Gerry B's Book Reviews

Polar Reaction by Claire Thompson

Sophisticated Raunch



The savage Antarctic winter is closing in, and three research scientists are scheduled for the last flight out—until an unexpected blizzard traps all three of them in the compound. There’s Tuck, who only joined the project to be close to sexy-but-straight Brendan, the man of his dreams. And Jamie, who has always admired the other two from afar.

Thrown into a dangerous situation, the three of them turn to each other for survival, solace … and more. As Brendan overcomes his confusion over his impulses, the trio begin a sexual exploration that explodes into passion and unbridled lust.

Yet once the rescue helicopter airlifts them to safety, Brendan comes to his senses, returning home to his carefully constructed, closeted life. But there’s a Brendan-shaped hole left behind in Tuck’s and Jamie’s hearts. There’s only one way to fill it—by breaking through Brendan’s reserve to reclaim the man they love.


Review by Gerry Burnie

For some reason or other I received two Claire Thompson novels on my desk this week, Polar Reaction, and Texas Surrender. At first I considered writing a joint review, but shelved that idea when I discovered that they are two very different concepts. Therefore, I will review Texas Surrender at a later date.

According to her bio Claire Thompson has written over forty novels, and it shows in Polar Reaction (Samhain Publishing Ltd., 2010). There is definitely a maturity in her writing that comes from having worked out the kinks along the way. This level of maturity is also evident in the way she shades her prose with a whole spectrum of colour, from the darks to the clever flashes of insight that she intersperses so deftly.

”He recalled the way Tuck had looked at Brendan the night before, the longing palpable in his face. Yeah, there was a pretty good chance Tuck was a least curious, but how far did it go? Did he know Jamie was gay?

“It was tempting to find out, but did he dare? They still had to work together back in the States. What if Jamie’s hunch was wrong? Maybe he could work it so any overture on his part could be couched in other terms. Like the old aching-muscles gambit. Which in his case wouldn’t even be a lie. He was so tense from the storm, his neck felt like a twisted iron. Deciding to go for it, he gripped the back of his neck and winced for Tuck’s benefit.”

The above passage was chosen randomly, but it serves to illustrate how she is able to improvise her ideas in a way that doesn’t distract from the main theme.

And the main theme is three hunky guys trapped in a small compound on the edge of the world, cut off from civilization and in real danger of perishing there. To hasten things along they all have same-sex tendencies to some extent, and this results in plenty of graphic M/M/M sex, sometimes going on for pages, but once again there is a sophistication in the way she couches it within the story. In other terms, it doesn’t become the story—until the second half.

I particularly liked her handling of the Arctic situation, which I presume was the result of extensive and careful research; nevertheless, she captures the tension and drama of the circumstances such that the reader is inevitably caught up in it.

I was a bit disappointed, however, in the way the polar segment ended, abruptly, and the way the second half turned its attention to the sexual relationship between the three men. Moreover, the second part struck me as being somewhat anticlimactic.

Overall, however, it is a good read with a interesting story and plenty of sex to satisfy a variety of interests.

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March 20, 2010 Posted by | Gay fiction | Leave a comment


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