So when Anne Wilson contacted me and asked me if I would like an advanced copy of her new novel Clear to Lift, my first response was Holy crap! My second was this.
My third response was a mature and professional: I would love to, thank you.
I can be hard on books. I don't pull any punches but on the flip side when I love a book I will shout it from the roof top. So this is me shouting on my virtual internet roof: I love this book!
Synopsis: 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?
Full of action and adventure, dangerous and heart-stopping rescues, blizzards and floods, family secrets and second chances, Clear to Lift by Anne A. Wilson is a thrilling woman's journey as she finds confidence, truth, love, and herself against the majestic backdrop of the Sierra Nevada.
It is a slow burn at first and I worried that I would not love it like I did Hover, but by the end of the book when I was crying in my bed and trying not to wake up The Engineer, that was no longer a concern. Wilson has a particular knack for writing action. Like Hover, Clear to Lift's climax had me anxiously turning every page. Wilson also has a gift for evocative descriptions. I have never visited the Sierra Nevada, but while reading I could envision it in my mind.
Once again, the anchor of the story was a strong heroine. Wilson does a great job of writing a capable, strong, smart female lead -- but making her relatable. Although Wilson was a navy helicopter pilot, I have never had the feeling that either of her female pilot characters from both books were Mary Sues. Wilson writes what she knows and she does it superbly.
Nothing is gratuitous in an Anne Wilson novel. Everything is organic and while the romances in both book happen quickly, I did not feel that they were contrived insta-love situations. Every plot strand serves a purpose and she does an excellent job of bringing those strands together for a satisfying ending. I have no qualms in giving Clear to Lift the coveted 5 out of 5 basset hound rating:
Clear to Lift does not release until July 12 -- put it on your TBR now.