Title: Fire and Ice
Author: Julie Garwood
Release Date: December 30, 2008
Rating: 3 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
Sophie Rose, a tough and determined newspaper reporter, is the daughter of Bobby Rose, a suave, charming, and handsome gentleman who also happens to be a notorious big-time thief sought by every law-enforcement agency in the country. When the major Chicago daily where she works insists she write an exposé about her roguish father, Sophie refuses, quits her job, and goes to work at a small newspaper. Far from her onetime high-powered crime beat, she now covers local personalities such as the quirky winner of several area 5K runs whose trademark is goofy red socks.
Those red socks–with Sophie’s business card neatly tucked inside–are practically all that’s found after runner William Harrington is killed near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, seemingly the victim of a brutal death by polar bear. The Alaska cops want to know why Harrington carried Sophie’s card. With an unerring nose for a good story, she heads north.
What Sophie doesn’t realize is that on her journey from Chicago to Prudhoe Bay, danger follows in her wake. After one attempt on her life, she’s been assigned brash but sexy Jack MacAlister as a bodyguard by the cautious FBI. Amid great peril and deadly intrigue in the unforgiving Alaskan terrain, she and Jack form an uneasy alliance sparked with sensual attraction. But they will soon be fighting more than their growing passion for each other. Powerful forces will stop at nothing to prevent the exposure of the sinister conspiracy Sophie and Jack are about to uncover.
I’ve really enjoyed Julie Garwood’s romantic mysteries. I’ve always found them to be fun escapist reads that are good when I’m in the mood for something mindless. They are a bit of a guilty pleasure, but they’ve been intriguing page-turners that I’m usually loathe to put down.
I have to say, I think Garwood is losing her touch a little bit. I found Fire and Ice mildly interesting, but the books are getting a bit formulaic. It always seems to be a semi-hostile, screwed up woman and a hot, sexy FBI agent. Not that I don’t like the combination, but I skipped pretty much all the romantic parts of the book to focus on the mystery because I just didn’t really care.
And I figured out the mystery about halfway through the book. Garwood gives the readers clues in the sections between the chapters. At the beginning of the book, they seem unrelated, but as the book progresses, the two stories converge. The only problem is, the other story moves more quickly than the main story to the point where it becomes relatively easy to figure out just what is going on. Of course it takes the main characters much longer because they don’t have the benefit of the other storyline that the reader does.
If you haven’t read any of Garwood’s mystery novels, I would recommend the older ones. Hopefully Garwood gets back on track in her future novels!