Release Review: Whiteout: Elyse Springer

Whiteout (Seasons of Love, #1)
Elyse Springer
Add to Goodreads
Released January 23, 2017
Buy Riptide | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Noah Landers wakes up one day with a headache and no memory of where—or who—he is. Jason, the man taking care of him, tries to fill in some of the blanks: they’re in a cabin in Colorado on vacation, and Noah slipped on ice and hit his head. But even with amnesia, Noah knows Jason is leaving out something important.

Jason O’Reilly is sexy as hell, treats Noah like he’s precious, and seems determined to make this the romantic getaway they’d apparently dreamed of together. But Noah’s more concerned that he’s trapped alone with Jason in the middle of a blizzard while his slowly-returning memories bring hints of secrets and betrayal.

Noah’s not sure what’s the truth and what’s a lie. But as he learns who he is—and who Jason is to him—he’s forced to reevaluate everything he believes about himself, about loyalty...and about love.

Whiteout is the debut novel from Elyse Springer, so I guess it’s  a little fitting that the main trope of the novel, a character with amnesia, is also something that I’ve not read before—something that came as a bit of a surprise to some of my fellow smutbook-loving friends. But the amnesia story isn’t the only thing this story is about. The result is a well-crafted and smoothly composed story that had me wanting things to work out for the story’s couple.

First, a note: This book is a little difficult to review because everything we learn about the characters in the first 60% of the novel forms the backbone of the plot, so in my effort to keep this review free from spoilers, I apologize for being intentionally vague.

The story begins with Noah Landers waking up with no memory of his life, not even his identity, and it is told entirely from his point of view. The man taking care of him, Jason O’Reilly, tells him they are trapped in a cabin in the Colorado Rockies because of a blizzard and that Noah sustained a head injury while shoveling. It’s clear to Noah that they must be a couple, but his gut tells him it’s not that simple. The little he remembers conflicts with the things Jason has told him, so when more of his memories trickle back, the secrets they reveal only heighten his suspicions until suddenly everything about who they are—and who they are to each other—becomes clear, and his gut was right: nothing about what they are is simple. At this point, the novel changes gears completely and becomes a story of trying to fix the problems caused by everything that happened in the first part.

As much as I enjoyed the story in Whiteout, the biggest question I had after reading it is whether or not I think it was a romance. I’m a big sucker for the firsts found in the typical romance: the first meeting, the first looks, the first kisses and touches, and so on. Because Noah and Jason are already a couple at the start of the novel, none of these firsts are present in the novel except as bits and pieces of memories as Noah remembers. The only one of the big things that does appear within the story is Noah’s realization that he is in love with Jason. While this is a big one, thinking of this as a romance leaves me with a feeling of being robbed a little. It’s also worth noting that while there are a few sex scenes in the story, the focus of their relationship is not their physical attraction, again because they have been a couple for six months prior to the start of the story.

All this being said, it’s hard for me to use these complaints as any sort of justification for rating Whiteout differently, because there’s really no way the story could have been set up in the more traditional romance style without ruining the story the author tells. Keep that in mind as you approach this novel. There are still plenty of emotions and feels to be found, especially toward the end, but from a romantic standpoint, it’s more about the second chance than anything else.

Fans of the musical Rent will be happy to find that not only is the name of the series, Seasons of Love, a nod to it, but the author also ties bits and pieces of it into the storyline as well. Speaking of the series, the four books, conveniently enough, will be released one each season during 2017. Books 2 and 3 are F/F pairings before returning to M/M for book 4. Based on the blurbs of these books, Whiteout introduces one member of each of the coming pairings, so this is a good place to start if you would like these introductions, provided that reading romances on both sides of the fence appeals to you.

Even putting aside the fact that this is a debut novel, Elyse Springer weaves an interesting and well-written tale in Whiteout about a character who is complex enough to be realistic and who has a plight worthy of the reader's sympathy. It's a book that I would recommend to romance readers who are okay with reading romances that fall outside the normal progression the genre typically follows. While I will likely skip the next two books in the series—I’m a gay man who reads an occasional M/F romance, but F/F is just a little too far outside my comfort zone—I do look forward to the final book, as well as reading something else of this author’s in the future.

The author and/or publisher generously provided me a complimentary copy of Whiteout in exchange for this fair and honest review.
Thaw (Seasons of Love, #2)
Add to Goodreads
Expected April 24, 2017

Abigail is content with her quiet life as a librarian. But when she’s invited to a high-profile charity auction, she finds herself dancing with one of the most beautiful women she’s ever met. Abby’s sure she’ll never see her again, but then Gabrielle calls and asks her on a date. And soon after, another.

Supermodel Gabrielle Levesque has a reputation as the Ice Queen—cold and untouchable—except she warms up whenever she’s with Abby. Only Abby isn’t interested in the heat between them; she’s asexual, and she’s worried that admitting as much to Gabrielle might spell the end of their blooming romance.

They’re two different women from two very different worlds, but Abby knows she can love Gabrielle. Her passion for books, travel, and theater prove there’s more to the Ice Queen than meets the eye. But they’ll have to overcome Abby’s fears—and Gabrielle’s own threatening secrets—in order to find their way to love.

Add to Goodreads
Expected July 31, 2017

Sara Walker’s life is going nowhere fast: she has a job she enjoys but doesn’t love, friends who are too busy to hang out with her, and no boyfriend in sight. Then a phone call on a lonely Friday night changes everything, and suddenly she’s spending her weekends with Laura. Newly single and openly bisexual, Laura makes Sara think decidedly not-straight thoughts.

Laura Murphy, with her red hair, freckles, and killer curves, is any guy’s wet dream. But Laura’s done with guys for now, and it’s Sara who can’t stop dreaming about her. When Sara finally gives in to the curiosity, Laura blows her mind and pushes her further than she’s ever gone before.

But Laura makes it very clear that this is only a rebound fling, and she’s still planning to move to California. She’s more than happy to tie Sara up, but she’s not ready to be tied down. If Sara wants to keep her, she’s going to have to work hard to convince Laura that New York is worth staying for...and so is she.

Changing Colors (Seasons of Love, #4)
Add to Goodreads
Expected October 23, 2017

Tony Quinn has a knack for figuring people out. He likes labels, likes to be able to put everyone and everything in tidy boxes. As a theater director, it allows him to run a production without too much drama. But when he meets Gentry—“call me Gee”—in a bar one night, he discovers that some people aren’t so easily defined.

Gee Parnell is unlike anyone Tony has ever met before. He refuses to conform—to Tony’s expectations, or to society’s gender roles. He’s sexy and flirtatious, unapologetic and unashamed. And Tony isn’t sure he’s okay with that. So he breaks things off and escapes back into his well-ordered life.

But then an attack leaves Gee bloody and bruised, and Tony realizes that he isn’t ready to lose him. Not only is the passion between them off the charts, but Gee shows him a different way of understanding people. However, an exciting new job opportunity means that Tony has to decide between hiding his sexuality and his relationship with Gee, and his newfound appreciation for the color and beauty Gee brings to his life.
Elyse Springer
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Elyse is an author and world-traveler, whose unique life experiences have helped to shape the stories that she wants to tell. She writes LGBTQ+ characters and relationships, and believes that every person deserves a happily ever after. When she's not staring futilely at her computer screen, Elyse spends her time adding stamps to her passport, catching up on her terrifying TBR list, and learning to be a better adult.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...