cover image Thaw


Elyse Springer. Riptide, $17.99 trade paper (226p) ISBN 978-1-62649-514-2

Springer’s second Seasons of Love book (after Whiteout) features an asexual connection with lots of sweet romance and the warmth of watching trust develop between two women who travel in very different worlds. Brooklyn branch librarian Abby is delighted to serve as impromptu dance partner and escape from a controlling manager for glamorous supermodel Gabrielle Levesque, but shocked to be romantically pursued by her afterward. She starts to feel optimistic about the connection despite Gabrielle’s reticence to share about her personal life and her reputation as an “ice queen,” but is worried about what will happen to the relationship when she discloses her lack of interest in sex. Abby’s a relatable heroine for the target market, geeky, insecure, and worried about her job. But Springer never gives the narrative’s point of view to Gabrielle, leaving the reader to see her always through Abby’s eyes, and her weird blend of over-the-top romantic gestures, fascination with Abby’s life, and abrupt cold shutdowns, though explained by a backstory of abuse, keeps her as the object rather than subject even once the women break though to an emotionally intimate connection. (May)