Fire Underneath the Ice by R S Natanevin

Story 7
Presentation 8.5
Total: 15.5
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Contemporary Romance
To Purchase

Blurb: The paths of Michael Hamming, poor boy turned rich, and Karyn McDonnell, heiress turned penniless, cross during the 2008 financial crisis. Michael decides to get revenge for that old grudge he has against Karyn’s late father. Karyn is in need, alone and defenseless. In total coolness, he offers to take care of her financial problems if she becomes his girlfriend. Karyn, who always liked Michael, accepts.

Karyn’s beauty and kind heart, however, conquer him, to the point that when Karyn is kidnapped, Michael takes chase, first aboard a speedboat, then riding a motorcycle to follow the clues left by the kidnappers and set her free.

As the events of October 2008 plunge the stock market into a record minimum, it is now Michael who gets in financial troubles and Karyn who goes to his rescue, trying to hide her good deed.
Review: The picture on the front cover shows a young woman's face with flames and ice behind her. I wondered if she was supposed to be a sweet young thing or was she seductive? After finishing the story, I'm still not sure.

The story opens in Michael's office where he waits on Karyn who is late for their appointment. As he paces back and forth, it is clear that he is insecure about his looks. He looks in a mirror and decides he is not bad-looking but not handsome.

Michael is a poor boy made good. He has an investment company and is becoming wealthy,but he doesn't feel 'good enough' because of his background.

Karyn is an heiress who has inherited a fortune, but her brother, mother and father are dead. And we will find out the lawyer who was supposed to be taking care of her many businesses is actually a gambler who has taken most of her money.

It appears that Michael is a cold-hearted vindictive man who wants "to punish her because she is her father's offspring". He wants revenge because her father was his mother's lover. Shortly after she arrives makes her an offer. He knows the lawyer had taken most of her money and she is about to lose the family mansion. He bluntly tells her that he will make payments on her family home and support Karyn for a period of time if she will move in with him and act as his hostess. A nice way of saying mistress.

He actually tells her he wants revenge for what her father did to his mother.

The first chapter is mainly dialogue between Michael and Karyn. I didn't like either one of them very much until later in the story. They both seemed very self-centered and selfish.

The story was mainly dialogue and the talking was good, offering much insight to their personalities.

When Karyn finds out her lawyer, Jason Greene, has almost wiped out her fortune, she agrees to Michael's offer. She can't even sell the mansion for half its value because of the recession. She needs his financial support.

When she comes to him the first hight, Michael has her strip in front of him, while he sits in his suit, with a glass of wine. He is very much the king and she is his subject, to do with as he wishes. He wants to make her feel uneasy, uncomfortable and probably embarrassed. Karyn turns the tables on him and makes taking off her well-dressed outfit into a teasing strip.

She is the title, Fire and Ice, she appears to be an icy, always in control, business woman. She has another side and ,wow, is it hot.

Shortly into their agreement, each realizes he/she has romantic feelings for the other. Neither will admit to these feelings because each is insecure enough to think the other would use those feelings to cause hurt.

When she will not admit she loves him, Michael imposes drastic measures. No more sex, no more touching. Because they have had a hot physical relationship, he thinks she will give in. She is to be his hostess when he entertains other women.

They have a trip on the yacht, and a vacation in a fancy hotel. Just as they have admitted their feelings to each other, she is kidnapped.

Is it the crooked lawyer, the ex-fiancee who has appeared on the scene, the other woman, ms Big Boobs, or is it a gang of terrorists who want to ransom her. They all have motive.

What will happen to her inheritance, what will happen to his investment company because of the recession?

I liked this story, I was a little put off with pages and pages of dialogue with no descriptions. But in other places, there were fantastic descriptions of the exotic, gourmet food, and the scenery was beautiful.

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