How far does a girl have to run to escape a lifetime of pain and loss at the hands of Alaska’s notoriously unforgiving Bering Sea? Twenty-seven-year-old Aesa Fredriksen thought landlocked Columbus, Ohio would suffice, and it does until the fear of regret drives her to return to Dutch Harbor in a final attempt to make amends with her nearly-estranged father. Intent on salvaging the wreckage of their relationship, she reluctantly agrees to join him—the only family she has left—as he heads out to fish for king crab, forcing her to brave the very waters that pulled him away from her as a child. The waters that stole her mother’s life.
When the day finally arrives for the Norwegian Queen to sail off into an uncertain future, Aesa can’t help but fear the worst. Beyond the violent swells and impending storms, there is far more than death and danger awaiting her on her journey: love awaits her too.
Decker, a young but seasoned member of her father’s crew, is a force of nature as strong as Aesa, He’s her perfect match, and even she can’t deny it. But he too is a man of the sea, and with memories of tragedy and abandonment etched so deeply into her mind, can she overcome her demons and let him in or will she drown in her darkness, forever caught in its undertow?
Review by Angela
Anyone that knows me or follows my blog knows that I’m not a huge fan of romance. So you can bet that if I’m recommending a romance, it’s damn good!
Amber is such a great writer and storyteller. Undertow is such a vivid, heartbreakingly good story. Aesa has pain and it is the hard, mean, crushing kind of pain. She hates her father and hasn’t gotten over the death of her mother. But she comes back to Alaska to see her dad after a 9 year absence. She’s not sure what to expect from the visit, but she sure as hell doesn’t expect what happens. She goes to work on her dad’s boat and meets Decker. Aesa feels comfortable around him, safe even. She doesn’t want a relationship because she’s moving to Anchorage in a few weeks to start her residency. But when you experience tragedy and hardship, sometimes the ones you rely on to help you keep you from being pulled under. The question is, will Aesa allow herself to be rescued or will she succumb to the cold, deep darkness that beckons her?
So, yes, this is a romance, and yes I did like it. I actually more than liked it. The main reason for this is that Amber doesn’t write your typical romance. Even though she has written romance aspects into her paranormal books, this is her first contemporary romance. It is not the usual girl meets guy, falls head over heels in love on the first day, has the most amazing mind-blowing sex that night and then they live happily ever after. Amber’s characters are flawed; they have huge issues and aren’t one dimensional. They are more like real people than most book characters. And Amber keeps you guessing when she writes. You don’t get the expected and usual response or story from her. Everything about her books and her characters is unique and I love that about her writing. I may not like romance, but I love Amber Lynn Natusch’s brand of romance. If all romance was written like hers, I would be a romance whore! 5 books!
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About the Author
If you’re dying to know more about me, allow me to put you at ease. I’m a sharp-tongued, sarcastic cancer, who loves vegetable smoothies, winter storms, and the word ‘portfolio’. I should NEVER be caffeinated, and require at least eight hours of sleep to even resemble a human being. At thirty-four, I just now feel like I can keep a straight face while saying the word “rectum” (which is actually a huge lie because I just laughed out loud while reading this to my husband). I live with my iPod firmly affixed to my body, drive too fast, and laugh/cry at inappropriate times. I’m obsessed with urban fantasy… When I discovered that genre, I knew I had found my tribe. Now I write in that world because that’s what the voices in my head tell me to do. And they are very, very loud.