Ice Blue by Anne Stuart: 3.5/5
published by Mira in April 2007
Museum curator, Summer Hawthorne, has in her possession a Japanese ceramic bowl of great value that was given to her by her Japanese nanny. Unfortunately for her, her eccentric and selfish mother has promised the bowl to The Shiro, a guru of a sect. In order to keep the bowl, Summer lend it to an exposition... however, this puts her life in dandger as The Shiro is ready to do anything to get the bowl.Genre: romantic suspense
Turns out the bowl is key for a ceremony that will bring the apocalypse to Earth. In order to stop war from happening, Takashi O'Brien, a half-Japanese/half-American and agent of the Committee, is sent after Summer. His mission is to get the bowl and eliminate her, because unknown to her, she has the coordinates to the temple containing a mass-destruction weapon. This should be an easy mission to Takashi... but nothing around Summer is easy.
Series: Ice series, book #3
Review: Seriously, I think I was disappointed by the book. With all the praises about Ms Stuart and the Japanese theme, I got my expectations to high and this book simply didn't meet it. Perhaps, Ms Stuart's style just doesn't agree with me... and she wouldn't be the first author.
The Characters - Hmmm, both Summer and Takashi were complex characters... They're attractive, get a good development, have many issues, but in the end, I think the problem for me was that their issued didn't get resolved. Summer is the daughter from a first marriage of a famous actress. She had a traumatic event in the past, but it doesn't impact much the storyline... and she's ultra-protective of her 16 years old sister, Jilly. Aside from that, her relationship with her mother or stepfather aren't so great. As for Takashi, he's a bastard and also half-American, which doesn't please his very traditional Japanese maternal grandfather. So he's been raised by his grand-uncle, a yakuza leader (i.e. mob). He's expected to quit the Committee soon and marry a woman his grandfather has chosen, and produce little Takashi to please and hope to gain his grandfather's approval. So both bring a lot of baggage with them. They're thrown together under some dire circumstances. They're attracted to each other, without wanting it. Have sex, travel to Japan, defeat a sect... get a happy ending of sort... but at the end, they still have lots of baggages and maybe even more. So what was the point? At least, are they happy together? Hard to tell. As for personality-wise, both are pretty okay. Summer can be a tiny bit annoying sometimes by her naivete, but that's about it. And I have to admit that I was a bit bothered by Takashi little talent, but what can I say?
The Story & Writing - Ms Stuart's writing style is okay... a bit rough, tough and hard tho. She's not shy about using swear words and is quite bold in her writing. She's not the flowery type at all, but that's okay. As for the story, well the story was okay... although the ending, very standard Ms Stuart ending. So far, I've read what, 5 books by Ms Stuart and it's all been the same ending. The only difference was what was said, if any words were uttured. One flaw about the storyline though, is that I can't believe that Summer didn't speak Japanese. No matter what you say, you would expect someone who had a Japanese nanny and who studied Asian arts, especially Japanese arts, to at least speak the language. I mean, how did you study then? With translated books?!? Don't think so. Summer knew simple words such as "Sorry" and "Hi" but seriously, who are you kidding? All the best and dedicated scholars know the language of their specialty... and that's almost a given. She didn't had to speak it well, but at least understand and be able to have simple conversation.
The Cover - I actually really like it. Very nice blue :P
Am I keeping this book? I don't know... going to depend how much I like the two previous books, given that I read them one day
Anything else? Nope.