Title: Black Ice
Author: Anne Stuart
Series: Ice (book #1)
Next in series: Cold As Ice
My rating: 3.5 Stars
Synopsis: Chloe Underwood is an underpaid translator living in Paris who wishes for a little excitement in her life. When she is offered the opportunity of a lifetime to translate a business meeting, Chloe soon realizes that one should be careful of what they wish for as the businessmen turn out to be deadly arms dealers, and she is forced to go on the run with a dangerous yet seductive stranger who may or may not kill her at any moment.
Review: A good premise that has a James Bond feel to it. The characters are interesting but the execution is poor.
Although Sebastian is a ruthless and sadistic anti-hero, you cannot stop yourself from falling in love with him in the same way that Chloe does. Chloe is exceedingly naïve, which may turn some readers off but for me her naiveté strikes just the right cord. Nevertheless, it is not clear why he falls in love with her and their relationship is far-fetched. Yes, they have great chemistry, but is that really true love?
The plot is good but is implausible and unrealistic at times. What self-respecting arms dealer would allow a complete stranger in on a deal? The story also focuses on some dark and sinister issues such as torture and so-called good guys crossing the line because the “ends justify the means”.
The main problem with this book is the writing, which is choppy and has sudden transitions that make it difficult to follow the sequence of events. Moreover, the ending is very abrupt and the reader is left with an unsatisfied feeling. As this is the first book in a series, perhaps we will learn more about Chloe and Sebastian’s relationship in the next installment.
Despite the improbable plot elements and the writing issues, I've heard such great things about the rest of the series and have decided to give it a chance. So I will be reading the next book.