* * * * 3/4
Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.
In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.
But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?
BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…
Becca Fitzpatrick certainly made an enormous impact with the Hush Hush series. That having concluded, it’s interesting to see what she has done next with Black Ice. It’s a departure from what we’re used to and I’ve got to hand it to her, she’s done a bang up job here! Also, how freaking cool is this cover?!
I’ll come clean and say that when I’d first heard of the premise for this book months ago, I wasn’t too impressed. I’m not an outdoorsy gal and the idea of a mountain trek and being lost just didn’t appeal to me. So fast forward to months later, I read the premise again and all of a sudden I’m all over this. I have no idea what changed. Black Ice is well planned out and takes its time to reveal the plot. There are a few things going on here. Britt wants to exert her independence from her ex-boyfriend. She wants to demonstrate this to him but winds up needing to prove this to herself. She and her best friend end up seeking shelter with strangers one night and it’s all awkward and shady. I’ll excuse her few moments of cluelessness here because put next to her needy, whiney and childish bestie, Britt comes off as a perfect angel. When she does realize what’s up, her mind spurs into action and she’s all about making sure her best friend is safe as she formulates a plan to either escape these two fugitives or misdirect them so that she can buy her some time as she leads them to the authorities. Then she unwittingly stumbles upon the murder mysteries and she feels in over her head. But not for long.
I really like that Britt is a resourceful person. She starts off as someone still feeling slighted by her ex but then evolves into a leader. She had no idea she was capable of such things. Through flashbacks she has a new perspective on her relationship with Calvin. May be it wasn’t all that “perfect” or healthy. Still, being stuck on a mountain with the fugitive Mason, no matter how good looking he is, is not the ideal place to evaluate her relationship history. Her attraction to Mason is concerning as she feels she may be experiencing Stockholm Syndrome. Like I said, she’s smart and clearly no damsel in distress. This experience is opening her eyes to understanding that there are more things to consider that are below the surface.
As I read along, I kept wondering how much longer things could drag on as I just couldn’t fathom what else could be thrown in there. The plot does unravel itself and once Britt gets herself out of her temporary stupor she’s no longer the captive. This changes the nature of her relationship with everyone.
I won’t say any more. Black Ice was a terrific read and far more than I had originally expected. I was able to slowly put the pieces together but most of all, I really liked Britt. How great to see a female character seize upon a perilous and life-changing experience to kick some butt!