Annie and Paul felt an intense attraction from the first day they met. Their stormy courtship led to a lively roller coaster ride of a marriage. When the private plane Annie is piloting disappears in a snowstorm with their young daughter aboard, Paul realizes the depths of his love for his recently estranged wife and child, and he vows to overcome all odds to make his family whole again.
Alina Adams is Jewish, lives on the East Coast, married with two kids and is the author of Berkley Prime Crime's "Figure Skating Mysteries," including "Murder on Ice," "On Thin Ice," and coming in January 2006 "Axel of Evil!"
I put off reading this story until I thought I was in the 'right mood'. I was afraid I was going to find this older contemporary romance depressing, at minimum: sad. I don't think I have read a romance so loaded with the highs and lows of love, sparks of angst, crackles of friction and unnecessary suffering since I read Theresa Weir's ONE FINE DAY.
And for me to give this story a low rating would be wrong on so many levels. Because sometimes, yes, sometimes, a couple have to go through a mountain of hardships to be reminded of why they fell in love in the first place. I figured that any story that prompted the reader to take stock of his or her life and make changes for the better deserved a decent rating. That said, this story is not for most people.
~~~~~~ If you decide to tackle it, read the prologue!
The story started off several years after Annie's and Paul's divorce. They were in court, once again, battling for custody of their daughter, Amelia, and their jointly-owned aircraft: aptly named Amelia, too. This piece of fiction was told with dual POVs.
Paul and Anne Gaasbeck were majors in the Air Force. They met for the first time when they joined the ‘Academy’. At times, the competition between the two of them was so thick you could cut it with a knife. You will find out, much later on, how much their parents’ influence affected their personalities.
~~~~~~ Judge Saul had given Annie permission to take Amelia skiing. Shortly after take- off, she realized the weather was heading downhill. Fast. This information was not given to her ahead of scheduling their flight so they were caught unaware and crashed in the mountains.
The bitter cold, and the fact that all of the aircraft in the state was now grounded, set the action into play. As mad as he was at Annie, Paul never stopped to think about anything other than saving the two of them. Flashbacks melted with present moments; they had plenty of time to think about their volatile relationship.
And so, at this point, I have decided to use quotes from other people to give you a few hints without saying too much.
‘Annie’s Wild Ride’ “They conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with an amusement park.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
The importance of their daughter, Amelia. “This black box is yours to keep, to stash your troubles away. Just lock it up and call my name and I'll be there always.” ― Cassia Leo, Black Box
What Annie did to Paul. “Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?” -Richelle Mead, The Indigo Spell
What Paul did to Annie. “I don’t know if I’ve learned anything yet! …That’s reflected…on insecurity — the uncertainty of whether or not you’re truly united with the object of your obsession …I recently read an article in Esquire magazine. It said: “If you want endless repetition, see a lot of different people. If you want infinite variety, stay with one.” It’s hard work. You’re with this person, and suddenly…it’s unpleasant."― Joni Mitchell
What they did to each other. “It's like we were both trying to hold onto something that was slipping through our fingers, and we didn't understand why.” ― S.C. Stephens, Thoughtless
And the lesson they learned. “Love is ease, love is comfort, love is support and respect. Love lets you grow and breathe. Love is not punishing or controlling. Love is not hurt and harm. Love is never unsafe. Love is sleeping like puzzle pieces. ― Deb Caletti, The Secret Life of Prince Charming
The End. “You're it. My last. My forever” ― Gail McHugh, Pulse
I don’t think you could name the book more appropriately than what it is. “Annie’s Wild Ride” is the name of a roller-coaster that Annie’s parents designed for an amusement park, attraction that used to be one of the fastest in the country. It soared and fell with what seem to be out of control forces, creating excitement and trepidation at the same time. This roller-coaster perfectly describes Anne and Paul Gaasbeck’s relationship. The same roller-coaster pulled and tagged me while I was reading their story, story of a couple who seemed to have everything going for them: mutual admiration, common interests, values, sizzling chemistry, compatibility, etc. But somehow this wasn’t enough to hold their marriage together…
Afterward, Judge Saul told clerk, "Anne and Paul Gaasbeck must have really been something together. It takes an awful lot of love to turn into that much hate.”
The story smoothly and skillfully alternates between the past and the present. The present starts six years after the couple’s divorce. Anne and their daughter, Amelia, are flying home from a skiing vacation when their Cessna 152 crashes in the mountains. The weather conditions prevented any rescue operation. But it didn’t deter Paul. He would do anything to rescue them and Annie knows that her ex-husband would find them. The accident served as a catalyst that made them reexamine their lives, their actions. In trying to keep Amelia awake waiting for the rescue and spending hours trying to find a way to rescue, both Paul and Annie relived their lives again, opening old wounds and remembering all the things that they couldn’t tolerate in each other. But, in process, they also remembered all these things that they once loved-still love- about each other.
Both characters are US Air Force majors, so the interworking of a military life played a significant part of the story and was very fascinating. It also provided some respite from the emotional roller coaster of couple’s relationship. The story was well plotted with refreshing realism and great character development. I’m glad I read this book thanks to my GR friend Linda.
This is a fascinating book. How often does the reader get a chance to "see" inside the interworkings of a marriage. In good times and in a lot of bad. Alina Adams shows her vast talent here as she describes a romance between two highly motivated and brilliant Airforce pilots through the use of flashbacks. The chapters effortlessly and seamlessly move between the past and the present where Paul is desperately trying to safe his now ex-wife and their daughter after a plane crash. The flashbacks explain how they met, married, had a baby, faced challenges in their careers, and ultimately divorced.
I really liked this couple. My favorite books of all time are the Anne of Green Gables stories....Paul and Annie reminded me of Anne and Gilbert. Both couples spent a lot of their time competing against one another, and the tension between the couples is tangible! I also love the movie Top Gun, so this book is right in my wheel house.
Paul was a difficult hero to like. He had feelings, he just struggled to show them...to admit weakness, to feel out of control. This ultimately ended their marriage, and as Annie remembers all the reasons she loves Paul during the course of this book, Paul also wrestles with demons and ultimately has to choose what is most important to him.
A somewhat emotional read about a woman (Major in the Air Force) and her 11 year old daughter who are in a plane crash and awaiting rescue by Anne's Air Force ex-husband. Chapters alternate between "present day" and when the couple first met and dated in the early-mid 80's.
This book is SO close to my heart! The characters, their chemistry, the romance! It's a shame that this book doesn't get much recognition because if it was published now Booktok would have blown up with it.