Review: Ice Blue — Anne Stuart

Read: 78
To Go: 22

Book List
71. The Truth About Delilah Blue — Tish Cohen
72. Onstage, Offstage — Michael Buble
73. Various Positions — Martha Schabas
74. Flesh and Blood — Michael Cunningham
75. True Evil — Greg Iles
76. Gone — Michael Grant
77. Fools Rush In — Kristan Higgins
78. Ice Blue — 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.

So this was another loaner, and while it wasn’t exactly a horrible book, it was really quite…laughable. Okay, here’s the down-low. (Yes, I just said down-low.)

The good: Anne Stuart’s writing style. No one can say she’s not a talented writer. It wasn’t difficult to get through, that’s for sure.

The bad: the whole point of a romance novel is to convince the audience that the two main characters are meant to be together. I really wasn’t convinced. I mean, besides the obvious reason, which was that Takashi was ready to kill Summer at the drop of the hat. He put his hands around her neck to strangle her multiple times, and held her underwater in her hot tub. We’re supposed to be wooed that he felt compelled not to kill her, but the very fact that he started to several times kind of negated that wooed feeling for me. As well, I just didn’t believe them as a couple. I wasn’t persuaded that they were really great together. I was told, several times, that Summer was in love with Takashi (God knows why…), and it was implied that he loved her as well, but that supposed love wasn’t really demonstrated.

As well, though this was being sold as a romance-thriller, it seriously lacked the thriller edge for me. There was a bald, fat, crazy albino man trying to destroy the earth, and a potentially murderous hero, but that just doesn’t scream thriller to me. More like ‘nice try, but not really.’

The ugly: the sex scenes. Well, I’m sure on a scale of hot to…hotter, they fell somewhere in there. But I could do without the “sexy talk” (it was not sexy). In fact, scenes that were supposed to be sensual or erotic were rendered purely comedic fodder because of some really, really painful dialogue. I may have passed out at one point from laughing so hard.

However, Ice Blue does get an award: the shock-and-awe award. I was skim reading before I’d sat down to read it cover-to-cover, and when I skimmed over a sex scene it was so funny-slash-horrible-slash-explicit that I slammed the book shut. I’d like to call this the Joey Award. (See the clip below.)

Next book: Lucy Gets Her Life Back — Stef Ann Holm

– Kelsey

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