"Resident Genuis of Romance delivers!"
Chloe Underwood comes from a family of doctors. Mother,
father, siblings. They wish to pressure her into going to
medical school, but at twenty-three, Chloe knows this is
not the life for her - especially since she faints at the
sight of blood. This is a theme common to Stuart's
writings, apparent if you are a long time fan - which I
happen to be. That feeling out of sync with one's family
heroine is generally at the core of all Stuart's females.
They drum to their own drumbeat, which makes the perfect
target for the perfect Stuart badder-than-bad-boy, Gamma
rogue, anti-hero hero. A pure case of opposites attracts to
the power of ten.
In this Stuart tale, Chloe is an American in Paris. She is
living on her shoestring salary of translating children's
books, refusing to ask for money from her parents to get
by. The parents refuse to accept one of their blood cannot
be a doctor so they are keep the purse string tight hoping
to bring Chloe to heel. Chloe's roommate wants to dash off
with her latest boyfriend for the weekend. Only problem,
she has accept a job to be translator for a group of
businessmen for the weekend. She hits on the idea of
sending Chloe in her place.
We quickly learn this was a bad idea. That is the one
sticking point of the whole tale. Chloe is spirited to a
secluded Chateau, and upon arrival the man hosting it want
to send Chloe back. Chloe is getting bad vibes about the
whole situation, but instead of accepting him sending her
back she convinces him to let her stay. We are told Chloe
can use the money and that she is restless looking for
something to jazz up her life. Still, those reasons seem
just a tad week when she is having misgivings about this
These feelings of qualms continue to increase as she is
introduced to the rest of the group, and they break into
Italian. Supposedly Chloe speaks only English and French,
but actually she speaks nearly a dozen languages. She
thinks she covers well, listening to them discuss her and
wanting her sent back to town. Okies. I would be out of
there! But since this is the Resident Genius of Dark
Romantic Suspense, I let Stuart run with the tale.
Chloe is immediately attracted to the sexy bad boy in the
group. Bastien Toussaint is pure Stuart Gamma Rogue to the
teeth. Sexy, dangerous as sticking your fingers in a fan,
and just a bit weary of life in general. He's been so deep
undercover for a mysterious group called The Committee, and
figures he will have to kill or be killed before the
weekend is over. Bastien is not thrilled to see Chloe, a
lamb thrown in amongst the wolves. And with good reasons.
These are illegal arms dealers. Murder and Mayhem is their
stock in trade. It didn't take him two minutes to figure
out Chloe understood everything being said - in every
language. Worse, that talent will cost Chloe her life as
one of them is ordered to kill her because they fear she
now knows too much.
The next thing Chloe knows, she is off, running for her
life with sexy Bastien. It a taught, edgy, sexy tale with
Stuart at her best. Black Ice is ice so clear that it's
deceptive. You don't see it till it's too late. Stuart's
book come sat you're the same way! Echoes of her brilliant
If you like your tales dark and your heroes darker...then
strap on your ice-skates and take on the black ice!
Posted May 16, 2005
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted January 26, 2007