I clearly didn’t read the Netgalley summary close enough because I wasn’t expecting this book to be as much of an adventure story as it turned out to be. When I check Netgalley, my first category is the gay&lesbian books because I just can’t help myself and most of them are about gay men. Totally valid but really not what floats my boat so I usually latch on to every lesbian book release that sounds halfway decent (and then some) in the hopes to find something worthwhile.
So, ‘Taken by Storm’ is a lesbian adventure romance by this apparently pretty well known (in certain circles) author who I have never heard of before but then again, I also thought I was straight for 22 years. Anyway, the book is about AP journalist Hudson Mead and librarian Steffi Graham. They have a meet cute at the airport from where they both descent into their respective winter holidays. Obviously they both feel the chemistry right from the start and mysteriously end up on the same train through Switzerland because that’s something that happens in books. I am still waiting for a meet-cute like that to happen to me in real life.
Everything is all peachy on the Bernia Express until an avalanche hits the train and they get buried. This actually happens not even half way into the novel so you know a lot of the plot is them trying to find a way to get rescued and survive. Aaaaaand that’s where my issue lies, at least one of them. A LOT of this is trying to survive and maybe there are people out there who love this sort of story, I don’t care for it too much. I mean, obviously the two lead characters would get out of there alive because why else would I be reading this story, right? So no real pressure there.
Then there is also the detail orientedness of the author. Jeez, sometimes it seemed like an ad for this travel group they use in the book though a quick Google search told me it didn’t really exist. I guess it mattered later in the story to explain in detail every little piece of gear the hikers/skiers got from that agency but why do I have to read all about it? This was only one of many examples. There’s a whole bunch of things I would have omitted from this novel because nobody needs to know all that but again, that’s just me.
I guess this was a cute story and one you don’t need to think about too much which is sometimes very welcome. It probably didn’t help that I was reading Neil Gaiman before because that sure was a jump in style.
The character of Hudson is really captivating. A senior reporter for the Associated Press who is resourceful and hot? Where can I sign up for that?! But there was also a quite significant difference in age between the two romantic leads and it’s something that always bothers me. It wasn’t addressed at all. Surely they had other things on their minds with being buried alive and all but still. If you can mention every little piece of gear they have with them, you could have also talked about this.
Then there is the character of T.J. a Fox News reporter and giant douche canoe who is also on that same train because of contrivance. In my opinion, his character doesn’t serve any real point in the story and could have been completely left out. I’m trying to think of why he needed to be in the story but can’t find one.
I suppose this was a rather critical review of ‘Taken by Storm’ but it’s the things I felt while reading. Now, it’s not a terrible book but it’s also not one I would pimp out to my friends when asked. If you need a lesbian story fix and are also into adventure/survival stories, I guess this is for you but otherwise, eeeeeh, I would probably stay away from it. Sorry Bold Strokes Books, you have approved a couple of my requests in the past but this one really wasn’t so good. It was a quick and captivating read but that doesn’t mean it was high quality even if it pains me to say this. (I still love you though.)