Black Ice by Anne Stuart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
SOA 2011 Listening Challenge- Choose a book recommended in a SOA Column
This "bad boy" romance has been recommended many times on various romance forums. I was wary of trying it because I don't like what I consider abusive heroes. But while Bastien was cold and unfeeling for much of the book, he wasn't abusive. He didn't fly into rages or verbally abuse Chloe like so many heroes do. That was the behavior I was expecting from a "bad boy" hero. Bastien was emotionally shut-down, but he was honest about that. Also, the author gave some indication that there was still hope for Bastien even early on in the book. He knows he's burning out and is questioning if the "good guys" and the "bad guys" are really much different. Bastien doesn't see the questioning for what it is, a glimmer of a conscience, but the reader does.
The reader can't look too closely at some of the plot points, like how Chloe ends up as translator for a gun-running cartel. Surely they have access to reliable translators. The biggest problem I could see was why they needed a translator in the first place. It seemed everyone spoke French and English, and those were the only two languages Chloe was suppose to know and help in translating. She seems completely superfluous. I do think the author could've come up with a little more plausible story on that end. However, the action was edge-of-your-seat and the dialog was very well-written. Bastien's slow change was handle with finesse and felt real. I would have enjoyed an epilogue for this book.
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