Author: Elyse Springer
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Rating: 3.5 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Noah Landers wakes up one day with a headache and no memory of where—or who—he is. Jason, the man taking care of him, tries to fill in some of the blanks: they’re in a cabin in Colorado on vacation, and Noah slipped on ice and hit his head. But even with amnesia, Noah knows Jason is leaving out something important.
Review: Whiteout is the first book in Seasons Of Love series, and is the author’s debut novel.
The first half of Whiteout deals with Noah Landers rediscovering his memories after an accident leaves him with amnesia. The handsome older man, Jason O’Reilly, who claims to be Noah’s partner leaves him with conflicting feelings. On one hand, Jason obviously cares deeply for Noah and Noah feels instinctively safe with him. On the other hand, Noah knows Jason is not telling him everything, although apparently that is partly due to the doctor’s orders, and as he regains his memory in flashes not everything is adding up – why does Jason leave the room to speak to the doctor who’s advising him on Noah’s care whilst the two of them are stuck in the cabin during a blizzard?
The pacing in this first half is well done: the mystery of who Noah and Jason are to each other as Noah slowly regains his memory, the love Jason shows Noah that is sometimes at odds with the small snippets Noah’s brain throws at him, and the reveal as Noah’s memories finally restore themselves. It was intriguing as I got to know the characters, trying to figure out what the truth was. I did work it out relatively easily, but as much as that mystery was there, and I liked the tension it created, it didn’t feel like that was meant to be the actual focus. It was more about how the characters would deal with the aftermath that was important. And that brings us to the second half.
The story is told solely from Noah’s POV, and if the first part of the book was about Noah rediscovering his memories, the second part was about Noah rediscovering himself. I was interested in seeing how Noah would move forward and whether he and Jason could get past the actions that were revealed. For me, the second half didn’t work quite as well as the first. The pacing and believability of Noah’s amnesia and the regaining of his memories in part one were a lot more interesting to me than the second part that dealt with Noah’s rediscovered passion for acting and the man he was.
The style of writing was quite different in this second half, coming across as more of a romantic drama telemovie, which was quite at odds with the previous style in the first half of the book. This idea one of the characters had of creating a scrapbook to win back the other was a nice idea, but it dragged on for so long and became the story’s whole focal point; it started to get a bit too over the top for me to believe. When they did reconnect with each other, the sex and reciprocal I love yous were unrealistically fast considering the “wronged” character had just said he needed time to trust the other MC again. It felt like a gratuitous sex scene for me, and one that contradicted with what was going on with the characters. Even so, I did genuinely care about the characters and wanted to see them get their happy ever after.
Although there was some things that didn’t completely work for me in this book, it was an enjoyable read and a solid effort for a debut novel. This author is one I’ll be keeping a lookout for in the future.