Friday, August 12, 2011

Breaking the Ice by Kim Baldwin

Publisher:              Bold Strokes Books

Karla Edwards suffers two staggering losses within a short time.  First, her lover Abby walks out of what Karla thought was a satisfying relationship and then her mother dies suddenly in her sleep.  The events leave Karla in a stupor wandering around her apartment in her pajamas unable to eat, bathe or communicate with the friends who are very worried about her.  As she is going through her mother's belongings, she makes a startling discovery.  Karla has a sister she never knew about.  When she discovers that she lives in Alaska, Karla takes a leave of absence from her job as an ER nurse in Atlanta and heads north to meet the only family she has left.

Bryson Faulkner is a bush pilot in Alaska just like her father before her.  She loves her isolated cabin, the surrounding wilderness and the excitement that her job brings her, but sometimes she does get lonely.  The problem is she can't imagine herself living anywhere but where she is and she also can't imagine another woman being willing to settle for her kind of life.  When she meets Karla, the sister of her best friend, that seems about to change, but Karla has a deeply wounded soul and finds it difficult to trust anyone.  When Karla volunteers to stay with her sister to help her with the pending delivery of her baby, it gives her a chance to get to know Bryson and to fall in love with Alaska.  What she has to decide is if she's willing to give up her job, friends and lifestyle in Atlanta for a harsh climate, wild creatures and a woman who might not come back sometime from a dangerous flight.

Kim Baldwin is skilled at taking a typical love story and turning it into something a little more.  She writes realistic situations with interesting characters.  That makes Breaking the Ice not just a romance, but also an adventure story.  The descriptions of Alaska and the conditions there are vivid.  The reader can feel the excitement of skimming over a glacier or the fear of wandering alone through a wilderness where the next thing around the bend might be a confrontation with a grizzly bear.  The tone draws the reader into the story and the pace allows the characters to develop gradually, giving the reader a chance to feel she "knows" these people.

Breaking the Ice is a good book to spend a few hours with when you want to be entertained.

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