-length novel would bring. The complexities of character and relationship, attention to setting, and the long teasing out of the suspense side were fabulous. I thought she captured the stark, raw world of Antarctica and what it is like for two people to strive to survive in such an environment both physically and mentally. Add to that, the smoldering coming together of a hostile pair into a viable team out to get away from their kitted out and skilled pursuers as well as keep what that villainous group was after out of the wrong hands.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t breath a few times when it got death-defyingly intense. Angel grew so much in this story as she faced all that was flung at her. She showed that she had a stronger core than anyone, including herself, could have ever imagined. She wasn’t trained or some sort of special snowflake and she was all sorts of lucky, but in truth, it was just her gritting it out and not giving up. Ford did have skills- mad skills, but he saw in Angel, once they were alone and on the ice, the best type of person to have at his side in a do or die sitch.
Ford blossomed, too, in a different way. He was something of an enigma for the longest time even with getting his half of the narration. He was so closed off and it was painful for him to open up. It is only later that Angel and the reader learns why.
As to the romance, it takes a bit and that is natural because they are running for their lives. But, it does get there. Whew boy, were they hot enough to melt the ice when they got rolling. Angel had her work cut out for her with Ford, but it was obvious that she was so good for him.
The end came, but then there was more. This one extended long enough to set up for what was to come with the series. I am well-primed for the next installment of the Survival Instincts series. It’s nerve-wracking and tension-wrought, sizzling and complex. I have no plans to miss out on the rush and highly recommend that thriller romance and romantic suspense lovers who dig the special ops and adventure elements get on this from the beginning.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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