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Linda Murphy on
5.0 out of 5 stars... & USA Today bestselling author Anne Stuart delivers another excellent romantic thriller in book 5 of her outstanding "Ice" ...
Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2017
*NYT & USA Today bestselling author Anne Stuart delivers another excellent romantic thriller in book 5 of her outstanding "Ice" series. Each and every book in this series are must reads !.......On the eve of a failed love affair, Jillian "Jilly" Lovitz made a last minute decision when she found herself on her way to Tokyo in the hopes of seeing her only sister Summer and her husband Taka, however once she arrived at their house, the couple were not only there, but instead, she was being whisked away by a familiar face on his Harley while cold-blooded killers were right on their heels determined to kill them both when the assassins true intent was actually to kill her brother-in-law and sister who had been in hiding from ruthless enemies for the last few months. Considered the Committee's unpredictable covert agent and black sheep of his own family, Reno Shadano couldn't believe he was back in Japan to rescue the one woman who haunted his dreams for the past ten years. She was just a shy-looking teenager when he seen her last, and the chemistry between them just by one look was not only explosive, but he made a promise to her sister long ago to stay away from her, and that had suited him just fine. Since he didn't believe in commitments, strings of any kind, and more importantly, the existence of love. How could she ever forget him? That was the one question going through Jilly's mind as they ran for their lives through the dangerous streets of Tokyo, and Jilly still found the gorgeous exotic bad boy was just as mesmerizing as she remembered him last, but when he turned into an obnoxious bully consumed with a heartless soul, she soon found out she and Reno were not only pawns in a deadly chess game , but there was an assassination plot about to be carried out, and even worse, Jilly was the true target after all. Determined of keeping his distance and continuing his sarcastic demeanor towards the only woman who consumed all his dirty fantasies, Reno decided he would do whatever it takes to keep Jilly at arms length, but when he went overboard with his heartless insults, he not only broke her heart into splinters, but he broke his own as well. After all his painful comments and danger at every turn, Jilly finally walked away never once looking back, and Reno was confronted by an unexpected realization turning his blood into fire and ice , and he knew right then and there, he had to win back the heart of the only woman he couldn't live without!........
I have a shameful weakness for bad boys, and Reno is one of the baddest. Yes, they are sexier in print than real life, but a girl can dream of the dark, hot, tortured man-hunk that only she can reach - right? Anyway, for those of you who like your heroes cold on the outside but volcano hot on the inside...look no more. Reno is a little rough and a lot alpha-male. Jilly is a sweet brainiac who has lusted after Reno since she was in her late teens. She's grown up, and can't get him out of her mind. She is beyond sweet, but a bit like the old-fashion damsel in distress at times. Reno was warned to stay away from Jilly by his sister-in-law, but circumstances call for his particular talent to save Jilly from certain death. Warning: Reno is not for the reader who wants a tender hero. He's bossy, cold, distant, and down right mean at times. However, the author makes him so confident, heroic, and sexy that I think readers will agree with Jilly - he is the ultimate bad boy you dream about.
Jilly is supposed to be a 20 year old master's student- a genius with a super high IQ. She acts, however, like a twelve year old. She makes TSTL decisions constantly. Yes- she did THROW a gun at an enemy who was beating her sweetie instead of shooting him. (The best thing to do with an enemy is toss a gun toward him so he can catch it and use it on you or your lover?) She drove a Hummer into her front gate, effectively sealing herself in with the bad guy and keeping out help. When her house is on fire, she runs UPSTAIRS instead of out. She is pushed into moving traffic (an attempt on her life) and basically shrugs it off- doesn't notify the police or seek help. When she knows she's being chased by bad guys, she runs away from help and straight into their arms. It's all very frustrating to read.
Beyond that, she was very immature. She handles all situations by either 1) running or 2) using the silent treatment. (Reminded me of my kindergarten niece throwing a tantrum!) I didn't pay for entertainment to read about a STUPID BRAT.
Reno was a better developed character but still missed the mark. He made the novel bearable to read but not by much. He was quite the "genius" himself. I loved the part when he and Jilly are locked in a cell together, caught by the bad guys. When Reno hears someone coming he hides Jilly under a cardboard box. LOL. (?) Ok, the bad guys KNOW she's in there. They put her there. And it's just a room. Seriously- how much protection is she going to get from a box? How long can she "hide" in the most obvious place in a tiny room when the bad guys know she's there?
I also love how Reno allows Jilly to get dressed up in (no joke) head to ankle Gothic Lolita attire- black fishnet stockings, garter belt showing under a super short lacy frilly doll outfit, a corset... the whole nine yards. OK, the girl is near 6 feet tall and blond in TOKYO of all places and the supposed "intel undercover protector" dresses her up in a costume that would only draw attention. She had clothing there- even if they were dirty and old. It would be smarter to wear the dirty plain clothing than the neon sign that would be a 6 foot tall blond woman wearing Gothic Lolita garb walking through Tokyo. They're supposed to be in hiding???
And of course, we have the much beloved love/hate relationship between the hero and heroine. They bicker constantly- spar with each other- hurt and insult each other (even after sex- in fact the emotional abuse goes up times ten) basically right until the last two pages. Very unlikeable. For him, I guess he was trying to keep himself from falling too hard because he liked being a bachelor. For her, she's just a stubborn little BRAT who doesn't like to follow instructions.
The plot is actually fantastic- the background story. I loved the setting in Tokyo, the description of the underground leading families, the struggle for hierarchy within an ancient Japanese faction, the food, the customs... even the running for their lives against the Japanese bad guys. That was all very excellent.
And there were some really sweet scenes here and there that I warmed up to. But for the most part, the hero and heroine were just plain unlikeable.
4.0 out of 5 starsThe little sister book to "Ice Blue"
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 22, 2014
This fifth book in the Ice series follows a deliciously tempting little set up at the end of "Ice Blue", the third in the series. I'd bought Ice Blue a while ago as I always know I'm going to love an Anne Stuart, but only got around to reading it recently. I can't review it on here as I didn't buy if from Amazon (oops!) but that one is brilliant - a definite 5 stars. I was so intrigued by the inevitable hook-up between cousin Reno and little sister Jilly foreshadowed by Ice Blue, that I HAD to purchase "Fire and Ice" before I'd even finished book three (on my Kindle this time for instant gratification. Amazon will be pleased).
I've no doubt this book works best if you've already read Ice Blue and while this one is really good, it's not quite 5 stars. There is a lot more swearing than you usually get in an Anne Stuart (as one of the other reviewers pointed out) but as the two characters here are in their early twenties and as Reno is a very bad boy, I didn't have a problem with that at all. This is a fast paced, hot, violent, race around Japan and my only gripe is that I expected a bit more "futuristic Samurai Yakuza punkster" and instead we headed back into more familiar, traditional, honorable, Japanese territory instead. Ok, so I was probably expecting a bit much from Anne Stuart who excels at historic and not sci-fi romps, but I was left just a little unsatisfied - hence the 4 stars. Other than that minor (and probably petty) gripe it's a great read and highly recommended.
Finally, I just discovered something today and I'd urge anyone thinking about purchasing this book to go to Anne's own website where she has a "Special Treat" for us - a delicious little prequel to this book called "Married to it". Enjoy! I certainly did.
5.0 out of 5 starsAnother great read from the Ice Series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 1, 2016
One of my favourite's from the ice series. The Bad-Boy Reno was a very likeable character and was kind at heart. I like how he was fighting the attraction and how this heightened the passion. The ending was great and I love how we saw what happened after the chaos in Japan which leads to more chaos just when you think the story is finished. Loved the ending!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2012
If I had known what the language was like I would not have bought it. It is not necessary and to have 4 letter words repeatedly coming through ear phones is not very enjoyable This item was not cheap and the language spoils the enjoyment. It has turned me against buying anymore audio books.