Whirlwind Romance: A Stormy Love Story Amidst the Tumult of the Midwest

3.5 out of 5 stars

Whirlwind Romance by Kris Bryant, narrated by Chandra Johnson, takes listeners on a literal and emotional journey through the storm-chasing plains of the Midwest. This audiobook, set against a backdrop of roaring thunder and breathtaking cloud formations, follows Tristan Stark, a seasoned storm chaser, and Kate Brighten, a newcomer to the field, as they navigate not only the challenges of their thrilling but perilous job but also the complexities of a new relationship.

From the get-go, the concept of storm chasing as a metaphor for the tumultuous relationship between Tristan and Kate captured my imagination. The setting is unique and vividly portrayed, making it easy to feel the rush of the chase and the awe-inspiring power of nature. The narrative does an excellent job of balancing the excitement of storm chasing with the personal drama unfolding in the cab of Tristan’s truck. The stormy backdrop adds a layer of intensity and unpredictability to their relationship, mirroring the storms they pursue.

However, the realism of the characters’ flaws, while relatable, introduced a level of angst that was at times overwhelming. Both Tristan and Kate are portrayed with depth, their flawed decisions reflecting those messy, often regrettable choices we can all relate to, especially in our younger years. This authenticity in character development is a double-edged sword—it brings the characters to life but also makes their journey together sometimes difficult to navigate as a listener.

While Chandra Johnson’s narration captures the regional accents well, I found the differentiation between characters lacking. This made following dialogues a bit challenging, relying heavily on context clues to determine who was speaking. Despite this, Johnson’s overall performance conveyed the emotional turmoil and passion of the story effectively.

Overall, it’s a compelling story for those who appreciate a realistic portrayal of relationships set against an unconventional and thrilling backdrop. The audiobook offers a unique take on romance by intertwining it with the danger and beauty of storm chasing, providing a fresh narrative voice to the genre. While the emotional intensity might not be for everyone, those looking for a love story with a twist will find much to admire here.

Book Description:

For the past six seasons, Tristan Stark has been chasing storms throughout the Midwest for the University of Oklahoma. Teaching during the winters and hitting the road during the spring, Tristan has little time for herself, let alone time to have a solid relationship.

Rival storm chaser Kate Brighten is just starting out and winds up riding along with Tristan for two weeks.

It doesn’t take long for the two to begin a tumultuous love affair on the road.

But the road can’t last forever and Kate isn’t everything she seems. Once trust is broken, it’s difficult to rebuild.

Can Tristan accept Kate’s secrets? Or will their love be washed away in the spring storms?

Whirlwind Romance by Kris Bryant
Narrator: Chandra Johnson
Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
Published by Bold Strokes Books on February 18th 2021
Genres: LesFic/Sapphic Fiction, Workplace / Office Romance
Format: Audiobook
Buy from Audible
Also by this author: Catch

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