Monday, June 3, 2013

My Only One - Eileen Nauman (HAR #385 - Apr 1991)

Series: A Century of American Romance (Book 11)

When Abby Fielding is knocked into the frigid Bering Sea, she has only one thought: to save the planet's gentlest creatures from a whaler's harpoon. When Aleksandr Rostov dives from his helicopter into those arctic waters, it is to rescue the woman he spotted through his field glasses. Little does the Soviet naval officer know she's the woman of his dreams.

For Aleksandr, dreams are of Mother Russia. But as he and Abby bring their dramatic tale of courage to an eager world, she shows him the wonders of her homeland. And all the time, another, more personal story is unfolding before them.

To the world, they are heroic, but all they long for is to be together. For Abby and Alec, glasnost is more than a policy--it's a prayer.

This book started out with a bang and just kept going.  The year is 1987 and Abby is with a group that is trying to stop whales from being hunted.  When the ship she is on is rammed by a whale hunter she ends up in the water fighting to stay alive.  Alec had been on a Soviet helicopter and saw what happened through his binoculars.  His rescue of her opens a door between their two countries as Alec and Abby end up on news shows talking about what happened.  As they spend time together they discover a connection that transcends politics.

I loved both Abby and Alec.  I loved her strength of purpose and the way she stood up for what she believed was right.  Abby is passionate about her work protecting the whales and dolphins.  She throws herself completely into whatever she does and doesn't really think about the danger to herself.  When she regains consciousness on the Soviet ship, Alec is by her side.  She is drawn to the care he gives her and the emotions she sees in his eyes.  I loved the way that they got to know each other over the next few days and were able to talk about their lives and views on many things.  Abby was excited when she found out that Alec would also be doing the press tour with her.  She looked forward to showing him America.  Over those two weeks she became closer to Alec than she had ever been to anyone else.    I really enjoyed the way that the improving relations between the US and Soviets made it possible for Alec to come to the US again and how their roles echoed the larger picture.  

Alec was a fantastic foil for Abby.  He was cool and calm to her fire and passion.  He had been drawn to her from the moment he saw her through the binoculars.  His relief at her survival was deep, but it was more than that.  I loved his interest in everything that they talked about.  He was also sensitive without seeming wimpy. He also knew when to make a stand and his actions on the conservation ship were intense and exciting.  I really enjoyed his introduction to McDonald's and the subsequent discussion/comparison of the scarcity of things and long lines in his country versus the instant gratification and wastefulness of Americans.   His love for his own country was also obvious even as he saw the differences between the two. I loved his coolheaded responses to Dr. Turner during one of their interviews and the way that he and Abby worked so well together during the interview.  I also really liked Alec's somewhat old fashioned attitudes and how they affected his treatment of Abby. I loved the ending and how things turned out for them both.

I also really enjoyed the secondary romance between Tim and Susan.  Tim's work with Abby and Alec during the whole whale protection issue was great.  It was obvious what a great guy he was.  I loved his gentleness with Susan and her daughter as they overcame their fears from her ex-husband's abuse.  

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