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Karen Does Anne Stuart’s Cold As Ice…

Monday, November 6, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

As you know, I read Cold As Ice last week. I can’t be arsed blathering on, so without further ado, here’s the blurb, KarenS stylie:

My Verdict

Jesus. Effing. Christ.

You know, I am such a character reader that if one of the two lead characters in a romance book fail to lift me, then fairly, or unfairly, it’s very difficult for me to completely enjoy said book.

Cold As Ice probably would have been ok if the heroine, Genevieve (Or Genny The Effing Twat, as she will be known for the rest of this review), had met an untimely death early on in the book.

In one of Ms Stuart’s interviews, she told the interviewer that she had purposely created a ‘strong’ heroine for Peter ‘Cold As Ice’ more like soft as shite Jensen. Where did it all go wrong?

Genevieve wasn’t strong, not even a little bit. She was just plain thick as pigshit, hell, quite frankly I’m insulting pigshit by making the comparison.

Even when Jensen was clearly trying to save her, she kept insisting on trying to escape from him. Where did the bitch think she could go with a billionaire psychopath after her? Oh yeah, she wanted to go home. Makes sense.

Give me an effing break.

There was a point in the book (you know the part I mean Bam) where she did something so stupid, that if it wasn’t for the fact that I’d spent my heard earned money on CAI, I would have chucked the goddamn book out of the window.

I’m an advocate of authors who write strong heroines, but Genny The Effing Twat wasn’t strong, she embodied every single pet peeve I have about romantic heroines. She was ridiculously naïve, (come on, you don’t get to be junior partner in a well established law firm by being a frickin Pollyanna) she didn’t seem to mind that her employers expected her to sleep with a client just to get a signature on a document, and she somehow managed to miss the fact that she was all alone on a boat with a psycho.

Another thing that annoyed me about Genny The Effing Twat, was that at no point in this book was I convinced that she felt anything for Peter Jensen other than an inconvenient sexual pull, which could have easily been explained away by the fact that she hadn’t experienced a good seeing to, for a long time, and had a bad case of fungi-growth where her vagina should have been.

I think it’s a sad indictment when the best bit in the book, involving the heroine, is during a scene where she’s being tortured by Evil Pedo. Oh how I rejoiced.

Anyway, I could go on and on about how moronic GTET was, but to be honest, I’m giving myself a migraine just thinking about her, so I’ll move on to Peter Jensen shall I?

I liked Peter Jensen, but he was no Bastien Toussaint. Bastien was such a bad ass that I never really knew where I stood with him. He was as likely to slit the heroine’s throat, as to shag her senseless. I like those kind of heroes best, I suspect that this is a sick perversion that I share with Bam.

I never really got the sense that Jensen was as ‘Cold As Ice’, as we are lead to believe in the back cover blurb. The man had too many vulnerabilities, and seemed to suffer from very untimely attacks of conscience.

Although I felt that Jensen genuinely cared about GTET, I really didn’t get why. As far as I could tell, she had no redeeming features whatsoever, and she nearly got him killed on a number of occasions. Who needs a bint who’ll happily spend $750 on a pair of Manolo’s, bitch about those extra 15lbs round her hips that she just can’t shift, and hasn’t got a clue, when she’s in the clutches of an evil arsehole?

Unfortunately for Jensen, because the heroine was such a let down, he was kinda tainted by her. I think if he’d had a different heroine, somebody like Imelda Marcos maybe, but with less under-arm hair I would have enjoyed CAI a whole lot more.

OK, now onto the secondary characters. Or at least, one of the secondary characters.

Harry ‘I love little boys’ Van Dorn.

It’s been a long time since I’ve come across a villain, who was just sooooo evil. I mean not only was the man a cold-blooded murderer, and rapist, but he was also a perve with a penchant for children. Could he be more evil?

Give me a break.

Harry was the ultimate cookie cutter villain, complete with smiling icy blue eyes, and a way with the ladies. Didn’t buy his evilness for a second. Quite frankly, I would have been more convinced if he had actually killed the twat of a heroine when he had the chance.

Also for an established career criminal, he was just too inept for words. I also felt that a psycho who was as paranoid as Harry was purported to be, would have had video cameras all over his property (not just in the bedroom, where the heroine was getting undressed), and been more careful about who he hired.

One of the things that I loved about Black Ice, was the fact that the plotting was so damned good. I can’t in all honesty say that about Cold As Ice.

It was just so damned painful. I was expecting it to be fast-paced, but all I got was slow and tedious. Yes, I too was underwhelmed.

I spent the majority of the book waiting for something really truly scrumptious to happen, but alas, the pages went on, and on, and on, and on, and eventually, when I reached the end, I felt as if I’d just come out of a deep coma.

At no time was I gripped by this book, in fact at one point, I started mentally doing my company tax returns for the quarter. I’m pretty sure that’s not a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, Cold As Ice was still really well-written, after all, this is Anne Stuart we’re talking about here, but it just didn’t have that X-Factor, that was evident all the way through Black Ice.

I wanted to love CAI, I really did, but I think what happens when an author writes a superb book, is that all their other books are compared to That Great Book forever and evah, and more often than not, the other books, are found lacking. Sigh.

If I had read Cold As Ice before Black Ice, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more, but because I know how fantastic Anne Stuart’s characters can be, I couldn’t help but be disappointed that this book just didn’t live up to the hype.

Oh well, better luck next time.


  • ag
    November 7
    12:06 am

    Hi karen, I just came from Jane’s reveiw of the same book.

    Hmmm … you really hate GTET. But I love your review, you really don’t hold back. And … just to be perverse, I’m gonna get the book just to see what the controversy is all about.


  • Anonymous
    November 7
    2:43 am

    I thought Bam’s review was funny but “GTET”? That was hilarious! *g* I guess I’ll borrow this from the library. I couldn’t really get into Black Ice so my chances of liking this one is not looking good.


  • Kristie (J)
    November 7
    3:56 am

    Very interesting!! I’m just working on a review of this one myself. I think it’s fascinating how differently people are reading and reviewing this one. FWIW and until I get my post done, I’m more on your and BAM’s side on this one 🙂


  • Lori
    November 7
    7:16 am

    OMG, Karen, I’m lmao! It’s so interesting to get different perspectives. I usually find myself liking the same books as Jen, but something is keeping me from picking this up and starting it. I’m reading everything else in my TBR pile first. Is it the hype? Am I afraid of being disappointed? I loved Bastien, too. I am, however, way more forgiving a reader than you are, so we’ll just have to wait and see. I’ll let you know when I finally do read it.


  • Karen Scott
    November 7
    7:50 am

    AG, my intense dislike of the heroine totally got in the way of my enjoyment of this book. I love feisty heroines, but she was just TSTL. If you’re rescued from an evil villain, by a guy who so far hasn’t harmed a hair on your head, why would you keep trying to escape from him?

    Kat, you might like it, if you like the heroine, mind you, if you didn’t like Black Ice, then you probably will find this hard to read.

    Kristie, I think more people liked this book than hated it, so I’m in the minority of people who thought it was meh.

    Lori, I usually like the same books as Jen too, but and in all honesty, it probably wasn’t all that bad, but I just couldn’t get past the dozy mare.


  • Valeen
    November 7
    3:20 pm

    Kee-rist, I’m glad I haven’t bought this one yet then.


  • Rocio
    November 7
    4:44 pm

    You are a very unpredictable reviewer or maybe just an unusual very honest one, maybe that’s why it is such an experience reading one of your reviews (I mean except if you are the author of a book you didn’t enjoy who will always have a problem with the honest part!!)
    I’m curious because most of the controversy about this book I have heard so far basically comes from the fact that there’s a thing about the hero’s sexuality being a bit too open to all genres and that could be a bit tough to digest for most of the prudes and modest like me. A fact that you completely ignored in your review as well as the coolness that is suppose to identify the hero of this book.
    Thanks for your invaluable input on this book!


  • Dramedy Girl
    November 7
    6:59 pm

    I’ve been waiting to see your verdict on this one. I HATED Black Ice and wasn’t sure I was going to waste money on this one. Thank goodness, I waited. Usually I love Anne Stuart’s books. LOVE them. But I was a bit apprehensive since I couldn’t finish BI. Now I know to stay far, far away.


  • eggs
    November 8
    5:37 am

    It seems everyone who hates this book hates it because of the heroine, but that’s OK by me because, TBH, in a Stuart book I’m only there for the hero. I often skim over the heroine’s internal dialogue, backstory, etc, to get back to the hero. If there’s a good plot and a good Stuart hero, I could care less if the heroine is as dumb as a box of hammers.



  • reader che
    November 11
    5:32 am

    Don’t know if I’m too late to comment here, but I will anyways.

    Rocio, the issue of the hero’s sexuality is a non-issue, really. It is only mentioned once or twice as an aside, nothing more.

    Personally, I was disappointed that there was no hot man on man action. If Ms. Stuart can write a sex scene with Bastien and the not-heroine woman, I don’t see why she can’t do one with Jensen and a guy. Oh well, guess I’m perverse that way.

    As to Karen’s review, it made me laugh, but I actually liked the dynamics of Jensen and Genny’s relationship a lot more than I did Bastien and whatshername? Chloe? I found Chloe a bit too submissive. I found Jensen way too cold. Ok, so he can screw without any emotion, a lot of men can do that, can’t they? I thought Jensen was almost a clone of Bastien. Still an enjoyable read for the suspense and plotting alone, but I’d do a Linda Howard hero over any Cold hero anyday.


  • Anonymous
    December 29
    7:18 pm

    I got this book for Christmas. Wasn’t as bad as thought but it wasn’t as good as I’d been led to believe, either. I found some bits really odd – like the fact that Peter would just start calling the heroine Genny for no apparent reason. WTF?

    Unlike you, I could accept most of her decisions but I agree that there didn’t seem to be any love between these two. I never really understood what he saw in her, and she spent most of the book telling him what a bastard he was. Whatever. If I thought someone was a bastard, I would not be spending what could be the last few days of my life in bed with him. Really, I wouldn’t.

    And yep, the villain was just too nasty. For someone who was supposedly an evil mastermind, he became spectacularly unglued at the end. I didn’t buy that at all.

    All that said, there were some lovely tender moments once in a while, but while they were good in isolation they didn’t really fit the characterisation properly. My overall impression was that there was too much over-the-top villainery (is that a word?) and not enough romance building.


  • Karen Scott
    December 29
    11:23 pm

    Kat, I totally agree, the villain-fest was just too much, but Genny really did annoy the fuck outta me.


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