by Sandy Curtis

April 2002
ISBN: 0-330-36333-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Pan Australia
Mass Market Paperback

Sandy Curtisís Black Ice is proof of her talent in developing well-rounded and well-motivated characters. And itís not just the hero and the heroine who receive her attention. There is never any doubt that all of her characters have good rea-sons for their actions, making it very satisfying to follow their stories, their lives. Allowing myself to be put in Ms. Curtis hands and trusting her to take me through a story with her compassionate voice Ė a voice that is never afraid of strong emo-tions and even stronger passions.

Australian artist Kerri Smith opens a new gallery on the East Coast of Aus-tralia. In walks the American Daniel Brand, who after being hit by a car finds him-self in care of Kerri. The same woman he had searched for over two years. The same woman that seemed to have no recollection of their previous time together in New Orleans - a short and intense affair that ended in an accepted marriage proposal and the disappearance of Keri. But no matter his previous anger and frustration, Daniel canít walk away from Keri, especially when confronted with the result of their passionate time together - their adorable young daughter. When more attempts on his life start to endanger not only him but also his new family, choices need to be made - choices that lead to love, passion, revelations and pain. And into the path of the killer.

Black Ice tells a story of great contrasts. In a tender loving relationship - beautifully portrayed - and a dark and violent danger intruding on that still new bond. The hero is not your usual alpha hero, but a man willing to admit to his fears and to his love and passion for the heroine. He is tender, very protective, considerate, able to listen and very eager to express his desire for sensual de-lights as well as for fatherly pride. And to my delight he and Keri come across as mature, not wasting their time with silly power games, but working on a relation-ship that is meant to be - against an atmosphere of twisted hatred and uncer-tainty.

It is a very good read, with the same characteristics that made me love her previous novel, Dance with The Devil: a strong heroine, a gallant hero, interest-ing secondary characters, a tangible feel for its exotic setting and the authorís own very assured voice. The fast pace never let up and even took on an action movie quality with its very short scenes and rapid changes in point of view. Then there were those passionate love scenes and several plot twists towards the end that took me by surprise and kept me in suspense until the very last page. All in all: A treat!

The Australian Tourist Board should appoint Sandy Curtis as their PR spokes-person. Once more her and her book set in her home country have me in awe of its beauty and power, convincing me that Iím right in wanting to return there.

Reviewed in May 2002 by Kris Alice.

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