Review: Ice Cold by Cherry Adair

Format read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: Trade Paperback, ebook
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Action Adventure Romance
Series: T-FLAC #17
Length: 348 pages
Publisher: Adair Digital
Date Released: October 14, 2012
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

T-FLAC operative Rafael Navarro will never allow another woman to suffer the consequences of his dangerous life. But in a world where a terrorist can do more damage with a keyboard than a bomb, he needs the expert help of a cyber-geek. And fast.
Fellow operative and cybercrimes specialist Honey Winston prefers computers to people. But when a serial bomber threatens the world’s financial infrastructure, she’s forced to work closely with Navarro, whose notorious skill in the bedroom is as legendary as his dexterity defusing bombs.
Honey and Rafael must fight sparks hot enough to melt their resolve, and push beyond fear itself, as they join forces in a bid to race the clock before a sinister and lethal bomber proves just how much they both have to lose.
T-FLAC is back, and the timer is counting down in the most pulse-pounding explosive op yet—

Only in the 21st century do you get action-adventure by mixing a cyber-geek with a bomb expert. Last century it used to just be fists, knives and guns. Not that there weren’t plenty of those involved in Cherry Adair’s Ice Cold. And the action, between the sheets (when there were any sheets) and otherwise, was anything but cold.

Ice Cold is Adair’s 17th foray into the operations of T-FLAC, the secret agency that she created to tell her stories of action, adventure and romantic suspense. Even though it was my first trip, I didn’t feel left behind by the plot or the set-up. I was immediately immersed in the story. Parts of it felt like a good TV or movie spy plot. But I like those. It used just enough of the familiar tropes to pull me right in.

T-FLAC is like any secret agency: it has special ops, and it has special operatives. Many live their jobs to the exclusion of any other life. Some go rogue. Eventually, those two types come into collision. It makes for edge-of-your-seat suspense hoping that the “good guys” are going to win.

And that not too many of them are going to go down in the line of fire along the way.

Ice Cold starts out with a loss. Honey Weston, the cyber-geek, loses her boss, and ends up taking his field assignment. Rafael Navarro is the bomb expert. They are chasing a serial bomber who seems to be bombing banks, and the surrounding city blocks, for no particular good reason.

Chasing down that reason is the suspense part of the story. Watching Navarro pursue West is the romance. Because he only does casual sex, and she doesn’t bother with sex at all. She sees a player, and he sees a woman under the ice princess exterior she cultivates.

And while they are distracted with each other, someone is targeting them.

Escape Rating B-: I found myself wondering if Honey Weston was an intentional homage to Honey West, or if her name just accidentally sounded like a girl from a James Bond movie. It took me a while to take a woman named “Honey” seriously as an agent. Maybe that was the point. Honey Weston is deadly serious, even if she looks like a supermodel.

Until the very end of the story, I never felt like I was missing something by not having read the rest of the series. It probably would have added depth if I had, but I didn’t feel lost. This is terrific! There’s always some hesitation at breaking into a series in the middle.

But at the end, the villain, who had been so incredibly clever up until that point, came off as extremely bwahaha crazy. Some of her crazy was personal to both Navarro and Weston, and I wondered if it had come up in earlier stories, but mostly, she just went too far into crazytown. How could she have planned so meticulously up until that point and then gone so far off the deep end just at the sight of Navarro and Weston? It was a bit much.

However, I had a lot of fun with this. I could see the whole story playing out in front of me. It would have made a terrific movie. All I needed was the popcorn.

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