Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Jack Brighton and Lawson Gale have been together for six months and are very much in love. Lawson’s work ensuring the survival of the Tillman Copper is as demanding as ever, and Jack’s work with the regeneration of the bushfire-ravaged national park is just as hectic.
When Jack suggests they take a short trip, Lawson agrees. But then he is offered a two-week research position in tropical Queensland to help determine why the Ulysses butterfly is on the decline. Figuring they could combine work and pleasure, Jack and Lawson go on their first vacation together.
Working alongside renowned professor Piers Bonfils isn’t easy. But personal and professional differences aside, Lawson is offered a more permanent role in Queensland. Torn between his new life in Tasmania with Jack and a dying species of butterfly he feels compelled to save, Lawson has to decide where his fate lies.
But fate changes the rules. On a research expedition into the depths of the rainforest, suddenly it’s not only the butterflies’ existence that hangs in the balance.
A butterfly’s life cycle never changes. From larvae to imago, their course is plotted by design. Jack and Lawson need to determine where they stand, if they live through it. Because the only thing more incredible than one imago is two.
Imagines, the sequel to Imago, is exactly what I hoped for in every way. NR Walker didn’t miss a detail in moving Jack and Lawson’s relationship forward within the framework of the imagery of the stages of the growth of a butterfly or in this case two butterflies.
And even more exciting, the author used as a support for her plot, both realistic field work and the stark realities and hazards placed on species today making survival a precarious and questionable goal for those scientists rushing to save them.
Combine both of those with the endearing qualities of Jack Brighton and Lawson Gale, their deepening relationship, their love for each other and their respect for nature and their careers. Well, N.R. Walker had me at page 1 (ok, it was Imago, but hey, it’s both of them).
At the start of the story, Lawson is still wavering on making a larger commitment to move in together, not wanting to shake up how wonderful things are at the moment between them. Jack is ready for the next step. I love how the relationship has matured and teetering on the edge of the next level. The warmth and love between the MC’s just floods off the page.
Then comes the opportunity to research a decline in a butterfly species and a working vacation. This element and section of the story was believable,suspenseful, and riveting to read. I loved the vivid descriptions of the rainforest, the butterflies and all the people involved in the efforts to save them. Of course, Jack and Lawson too, working through their partnership as they searched for answers to the drastic decline. This ticked so many boxes for me. I was deeply connected to the men and their search.
There was a side story with the french professor that sort of flew by, an intriguing bit, here and gone. I’ll wonder about him. But that ending, oh that wonderful ending. Be still my heart! I don’t know if this is the end for Jack and Lawson but if it is, I’ll be putting these two book high on my to be reread list. I loved them that much. Grab them up and see for yourself why.
Cover art remains one of my favorite too. Switching out butterfly’s? Perfection.
Kindle Edition, 147 pages
Published April 8th 2017