Bark's Book Nonsense's Reviews > Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice by Julie Garwood
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Apr 25, 11

bookshelves: audiobook, romance
Read from August 14 to 18, 2010

I don’t know if I’ve read a Garwood novel before but this one probably wasn’t the best place to start. I had heard she was a humorous writer which is probably what tempted me to borrow this audio copy from the library but either my sense of humor has gone on an extended vacation or I missed out on the funny because I didn’t smile once during the reading of this. And, as usual, I came into yet another book mid-series. According to Goodreads this book is #7 in the series. If I had it to do over again I probably would’ve skipped #7. Maybe the funny resides in the earlier books?

This is going to be a bit ranty and possibly spoilery so you may want to skip reading further if this in your to be read pile. The heroine is Sophie, a beautiful reporter who grew up with loads of money and the best of everything that cash could buy. She has decided to take the hard road to life by getting a job, giving up her car and refusing to accept daddy’s money because she’s been guilted into it by her friends. Her dad is on the run from the IRS, the FBI, and hoards of folks who claim he’s stolen their life savings (hey, wouldn’t the IRS have cut off the funds anyway? She ain’t fooling me!). Sophie is a confusing character, one I never could connect to on any level. She whines over not being able to buy “stuff”, weeps over the demise of a Dolce & Gabbana blouse and her “one of kind” Gucci bag but yet gives her money away to the homeless shelter because she says its something she has to do. Her materialism is supposedly an act but I don’t get it. Why would anyone purposely want people to think they’re so shallow? I found all of the whining about her “stuff” obnoxious. The only time she perks up in the entire story and shows emotion is when her designer things are damaged. Then she goes into a screechy rage but other than that she’s a generically flat character.

This book is supposed to be a romantic suspense but it was nearly halfway over before I figured out who the freaking hero was supposed to be. FBI agent Jack MacAlister loses a bet and is assigned to watch over her after the dimwit gets herself shot by answering an anonymous phone call. It goes something like this: ominous, unknown voice says, “Go stand in the window so I can see you better, move a little to the left, wait now move a bit to the right, now stand still” and . . . Powie! Have no fear, however, because the buckle on her Gucci purse saves her life! Now I see why so many women are obsessed with the brand. Sophie’s obviously a super tough chick because after nearly getting shot in the chest she goes about her life like nothing happened and doesn’t seem at all afraid of dying. Maybe I’m just whimpy but if some stranger called me, attempted to shoot me dead and was still on the loose I’d be hiding under my bed while peeing my pantaloons. But then again, I don’t own a Gucci anything.

Adding some mystery to this is a weird subplot about an insufferable man with a fetish for running and red socks who gets eaten by a polar bear in Alaska and another subplot about a bunch of money grubbing mad scientists experimenting on wolves and people. Sophie, of course, gets messed up in this but sadly does not get munched on by the polar bear. WTF does all this have to do with the romance, you ask? If you must know more, you’ll have to read the book because I’m not sure.

Overall it was just strange, boring and unfunny. The romance lacked chemistry and there was no emotion between them. She dubs him the “hubba hubba hunk” (honestly, I did not make that up), they have sex because they’re both so hot and all and can’t help themselves and it’s all so tepid that I’m asleep before they are. After they escape danger and solve the X-Files mystery they declare themselves in love. None of these storylines meshed well together. I may not have everything correct because I admittedly dozed off a time or two during the listening. If you pick this up, may your experience be a better one than mine.
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Reading Progress

08/14/2010
10.0% "I can't figure out what this book is supposed to be and had to check the audio tracks to make sure I hadn't mixed up two library books. Seems to possibly be a budding romance but also mashed with some sort of X-Files conspiracy thingy? I'm a tad confused." 3 comments
08/18/2010
99.0% "Ugh, I am nearly done with this and the dimwit heroine still has not been eaten by a polar bear. So disappointing." 3 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 60) (60 new)


Miss Kim Nice review, Barkless. Yeah, this one was boring. As far as the entire Buchanan series--they do not really need to be read in order. There isn't any on-going story threading through all of them. Each sibling finds their mate after some dangerous situation of hiding from the bad guy. This guy, Jack, was just a friend of the brothers, so she was stretching for a connection I think.


Bark's Book Nonsense Kim, were the earlier books humorous at all or similar in tone/style to this?


message 3: by willaful (new)

willaful Haven't tried this one, but my experience is that she writes the kind of "funny" that leaves me completely cold. And wishing for that polar bear. ;-)


message 4: by Miss Kim (last edited Aug 19, 2010 10:34AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Miss Kim I liked quite a few of the earlier ones this series. this one is just a dud.

She has some funny banter in her historicals, but I don't recall any thing really humorous about the contemporaries. However it has been about 4 years since I have read them.


message 5: by MelissaB (new)

MelissaB The only contemporary I liked by JG is Mercy. The last few were horrible, I hated Shadow Dance (but not nearly as much as I hated Shadow Music which I wanted to burn).

I do love her older historicals like The Secret and Ransom.


message 6: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek oh my, yeah you gotta go back to her oldies! Try The Bride or Prince Charming!! Def. soooo much better than her later releases!!


message 7: by Miss Kim (last edited Aug 19, 2010 10:44AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Miss Kim Shadow Music was booooring and disappointing.


LethalLovely~This City's Made Us Crazy & We Must Get Out Great review, Barkless. This book sounds like complete crap. I really wish JG would go back to writing historicals!!! Her HR novels were gold but her RS & CR novels sucketh! :(


UniquelyMoi ~ 1-Click RockChick LethalLovely~When There's Nothing Left to Burn, wrote: "Great review, Barkless. This book sounds like complete crap. I really wish JG would go back to writing historicals!!! Her HR novels were gold but her RS & CR novels sucketh! :("

^^^What she said^^^ I've got the first 3 in this series, but haven't pulled them off the shelf.


UniquelyMoi ~ 1-Click RockChick Kim, I agree that Shadow Music (Highlands' Lairds, #3) by Julie Garwood was disappointing. It was my least favorite of her historical romance novels.


Bark's Book Nonsense Thanks all, I have The Bride in one of the piles here. I was just about ready to list them all on PBS but I'll hold on to that one.


UniquelyMoi ~ 1-Click RockChick I love The Bride, The Wedding, The Secret, Ransom.
The Prize, Honor's Splendour... almost all of her historicals.


message 13: by Catherine (new)

Catherine UniquelyMoi *~*Dhestiny*~* wrote: "I love The Bride, The Wedding, The Secret, Ransom.
The Prize, Honor's Splendour... almost all of her historicals."


Those are all ones I love too!


message 14: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek Catherine wrote: "UniquelyMoi *~*Dhestiny*~* wrote: "I love The Bride, The Wedding, The Secret, Ransom.
The Prize, Honor's Splendour... almost all of her historicals."

Those are all ones I love too!"


Ditto! :-D


Miss Kim Yeah, those are all great ones!


message 16: by MelissaB (new)

MelissaB I don't love The Bride (heroine and simplistic writing annoyed me a bit but it was still decent) and The Wedding (hero allows heroine to come to harm because of his stupidity)

My favs are The Secret, Ransom, Honor's Splendor and Saving Grace. If you want to try out a historical, I think The Secret is her best.


message 17: by Zeek (last edited Aug 19, 2010 01:51PM) (new) - added it

Zeek It's been so long since I read them and I pretty much enjoyed them all that I can remember (except maybe gentle warrior? Thought it was kinda slow), but Ransom was one that I reread not long ago and that one still holds up- VERY good!


message 18: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL. Hilarious. Awesome review, Bark!


message 19: by LethalLovely~This City's Made Us Crazy & We Must Get Out (last edited Aug 19, 2010 01:54PM) (new)

LethalLovely~This City's Made Us Crazy & We Must Get Out It's hard for me to pick favorites out of such a great bunch of books. But I'd have to say my absolute favorites are The Gift(I'm not attracted to redheads but St. James is just delicious), The Prize(who doesn't love a scarred warrior?) & The Secret(enough said). My least favorites would be between Castles & For the Roses. I'm not even including JG's RS novels, cause my opinions would be too vulgar.

ETA: What I really like about JG is that she creates the most adorable, amazingly ditzy heroines. Alot of them have TSTL moments but I find myself wanting to hug & comfort them instead of pushing them down a well.


message 20: by Zeek (last edited Aug 19, 2010 01:51PM) (new) - added it

Zeek Oh yeah, for the roses was another boring one too. Agreed!


message 21: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Me too Lethal!

I didn't really like For the Roses either, but I did like Come the Spring. I liked Prince Charming too.


UniquelyMoi ~ 1-Click RockChick I LOVED For the Roses! It's one of my all time favorite feel good novels.


message 23: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Awesomely funny review!


LethalLovely~This City's Made Us Crazy & We Must Get Out Catherine wrote: "Me too Lethal!

I didn't really like For the Roses either, but I did like Come the Spring. I liked Prince Charming too."


I can't even remember the synopsis for PC. I might have to give it a re-read.


message 25: by Bark's Book Nonsense (last edited Aug 20, 2010 08:53AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bark's Book Nonsense I often think I'm hard to please because back in the 90's when I first started reading romance I seemed to lurrrve everything. Now I find most of it boring. Is it me, or are some author's just out of steam?


message 26: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek def- out of steam- because I STILL reread their old ones and LOVE them!


message 27: by MelissaB (new)

MelissaB I agree - most of the good authors from the 90's put out crap now. That's why I read older historicals and the new paranormals (which actually put out consistently good books.


message 28: by Zeek (last edited Aug 20, 2010 09:23AM) (new) - added it

Zeek you know why? because they don't try and pussify the hero like they do in hist/rom and most contemps now-a-days. PNR is the last haven for the alpha male.


message 29: by Zeek (last edited Aug 20, 2010 09:24AM) (new) - added it

Zeek with Twilight be the glaring exception- total pussification of the heroes! haha!


message 30: by MelissaB (new)

MelissaB Zeek wrote: "you know why? because they don't try and pussify the hero like they do in hist/rom and most contemps now-a-days. PNR is the last haven for the alpha male."

Amen.


message 31: by Bark's Book Nonsense (last edited Aug 20, 2010 09:41AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bark's Book Nonsense "pussify the hero" Exactly. They're either pussified or boring. Sometimes both. What's up with that?


message 32: by Zeek (last edited Aug 20, 2010 09:49AM) (new) - added it

Zeek A selective few whine loudly and per usual the non romance reading people in charge of big time publishers listened to them rather than majority.

People have no idea what a real alpha is and they equate one with knuckle draggin, redneck bullies- (course it doesn't help when AUTHORS have no idea and write them that way.) For the record, that is NOT an alpha- that is just an insecure wanne be.


Bark's Book Nonsense Eh, that's why I tend to be buying more from small press ebooks pubs than the big houses. Though they can be hit or miss too.


message 34: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Zeek wrote: "A selective few whine loudly and per usual the non romance reading people in charge of big time publishers listened to them rather than majority.

People have no idea what a real alpha is and they..."


Totally agree. Every one seems to dub a jackass hero who controls the heroine and never lets her win an alpha. That's not an alpha! An alpha is someone confident and in control of himself and the situation if warranted. He is confident enough in himself to step back and let others lead. He has a charisma that makes people naturally turn to him for guidance. That's what an alpha is to me!


message 35: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek absolutely! They don't know the difference and rather than right them as confident and in control- they pussify them! haha!

ANYWAY- as you can see I'm pretty passionate about this. But thank God there are SOME authors still getting it right!


message 36: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Who are these authors? I keep running into the jackasses! LOL!


message 37: by Zeek (last edited Aug 20, 2010 10:36AM) (new) - added it

Zeek Do you read Paranormal romance? That's where they are. (altho some people have lower jackass threshholds than others! haha!)

Have you read Kresley COle's Immortals After Dark series? Love those guys! Strong heroes but they calm right down when they find their mates. ;)

How 'bout the night huntress series by Jeanine Frost? Bones is certainly alpha but he softens around Cat!

Then there's Raine from the Tairen Souls series- more classic fantasy than urban but uber romantic too! Lord of the Fading Lands


message 38: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek Just curious- which one's do you think were jackasses? Love to compare notes! :D


message 39: by Catherine (new)

Catherine I was joking :) I do find the good ones occasionally.

I've read all of those, yes. I'd agree that most of the guy in IAD are alpha without crossing the line, except for Lachlain in A Hunger Like No Other. Their romance made me so uncomfortable!

Bones is alpha too. Too bad the last book ruined my enjoyment of the series! Wah!

Raine-Well, he was too dominant in the beginning because the heroine was too wilting flower for me. Now that she has come into her own the relationship doesn't make me so uncomfortable.


message 40: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Hmmm... Let me think about it for a bit. I have actually gotten much better at steering clear of them and have given most of them away.


message 41: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek well certainly the heroine helps- can't stand a heroine who lets them walk all over her.

ACtually I have less tolerance for an overbearing female too- there's another one authors get wrong. Making a heroine bitchy and butch doesn't make them any stronger... just annoying.

I didn't have much problem with Lachlain but I can see where alot of people do. I guess it all depends on real life experience too- although I love a man who challenges me, I would never stay in a relationship with a guy who pushed me around. THen too- I don't stay in relationships where I can push around either. It's a fine line in real life and in the fantasy realm of romance novels!


message 42: by Catherine (last edited Aug 20, 2010 11:06AM) (new)

Catherine Ooh, I thought of some! It's a generalization, not a specific book. Pretty much all of Christine Feehan's Dark series and Lora Leigh's Breed series. The females always get their choices taken away and no matter how hard they struggle the guys always win the power struggle. The females even end up liking it by the end. It makes me want to go defy someone just reading it!


message 43: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek ...and of course I have to go back to the point that a bully isn't alpha. (There are actually very few author's who nail it exactly.)


message 44: by Catherine (new)

Catherine I'm with you all the way Zeek. I dislike overbearing females too. I agree, bitchy is not a sign of strength, it's just a sign of a lot of brass.

I just don't like unequal power dynamics in relationships in general. I want to see a partnership.


message 45: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Zeek wrote: "...and of course I have to go back to the point that a bully isn't alpha. (There are actually very few author's who nail it exactly.)"

I agree. I wasn't saying they were alpha, I was saying they were an example of what most people consider alpha and I strongly disagree with.


message 46: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek "I just don't like unequal power dynamics in relationships in general. I want to see a partnership. "


Yes! Exactly!

I read one Feehan and gave up- the heroine was TSTL and the hero was uninteresting.

Now the Breeds I like, but than I would argue that the men are just as controlled by the heat as well and my favorites are when they get all purry after they acknowledge their love. (Callen comes to mind first! :P)

Actually the Breed books where the women are always fighting the men and the heat srsly get on my nerves- I much prefer when the author separates them with circumstances not "I want him, but I don't- but I want him" BS.


message 47: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek Catherine wrote: "Zeek wrote: "...and of course I have to go back to the point that a bully isn't alpha. (There are actually very few author's who nail it exactly.)"

I agree. I wasn't saying they were alpha, I wa..."


Agreed.


message 48: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Well, yes the guys are bothered to an extent. But they don't seem to suffer the immense pain women do if any other person touches them. They don't have cramps and collapse to the floor crying because they've fought against it too long. The guys always seem to be the ones better off. It just seems too unequal and it irritates me.


message 49: by MelissaB (new)

MelissaB I think Nalini Singh does a great job with alphas. Also, Pamela Clare.


message 50: by Zeek (last edited Aug 20, 2010 11:29AM) (new) - added it

Zeek True. But, early on anyway, I felt the series had alot of Dom/sub subtext and just wrote it off as that, since I don't understand that world. But you have a point.

Still, some of those Breeds I can't help adore- I like their possessiveness-again something I would never put up with in RL but something that brings great tension in novels. I tend to like that in a romance novel hero because in RL i've dated a jerk or two who couldn't decide what they wanted, if you know what I mean. I like the idea that there are guys out there who want you and only you and will move heaven and earth to have you. Even if it is a fantasy! haha!


well let's face it- Lora Leigh is no great author. haha! (she trots out the same plot line over and over and she srsly needs an editor!)


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