Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Cold As Ice, Anne Stuart

How many of you have read an Anne Stuart book before? Let me know in the comments section, and tell me which one is your favorite. I'll pick one comment at random, and send this brand new book off to you. Why am I being so generous as to send you a new book? Well, because I really liked this one and want to give one of you a chance to win it. Don't worry, if you've never read one of Anne's books, you still have a chance to win. Just leave a comment and tell me WHY you haven't read one of her books, or tell me that you're going to read one of her books, or tell me SOMETHING about her or her books, and you can be entered too. Random drawing = one lucky winner, so don't forget to comment. ALSO, remember that the Adios contest ends TONIGHT (Tuesday at midnight CST!). If you want a chance to win a signed copy of Adios to My Old Life, send us an e-mail or leave a comment on THIS post and tell us your favorite song and why you like it. And, be sure to check out the brand spanking new MySpace page, and become one of our 'friends'. We'll add YOU, too! Ok, enough 'bid-ness', and on to the review of Cold As Ice.

This book has a rather long BCC that doesn't quite hit the mark. I won't go into all of it, because, well, I just won't. Suffice it to say that if I would have been picking this book up off the shelf to buy based on the BCC, I might have put it back. However, since there was a lot of buzz on this book, I actually made a special trip to the store just for this one. And oh, am I glad that I did.

Peter Jensen is the ultimate closer for "The Committee", a super-secret group of save-the-world type agents. Jensen, known as Iceman because he allegedly has ice running through his veins, has a job to do, a job that does not include a sexy female lawyer. The man has an arsenal of weapons at his disposal, including being able to disassociate himself from the sexual act. He's good at taking and carrying out orders, and will do whatever it takes to get a job done. And yes, I mean whatever it takes. A crazed billionaire, Harry Van Dorn, has masterminded a deadly "Rule of Sevens" plot to wreak havoc on the world's financial stability, and Jensen is the man that is going to stop him. Of course, Jensen is prepared to kill Van Dorn. Of course, Jensen knows how to do this in about 7 million different ways. And of course, he is not counting on said female lawyer being around to muck up his plans.

Genevieve Spenser is not your typical lawyer though. Beneath her smooth, polished exterior, she has depth. She's been bruised, battered, and disillusioned, and that was all before the book ever started! Now, she's tough as nails, willing to do what it takes to get Van Dorn to sign some legal paperwork so that she can head off to a much needed vacation. Don't think she's heading off to be pampered though, because her idea of vacation is backpacking through Costa Rica.

When Genevieve first encounters Peter on Van Dorn's yacht, she dismisses him almost out of mind. He's the "Grey Ghost" to her, just a shadow of a man, of no particular consequence. Peter is annoyed at Genevieve's presence, assuming she's exactly as she appears, shallow, spoiled, and utterly forgettable. A few hours, one steamy kiss, and a literal knockout later, and they're both starting to realize that there is more to the other than what meets the eye.

What I didn't like: Well, Stuart reminded me over and over that Peter was "cold as ice". I mean over and over. A few times is ok, for emphasis, you know. But really, every person seemed to comment on how Peter was 'ice cold' or 'had ice in his veins' or some other variation on the theme. Ok. I get it already. The dude is deadly and has no feelings. Don't hit me over the head with it.

What I did like: Yeah, that's all I didn't like. Short list, huh? And you know what? In all honesty, that one thing is really moot, because, well, I actually liked it as well. It was a way for me to say, "Oh look, another person in the book really does not know this man at all. He doesn't even really know himself!" Because really, every time someone was saying something about how glacial Peter was, Ms. Stuart was weaving her magic spell to show us how utterly and totally off the comment really was. I mean, for a man that supposedly had no feelings, this guy was a bottomless well of emotions. No, he didn't wear them on his sleeve. No, he didn't let other people suspect them, much less see them. But really, they were there, just below the surface, and if you paid attention, those emotions just jumped right off the page at you.

I've read other reviews of this book and I have to say that some of them really miss the mark. They tend to focus on specific aspects of Peter's character, or his past, and fail to comprehend the total package that Ms. Stuart has created. Peter is the type of man that you're not too sure of at the start, but part of me instantly reached out for him. He's a Bad Boy, but he's really on the Good Guys team, so what does that make him? Lip-smacking good, is what it makes him! Ms. Stuart layered Peter, then tore those layers away to reveal the heart of a hero.

So how do you write a believable romance about a trained assasin and a lawyer that he might or might not have to kill? How do you create a situation that brings them together, reveals their inner selves, and makes the reader actually care what happens? How she did it was pure magic, and I can neither explain it nor duplicate it. That's why she's Anne Stuart, and I'm...well, NOT Anne Stuart.

If you've never read a book by Ms. Stuart, I want to know WHY NOT?!? Seriously, this book was engaging, suspenseful, gripping, and oh yeah - REALLY freakin' HOT! So try it out and see for yourself. All you have to do is leave me a comment, and it could be all yours! Contest ends on Thursday midnight EST, so send in your entries FAST!

Keep turning those pages!



dee said...

And just another quickie... if you're not a click-on-the-links type, then this is for you! Head over to Ms. Stuart's website (www.anne-stuart.com) and take a look around. She's got one of the most fabulous sites out there!

Louis said...

I am a fan of Ms Stuart.

I have read "Cold As Ice" and agree with your comments.

My favorites of her books are the "Catspaw" series from several years ago. An engaging series.

traveler said...

I have read Still Lake and enjoyed it immensely. Anne Stuart definitely has a talent and a way with words. Her plots and the characters are riveting.

alissa said...

The Widow started me on Anne Stuart's books. Definitely captured my interest and was gripping.

ellie said...

The first book that I read by Anne Stuart was Ritual Sins. Found it powerful and disturbing and was not really familiar with the author and her style. But have to admit it got me hooked on her writing.

pearl said...

Anne Stuart's novels are dark and have tormented heroes who are attractive in a strange way. Not a typical romance for the faint of heart.

sharon said...

If you want to read fiction that is out of the norm with reality but has passion and strength with compulsive characters then Anne Stuart has that ability. I have read her novels and they hold you tight.

dee said...

You people are all amazing!
I sure hope Sister Krissie decides to check out this review, and these comments. I know how much she loves her fans, and this has got to just warm her heart!
More entries now... I want to have to pick a name from a whole lot!

Marg said...

I have to admit that I haven't read any. this book is definitely on my to get list

joelle said...

Anne Stuart's books are not for the weak who dread to read about suffering or about a psyche that is far from the average. When you read her books they bring you into this other realm and it is rather tough to take. But they are totally different stories that give you insight into their tortured souls.

principessa said...

I have read a couple of Anne Stuart's novels which were remarkable stories and unforgettable experiences. When I read your review for Cold As Ice I knew that this was another novel that I had to read. Her writing does reach out to me and affects me deeply.

McB said...

I've read Black Ice and loved it. Loved Bastien *sigh*

Also recently found "The Devil's Waltz" at the library. This was a really fun historical. The heroine really gave the hero a run for his money. I loved her.

But looking back at Ms. Stuart's link (thanks for that, Dee) I'm remembering waaay back when I read "One More Valentine." I think it was a Silhouette? That was a really fun read, and I loved the premise - I like that time travel stuff if its done right.

taxeii ... gee I hope I have enough to cover the fare.

orangehands said...

i've read Black Ice (i wanted to try her out when Jennifer Crusie started talking about the book she was writing with her and Eileen). i really want to read her upcoming book Ice Blue because of her blog.

Cary said...

Oooh, I want a copy of an Anne Stuart book! I've been meaning to get her on my New-Authors-To-Try List since I found out about the The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes. And now that they've posted author bios, and I know that she's got a Springer Spaniel, I just know she'll be a perfect addition to my TBR list.

(And I just have to see how she makes you root for the lawyer to live.....)

Don't you love it when blogger makes you guess at the verification letters? Is that a "c" crunched right over a "p" or a wierd font with a "q"? Is it even English?

Guess I guessed wrong. This time they're definitely "q"s.

Vaishali said...

I haven't read anything by Anne Stuart yet, but want to, esp. knowing that she is collaborating with Jenny Crusie. Good review of Cold As Ice, though I'm sure I'll feel compelled to start with Black Ice first.

Anonymous said...

I have never read one of Ann's books but her website was impressive. I love the fact that she is 25 and has already done so much. I am thinkning of buying Date with a Devil it looks like fun!