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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ice Storm

***** Ice Storm by Anne Stuart. Romantic suspense.

This is the fourth book in the Ice series, and the most different.

This time, it's the heroine who works for the Committee. In fact, she's its head: Isobel Lambert. Her task is to get notorious terrorist Serafin out of a jam and keep him safe in return for the undoubted treasure trove of intelligence information in his brain.

But it's even more complicated than that: Serafin turns out to be Killian, the first man Isobel ever loved, and the first man she ever killed. Or thought she'd killed, anyway, an incident that changed her life and led to her current life as a ruthless, cold-hearted secret agent and assassin.

The tension between these two shimmers off every page. There's a real love-hate relationship going on here (one I can believe in--they have very good reasons for their mixed emotions). Neither underestimates the other, but they don't trust each other, either.

I did have a little trouble adjusting to the idea of Isobel as the heroine, since she didn't strike me as very heroine-like in the first 3 books. But it didn't take long. She's an interesting character, and I think Stuart did a great job of making her a female ruthless assassin/spy--that is, she was still as cold and ruthless as the male agents, but she was different; she'd dealt with the emotional impact of that lifestyle differently.

I'd read this series differently if I didn't know they were romances--if I weren't assured of a HEA ending. There are so many times when it's not at all certain that Isobel and Killian aren't going to kill each other, much less fall in love or stay together.

Stuart doesn't shy away from the dark side, and it makes for a very exciting and satisfying read.

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I agree about adjusting the idea of Isoble as heroine. The reason as you describe it, I felt the same :)

Great review! Love Anne Stuart's dark books!
Isn't this book GREAT?! In fact, the whole ICE series is great IMO. I'm hoping we will get to read Reno's story soon. Great review, Darla!
I loved this book too. Since she mentioned in the Ice Blue Book CLub discussion that the next book was Isobel's, I'd already been expecting her to be the heroine, though. Took me a while to get used to her being so young. In the previous books, I'd imagined her to be about 60.

I can't wait for Fire and Ice! I love Reno. :)
Kim, true, I did get the heads-up during the book club, but it was still an adjustment. I'm hanging my head in shame that I hadn't considered her being a 60-year-old heroine, though. For me the heroine and the age thing were the same issue. Off to go work on adjusting my attitudes. :)
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