Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Cold As Ice" by Anne Stuart

Genevieve Spenser is a snotty, uptight lawyer who boards the boat of billionaire Harry Van Dorn to get some papers signed. Little does she know, he is a maniac bent on world domination (or something). He wants to stage seven tragedies that will send the stock market plunging and allow him to make a few more billion (or something).

Also on board is Peter Jensen, who is supposed to be Harry's personal assistant, but is actually an assassin for The Committee, who want to stop Harry before he can carry out his deadly plans. His directive is that Genevieve become collateral damage so that the mission can go off without a hitch. However, sparks are flying between the two, and he finds himself torn between his duty and his libido.

Considering what a rampaging bitch Genevieve is, Peter would have been better off letting her get blown up in the boat. It's been a while since I came across such an unlikeable, insolent, nerve-grating whinebucket. Seriously, she behaves as if she just celebrated her thirteenth birthday. But she's great in the sack, so Peter is happy to risk the fate of the world to keep her safe and keep on bedding her.

Your book is in trouble when the most entertaining character is your villian. Harry Van Dorn is supposed to be sick and depraved, but he's far more interesting than Peter or Genevieve. I couldn't help but wish that Harry might achieve all his goals and live to fight on in an inevitable follow-up (I believe this is part of a series involving agents working for The Committee). He's certainly preferable to spending time in the company of Genevieve. Then again, getting your fingernails forcibly removed whilst watching a Katherine Heigl movie would probably be better than spending time with a woman like Genevieve.

"Cold As Ice" has no real plot to speak of - Harry's plans are ambiguous at best - but has a few sprinklings of action and moves at an easy enough pace. Better characterisation may have helped in overcoming the serious personality flaws of its central protagonists.

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