Linda Howard's Ice (Ballantine) is out now. Gabriel McQueen has come home to his small Maine hometown to spend the holidays with his young son and parents. But the first thing his sheriff dad does is send him out on an errand: make sure that Lolly Helton is safe in the approaching ice storm that's bearing down on the town and its environs. Gabriel and Lolly were never friends, and Gabriel really wants just to visit with his family during his short leave from his job in the military, but he goes. Lolly has only come back to Wilson Creek to sell her family's home now that her parents have gone to Florida, and she didn't count on the weather turning quite as nasty as it does. She also didn't count on the pair of crazy drug addicts who follow her home from the grocery store intent on robbery and worse. Niki is none too pleased when Darwin takes a liking to Lolly, so she puts Lolly in an upstairs room out of her way. But Lolly is resourceful, and puts an escape plan into motion, just in time for Gabriel's arrival. But they don't quite manage an unnoticed getaway, and, while the ice storm rages around them, they have to use their wits and familiarity with the area to help them keep out of the clutches of Niki and Darwin. I love Lolly and Gabriel. Lolly is no shrinking violet, and, while she endures some things none of us want to, she doesn't give up. Gabriel is a traditional yummy Howard hero, strong and sexy, dangerous and funny. The only thing I hated was that this one is a shorter story, and I would have loved more of Gabriel and Lolly. On the other hand, we don't often get a second Linda Howard story in a single year, so I'm extremely thankful for this one. I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for Lolly and Gabriel, and will now have to start counting months until Ms. Howard's next book in early summer.
Until next time, happy reading!