Anne Stuart for July’s TBR Challenge

Anne Stuart for July’s TBR Challenge

I’m extremely pleased with my choice for this month’s theme – Romantic Suspense – it was worth my staying up the night to finish, and I would recommend it highly to romantic adrenaline junkies. Here’s why …

Title: Black Ice

Author: Anne Stuart

Year published: 2005

Why did you get this book?
I saw the cover of Anne Stuart’s The Devil’s Waltz on Kristie’s blog sidebar and was very attracted to the cover. While I was reaching for that book on the shelf, I saw this book and intrigued, read the synopsis on the back cover, and was hooked. When I realized that it’s a romantic suspense novel, I decided to save it for July.

Do you like the cover?
I quite like the cover. Anne Stuart’s book cover designs have improved tremendously over the years. Just troop over to her website to have a look at old books, and you’ll know what I mean.

Did you enjoy the book?
I luuuuuuuuuurve it!!! It’s edgy, fast-paced, heart stopping at times, and totally, utterly sexy in its delivery. The dialogue is snappy and the main characters engaging. I could tell this is going to be sure winner by the time I finished Chapter 2. Part of the reason this book work so well is the diabolical hero, or actually anti-hero, Bastien.

You can’t quite make out if he’s good or evil, and because he’s killed (assassinated may be a more suitable word actually) before, you’re not quite sure if the operative he works for is pro or anti terrorists.

The reader can also sense that Bastien’s getting a little tired and cynical of the clandestine organization he works for at the beginning of the book. Glimpses of his lonesomeness hints at a heart that’s just ripe for love. And it came as no surprise to me that he is drawn to the intelligent, innocent and brave heroine, Chloe.

Chloe, who’s squeamish about blood, gets my vote for keeping her courage and not losing her cool under the most harrowing of circumstances — she withstood torture from a maniac without a whimper, not willing to give her sadistic torturer the satisfaction of seeing her in pain. She valiantly stood by Bastien, refusing to run for safety when she realized that he’s in danger for protecting her.

Even though Bastien has done evil in the past, he is not entirely evil. Throughout the book, he struggled against being attracted to Chloe, and tried to act all honourable and sacrificial because he knew that he will be targeted for disobeying orders. Yet, although he doesn’t vocalize it, you could tell he yearns for someone who believes in him, even though he tells Chloe not see him as her knight in shining armour.

That’s hard, because in all his actions, he has been nothing but protective towards her, even at the expense of his life. He is very much your tormented suffering hero, and the author made sure that he will be well-loved by romantics who can’t resist a reforming bad boy.

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again?
The author wasn’t exactly new to me, as I’ve read her other book that I bought before I turned to this. But this is the book that has converted me, and I shall definitely be looking out for her next book, Cold as Ice.

Are you keeping it or passing it on?
Are you kidding? No way am I passing this on! It’s going to stay on my shelf.

Anything else?
After I finished the book, I went over to her site to look up her backlist for books that I’ve missed. That’s when I found out that this book was the AAR 2005 Reader Awards Best Romantic Suspense winner and the hero, Bastien Toussaint gets a Most Tortured Hero honour. But of course, she is a veteran in romance writing, with 30 years and numerous awards to her name.

I’ve marked out a few from her backlist (yes, yes, I’m going to glom) that I’ll try to track down. It’s really thrilling to stumble upon a new author who’s worth checking out. Big THANKS to Kristie.


13 thoughts on “Anne Stuart for July’s TBR Challenge

  1. I absolutely LOVE a whole bunch of Stuart historicals. She has the best tortured heroes! I am dying to read this book and you, my friend, just convinced me to buy it. Great review!

    Oh and as far as Mrs Stuart, I have a whole bunch of her historicals reviewed on my site. I HIGHLY recommend A Rose at Midnight, To Love a Dark Lord and Lord of Danger.

  2. ag says:

    Thanks, Ames and Dance. I dropped by Borders today but see any of hers on the shelves. Hmmm … looks like I may need to visit the rentals.

    Kristie, you’re right about AS being versatile. I like Devil’s Waltz too.

    Cindy, guess what? I’ve marked off Moonrise, Winter’s Edge, Tangles Lies and Housebound on the AS backlist as the high priority ones I want to get. I went through the synops on her site and these are the ones which really intrigued me.

    You may yet make a AS fangirl out of me. 😉

  3. CindyS says:

    Ohhhh, I so envy you guys!! Her backlist is almost endless but I believe there are only about 5 of her books I have not read.

    I am a true fangirl.

    I *heart* Anne Stuart.

    While moving I created an Anne Stuart box that was clearly marked. Thankfully, Bob did not put in that scary closet! *wipes tear from corner of eye*

    Ag, I’m so glad you enjoyed Black Ice – if you have not read Moonrise, I would like to suggest that as your next foray. It is I believe labelled genre fiction and not romance but *sigh*


  4. One of the things I really admire about her is she writes so well in both Historicals and RS. I haven’t read a lot of her RS since I took longer getting to them and by the time I did start reading them, she had kind of drifted off my radar. I followed the link and was amazed at how many I have of her RS yet to read – a most delightful discovery!!!

  5. Glad to hear you enjoyed Black Ice. I saw it at the UBS the other day but wasn’t sure whether or not I should get it. Now I know to pick it up the next I see it. 😉

  6. Ames says:

    Hi Ag! I never thanked you for stopping by my blog. So thanks! LOL

    I really enjoyed this book too. I can’t read too much AS at once because it depresses me. I was in a funk for one week while reading A Rose at Midnight. LOL

  7. Hey, nice blog! 🙂

    Glad to hear you enjoyed Black Ice. I saw it at the UBS the other day but wasn’t sure whether or not I should get it. Now I know to pick it up the next I see it. 😉

  8. Well, your most welcome – even if it was roundabout how you came to Black Ice *grin*. I really like Ms. Stuart’s books. I thought Black Ice was great too. She can write cross genre and do them all very well. I thought I had read most of her RS but when I followed your link to her web site, I saw quite a few I haven’t read. I think what happened is when I first started reading her – I only read historicals at the time. By the time I branched into RS which hasn’t been all that long, she’s already written quite a few of them. So now I can go back and get them. Gotta love that!

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