Friday, September 17, 2010

Day Twelve of the Journey and a Book Review - COLD AS ICE by Stephanie Black

Look who I found!
Yesterday's lost reviewer.

Please click here to find out what she wrote.

I don't know about you, but
I have sand in my hair, eyes,  and
between my toes.

Oooh, what's that up ahead?

A mirage . . . or an oasis?

It's an oasis! And beyond that

Before we venture closer to King Jacob's wicked city
let's check out another review by clicking here.

While we're resting in the shade of these lovely palm trees
sit back, relax, and read this book review.

Book Review - COLD AS ICE by Stephanie Black

As I worked on the edits I received from my critique group last Friday on my new manuscript, I came to a comment where someone wanted me to use a rope to tie up the hero instead of duct tape. I thought I was clever having the bad guy use duct tape, but this comment made me curious. When my husband came home from work I had him duct tape my wrists together. I wanted to see just how difficult it would be to get out of such a situation.

Oh my stars! I worked on getting free for quite some time. My wrists were turning red, and I hate to admit it, but I felt a little panicky. I finally had him cut me free. Then the fun part started: I had to peel the tape from my arms. Ouch!!! Of course, my husband just want to ripe the tape off, claiming the pain would be over with quickly, but instead I slowly worked until the tape came off (though my arm is still sticky in spots.) So what does this have to do with Stephanie Black’s new novel, COLD AS ICE?

After escaping the tape, I’m reading along totally enjoying this romantic suspense when I came to a scene where the heroine was bound with duct tape!!! Justification! If Ms. Black can use duct tape, so can I, but I also want her to know that I’d already written my scene before reading her novel. Phew!

With all this talk about being tied up, aren’t you curious about COLD AS ICE? Here’s the description on the back of the book.

After five patient years, Abigail Wyatt’s sisterly care is finally paying off; her younger brother, Derek, is abandoning his self-destructive lifestyle and seeking his parents’ forgiveness, thus ending the painful estrangement that wounded the whole family. But just as the pieces are falling into place for the prodigal’s return, a woman is murdered in a local park—and police name Derek as the prime suspect. Rather than standing firm and cementing the positive changes in his life, Derek succumbs to his cynical fears and runs from the law, leaving Abigail with her hands tied. Literally.

Derek’s raw panic convinces everyone that he’s the killer—everyone except Abigail, who doggedly maintains her brother’s innocence. With the help of Kyle, a friend she might be falling for, Abigail digs deep into the murdered woman’s troubled past in hopes of clearing Derek’s name. But as she uncovers a sinister plot of greed, envy and vengeance, this loyal sister must face the painful truth that things—and people—are not always as they seem.

My review:
First let me say, I’ve read a ton of romantic suspense novels by such authors as Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Norah Roberts, Tami Hoag, and on and on, so I pretty much know what I like and what I don’t. Black’s novel is not your typical romantic suspense and that may be why I loved this book.

Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, Black would throw in something that made me want to read on and find out what would happen next. That’s the sign of a great writer.

Abigail is a heroine you'd want in your corner. Her undying devotion to her brother is inspiring. Even facing incredible odds and all sorts of reasons why she should just walk away, she doesn't. How refreshing is that in this day and age?

Her brother, Derek, is a guy who has made mistakes in his life and has a troubled past shadowing him. Will he revert to his old ways? Or will he remain committed to cleaning up his life? He's very vulnerable as the book opens and especially as you follow him through the nightmare he finds himself in.

Both Abigail and Derek grow as the plot unfolds.

I always like to try and guess who the bad guy is early on in a book. This time I really didn’t settle on who I thought it was until I’d read half of the book. And then as the plot progressed I grew concerned that maybe I was wrong, and I didn’t want to be wrong because than I’d be so disappointed. Do you do that, too? So I kept reading until I finished the novel. I’m not going to tell you if I was right or wrong. You’re going to have to read the book and see if you can figure it out. But let me just say I wasn’t disappointed. And that's not to say I was right or wrong. 

Was there anything that bothered me about the book? I would have liked a little more tension at the beginning. The reader is introduced to all the players, but tension doesn’t ramp up until you’re a little ways into the novel. But that’s good because by then you can’t put it down!!!

COLD AS ICE is a nail-biting, heart-pounding suspense you’ll enjoy reading.

(I received a free copy of this novel. I reviewed it because I liked it.)


  1. I'm glad you found your lost reviewer!

    Cold As Ice sounds like it's an exciting novel! Thanks for the suggestion.

    Isn't it cool that we writers get to try out things like being tied up with duct tape and it's considered normal? Sometimes research is the most fun part about writing a novel!

  2. Laura,
    I'm glad I found her, too.

    COLD AS ICE was a thrill to read in more ways than one.

    And being a writer is the best! I've gone on cattle drives, looked for ghosts in Oregon, and, well, I don't want to tell you all things I've done. ;) So glad writers understand each other.

  3. Mumble, mumble, cough, spit, pah!

    Sorry about that, sand in the throat.

    Sooo glad you found your straggler Kathi, good to know the Buzzards didn't get her.

    Ouch, duct tape on the wrists. It is your book, you use what you want. I do admire you trying it out though. :)

    OK, I'm off to make sure the coast is clear.

  4. Sun has gone to my head.
    Great review of the book by the way. I love Norah Roberts, so this is my sort of thing.

  5. Glynis,
    That sand gets everywhere, doesn't it?

    I'm glad I tried the duct tape because now I know exactly how it feels, how it stings like the dickens as it pulls out the little hairs on your arms, and how it leaves welts in your skin. Took a while to get the sticky off my arm, too. All good stuff to put in the book. ;)

  6. Glynis,
    I like Norah's books, too. I met her at a writer's conference. Very fun lady and can she ever dance.

    I'm hoping to stay in the shade for the rest of the journey.



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