Hot As Ice
by Merline Lovelace, contemporary (2002)
Silhouette Intimate Moments, $4.50, ISBN 0-373-27199-9


You may know this drill: watch two people fall in love, get married, and all when it is so obvious that they shouldn't. This, people, is Hot As Ice. The main characters are nice, but they have no sexual chemistry that I feel they are better off buddies than lovers.

Major Charles Stones spends the last 45 years trapped in ice around the icy wastes of the Arctic. Everyone he knows and has shagged with is now dotty, dead, or Alzheimer'ed, but he's still buff, studly as ever, and he gets the girl - oh, some 40 years his junior? Anyway, this is his story. He gets thawed, secret agent/doctor Diana Remington gives him a tour of Ye Moderne World, and we have some obligatory dumb bad guy who, instead of killing these annoying people in a well-planned stint, barges in with a gun and lets everybody sees his face... as he blabs all about his Diabolical Deeds.

It's pretty non-happening. I mean, now, if this is a story set in, say, 2060, I may just be very interested in Diana's showing Charles around. This tour and learning of the mall, the highway, the fact that women don't wear bras if they don't want to... oh my, Riley's back on Buffy! I love me some Riley ex machina! Riley, Riley, Riley! And yay, the end of Spike/Buffy porn sessions! Maybe now Spike will get back to being Evil and Snarky and Buffy be that Kick-ass Heroine again.

Uhm, where am I? Hot As Ice? Sure, Charles' a nice guy. Diana's a nice, no-kooky woman who is intelligent and normal (or maybe it's the ridiculously stupid bad guy that makes her look intelligent?). But they have no sexual chemistry at all. They banter, make happy buddy rapports, but then the author forces them to kiss and examine each other's privates. It's so forced and painful, just like watching Angel and Cordelia trying to fake fake orgasms (no, that's not a typo) on the now crap Angel.

But I'm quite impressed. I mean, Charles reawakens, still sexy and not at all needing Viagra or liposuction, to this exciting new world, and even better, the military pays him more than 1.8 million dollars in back pay. No, I don't know of any country where the Defense people are so generous. But, I think I'll actually take some time to read up the pamphlets of those cryogenic cult kooks. I don't mind freezing, waking up 50 years from now still looking like a babe I am now (heh), and getting an instant 10 million bucks in back pay. Who needs to fake orgasms when cryogenics is so much cooler?

Rating: 77


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