In the wake of a failed love affair, brainy beauty Jilly Lovitz takes off for Tokyo. She’s expecting to cry on her sister Summer’s shoulder, then spend a couple months blowing off steam in Japan. Instead, she’s snatched away on the back of a motorcycle, narrowly avoiding a grisly execution attempt meant for her sister and brother-in-law.
Her rescuer is Reno, the Committee’s most unpredictable agent. They’d met once before and the attraction was odd— tattooed Yakuza punk meets leggy California egghead—but electric. Now Reno and Jilly are pawns in a deadly tangle of assassination attempts, kidnappings and prisoner swaps that could put their steamy partnership on ice.
One thing that I’ve come to expect from an Anne Stuart novel is that the hero thinks about killing the heroine multiple times. And I don’t mean in an “oh you’re so annoying” sort of way. No, this is a “you got it my way, I may have to kill you” sort of way. What’s that saying “the bigger you are, the harder you fall”? That’s how Stuart’s heroes are. That’s what makes the endings of her books so great. When the her heroes come to the realization that they love the heroine, it is powerful stuff. Reno was a different sort of hero. Not exactly what I’ve come to expect. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing b/c the ending was just as powerful, just in a different sort of way.
After a botched attempt to shed her virginity, Jilly Lovitz flees to Tokyo wanting nothing more than her sister. What she finds instead is Reno, the man whom she has had a crush on for years. Not being the type to lie to herself, Jilly admits that he is the reason she’s in Japan. Reno is far from the man of her teenage fantasies. Unfortunately for her, Reno is sticking to her like glue until he can get her safely out of Japan.
Having no idea what she’s walked into, Reno feels personally responsible for Jilly’s safety. Telling himself that it’s for no other reason than the fact that they’re related by marriage, Reno goes back to Japan even though his powerful grandfather has forbidden him to return. What he finds is that his grandfather’s organization is rife with betrayal and secrets. Now he has to not only protect Jilly, but find out who is betraying his grandfather.
I liked Reno. Though he wasn’t the man that his grandfather hoped he would be, he was unapologetic for the man he is. His determination to keep Jilly safe as well as keep his hands off her was highly amusing to read. At first you think that Reno and Jilly are polar opposites. Jilly is a genius who finished college by 18. Reno is a Japanese thug who has crimson red hair and teardrop tattoos on his face. Toward the middle of the book, I started seeing that Reno wasn’t exactly as he seemed. He was more like Jilly than probably even he thought.
The final conflict was good. When I read a romantic suspense, the conflict has to be believable. I’m happy to say that this one was. I really don’t like when you have a conflict that seems as thought it were thrown in at the last minute. I don’t even think Holly herself could have guessed the final twist.
The resolution between Jilly and Reno was good as well. I think that Reno was exactly the type of man that Jilly needed. Someone to remind her that there was more to life than books and being highly intelligent. For Reno, Jilly could see past the thug façade to the man he really was.
4 out of 5.
Cold As Ice
Fire and Ice