Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.
Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.
But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bowties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.
Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books. They exist only in a touch, in a kiss, in a smile. He just has to let go first, so these butterflies can fly.
Imago is the story of finding love, bowties, and butterflies.
If I had asked N.R. Walker to write a book just for me, Imago is it. Talk about a book made for a naturalist who reads m/m romances! Imago comes complete with N.R. Walker’s outstanding matchup of characters, a setting to sink into, and a storyline that grabbed me at every narrative choice the author makes. If I could, I’d add on a star or two as I loved it that much.
Starting with the meet up on the plane and then in the airport, Walker lays out that these two are special, ready to deflect all the stereotypes ready to be thrown at them. Sure, some initial traits you might expect are there. The fumbling, the lateness, etc from Lawson and from the tall, handsome Jack the sheer capability to manage things. But Walker uses that as an outline to slowly fill in the real men, the ones full of intellect and passion for all sorts of things that we get to discover as the story continues and they reveal themselves to each other. I love that in a romance and N.R. Walker brings us so intimately into these men’s lives that I feel as though I’m there with them, listening and watching something special unfold.
Imago has a scientific meaning, one that’s revealed at the end of the story. I’m going to leave it for the reader to discover as its a beautiful way to end the novel. But science and the passion for nature and conservation is woven throughout this story. One man is a Parks and Wildlife officer, the other a lepidopterist. Both men love nature and understand the need to preserve, document and promote conservation of the species. I believe the author believes in this as well but the message is delivered beautifully through her ties with her country and with the flora and fauna she describes in her stories. We get plenty of that here through Jack and Lawson’s hikes and preservation work. I loved every word and sentence! The science is well researched and tools of the trade are spot on. It was so well done in every way. I didn’t find myself cringing once (which is a real thing when reading books about field research and park rangers).
Along with the passion for each other and for their jobs, there’s some action and suspense too. Walker gives us everything as well as a HFN that’s realistic and perfection. I’m so happy we didn’t get a HEA for these men. That would never work here. But there’s a promise for more and I can’t wait!
Here’s a book I’m already getting ready to open up again for the shear pleasure of a second read. So yes, I highly recommend it. Now if only I can find the patience to wait for the second book to come out.
Cover art is perfection as well. Look at that butterfly as a bowtie!
Kindle Edition, 158 pages
Published February 18th 2017