August Ice by Dev Bentham
M/M contemporary Romance
July 17, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
Max is an ex-Navy SEAL (man, I love those ex-seals) who now spends his time at McMurdo station in Antarctica as a diver. His job is to prepare the stations for the main season when the scientists come down to research the climate and other scientific things. He lives for diving and for the cold, cold land. He likes to keep to himself, which is something hard to do when on assignment down there. They stay in dorm type rooms, and they see the same people every single day. The food kind of sucks, yet it is home to Max.
Max had some bad experiences while in the military and now turns to alcohol pretty much every day to ease his mind. It is many, many drinks of alcohol which lands him in a hotel room of a complete stranger while getting ready to fly back to Antarctica for another few months work. This stranger is Andre Dubois, a French scientist who just so happens to also be going to Antarctica. Max has no recollection of the previous night as Andre gives him the very cold shoulder in the morning. Apparently Max started the make-out process and then promptly fell asleep. Max and Andre part on bad terms, only to meet again on the plane heading south. These two will get paired up again when Max has to get Andre’s dive station ready.
I’m eager to try more of Dev Bentham’s work. I loved and adored Moving in Rhythm which I reviewed earlier this year. Then I tried Learning From Isaac but got bored and set it aside. But I like this one. She has a really nice writing style. Max and Andre really hate each other at the beginning and even the middle of the book. It takes a long time for a romance to develop in this one. Maybe a little too long. It all comes down to the fact that Andre is hesitant to forgive Max about his one night in that hotel room. Andre kind of looks at Max with disgust because Max drinks so much. Max really can’t help it though. He is definitely an alcoholic and has gotten really good at hiding it while working. Obviously a drunk diver, who is diving into extreme freezing conditions, needs to have all his wits about him. But somehow Max survives, year after year. But his actions eventually catch up to him, and he does have consequences to answer to.
This is all told in Max’s point of view, and we really don’t get to know Andre all that well. We are told of his back story but I still think we missed out on a lot of his personality. And as I mentioned, the romance takes a long time to build. Which is fine, but at the same time, I think I needed more page time of them together. The romance felt rushed at the end.
I think the strength of this book lies in the setting. I really felt like I could picture the cold, dark tundra of Antarctica and the way the author describes the dives is well done. The romance lacked a bit for me, but I still like this author’s voice.