Review: Hard As Ice
HARD AS ICE - Raven Scott
Kensington Dafina/Romance
PRINT | EBOOK
August 2015
ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
REVIEWER:  Janet Caldwell | RATING: A
REVIEW: Adventure, intrigue, suspense and covert operations aren’t what I seek in a novel.  However, Raven Scott’s new romantic thriller, HARD AS ICE, which involves all of these elements, had me hooked from page one! I was addicted to the story and anxiously read to the end while wishing it would never end!

Evan “Ice” DaCosta and his team of highly trained protection and asset recovery specialists are Fortis. Without the bureaucratic restrictions of law enforcement, Fortis delivers services to high-end clients. As former CIA, Evan’s expertise is covert operations, where his tight game earns him the reputation of being “cold as ice”, and the maestro of seducing women. As skilled a lover as Ice DeCosta claims to be - he gets caught up in his own game.

Evan and his Fortis team are retained by The Worthington Gallery and Auction House to retrieve a rare diamond that was stolen while safeguarded by an elaborate security system immediately indicating this was an inside job. In addition to the gallery owner, only one other employee knows the safe combination and the diamond’s delivery date - managing director, Nia James.  Nia is a no-nonsense consummate professional who has worked hard to achieve respect in her profession and closely guards her privacy. Except for a sealed juvenile file, Nia’s record is spotless.  Nia suspects she is being framed and works behind the scenes to prove her innocence.

To infiltrate the Worthington Gallery, Evan covertly assumes an identity which mirrors his own of a wealthy and prestigious client with and all the trophies of success. His keen instincts, honed from years as a CIA operative, indicate that Nia James is the mastermind behind the heist and his objective is to obtain her confidence, breakdown her defenses and secure the evidence needed to prove her guilt and return the diamond. Evan’s extensive covert ops training is tested as he grapples with his addictive physical attraction to Nia. As Evan becomes more invested in this case, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish where the undercover Evan begins and the real one ends.

HARD AS ICE is a complex story with several storylines skillfully woven in. The author’s engaging writing style mentally challenges the reader to solve this case.  Our leading characters are compelling with vastly different backgrounds. Their relationship neuroses, formed from past experiences, are major obstacles. When the barriers are eliminated, they realize that each provides something the other is missing. Other characters impacting the story include Lianne, Nia’s best friend and confident, Nia’s Worthington Gallery coworkers, her “stepbrother” Nigel and Evan’s Fortis partners.  The setting is primarily Boston with trips to Evan’s family home in McLean, Virginia.

This is the first novel I have read by this author and I am looking to forward to the next installment. This first entry is well-written, suspenseful, steamy and full of surprises. I invite you to check out this tale. You will not be disappointed.

20th September 2015 | romcol@caribsurf.com