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Ice: A Novel [Hardcover]

Linda Howard
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 10 2009
’Tis the season for mistletoe and holly, Santa . . . and suspense. And the gift that keeps on giving is Ice: premier thriller author Linda Howard’s breathless tale of a man, a woman, and a battle for survival against an unforgiving winter–and an unrelenting killer. Oh what fun it is to read.

Gabriel McQueen has only just arrived home on holiday leave from the service when his county-sheriff father sends him back out again with new marching orders. A brewing ice storm, and a distant neighbor who’s fallen out of contact, have the local lawman concerned. So he enlists Gabriel to make the long haul to the middle of nowhere, and make sure Lolly Helton is safe and sound. It’s a trip the younger McQueen would rather not make given the bitter winter weather–and the icy conditions that have always existed between him and Lolly.

But there’s no talking back when your dad is the town’s top cop. And there’ s no turning back when night falls just as Gabriel arrives–and discovers that the weather outside isn’t the only thing that’s frightful. Spotting strangers in Lolly’ s home–one of them packing a weapon–is all it takes to kick Gabriel into combat mode. And his stealth training is all he needs to extract Lolly from the house without alerting her captors. But when the escape is discovered, the heat–and the hunt–are on. And the winter woods are nowhere to be once the ice storm touches down, dropping trees, blocking roads, and trapping the fleeing pair in the freezing dark.

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Review

“If you want to whet your appetite for Christmas romance, this is perfect. . . . Guaranteed to keep your pulse racing.”—Tacoma News Tribune
 
“All the classic elements of a Howard romantic adventure.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“Linda Howard is a superbly original writer.”—Iris Johansen


From the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Linda Howard is the award-winning author of many New York Times bestsellers, including Up Close and Dangerous, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Cover of Night, Killing Time, To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No More, and Dying to Please. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Gabriel "Gabe" McQueen returns to Wilson Creek, Maine, just as an ice storm cranks up. His father, the sheriff, and his men are busy preparing for a sudden ice storm and dealing with a wreck. When Gabe offers to help, his father asks him to check on Lorelei "Lolly" Helton because there is no way to notify of her of the sudden ice storm.

Gabe and Lolly have not seen each other in fifteen years. They certainly were never friends. Every time they met tempers burst. But Gabe drives to the Helton house. The house is on the mountainside, just out of town. When his truck slides into a ditch due to the ice accumulating, he hikes the rest of the way. Upon arriving, Gabe knows something is wrong. Two people with guns, obviously high on meth, show in the down stairs window. The upstairs window shows Lolly, preparing to escape.

Gabe and Lolly find themselves fleeing through the woods, on rough terrain, in the middle of a dangerous ice storm with two killers on their tail.

** TWO STARS! This novel is a small hardback with about two hundred pages. The price is steep for such a short book. The time frame of the story is only a day or two. I think it is pretty unrealistic to expect two people who hardly tolerated each other in the past and have not seen each other in fifteen years to suddenly fall in love almost over night. In my opinion, the chase scenes are thrilling, but the story is unbelievable and not well executed. **

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story for Snowy Afternoon! Jan. 14 2011
By Louise Jolly TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Gabriel McQueen was home for a weekend on leave from the military and his father is the Sheriff of a small town in Maine but the minute Gabriele arrives there is trouble. Gabriel is anxious to get to this mother's home to see his young son, Sam, but the Sheriff needs him for an important job first. Young Sam lives with Gabriel's mother after becoming a widower the year before when his wife Marianne died. It's been tough on both of them.

Sheriff McQueen wants Gabriel to drive up the mountain to the old Helton place to check on Lolly Helton who is here for the weekend herself to get her deceased father's home ready for sale. However, they believe she is unaware that a huge ice storm is coming and coming fast and there would be no way down off the mountain if someone didn't get to her right away.

With trepidation, Gabriele agrees to go but first stops at his Mother's house to see his son, collect some warm clothing and boots and a thermos of hot coffee and soup. Quickly saying good-bye to his son, and promising him he'll back in a couple of hours, Gabriele sets off on the rescue.

However, the weather isn't playing nice and the ice storm is advancing much quicker than everyone had thought and Gabriel's big Ford F250 truck is having great difficulty manoeuvring the steep, icy mountain road. He drives as far as he possibly can then decided he'll have to walk the rest of the way.

Through much slipping and sliding, enduring sharp, stinging ice pellets in the face, Gabriele reaches Lolly's house but sees two people with guns through her living room window and quickly realizes that Lolly is in terrible danger. With his military training, Gabriele kicks into high gear and helps Lolly escape but her captors discover she's gone and go after them.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Ice May 26 2010
Format:Hardcover
I was really disappointed in this book. A really simple plot, without the depth of character and story which is usually in Linda Howard's past books. I am sorry I bought this. Did she really write this??
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.6 out of 5 stars  161 reviews
83 of 91 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I was hoping for a keeper but this is a throwaway Nov. 14 2009
By C M M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Linda Howard is on my short list of auto-buy authors and several of her older books are on my keeper shelf but this one won't make it!

The story is short and thin, the characters are flat and uninteresting. The only thing we really know about our hero is that he loves his son and can kill a man with his elbow. We find out a little more about the heroine but it's more disturbing; she grew up as the daughter of locally influential, well known people, but somehow she got through the first 18 years of her life without making a single friend. Her redeeming feature now seems to be that she can kill the villainess with a ball peen hammer and not suffer any guilt.

Quick sex in the shower and it's happily-ever-after for these two.

If, like me, your hand twitches to reach for any book with Linda Howard's name on it, here's my advice - wait for the paperback of this one and then buy it used, or better still, borrow it from your local library.
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Finished it in about an hour Nov. 14 2009
By Kathleen Haak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It's never a good sign when you finish a $22.00 hardcover in about an hour, maybe a paperback but never a hardcover. Overall, I echo the thoughts of others - the book was too short and needed more character development. Burn was better than Ice. That's rather sad when you consider that Burn was a three star book. It's a shame that Linda Howard is now putting out this type of book. She's a better writer than this. Even at the Amazon price of $11.00 I'd recommend checking the library for this title.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable escape, but it is TOO SHORT. More time for more relationship development would have been nice. Nov. 18 2009
By Jane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
STORY BRIEF:
Gabriel is an army sergeant in the military police, based in North Carolina. He comes home to Maine just before Christmas. His father is sheriff and asks Gabriel to go to the Helton home outside of town. An ice storm is coming, and the sheriff is worried that Lolly may not know about the storm and may be stranded. There is no cell phone service near her home. Gabriel and Lolly attended high school together. Their high school relationship was antagonistic. He taunted her. She insulted him. Her father was mayor at the time. He thought of her as Miss Hoity-Toity Helton.

Lolly's family moved away years ago but kept the mountain-side home. Lolly recently came back to pack things up and arrange to sell it. A couple of meth addicts needing money, follow her home with plans to beat, rape and rob her. Meanwhile Gabriel is on his way to her home.

REVIEWER'S OPINION:
I love this author. She knows how to tell a good story with good characters. This was an enjoyable escape. The downside was that it was a "short story" - half the size of a normal book. It would have been nice to have more time for more relationship development. But as a short story it was good for suspense, action, conflicts, and some romantic development. There was one lovely sex scene.

Unfortunately I'm in the minority. I think many reviewers did not like this book because it was too short. I paid $9 which was a bit much, but it would be worthwhile to get from the library.

DATA:
Story length: 196 pages. Swearing language: strong. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: one, three pages long. Setting: current day Wilson Creek, Maine. Copyright: 2009. Genre: romantic suspense.

OTHER BOOKS:
For a list of my reviews of other Linda Howard books, see my 5 star review of "Burn" posted 7-11-09.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DON"T buy this book! Nov. 12 2009
By S. Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Look, I'm a die hard LH fan. Have been for years but this book SUCKED! Am I the only one who's noticed that the heart has gone out of LH's work? I don't mind that the story was short, I mind that the story was bad. The first LH story I ever read was a short story and I was hooked ("Lake of Dreams") and have been a fan ever since then but the last 6 books or so have not been nearly as good as her earlier works like "After The Night" or "Dream Man". The story didn't make sense to me. LH spends a lot of time describing how hard it was for our hero and heroine to get around in the ice but the bad guys don't seem to have the same problems. I mean, come on, Nikki made it up a 150 foot incline in no time after wrecking her truck and injuring herself, but it took forever for Lolly and Gabriel to make it back to the house. Unbelievable! It seems to me that LH is now relying on fans like myself to keep buying her books in hopes that she will finally produce something that compares to her earlier work. I'm done now. I'll never buy another LH book until I read it first and if it's good I'll buy it for my "keep it" shelf. I'm tired of LH taking her fans for granted and thinking it's ok to keep writing junk because we'll buy whatever she writes. As for me, I'm done.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Linda Howards Needs to Take a Vacation March 15 2010
By "Cat"herine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've never read anything so dreadful from her word processer before. The plot was well...far fetched is the easiest description I could come up with. How many times did we get to hear about the hero being Big and Muscular? How many times did the villains irrational acts be explained away because they're Meth addicts? How many times was the heroine being plucky and having gumption? The romance, though I don't think it can be called romance, was non-existant. Pardon me, I like a little bit more in the foreplay department than, "I'm cold, let's take a shower together and warm up." And despite all that occured in this book, and I had to try and suspend my disbelief throughout this book, I honestly don't think that the hero and heroine really needed to start talking about getting together. There wasn't anything there except extreme circumstances and a shower scene.

I liked Burn, but even then...Linda, step away from the computer and go outside for a couple of months. Play in the yard, Adopt a Highway, or just go shopping. Do something other than write drivel that's forced. Wait for inspiration to strike, don't force it.
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