Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ice Blue by Anne Stuart

I have a confession to make. I don't really read contemporary or romantic suspense. Yes, I said it. I've never touched Linda Howard and I rarely read la Nora; I wouldn't know a Brockman SEAL from the kind that flops around in the water. For some odd reason, I tend to stick to my historicals. But I do have a soft spot in my heart for Anne Stuart. I picked up one of her books while in Africa (you may get sick of hearing this, but it was a great way to introduce me to authors I might not have otherwise read). It was called Moonlight and the combination of suspense, sexual tension, dangerous bad-boy hero and on-the-run plot managed to really get my attention. I made a mental note to check out more by this author when I made it back to the States, the land of endless books.

Funny thing is, I've read Stuart books since Moonlight and as of yet, none of them have quite measured up to that initial experience. I'm not sure if it's them or me. In any event, I am sad to say that the trend holds true for Ice Blue.

I was jazzed to find that the hero of the book was not Caucasian, or at least not totally white. Takashi O'Brien by name, he's half-Japanese, and all lethal weapon. Like all Stuart heros, he is silent, taciturn and deadly and knows that he "ought" to be fulfilling his mission and taking care of the heroine (in a permanent manner) but for some odd reason, he just can't go through with it. Hmm, where have I read this before?

Summer Hawthorne is a museum curator who owns an old Japanese ceramic dish that some psycho cult leader really wants. Really, really wants. So much so that he's willing to have her off'ed in order to get it. Takashi saves her from one off'ing attempt and then we're off on the run. Will he kill her himself and thus keep the secret location of the ceramic dish safe for all eternity? Or will he be unable to resist her spunky innocence and surrender to the inevitable? Most importantly, will they save the world from apocalyptic doom as meted out by the psycho cult leader?

Well of course, I cannot tell because that would constitute spoilers. *cough cough* But I think you might be able to guess.

I dunno. I'm starting to think that maybe I really am not cut out for romantic suspense. Because this probably was a good book. I just felt, so....bored. And that's too bad because I wanted to like it. Dammit, I really wanted to fall for the half-Asian hero because Lord knows, we get so few of them. Oh well. Better luck next time. I give this one a C, although it gets an A in the cover art department.

8 comments:

Kat O+ said...

I've been wanting to read this book. I'm not a big romantic suspense reader, either, but I've found a couple of Linda Howards enjoyable (Mr. Perfect, and the one written in first person--I can't think of the name ATM). I liked the first book in this series, though (Blue Ice? I think.). The villains were still over-the-top, but I thought the romance in the second half of the book was really well written.

sula said...

Hi Kat! Thanks for stopping by. :) I also liked one of the earlier books in this series...I think the title was Black Ice. Anyways, the hero was called Bastien, that I remember. The scenes where he comes looking for the heroine at her home were more convincingly romantic, imo, than the relationship we get in Ice Blue. But like I said, I'm not a rom/suspense reader, so others may enjoy the book more than me. I was just disappointed to have such potential for a unique hero and not have it live up to my expectations.

I will see if my library has Mr. Perfect. I never mind trying out a new book if it's one I didn't have to pay for. lol.

Kristie (J) said...

*g* There were two in the first person - To Die For and Drop Dead Gorgeous - both books I loved. And yea - Mr. Perfect was pretty good too.

Angela said...

So far, I fine Anne Stuart's Ice series bland. I don't know whether it accurately describes your reading experience, but when I'm reading them, the books feel as though they are written to be neatly adapted into screenplays. Stuart doesn't really describe things and inner monologues aren't really very deep--and the dialogue is movie ready. Because of this, she created distance between myself and the books because if I wanted to watch a movie, I'd be watching a movie. I have heard good things about the last book in the series, but I'll wait and see.

sula said...

hey angela, thanks for weighing in. I think it's interesting that you compared the writing to a screenplay. I think I would agree with you in that I do feel distance between myself and the characters. Maybe that's why I couldn't get all hot and bothered about what might happen to them. I am curious about the last book, if only to see a little gender reversal. I won't be spending money on it though...will wait to see if my library picks it up.

Kat O+ said...

Black Ice--that's the one! And To Die For was the other one (I knew someone else would know the title). It has a really funny scene where the hero is outraged to discover that the heroine owns a pink hammer. *lol*

sula said...

they MAKE hammers in pink? lol. Where do you buy them...Victoria's Secret?

So far the buzz on the latest Stuart seems pretty good. I'll admit, I'm intrigued but still not enough to break down and spend $$. Saving those $$ for Caine's Reckoning. *drool*

Kat O+ said...

They exist. I've seen a pink tool kit for sale and I'm so tempted to buy it!

Ooh, Caine's Reckoning. I'm not big on Westerns but all the great reviews are tempting me...