Cover: Harper By Design
Imagines is the Latin plural for Imago, and the only thing better than one metamorphosis, is two.
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 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.
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‘When you were explaining to me what imago was, I kept thinking it was just like you. You’d shown me your true self, and Lawson, it was a remarkable sight.’
Before I say anything else I’d like to stress that you really should read Imago before turning to Imagines. Not that you couldn’t read, follow or even thoroughly enjoy this story without reading the prequel first, but you’d be doing yourself a huge disservice. Individually these books are wonderful, taken as a whole they give us a fabulous, heart-warming, and utterly charming reading experience I’m unlikely to forget anytime soon.
‘Six months ago, I was intrigued, bewitched even, by this butterfly man. Now I was in love with him, impossibly so. Impossible because there was no going back from this. I was a changed man. My heart belonged wholly to him, and I knew, without a doubt, it always would.’
Just as Jack finds himself bewitched by Lawson, his butterfly man, I found myself enthralled by these two men together. Their story in this books picks up six months after Jack and Lawson’s adventures in Imago and not only are our two men still going strong, they are at least as endearing and perfect together as they were in that first book. If there is anything marring the perfection of their union it’s Lawson’s reluctance to move in with Jack, not because he doesn’t want to be with him but because he doesn’t want to rush their still developing relationship.
The thing I probably love most about both these stories is that in a (romance) world where often the relationship itself is the angst producing factor, the connection between Jack and Lawson is never in any doubt. These two men are meant to be together, know it, and are determined to make things work whatever way they need to; even if it means over a long distance.
Of course there’s nothing like a near-death experience to put life and relationships into perspective. To say my heart was in my throat when Lawson (once again, how can a man be so accident prone?) found himself in a situation that might well mean the end of him, would be a gross understatement. Thankfully it all led to my eyes filling with happy tears while reading the last two chapters, which were, as far as I’m concerned, utter perfection.
Not that this book is all angst and fear. Far from it in fact. The story brought me a delightful combination of (mild) angst, fun, suspense, romance and sexy times. Jack and Lawson have the sort of relationship all of us strive for, their family and friends brought extra depth to both the story and my understanding of both men, and the story itself drew me in and didn’t let me go until I’d reached a happily ever after I completely believed in.
In fact, once I finished reading Imagines my first impulse was to forgo my usual review and just write a thank you note to the author. N.R. Walker has, once again, produced a book that might as well have been written to my personal preferences and specifications.
‘In entomology, we have a term we call imagines. It’s the plural of imago. And if imago is one butterfly reaching its full potential, then surely we, together, would be imagines. I will love and honour you, cherish and adore you for all my days, Jack.’
Related review: Imago
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.
She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…
Where to find N.R. Walker
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