Merrimon Book Reviews

Mt. McKinley

Bush pilot in Denali National Park

From Merrimon Book Reviews
Ice by Stephanie Rowe
by Stephanie Rowe

 5 Hearts  
Sexy, dangerous, thrilling!!
Kaylie Fletcher's whole family disappeared during one of their many climbing expeditions.  All died but no bodies were found.  When a mysterious phone call wakes her up in the middle of the night claiming that her mother is alive, Kaylie has no idea if the call is a hoax or not.  What she does know is that she must do anything and everything even based on a slim hope even if it means returning to Alaska.  Alaska is the last place on earth Kaylie wants to be. She prefers civilization, diamonds and all the finer things of life and safety above all else.  When she encounters Cort McClaine, the bush pilot, she knows he will be the death of her.  He may be hot, but he represents exactly the kind of life she wants to put behind her.  Cort McClaine has nothing but disdain for this groundie.  He has had enough of women like her with their fine clothes, their sheltered lives and their put-downs.  Both can't wait to be rid of the other's presence until suddenly a phone call from Kaylie's friend warns her off her intended destination.  When Cort and Kaylie land, the scene they discover could not be more horrific.  Terrified and in need of a place to stay, Kaylie has no choice but to rely on Cort's protection.   Devastated by the scene, Cort wants to protect her and stop the murderous villain.   In a race against time, weather and the unknown madman, Cort and Kaylie are drawn together with a passion as hot as their fear is deep.  Can passion between two people so opposite turn to love?   As the murderer's path becomes closer and closer, will Cort and Kaylie learn to trust each other with the secrets of their past?  In a race riddled with danger, Cort and Kaylie must face their deepest fears or else, they might find themselves victims of this unknown murderer!

In ICE, three-time RITA Award finalist and Golden Heart Award winner Stephanie Rowe makes her entry into Romantic Suspense, and what an awesome entry!  From the very first pages to the end, heart-stopping danger and passion grab the heart.   Relentless weather and rugged terrain combine with the ruthless actions of an unknown killer whose malice sends shivers down the spine.  Death lurks hidden in every corner, outside and in the heart.   Against the horrors, Kaylie and Cort discover sexual passion that defies death with its intensity.  Not only does ICE paint a picture of an extreme, unmerciful landscape and the ever-present danger of a mysterious killer in plot and description, but the reader feels the landscape and human threat in the very depths of the characters --- in their thoughts, their emotions and their actions.  Kaylie is a woman haunted by her past, a woman determined to make a life for herself different than the adrenaline thrills loved by her family, and yet when faced with danger, she has an unfathomable courage in the face of the fear within her. Cort McClaine is a loner at home in the wilds of Alaska.  Unlike Kaylie, adrenaline keeps Cort alive, sharpening his senses and his focus, at least until Kaylie enters the picture.   Forced together for safety and expediency, danger and passion unlock their deepest fears, their deepest secrets.  Only by trusting one another can they unlock the identity of the faceless danger tracking them.

In ICE, Stephanie Rowe handles the thorniest difficulties of the genre with a magnificent deftness and agility that leads the reader right into the core of the story.  Sometimes in romantic suspense, a reader must gloss over disbelief of the hero and heroine's passionate encounters when danger threatens so.  In ICE, Stephanie Rowe doesn't just make the reader believe, she uses the scenario to ramp up the intensity of the romance, leading the reader even deeper into the mind-chilling suspense and the urgency of her characters' drive to defy the odds against them.  As Kaylie and Cort work together, passion  transforms the other on even deeper riveting levels.   The ending is perfect!  Stephanie Rowe knows her characters so well that the ending plays to their deepest desires without sacrificing the true nature of her characters.  A wonderful romance through and through!

Publisher: Dorchester - Love Spell (June 2009)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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