Book Review: Jude Deveraux’s Twin of Ice

Posted June 27, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

by Kathy Davie

Twin of Ice (Taggert, #2)Twin of Ice by Jude Deveraux
Series: Taggert, 1
            Twins, 1
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First in the Taggert and Twin romance series set in late 19th century Colorado. This story focuses on Houston Chandler and Kane Taggert in coal mining country in the Colorado mountains.

My Take
I fully agree with Kane. The way the women were carrying on when he first showed up, he didn’t have to act like a gentleman since “they was makin’ whores of themselves…”

Wow, talk about a soap opera! There’s the plot and all the subplots running about making for a complex and fascinating read. It’s a look at both sides of a coal mine: the miners and their families and the working conditions versus the cost considerations of management. There’s the Chandlers’ undercover group of operatives taking a hand in all sorts of activities at which their male relatives would be horrified. Houston and Blair’s personal family history has its own dramas with the expectations Houston has nursed since childhood.

Deveraux is rather simplistic in setting up the relationships between Houston, Blair, Leander, and Kane. Although, Kane certainly does enjoy the powerful position it places him in and he’s certainly not shy about taking advantage of it.

Oh, crack me up! Houston and Blair are combining their bachelorette party and Edan is a witness to it—Kane is worried about the womenfolk being alone in that big house. Does Edan ever get an eye- and earful! Hah!

Duh, the whole switch thing at the altar was just stupid. More of a desperate introduction to impose some drama. Then Kane’s overwhelming need to show up Jacob Fenton was a clumsy plotline to create more drama. Although, it does allow for Deveraux to explain Kane’s origins. Following this up with Kane’s learning about Houston’s extracurricular activities completely blows everything up. And that’s before the really big blow-up…! Then the jailbreak… Definitely a turn-of-the-century soap opera!

Interesting factoid about typewriters and the QWERTY keyboard.

When all’s said, a fascinating read and I’m looking forward to reading Twin of Fire…it’s got to be about Blair!

The Story
An introduction to Houston/Sadie’s unionist activities is followed up by the scandal of the town of Chandler—the megalith of a house bigger ‘n anything in town, especially Jacob Fenton’s place. When Kane Taggert shows up in Chandler to claim his house, the womenfolk go wild trying to attract his attention. The games stop when none of them can get his attention and, instead, they revert to shunning and making fun of him.

It’s one such incident by which Houston meets Kane when she steps up to interfere. An unexpected meeting which leads Kane to believe he’s found exactly what he needs and he lays siege to Houston Chandler. He wants himself a lady and that look she gave him… Well, that look just about froze him in his footsteps and that’s one way to know a woman is a lady.

The turning point—for Kane—is the private dinner invitation Houston receives from Kane. She inveigles her twin to take her place with Leander, a mistake of major proportions as Blair goes a lot farther than Houston ever considered. Houston has ever been the ice princess with Lee and it seems that Blair has a lot more fire in her.

The Characters
Houston Chandler is the demure twin, but she’s also masquerading as the ancient, team-driving Sadie delivering vegetables and medicines to the families of the miners. She’s also delivering union materials inserted inside the cabbages. Her twin, Blair, is the fiery one who fights with her stepfather and despises Leander. She insisted on going back east and getting her medical degree. Both of them hate their stepfather Duncan Gates for his obsession with appearances while they adore their mother Opal. Dr. Leander Westfield is Houston’s fiancé.

Kane Taggert has been hard done by as a child…wait’ll you read just how hard! But he ran off and made good. Now he’s back to lord it over his former employer. Edan Nyland is his assistant. Jean Taggert is one of Kane’s cousins; she’s the central distribution point for the other miners’ families for the supplies Sadie brings in. Rafe and Sherwin Taggert are Kane’s uncles; Ian Taggert is another cousin.

Reverend Thomas connives at the union activities and serves as a sounding board for Houston. The Sisterhood was founded by Houston’s grandmother and is a group of women in town who perform charitable works, helping orphans and sick people, spreading information about unions in the mining camps, you know, the usual things women do.

Jacob Fenton runs Fenton Coal & Iron including the Little Pamela mine. Charity Fenton is Jacob’s sister and Kane’s mother. Jacob’s children are Pamela née Fenton Younger, the daughter who got married off to a man who owed him money and Marc, the rather feckless son. Zach Younger is Pamela’s son…and Kane’s.

The Cover
It’s a very pretty cover with its marbled blue background and the ornate filigreed oval frame encasing a long distance view of a plantation like home in the background itself backed by a mountain and a woman in turn-of-the-century dress.

The title is a actually a rather rude nickname for Houston Chandler—a twin, she is seen as an ice queen, a Twin of Ice.