Garwood, Julie. Fire and Ice. (New York: Ballantine, 2008). ISBN – 9780345500755.
Main Characters: Sophie Summerfield Rose and Jack MacAlister
Description from Book:
Sophie Rose, a tough and determined newspaper reporter, is the daughter of Bobby Rose, a suave, charming, and handsome gentleman who also happens to be a notorious big-time thief sought by every law-enforcement agency in the country. When the major Chicago daily where she works insists she write an expose about her roguish father, Sophie refuses, quits her job, and goes to work at a small newspaper. Far from her onetime high-powered crime beat, she now covers local personalities such as the quirky winner of several area 5K runs whose trademark is goofy red socks.
Those red socks – with Sophie’s business card neatly tucked inside – are practically all that’s found after runner William Harrington is killed near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, seemingly the victim of a brutal death by polar bear. The Alaska cops want to know why Harrington carried Sophie’s card. With a unerring nose for a good story, she heads north.
What Sophie doesn’t realize is that on her journey from Chicago to Prudhoe Bay, danger follows in her wake. After one attempt on her life, she’s been assigned brash but sexy Jack MacAlisteras a bodyguard by the cautious FBI. Amid great peril and deadly intrigue in the unforgiving Alaskan terrain, she and Jack form an uneasy alliance sparked with sensual attraction. But they will soon be fighting more than their growing passion for each other. Powerful forces will stop at nothing to prevent the exposure of the sinister conspiracy Sophie and Jack are about to uncover.
There is just something so appealing about Julie Garwood’s heroines. I am usually much more taken with her spunky heroines than her heroes – and this is actually quite rare for me. It is usually the heroes that capture the lion’s share of my attention. While I did like Jack MacAlister quite a bit, it was definitely Sophie Rose that kept me invested in Fire and Ice. She is a reporter at a local paper, the daughter of a notorious criminal figure and a cherished part of many people’s lives. She gets sent to do a story on William Harrington who is set to run and win his 25th 5K race. Sophie interviews William, and listens to him tell her about each and every of his previous 24 wins. She goes to watch William race, and is baffled when he seems to have disappeared. After all, she had talked to him right before the start of the race. When William’s body is discovered soon after in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, Sophie is determined to figure out what happened. Additionally, she is having some issues of her own in Chicago with death threats having to do with her father.
Jack has been having some of his own issues because of YouTube video that is giving him a great deal of unwanted press. His boss assigns him to watch over Sophie on her trip to Alaska. Neither is particularlyexcited about having to spend time with each other, since their new relationship has been a bit contentious. Sophie is wary of any law enforcement people because of her father’s adversarialrelationship with them. And, Jack works for the FBI. Meanwhile, Jack isn’t terribly sure about Sophie. He is attracted to her, but wonders a bit about her sanity, I think. After all when she receives a rather threatening phone call from someone, she does as the caller says and looks out her window. When she does, the caller shoots her. She isn’t too happy when Jack taunts her about her decision. Despite this, the two do fall in love.
Sighs!! I love Julie Garwood’s books. I admit that her historicals are my favorites, but I truly enjoy all of the characters she creates – whether in a historical or contemporary setting. The characters are definitely what draw me to the stories. The mystery surrounded Dr. Lemming and his bizarre drug testing was fine, but didn’t make a huge impression on me. Sophie, her love of designer clothes, the scene where she terrorized the nurse trainee for destroying a Dolce & Gabbana blouse, her need to find out what happened to William Harrison, her relationship with her boss, Mr Bitterman and her charitable efforts are what I will remember from Fire and Ice.
P.S. I won’t forget Jack either.
Read first on December 30, 2008