Monday, August 22, 2011

Colder Than Ice by Helen Macpherson

Publisher:           Regal Crest Enterprises

Dr. Allison Shaunessy, an archaeologist from Australia, wants to launch an expedition into Antarctica to find the possible remains of the Finlayson Expedition. She is trying to prove that Finlayson was actually the first explorer to reach that continent, but she's having trouble raising the money to cover the costs. Enter Dr. Michela DeGrasse, a psychologist with the International Space Research Institute, who is working on psychological studies for the first Mars mission and would like to go on the expedition to study how the team interacts under adverse circumstances. Michela manages to find the descendent of Finlayson, who is willing to fund the project, with the stipulation that Michela must be the expedition leader. Allison has the permits and transportation to get a team to the exploration site, but, as someone who needs to be in control of things around her, can she accept being second in command of an expedition that could establish her academic career?  Her team also presents some challenges in that it contains her fiancée, who feels he should be leading the expedition, and the daughter of the department chairman at her university who has an agenda all her own.  The story unfolds as these two strong-willed women get to know each other and try to find a way to work together, while struggling with a physical attraction that surprises both of them. They do find Finlayson and a surprise they hadn't counted on. And they discover something about themselves, too.

This is Helen MacPherson's second novel and, like And Those Who Trespass Against Us, it features interesting characters and an engaging story.  It is an adventure story first, with a struggling romance as the second theme.  MacPherson has obviously done meticulous research about life in Antarctica and how an expedition like this would function.  The characters find themselves interacting with nature as much as each other.  The descriptions of the terrain provide a magnificent and dangerous setting for the story.  This is a satisfying book all around and a good read.

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