‘Ice’ is a romantic suspense novel written by Linda Howard, a New York Times bestselling author. This 198-page novel was published by Ballantine Books in 2009. Due to an impending ice storm, a man’s return home for the holidays takes him on a mission up the mountain to rescue a woman from her home. Little did he know that it would turn into a rescue mission from additional dangers while offering the possibility for a new relationship.
Gabriel McQueen, Sergeant in the Military Police, returns home to Wilson Creek, Maine, to spend the holidays with his 7-year old son, Sam, and his family. With an impending ice storm pushing their way, his father, Sheriff Harlan McQueen, has been unable to reach neighbor, Lorelei (Lolly) Helton, who is alone up on the mountain. He requested that Gabriel go up and bring her down to safety; a job Gabriel didn’t relish.
Lolly Helton, who lives in Portland and works for an insurance company, is currently visiting her childhood home to prepare it for sale. While picking up supplies in town, the owners of the grocery store inform her of the upcoming ice storm and offer her a room until the storm passes. Lolly rushes back up the mountain to pack a bag and get back to town before the storm hits and she becomes stranded. She didn’t realize that by answering the knock on her door would quickly alter her plans.
Gabriel’s trip up the mountain becomes treacherous sooner than expected. Halfway up the mountain, his truck gets stuck and he has to walk the rest of the way up the hill to the Hilton place. As soon as he arrives, he notes a man and woman in the living room, armed with revolvers and meth supplies on the coffee table. After further assessing the situation, he realizes that Lolly is in danger and begins plotting her rescue.
Gabriel’s only concern is to get them off the mountain alive. Not only do they have to fight off the dangerous elements of the ice storm, but they must defend themselves against the unpredictable meth users who invaded the Helton home and are hunting them.
Although not of the same caliber as her other novels, this was another wonderful story offering the reader a quick ride through a winter ice storm, among other dangers. Linda Howard is an exceptional writer and gives the reader a thorough understanding of the power and destruction produced by an ice storm.
The main characters are well fleshed out and some closure is brought to each one after 15 years of misinterpreting actions and behaviors. They are both spunky and courageous. The author provides an excellent ending where the couple decides to see where the relationship goes instead of falling in love in such a short period of time. The meth users, Darwin and Niki, could have been given more of a background instead of just appearing. Their actions throughout displayed the impact meth takes on the body and mind. It was truly amazing how Niki kept going and going and going.
This book is a very enjoyable, pleasant and fast-paced read for anyone looking to fill in a few hours of quiet time with a good story. One becomes quickly involved in the story and keeps you rooting for a happy ending for the couple.
For additional books written by Linda Howard, you can go to her publisher’s web site at: http://www.randomhouse.com/author/35941/linda-howard. You can purchase or order this book through Barnes & Noble at Northpark Mall on E. Kimberly Road, Davenport, www.barnesandnoble.com.
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