Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: August Ice by Dev Bentham

August Ice by Dev Bentham
Novella: 128pgs
3.5 Pants Off

It takes a special kind of person to work in Antarctica. Max Conway, an ex-Navy Seal, loves working at the bottom of the world. Like any other diver, he's tough and hard drinking. Half the year he's stuck in the States traveling the commercial dive circuit and hitting gay bars every night. The other six months he's lead safety diver at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, reveling in the cold blue Antarctic Sea. The only drawback to life way down under is that Max feels like he has to tuck his libido into storage while he's on station, stashing all those free condoms for use back up north.

That is until Andre Dubois, a gorgeous French scientist, shakes up his world. Not only is Andre out and proud, he's sober as the day is long. And the days are long during an Antarctic summer. Max must choose between his comfortable inebriated closet and a life in the sun with Andre.

Antarctica is a setting you don’t read about often in books so I was on it like white on rice. There is something about that frozen tundra that appeals, all that ice, below freezing temperatures, and that no man can conquer it. August Ice really managed to capture all that, but there was a lot within the story that didn’t quite settle well with me.

Max Conway is a safety diver in Antarctica and Ex-Navy Seal extraordinaire. He loves his job up in Antarctica and looks forward to returning every time he goes on break. When he isn’t missing the cold of the ocean, he gets hella drunk and gets lots of sex in to make up for his dry spell once he returns to camp. It’s no surprise when he wakes up hungover with a gorgeous stranger looking him over. Max cannot remember the previous night, and Mr. sexy isn’t sharing.

Max runs into his sexy stranger from his drunken one night stint when he returns to Antarctica. Andre is a scientist and he isn’t exactly delighted to see the drunk from that night. He’s also the diving instructor so they will be spending a good amount of time together. All this is told from Max’s POV and his personality is not one the reader will instantly fall in love with. It’s as obvious as the cold that Max is a drunk and a drunk never believes he has a problem. The story develops into Max’s downward spiral with the bottle and his no care attitude.

I really enjoyed that the author spent the time to share how hard and crazy living out in the cold could be. I have decided that you have to be made of strong stuff survive and thrive in the land of ice and snow. I can also understand needing the escapism, which can be found through drinking, but it’s also contradictory. Alcohol makes you lose your wits, and keeping alert I am guessing is very important out there. There are some things that take place i that did not settle well in my heart, and it really took away from me enjoying the book. Without giving much away, I am no fan of drugs and I don’t like it even if it’s taken in a safe environment. I did not enjoy the outcome of it, and I did not like how it was somehow made into Max’s fault. It could have gone bad regardless and Max could have ended up the one hurt.  I found that part unnecessary and really emphasized how effed these characters are.

I found the lack of page time between Andre and Max disappointing, and so I can’t call this a sweeping romance. Max’s drinking problem really overshadows everything else that was going on. Their relationship was side dish amongst many side dishes. It’s for that reason I can’t really say if I enjoyed Andre, yes I am intrigued but I did not really get enough of him to draw a conclusion. I liked Max but he really made it hard for me. I could sympathise with him and I did feel like he was trying but his drinking contributed to his douchebaggery. In the end I wanted the best for him, and I am happy he found some peace with Andre.

I liked the writing, but feel like something needed to be fleshed out a bit more. Would love to read about the characters again just to see how life has changed for them. I was expecting to like this one more, but overall it was an enjoyable read.

3.5 Pants Off

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