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Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Ice, Book 6
Hero: Finn MacGowan
Heroine: Elizabeth Pennington
Date of Publication: September 15, 2011
Started On: November18, 2011
Finished On: November 18, 2011
Anne Stuart announced about the release of the On Thin Ice, the 6th book in the ICE series when I had long given up hope that there would ever be another book in the 5-star series that I had enjoyed immensely from the minute I picked up Black Ice. For me, Anne Stuart is one of a kind; an author who manages to deliver heroes in a league of their own, passion that absolutely scorches through the pages and a love when it comes, binds the hero and heroine for all time to come. And On Thin Ice turned out to be exactly what I hoped and envisioned it to be as I finished this in almost one sitting, just taking breaks for those essential stuff in between.
36 year old Finn MacGowan is an agent of the infamous Committee, taken captive by the members of the Guiding Light that operates in Callivera, a small war-torn country in South America. Having been held captive for three long years, Finn is looking forward to the night he would make his third and final attempt at escape; the reason that he has been kept alive for as long as he has which still remains a mystery even to him.
31 year old Elizabeth Pennington, the sole heiress to the Pennington Pharmaceutical dynasty arrives in Callivera seven months back and works with the Catholic Charities of Callivera until one brutal day when everyone she holds dear is killed ruthlessly and Beth is taken captive.
Beth’s savior comes in the form of the Irish man Finn who makes no secret of the fact that he would willingly leave her behind if it would mean an easier escape for him. But from the very first moment these two opposites are pitted together, Finn has a hard time acting the part of his usual cold and ruthless self around Beth who stirs his senses and literally sets him afire. Blaming his intense attraction towards the skittish and almost virginal Beth as an effect of his 3 year dry spell placates him somewhat but deep down inside, Finn knows that Beth is far more dangerous to his heart and mind than any other woman he has ever known.
A trek through the jungle, with the vicious members of the Guiding Light at their heels hell bent on vengeance and revenge, not to mention the nefarious plans of a member of the CIA tracking their progress all throughout in his own personal vendetta, the adventure aspect of the novel is as hair raising as they come and I fully enjoyed every nail biting minute of it.
The attraction between Finn and Beth is a strong and visceral one that just about took my breathe away with the sexual tension that fairly leaps out of evey single one of their encounters. Finn is the type of hero I love to allow into my dreams. Ruthless and dangerous enough to kill for those whom he loves, with an inner core of tenderness towards that one woman who rocks his world in all the ways, I would love myself a Finn any fine day! I think Finn might come a very close second in my favorite hero list from the ICE series and that is saying a lot when all of the heroes in the ICE series are unbeatable and one of a kind in their own unique way.
Beth is the type of heroine that Anne Stuart does so well. Though in her thirties and richer than the average woman could ever hope of being, Beth is calm and serenity itself and believes herself to be one of those women who would never enjoy the act of sexual relations and steers clear of anything and everything that might lead to it. Her awakening is a slow one, the senses that stir into life and makes her yearn for those things that she cannot for the life of her seem to be able to voice one of the most invigorating aspects of the novel. The way Finn seduces her, not with poetry and flowers but his brand of loving that is hard and branding in its own right just about melted me on the very spot!
I loved how characters from previous ICE books came together in this novel and learning tidbits of their lives at present just warmed me up from the inside. I especially loved the last chapter that serves as a sort of epilogue which I nearly jumped up and down after reading because lets face it, Anne Stuart is famous for leaving the reader begging for more with her books.
Everything about this novel spells perfection right from the very start though there were certain editing errors here and there which I didn’t mind overly much. The only drawback; there is a feeling of finalty with how the novel ended which I think signals the end of the ICE series. I am practically a pretzel at the moment from crossing all my limbs together in the hope that I be proven wrong in the near future.
Recommended for fans of the ICE series, fans of Anne Stuart and fans of ruthless and dangerous heroes that no other hero can ever hope to compete with!
(Beth) “You can’t leave me behind!”
“I can and I will, if I have to break your neck to keep you from following me.”
“I’d like to see you try.”
“No, you wouldn’t.” His voice was flat, unemotional, but even in the darkness she could see the faint flicker in his eyes. She looked behind her, at the crumpled body of the pot smoking soldier, his head at an odd angle, his eyes open and staring.
“Oh, God,” she whispered, horrified. What had seemed a strange kind of nightmare was suddenly, terribly real. “Did you kill him?”
“No, the tooth fairy came along and took care of him.”
(Finn) “You’re sure you’re not a sister?” he tossed back at her, his voice little more than a growl on the night air.
She was closer than he thought, making decent enough headway on the steep hill. “I’m an only child.”
Stupid, he thought. “I’m asking if you’re a holy nun.”
“I told you, I’m not a nun, holy or otherwise.”
Okay, she met the criteria for fuckable.
He halted abruptly, and this time she did slam into him, but at least it was his back absorbing the blow of her soft body. He could pretend to ignore it. “What have you got on your feet?” he growled.
He looked down, his eyes accustomed to the inky black. Light-weight sneakers, already soaking wet from the damp undergrowth. “Christ, woman,” he muttered.
“I didn’t exactly get a chance to choose my wardrobe when they kidnapped me,” she said.
Damned if he didn’t like her.
The vibration of laughter increased, and for some reason it did even more to warm her than the heat from his big, strong body. “You know, Sister Beth, you’re a dangerous woman.”
“You said that before, and I assume you’re being sarcastic.” She was too sleepy to come up with a real argument, too warm and safe for the first time in days to bestir herself. “I can’t imagine anyone more pathetically weak than I am. What could I possibly do to you?”
“Sweetheart, you could make me fall in love, and that’s fatal.”
He moved around the wide counter, silent as always. She was sitting on the floor, her arms wrapped around her knees, her fist in her mouth to try to quiet her sobs, and he realized he hadn’t actually seen her cry before. [..]
She must have felt his eyes on her, for she suddenly swallowed her sob on a choked gasp and looked up at him, her huge, sorrow-filled eyes a sharper pain than the knife slash.
He moved slow enough, so as not to spook her, to give her plenty of time to move, but she stayed where she was, her huge eyes looking into his, and she fucking broke his heart, if he still possessed such a useless organ.
Without his shirt she could see just how bony he was, probably twenty or thirty pounds under his fighting weight from his years in captivity. He loomed over her, and she finally understood her ambivalence. He had protected her, killed for her, led her to safety. He was safety.
But he was also big and raw and so elementally male that it made her teeth sweat. She’d spent most of her life blissfully above the calls of the flesh and the dark, desperate couplings that subsumed others. She didn’t like sex, didn’t want sex. Body parts were simply that. She looked at MacGowan and thought about sex.
There were times when she was honestly afraid of him. He could kill, had killed for her on a number of occasions, seemingly without a moment’s hesitation or an ounce of regret. He was mercenary, brutal, charming, devious, and yes, any other woman would think he was sexy as hell. Not her.
Not her. Oh hell, yes, her. The way he moved, as if he understood his body better than any man had a right to and knew just how to use it for a woman’s maximum pleasure. The way his gray eyes slid over her, coolly caressing. It meant nothing, it was part of his stock in trade, and yet she felt it slide over her skin like a physical touch.
He caught up with her outside her doorway, when she almost gave up. He said nothing, simply pulled her into his arms, against his strong, hard body, and his hand slid beneath her hair, tilting her face up to his. “No more running away?” His voice was rough.
His eyes glittered down into hers, and if she wanted tenderness it wasn’t there. Simply a dark, naked heat sparking between them.
“No more running away,” she said.
He wanted her hands on him, he wanted her mouth on him, he wanted to take her from behind, leaning over the bunk, he wanted her to go down on him, he wanted everything he could possibly think of and more. He wanted it hard and nasty, gentle and sweet. But most of all he wanted it now.
She could feel the hot tears pouring down her face, and she pressed it against the stone. MacGowan, you stupid bastard, she thought. Why did you have to go and get yourself killed? I care about you.
Care about you. Stupid phrase. She knew the truth, and right then the least she could do for the man who’d died protecting her was to admit it. She was stupidly, idiotically in love with him. He didn’t deserve it, she was smart enough to know better, but all the rationalization in the world didn’t help. It simply was.
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