Anne Stuart, Black Ice

Posted September 21, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Black Ice (Ice, #1)Black Ice by Anne Stuart
Series: Ice, 1
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First in the Ice suspense series.

The Story
Chloe so adores living in Paris. It’s so worth the crappy job translating children’s stories into French. Even if she has to share a tiny apartment with the irresponsible, oh-so-chic Sylvia. Then Sylvia convinces her to take a translating job over the weekend at a chateau in the country.

Unfortunately for Chloe, the reason the consortium wants Sylvia as a translator is because she is too self-absorbed to see what’s going on under her very nose. Unfortunately for Chloe, her intelligence doesn’t go unnoticed and she’s marked for death.

The Characters
Chloe Underwood speaks English, French, “Italian, Spanish and German, with a healthy smattering of Swedish and Russian, and even a few bits of Arabic and Japanese”. Tossed out of the Cordon Bleu for a little too much tweaking of the traditional approach to la cuisine, her family unhappy that she’s not following them all into medicine, Chloe is very happily working a lousy job trying to figure out the French for “doughty” and enjoying the peace of a Parisian winter.

Bastien Toussaint is an arms dealer. On the surface. A womanizer in every sense and falling deeply in love with Chloe. A weakness he cannot afford.

My Take
I enjoyed this! And am looking forward to reading the next in the series, Cold as Ice. Bastien was so incredibly cold in a very hot way.

What I do not find believable is Bastien’s falling for Chloe. It doesn’t make sense that she attracts him. I don’t object to it, it’s simply that Stuart doesn’t create a believable scenario for it. Otherwise, the interactions amongst the consortium and Bastien’s own organization are very believable even if there is a coldness and ruthlessness that is absolutely appalling. I loved the tension involved in their running from both organizations as well as the random bits of humanity that surfaced.

I suspect that Cold as Ice will involve Bastien and Chloe together on an assignment…otherwise, why explain how many languages she speaks.

The Cover
I’m guessing that the cover is of Chloe’s family home in the hills in North Carolina since it reflects the last bit of action in the story with the snow gently falling on the family home in its isolated setting just before the attack.

The title is a toughy. Bastien is definitely a black ops, icy kind of guy and it keeps snowing when they meet. Then there’s the fact that Bastien acknowledges that Chloe Underwood is melting the ice that forms his heart.

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