Review: Clear To Lift

Posted July 11, 2016

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Clear To Lift Clear To Lift by Anne A. Wilson
on 12th July 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller
Format: ARC
Source: Author

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 defences 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?

Alison Malone is a 28 year old Navy helicopter pilot. Her most recent posting has seen her stationed in Fallon, Nevada among the Sierra Nevada mountains as part of the Navy’s premier search and rescue squadron, the Longhorns. It’s not a post she desired, it’s more than likely a post that’s going to affect her career progression – the guys here are lax on the rules, and to top it off she’s away from her fiancĂ©, Rich.

Ali’s father abandoned her and her mother when she was just 4 years old. Naturally, this has had a huge impact on her life and she’s forever seeking security, stability – it’s why she joined the Navy. Rich epitomises this security – an excellent job, wealth, a home, it’s exactly what she needs.

Ali and her squadron work closely with the local Search And Rescue (SAR) squad. During the winter months of her placement, she spends time rescuing climbers and hikers trapped by snow and ice in the mountains. The SAR squad specialise in this area, and none are more qualified than Will, the star of the SAR squad who has travelled the world with his talents.

From the moment they meet, Ali can’t keep Will from her thoughts. He is everything that Rich is not – but is that a good thing?

You may remember that I read and loved HOVER by Anne A Wilson last year. So when I heard that Anne was releasing a new book in 2016 I immediately added it to my ‘most anticipated’ list.

Anne A Wilson is herself a former Navy helicopter pilot. This, obviously, means that she can draw upon her own knowledge and experiences in her writing. I love that in reading her books I learn so much. The engineering geek in me loves the more technical aspects of this book.

She draws upon her own emotions too. This is a lady who knows how it feels to hold the lives of others in her hands. She knows what it takes to hold a helicopter at a steady hover just feet from an ice face. All of this comes through in her writing. It’s very ‘real’ and I, for one, love that!

This book is tense, it will keep you reading. From rescue missions to near death experiences, torn emotions to the best glazed doughnuts in the world – you won’t be able to stop reading! You may want some pastries to hand for the Erick Schat’s Bakkery scene though – I guarantee it will make you hungry.

There are some fantastic characters in this novel – I challenge you not to love Jack, or swoon over Will. Oh and Mojo the rescue dog absolutely captured my heart.

This book also weaves in some interesting military issues – what if your rescue mission involves someone you know? Do you always play by the rulebook? The death of a colleague? Homosexuality in the Navy. These are all issues that wind their way through the narrative.

In case you haven’t gathered, I loved this book. Wilson keeps us engaged from the outset. She weaves romance with real, fact-filled action. There’s family drama, gorgeous scene-setting and… oh did I mention the doughnuts?

It’s so much more than a book about a Navy helicopter pilot – SO MUCH MORE. I was so caught up in this story that not only did I let the fire go out, twice, but I banned my husband from speaking to me unless he had something “substantive to say”!!

If anything I loved Clear to Lift even more than Hover, and I genuinely cannot wait to see what Wilson brings us next. My wee emotions are in tatters, but in the best possible way!