Reviewed: March 5, 2010
Genre: SciFi Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Length: 171 Pages
Aidan is a futuristic transport pilot on the hook for her brother's gambling debts. Warwick is masked muscle for a corrupt businessman as he saves up for the revenge of the death of his parents. When they meet up, sparks fly and worlds tremble.
Icy Heat isn't going to win any "best written book ever" awards, but I really liked it. And I don't usually like or read futuristic SciFi novels. Definitely character driven, this story is way more about the people, Aidan and Warwick, than it is about world building or plot development - and that's okay. I wasn't expecting it to be heavy in those areas. But what it is is surprisingly good with the characters.
Aidan is a control freak and has a history of not caring at all for physical contact. She's got a deep love and sense of obligation for her brother Zach, who is addicted to gambling and racking up big debt. I like that she's strong and smart without being a total bitch, and I was actually impressed with a particular scene in which she has to deal with the reality of killing a man. It wasn't focused on for long, but that there was any thought at all given to the complex emotions such an action stirs up, however accidental the killing, was a surprisingly fresh change on the kick-ass and almost conscienceless killer heroines of most urban fantasy/SciFi stuff I read.
Warwick is scarred and damaged from those scars, keeping his face and body hidden as his cold heart and colder life is given over to exacting revenge on the man responsible for his parents death and the scars he keeps hidden. When he meets Aidan and starts to spend time with her, his vulnerability shines through and makes him eminently likable. He really is what made me like the story as much as I did. The childlike confusion and wild hope when Aidan accepts him, scars and all, was so endearing.
There were huge gaps in the plot and I would've loved more definition in the world building, more glimpses of Aidan's and War's past, but it's a short book, novella length, and for what's there, I was satisfied that the core of the story was well represented. It also had quite a nice mix of action and danger that was pretty deftly written. The sex scenes were steamy, too! All in all, a pleasurably satisfying, if not extraordinary read.
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