Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ice Blue by Anne Stuart

 Museum curator Summer Hawthorne considered the exquisite ice-blue ceramic bowl given to her by her beloved Japanese nanny a treasure of sentimental value--until somebody tried to kill her for it. The priceless relic is about to ignite a global power struggle that must be stopped at all costs.

It's a desperate situation, and international operative Takashi O'Brien has received his directive: everybody is expendable. "Everybody." Especially the woman who is getting dangerously under his skin as the lethal game crosses the Pacific to the remote and beautiful mountains of Japan, where the truth can be as seductive as it is deadly....


Ice Blue is the third book in Anne Stuart’s popular Ice series, and another exciting, sexy story. This time we're taken on wild ride as The Committee seeks to thwart a crazy villain’s attempt to “cleanse the world” with fire.
Well, I gotta tell you, there’s something wildly addictive about these books – in a twisted kind of way. The villains are always very ambitious in their evil plans for world domination, or as is the case in Ice Blue, True Ascension. In a note from the author, Ms. Stuart gives us a little background to this story:
The True Realization Fellowship and its leader, the Shirosama, is very loosely inspired by the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan and their charismatic leader, Shoko Asahara. Most people remember the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subways twelve years ago, when terrorist attacks were less common, and there's something about cults, Jonestown and the like, that are macabre and fascinating. Believe it or not, the real characters were just as badly behaved as my fictional ones—sometimes more so. I simply used Aum as a jumping-off point to create my own delusional madman.
And what a madman he is! Knowing there are really people out there who believe they are "chosen" to cleanse the world added an element of evil to the story that was chilling.

I still can’t believe that I fall so in love with these “heroes” who are willing to do whatever they have to do to complete their mission, and I do mean “whatever” they have to do. This includes sacrificing the heroine to the bad guys, or as the case may be, in order to make sure the bad guys can’t get their hands on her, killing her himself! Luckily, Fate always steps in just in the nick of time and creates a diversion that allows the hero to put off the inevitable… until the inevitable is no longer, and he realizes that he’s screwed. Because that’s what falling in love is. Screwed.

Okay, so I’m speaking in generalizations here, this is true, but so far every hero in this series is amazing and I love them for the same reasons I hate them. They’re sexy and they know it. They’re smart and they know it. They’re without heart and conscience and they know it… and they use all of these things to their advantage. So do you see why I have the Love/Hate relationship with these men that I do?

Thankfully the heroines are not TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) though from time to time they do walk the edge. They’re strong, independent, compassionate, wise and insightful. And they have to be all of these things to bring their men out of the dark world they exist in, and into the light. But don’t worry, these gamma males never lose their edge, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I absolutely adore Takashi and Summer. They’re a perfect match in every way, even more than I could have imagined. Apart they are amazing, but their strengths and their weaknesses complement one another and together they make a perfect, complete whole.

I'm so looking forward to reading more of this series!

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