Cold as Ice by Anne Stuart
COLD AS ICE by Anne Stuart
Thanks to Cindy noting on her blog that this book was out earlier than it's October 24th street date. I sweet talked TGILW into stopping by the bookstore on his way home on Sunday to see if it was in for me. He found it and brought it home.
I was reading the last in the the Heart series by Robin D. Owens HEART QUEST on Sunday and really, really, really wanted to put it aside to pick up the Anne Stuart, but I was interested enough in the Heart book that I finished it on Sunday night knowing that I'd be home all day Monday doing laundry and cooking for the natives preparing for our Monday TV night of Heros and Studio 60.
Quick aside here, does anybody else think they have more commercials in Heroes than any other TV show recently? It seems like there is a commercial every other minute! I was a little disappointed the story didn't progress much this week, but there was lots of good content anyway.
Back to the subject of the book. So my niece came over Monday morning and interrupted the reading before it really got started, but I was undaunted. By mid-day I was into the book. With normal interruptions for regular life and Monday night TV I was able to finish it around midnight.
Whew! I don't know where to start. I was sort of breathless during parts of this book. Peter Madsen is a very dark hero. Mailynn had a post yesterday where she discussed the flap about Anne Stuart's characters in her last two books. Mailynn noted that spies do what they have to do to get the job done. That is their job. I would agree. Nothing in COLD AS ICE makes Peter a less attractive hero to me as a reader and certainly not to Genevieve. I think most of the uproar, if there really is one, is that telling the reader exactly what some of the bad things Peter has done are outside the realm of the traditional hero. The admission of killing women, or sex with both men and women would tend to turn the average romance reader from having any sort of sympathy or interest in a hero. Those sorts of unpalatable acts are only alluded to in a vague way in other spy type romances by using a single phrase like "I do what it takes to get the job done." Ms. Stuart is much more direct and explicit. We are clear that this is not a nice guy and he has done some very bad and ugly things.
None of which deterred me. I simply didn't want to put the book down. I kept wanting more, more, more. While I can recommend the book heartily especially to Anne Stuart fans, I don't feel like I got enough reason why Genevieve fell for Peter. Which is why I was turning pages frantically and re-reading their dialogue and almost humming more, more, more under my breath. To me, Ms. Stuart gave us plenty to work with for Peter's feelings toward Genevieve, but under the dire circumstances Genevieve finds herself in, less so her motivation for caring about Peter.
I get the sex part...I do. Being terrified can heighten sexual awareness. Peter certainly has experience using it and manipulates it to his advantage. So while I get not resisting the sexual temptation and attraction, I wasn't sure why she would fall in love with Peter? Is it her background? Those early days of idealism and being a do-gooder? Really good sex?
For me the plot and the bad guys were a necessity for our H/H to meet but superfluous to my need to know more about Peter and Genevieve. I was captivated by them as a couple and their individual stories. Of course they needed the plot to give them a reason to come together, but the dynamics between them were much more interesting than the background story of the Rule of Seven terror campaign planned by bad guy Harry Van Dorn.
I'm anxious to see other reader reaction to see if anyone else can be more articulate about these two characters and this story. According to Ms. Stuart's interview at AAR (thanks for the link Renee) there are two more books planned in this series, one due in April 2007 and one in November 2007. Both characters for these future books appear in COLD AS ICE. I'm sufficiently engaged in her characters from this world and intrigued enough that I'll be racing to the bookstore to buy them when they are released.