Clear To Lift – Anne A. Wilson – Forge Books – Published 12 July 2016
Navy helicopter pilot Lt. Alison Malone has been assigned to a search and rescue team based at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, near the rugged peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and far from her former elite H-60 squadron. A rule follower by nature, Alison is exasperated and outraged every time she flies with her mission commander, “Boomer” Marks, for whom military procedures are merely a suggestion. Alison is desperate to be transferred out of the boonies, where careers stagnate, and back to her life and fiancé in San Diego.
Alison’s defenses start to slip when she meets mountain guide Will Cavanaugh during a particularly dicey mission. Will introduces her to a wild, beautiful world of adventure that she has never known before. Stranded on a mountain during a sudden dangerous blizzard, Alison questions every truth she thought she knew about herself. When Will braves the storm to save her life, she must confront the fact that she has been living a lie. But is it too late to change course?
Set amongst the beautiful Sierra Nevada landscape, Clear To Lift is a compelling story of adventure, love, family and self-discovery. The tension, both romantic and life-and-death-danger, leaps off the page, drawing you into this epic story. It is unforgettable, addictive and just so much fun! With vibrant characters, a strong and relatable heroine, blizzards, storms, unexploded bombs, a gorgeous Labrador search and rescue dog, doughnuts and a very ruggedly handsome mountain guide, this book has everything I needed to make it unputdownable. I loved it.
I’ve got to say I was a little worried that Clear To Lift wouldn’t live up to the very high expectations that reading Hover, Anne A. Wilson’s first book, created. I shouldn’t have worried. Clear To Lift met all those expectations and more. I was biting my nails after the danger-laden first chapter and couldn’t wipe the grin off my face after the second. I love the world that Wilson creates. The team banter and comradery, the tension during a mission, and the times they let off steam is all so real you feel like you are strapped into the H-1 helicopter right along with the crew.
Lieutenant Alison Malone is our narrator and she makes a great heroine. She is strong, determined, a rule follower and feeling constrained after being deployed to the search and rescue teams – what she considers an end to her commander dreams. Her team, particularly boisterous commander “Boomer” Marks, plan to educate her in working outside the rules and it is so much fun watching them try… as is watching Alison slowly fall in love with the varied terrain and the adventure that goes along with it. Her upbringing, especially being abandoned by her father at a young age, makes her cling to her steady and stable life plans, including her financial investor fiancé. But meeting Will Cavanaugh challenges Alison’s view of stable and what that might look like.
Alison and Will’s chemistry is off the charts, and I fell for Will straight away. He is charming, kind, brave and risks everything for those around him. Sigh. He makes the perfect love interest and I loved watching Alison and Will grow closer, even as they battle their way through dangerous rescue missions and weather that wildly swings from blizzards and rain storms to steaming hot days that make flying in high altitudes near impossible. Add to this some big family secrets and Alison’s journey of discovering more about her past and what she wants for the future, and you have a wonderful book.
It kind of just hit me while reading this book that the author, while also an amazing writer, actually did a lot of the things in this book, can actually fly a helicopter, rescued people in serious life-and-death situations and can probably rock climb and snow hike. It makes the whole story that much more realistic, and so much more awesome.
I very highly recommend this to all readers, especially those who like a little bit of romance along with their action and don’t mind becoming so ensnared in a book they won’t want it to end.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Adult fiction.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary.
Themes: Adventure, romance, Navy, military, search and rescue, family, fathers, mothers, strong women.
Advisory: Infrequent coarse language, f***, s***, fag***. Implied sex scene, no details.
Published: 12 July 2016 by Forge Books
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook. 320 pages.
If you liked this check out Anne A. Wilson’s first book Hover.