Sunday, May 10, 2015

Review: Hot Ice

Hot Ice (Hostile Operations Team #7)

by Lynn Raye Harris


 When fire and ice collide, you get steam…
Grace Campbell leads a privileged life. The daughter of a United States senator, she moves within the social circles of the rich and famous. But Grace is also a scientist, and when someone learns she possesses the knowledge necessary to create a new super virus capable of destroying entire nations, she becomes a target for terror groups and foreign governments alike.
Garrett “Iceman” Spencer didn’t join the Army’s elite Hostile Operations Team to babysit a spoiled rich girl, but when his superiors insist on assigning him to a senator’s daughter as her security detail, he has no choice but to comply.
It’s a shock to find that beneath the glasses and serious scowl, Grace Campbell burns hot. And Garrett, who’s been burned before, suddenly wants to immerse himself in the flames.
Keeping Grace alive—and keeping his hands off her—is a full-time job for this HOT soldier. Failure is not an option…
Themes:  contemporary, military
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Ok so here's the deal... I love a good mystery surrounding a shadow branch of the military, mainly because there's always some bad guy that scares the hell out of me with the reality that he represents and the men are always sexy as hell alpha guys that turn out to be big squishy teddy bears when it comes to their women.  But the HOT group is even more intense than most.  The men are true badasses and the women, whether civilian or military operators alongside their men, are always smart, sexy, and kick-ass women on their own.  But the way that Harris brings these people together, against all odds, and finds a way for the couples to kick ass together to defeat the villian is a work of beatuy, a true testament to Harris’s skill as an author.  The setting of the stories varies from the darkest deepest holes of the Middle East to the splashy, glitz of DC elite, but you never know what will come next.  This story allowed us to finally get to know more about Garrett aka Iceman and see that beneath the ice he is named for lies the passionate heart of a man that has been burned and is protecting himself behind thick and deadly walls of ice.  Lighthearted these stories are not, but the intensity and danger that brings the couples together serves as almost another character, providing motivation and obstacles equally as the couples find a way to be together.  I am looking forward to more of this series and possibly future series by Harris as well.
Garrett and Grace's story begins with an attack as Grace is leaving her highly controversial job, which she luckily escapes from, but being the daughter of a senator/presidential candidate comes with some drawbacks, mainly the security details this attacks earns her.  When her father learns of the attack he contacts his new friends at HOT and she finds herself faced with the indomitable Iceman, Garett, as her new bodyguard.  When Garett meets Grace his initial estimate of her character is pretty low, mainly because he thinks he knows the kind of woman she is at first sight.   But he couldn't have been more wrong about Grace.  As they escape the men after her for her knowledge of biological "weapons" Garett finds himself more and more drawn to the sweet but fiery woman that he is seeing under Grace's shyness, but while he wants her, he is determined that the affair will be short-lived and he will keep his feelings under wraps.  But honestly the more they learn about one another the less likely it will be for Garett to be able to leave her behind in the end.  The question now is can they survive the many layers of danger they are wrapped in to even have a chance at a future together?
Damn, Garett lives up to his moniker in this story, pushing Grace away again and again and trying to make her believe he is too broken to ever have a relationship that will last.  I liked how Iceman interacted with his daughter, but seeing his heartbreak as he dealt with his Ex and the way he punished grace for his ex's mistakes seriously pissed me off.  If he'd compared Grace to Melissa one more time I was going to have to kick his butt!  But thankfully in the end he realized that Great was NOTHING like his bi***y ex and she deserved a chance at his heart and future.  It was awesome to see Garett wiggle his way of danger, physically with the bad guys and emotionally with Grace, but his true sweetness comes through when he is supporting Grace as she deals with the drama in her life.  I would have liked to see Garett come to his senses sooner, but all in all his stubbornness serves its purpose and makes him a good match for Grace and her determination. 
Grace was an enigma, a sexy, passionate woman wrapped in the skin of an introvert with serious issues of shyness and fear of crowds, covered by the social regalia of a lady that knows her way around any social function.  The layers of this woman really were endless and I’m glad I don't have to deal with as much as she does.  She simply wants to work on her science so that she can help people, but with her father's position and prestige she is forced time and again to work a crowd and show off her social abilities, but never as well as she does when she has Garett's support.  I loved Grace's character... there's no other way to say it.  To list all her attributes would take up way to many pages but I’ll start with sexy, brilliant, modest, smartass, sweet, loving, determined, stubborn, and the list goes on.  When she butts heads with Garett her true nature shines through and she finds a way to make him accept that she might look it, but she's no shy reserving miss that can't handle what he dishes out.  They really are the perfect match.  The only drawback for me, or missing element I guess, is that I would have liked to see how Grace interacts with Cammie, before she and Garrett take the plunge and commit in the end.  Even though I’m sure they would be a great family, seeing that relationship be built would have been interesting. 
As a whole, Grace and Garett are a match through and through.  Grace is the type of woman that every girl wants to grow up to be, ignoring the "princess" part of their life.  Strong, mostly independent, intelligent, successful, and willing to sacrifice for others, Grace also has the little bit of smartass and badass she needed to stand up to Garett's more forceful alpha personality.  Garett was the type of man that would typically make me nuts, but seeing him slowly open his heart to Grace, however reluctantly, showed me that he was in fact capable of some growth.  The intrigue and betrayals that these two had to deal with on their journey was well written, beautifully plotted, and full of twists and turns.  Though I’m still really not sure if Ian Black is a bad or good guy, I’m hoping to see more of him in the future and maybe seeing him even get his own story.  For now though, I will settle for more of the sexy HOT guys and the women that manage to capture them.  Keep the great stories coming Lynn and I’ll keep spreading your greatness.
*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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