Review of Undertow by Amber Lynn Natusch + Giveaway

Undertow COVERFROM GOODREADS:

How far does a girl have to run to escape a lifetime of pain and loss at the hands of Alaska’s notoriously unforgiving Bering Sea? Twenty-seven-year-old Aesa Fredriksen thought landlocked Columbus, Ohio would suffice, and it does until the fear of regret drives her to return to Dutch Harbor in a final attempt to make amends with her nearly estranged father. Intent on salvaging the wreckage of their relationship, she reluctantly agrees to join him—the only family she has left—as he heads out to fish for king crab, forcing her to brave the very waters that pulled him away from her as a child. The waters that stole her mother’s life.
When the day finally arrives for the Norwegian Queen to sail off into an uncertain future, Aesa can’t help but fear the worst. Beyond the violent swells and impending storms, there is far more than death and danger awaiting her on her journey: love awaits her too.

Decker, a young but seasoned member of her father’s crew, is a force of nature as strong as Aesa, He’s her perfect match, and even she can’t deny it. But he too is a man of the sea, and with memories of tragedy and abandonment etched so deeply into her mind, can she overcome her demons and let him in or will she drown in her darkness, forever caught in its undertow?

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Review

First, let me say that I am a huge fan of Amber’s work. Her Caged series is one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series. That series (like Undertow) was so incredible well written, but it was Amber’s ability to write such deep and relatable characters that moved Caged to that next level for me.

Undertow– Wow. I will start with the setting; Dutch Harbor, Alaska. At first I thought, oh no! King crab fishing? *cue theme music for Deadliest Catch* But, I loved that this contemporary romance novel had such an unusual setting. I’ve read romance novels set all over the world… never near or on a crab boat. And let me tell you, I could not put Undertow down! This novel was a page turner from beginning to end with nail-biting suspense and such cringe-worthy scenes that even though I know what happened– I won’t read those scenes again. They felt THAT real to me. And I loved all the characters THAT much. *shivers*

Nine years ago Aesa ran from all she’d lost, her father, and the Bering Sea that did nothing but take from her. She returns with the intent to mend the broken relationship with her father, but is not anywhere near ready (emotionally) to walk into her childhood home and face it all. On the surface she seems ready– she’s a doctor now, she’s got a handle on her anger, and she’s matured. Part of what makes her so relatable is that old wounds bring her right back to where she was emotionally nine years ago. Aesa has a death grip on her anger. If she’s angry then she doesn’t have to feel pain. And she thinks her anger is justified.

Aesa is cold at times, neurotic about order, and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Where they are safely on that side. Where she won’t be hurt. Where there is no fear. Where it doesn’t matter if that person leaves and never comes back.

But it does matter; Decker matters.

Decker has a past. He’s learned from it, and it doesn’t define him. He is a fisherman through and through, but  unlike anyone Aesa has ever met. And by anyone, I mean he is the first person she’s let past her walls in nine years. And now that he’s there, there’s no way in hell Decker is going to let Aesa push him away to protect herself.

“You can’t live your life through the eyes of the past forever. You’ll never be able to move forward with that fear tethered to you, holding you back. Whatever it is that haunts you, you need to learn to either accept it or push past it. You’re too strong to let it bring you down. Don’t drown yourself in the sorrows of what has been.”

I’d recommend this book to anyone. I wasn’t surprised that I loved Undertow as much as I did, given how over-the-top in love I am with Caged. And just a quick side note: Fans of Caged, Amber gave a shout-out to creatures that react to a full moon. WHOOT! Or at least my Team Cooper heart took it that way. 😉

star

Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $50 amazon gift card + plus an ebook copy of Undertow

2 winners will each receive a $25 amazon gift card + plus an ebook copy of Undertow

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc2e0c24/

ALN author picAbout Amber Lynn Natusch  If you’re dying to know more about me, allow me to put you at ease. I’m a sharp-tongued, sarcastic cancer, who loves vegetable smoothies, winter storms, and the word ‘portfolio’. I should NEVER be caffeinated, and require at least eight hours of sleep to even resemble a human being. At thirty-four, I just now feel like I can keep a straight face while saying the word “rectum” (which is actually a huge lie because I just laughed out loud while reading this to my husband). I live with my iPod firmly affixed to my body, drive too fast, and laugh/cry at inappropriate times. I’m obsessed with urban fantasy… When I discovered that genre, I knew I had found my tribe. Now I write in that world because that’s what the voices in my head tell me to do. And they are very, very loud.

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