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.
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.