And onto book three of the blog tour! One more to go after this, so stay tuned.
Touching the Clouds – Bonnie Leon
She went looking for adventure . . . and found more than she bargained for.
Kate Evans is an adventurous and independent young woman with a pioneering spirit. When she leaves her home in Washington State to follow her dream of being an Alaskan bush pilot, she knows it will be an uphill battle. But she never expected it to be quite like this. As the lone woman in a man’s world, she finds that contending with people’s expectations is almost as treacherous as navigating the wild arctic storms.
When she crosses paths with a mysterious man living alone in the forbidding wilderness, she faces a new challenge. Can Kate break through the walls he has put up around his heart? And will fear keep her from realizing her dreams?
Book 1 in the Alaskan Skies series, Touching the Clouds will draw you in with raw emotion and suspense, all against the stunning backdrop of the Alaskan wilds.
Yes, the main character is adventurous, likable, and flawed (that’s a good thing). No, the romance doesn’t particularly tug at the heartstrings, and the “love triangle” seems more ‘because it had to be there’ than ‘natural progression of the heart’. Yes, there’s suspense… but no, I don’t think there’s quite the “raw emotion” of the synopsis’ claim.
I’ll start by saying this: The book is interesting if you don’t know a lot about planes, flying, or Alaska around the 1930s. However, there isn’t a whole lot of historical detail included, and the one attempt by the main character to deal with racial tensions comes out of nowhere and seems more contrived than anything else (since it doesn’t connect with anything else in the story). But I learned a few things about planes, flying, and pilots of small charter flights, which I found quite interesting.
Back to the story…
As much as I didn’t mind the main character, Kate, I didn’t care for the pacing of the book. This could be due to the fact that it’s the first book in the series and tried to set up for the next books, but I found that there wasn’t a whole lot of plot… rather, it seemed very episodic. Here’s a flight, a problem with the flight, the problem is solved, Kate goes home. Next chapter there’s another flight, maybe a problem (or maybe not), everything’s okay, Kate goes somewhere. Next chapter we have another flight… rinse and repeat. I kept wondering when the actual meat of the story would kick in, but it never did…
And without giving too much away, the love triangle didn’t make sense. In a literary love triangle, you normally have the good guy, the ‘bad boy’, and the main character has to choose between the man she wants to be with and the man she knows she should be with. Something like that, anyway. And usually as a reader, you can see clearly who she should be with, even while she strays off to the wrong guy… but here, we have a love triangle with two perfectly normal guys, neither one better than the other (in fact, they seemed almost like carbon copies at times) and you really don’t know who to root for. When she eventually lets one down for the other one, I felt almost like she just kicked a puppy… because she had no reason to let that one go. Literally. No. Reason.
Which again, is why the book left a lot to be desired. Yes, I learned a few things, but without a clear focus in the plot, combined with a love triangle that feels more like a cut-and-paste plot device, I can’t say I’ll read anything else in this series. Which is too bad, because ultimately the writing was very good!
I think I’ll find a different novel from the author, and try that instead. I won’t give up on her yet! I just won’t read more of this particular series.
About the Author
Bonnie Leon is the bestselling author of more than ten historical fiction novels. She stays busy teaching women’s Bible studies and speaking at writing seminars and conventions. She and her husband, Greg, live in Oregon.