„Ice” is one of my favorite LGBT books so far. I enjoyed it so much, because of the amazing rush of the character’s temper, their personalities both private and professional are so different, yet still the’re drawn together by attraction, danger and above all, life rescue.
Alex Blake and Maggie Campbell are police officers in the same station, but in different teams.
Alex is a former model, stunning attractive and with a temper that blows your mind and patience because of her short temper and stuborness, she disobeys any rule and lives and works after her own rules. Her soft side is shown through Sadie, her terrier that she loves so very much. And her broken heart suffers after being together with a woman that ended up cheating on her with a man and Alex swore she would never love a straight woman….until she meets Maggie.
„Alex Blake had worked for the Met since the age of twenty-two. Born and raised in Surrey, she had grown up among the rich and famous, and before she had reached the age of eighteen, two modeling agencies had offered her contracts. Tall, slender, with eyes the color of cinnamon and cheekbones to die for, she could have easily graced the covers of numerous magazines without a care in the world, but Alex did care. She cared too much. Sitting around the breakfast table discussing the world with her parents, she learned of the wrongs and rights. She saw the grainy photographs in newspapers and read the words, and they horrified her. Alex Blake didn’t choose her career. It chose her. So turning her back on the glitz and glamour of monthly publications filled with makeup advertisements and emaciated models, after graduating university, Alex joined the Metropolitan Police Service.”
„Alex was a good cop. In fact, she was an excellent cop. When it came to aiding victims, Alex was as caring as a mother would be to her newborn, but when it came to the criminal element, she was not. Driven, stubborn, and willing to cross the line if need be, more than once, her desire to catch the felon overshadowed acceptable operating procedures. Her overzealousness resulted in formal reprimands being placed in her file on more than one occasion, and once, her inability to control her temper resulted in a two-week suspension. However, Alex had a saving grace, and she knew it. She had the uncanny ability to study a crime scene and memorize every single detail. On occasion, her unorthodox methods would send shivers down the spines of some, but her drive and attention to detail had earned her the respect of not only her peers, but also her supervisors. They had learned to accept her quick temper and sharp tongue, and so had her friends. On occasion, her unorthodox methods would send shivers down the spines of some, but her drive and attention to detail had earned her the respect of not only her peers, but also her supervisors. They had learned to accept her quick temper and sharp tongue, and so had her friends.”
Maggie is totally different than Alex, she sticks to procedures and does her work by the book. Privately, Maggie is straight and lives with Glen whom she lives with in her home. She is not really in love with him and she asked him to move in with her temporarly, but because his business is going down he takes advantage of all she has to offer and before her next mission with Alex she asked him to move out, even when Maggie’s known as missing he returns to Maggie’s home and lives there.
„At the age of thirty-two, Margaret Katherine Campbell had worked for the Metropolitan Police Service for eight years. Born and raised in Scotland, she was the daughter of an Air Force Group Captain, and her upbringing had been regimented and directed toward the military. However, during her years in university, she developed a passion for the law, and after graduation, she took a job at the Met. Like most, she started out as a Constable, but her drive and hard work enabled her to climb the ladder faster than her colleagues. With a penchant for following the rules and regulations, she crossed every ‘T’ and dotted every ‘I’ along the way, and in five short years, she reached the rank of Detective Inspector with only one demerit to her name. Although she longed to continue her education at night to obtain the law degree she so desperately wanted, the demands of her job and her boyfriend, more often than not, got in the way.”
“You heard. Quit that bloody job. It’s not a career for a woman anyway!”
The story is really captivating starting with it’s begin : Alex and Maggie met three years before and the next mission happens three year after. Maggie has fallen for Alex during their first mission and has heard that they will be made partners and she couldn’t cope with that, because she couldn’t handle her feelings back then and hurts Alex by telling her she doesn’t do her work right and slaps her and Alex falls down.
Three years earlier
„While Maggie had heard dozens of stories about the cocky, live-on-the-edge Detective Inspector, nothing could have prepared her for meeting Alexandra Blake. Tall, beautiful, and with short black hair that had a style all its own, Maggie’s first thought was that Blake looked more like a runway model than an Inspector. Even though she had felt dwarfed by both the woman’s height and her beauty, Maggie had been the consummate professional, and with a handshake, they had become partners on the case. Blake’s ability to walk the fine line between right and wrong grated on Maggie’s sensibilities throughout the assignment, but Maggie put her personal feelings aside. For fourteen days she worked the case like she had been taught, and surprisingly, things went rather smoothly, but on the fifteenth day, everything went to shit.”
„ You’re dangerous, and you give the rest of us a bad name. If it was up to me, you wouldn’t even be on the force.The force of the slap that followed sent Alex Blake to her knees.”
Three years after
“Okay, so Blake’s file has got a bit of paper in it, but Campbell’s been exemplary, which gives me every reason to believe that for two days, they’ll be able to put their differences aside.”
“All I can tell you is that they’ll be acting as escorts for a government witness.”
„Protecting a witness for a few days wouldn’t be a problem, but knowing that she’d be working with Alex Blake again, caused Maggie’s blood pressure to rise.”
They fly on a plane without knowing where they go and believing that the mission lasts for only a couple of days, they try to avoid each other, although the attraction has risen to life once more.
They land in a frozen place close to the Arctic Circle and Maggie has a fever, she tells Alex that she can die because of it, it’s a disease from her childhood and she needs a hospital or she dies. Alex convinces a pilot do fly them out of that place, but unfortunately they run into a heavy storm, the plane crashes, the pilot dies and Alex rescues Maggie, although she’s also wounded and heads toward to the cabins she has seen on the map. She reaches a cabin, but it’s locked with many padlocks and they can froze to death if she can get them in. In her despair and a flicker of luck and faith, by watching Maggie’s cross necklace, she finds the key and gets them in, finds a warm place for Maggie, finds wood and food for them to survive.
„Taking a ragged breath, Alex’s eyes filled with tears as she looked at the woman in her arms. She had always longed to hold Maggie close, and now she would hold her for eternity.”
„Staring at the white crucifix hanging above it, Alex swallowed hard as she removed it from its hanger. Holding her breath, she said a prayer and flipped it over.
Thank you, God!” she cried out, seeing a key sticking out of a slot carved in the back. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!”
„Alex had long ago committed Maggie’s face to memory. She knew that the color of her skin was the warmest of ivories and when Maggie smiled, the smallest of dimples appeared on her cheeks. She knew that the tiniest of laugh lines existed at the corners of her eyes, and in those green eyes, which Alex adored so much, were flecks of gold swimming amidst the emerald. It was a face that had kept her awake many a night. It was one that had caused her to dream marvelous dreams, but now those dreams had turned into a nightmare. Dark circles had formed under Maggie’s eyes, and with her skin appearing almost bloodless, it looked as if she was wearing a death mask made of the whitest of porcelains. Alex swallowed hard at the sight, and the truth finally hit home. If she couldn’t find a way to keep the fever in check, Maggie Campbell was going to die. “Maggie, please…try to think,” Alex pleaded. “Come on, darling. I don’t want you to die.”
Doing her best to focus on the Alex’s face, Maggie managed one more word before blacking out again. “Ice.””
„Cupping Maggie’s chin in her hand, she said, “I’m not going to let you die. Do you understand that? You’re too young. You’re too strong, and…and you’re too damn beautiful for me to allow that to happen.””
Alex’s spirit is truly selfless and she takes a wonderful care of Maggie, she even uses the bruise cream only for Maggie leaving her wound aside, and we find out that three years earlier, she has fallen for Maggie too, but after the slap she believed that Maggie just hated her. Alex’s struggle was a literary crave of the character. Yet, this tragic accident and the given circumstances make them know each other in different ways. After feeling better, Maggie also takes care of Alex’s wound and after finding out that Alex is a lesbian, her feelings somehow make even more sense. Yet, she falls for Alex, the person and the woman and the police officer.
“You’re not who I thought you were,” Maggie said in a whisper as Alex pressed the adhesive tape in place.”
“She had no way of knowing that in less than four hours, she would once again wake to the sounds of unintelligible words muttered by a woman on the verge of death.”
„As she had done so many times before, Alex gathered Maggie in her arms and painfully limped to the bathroom. Mindless of the frigid water sloshing over the sides, Alex placed her inside, and when the woman didn’t even flinch at the temperature, Alex rushed to get more snow. Bucket after bucket she carried through the cabin, but no matter how much snow Alex piled on her, Maggie remained motionless. Mindless that the socks on her feet were now covered in ice, and her own clothes were soaking wet, Alex refused to give up until the painful throbbing in her leg forced her to stop. Collapsing to the floor, she sat in a puddle of snowy slush and began to cry. Staring at the floor, Alex sat there listening to the sound of Maggie’s ragged breathing as it slowly grew fainter. Minutes ticked by, and even though she was shivering, Alex refused to move until finally the room grew quiet. It was over.
Choking back her tears, she looked up and when she saw Maggie’s hazel-green eyes staring back at her, Alex’s face lit up.”
I loved how actually Maggie makes the first move and her need to explore her feelings for Alex makes a great twist and the days and nights that will follow is a wonderful passionate romance, I enjoyed very much the chemistry between them, the breathtaking passion and the unforgetable love , the dialogue and the suspense on the turning point.
„Somewhere between hello and you’re not dying on my watch, Maggie had fallen in love with Alex, and as she looked across the room into those dark-brown eyes, Maggie knew that she wasn’t hearing words of truth, only ones spoken to hide fear and insecurity.”
„Again and again their lips met, and the flavors of scotch, cigarettes, and essences intrinsically their own swirled together to make a recipe worth dying for. ”
„Crying out, Alex buried her head in Maggie’s shoulder as the pulsating waves of splendor washed over her.”
Their new found love went through many challenges and their beautiful life won’t last and their colleagues finally reach them, their families came after them and they didn’t had the chance to say something to each other. Alex is confused by the ex boyfriend being at the airport and believes that their love at the cabin was just a fling for Maggie and she’ll return to being straight. Her dog had puppies and her lifelong friend has helped all this time and she realized she hasn’t Maggie’s phone number. Maggie, actually, was also surprised by Glen’s presence and her Irish spirit broke through. Arriving home she asked him to move out for good as she has done it earlier. She has wanted to call Alex and clarify everything, yet she also realizes she hasn’t her number. She gets it and goes to Alex. They have the „talk” and we expect them to live happily ever after. But there’s more!
Maggie tells her parents about her love for Alex and it’s a bit hard for her father, but the confession is truly realistic and makes the story even better.
In the end, Alex and Maggie are married, Maggie had twin boys and Alex’s on her way to have twin girls. Their going through Maggie’s child birth is beautifully described and the profoundness of their relationship reflects their souls.
„Forgetting Alex Blake was like forgetting how to breathe.”
„Neither moved as the playful moment became intimate, their breath intermingling in cloudy puffs as they gazed at each other. Entranced in each other’s eyes, both became lost in something neither had ever experienced before.
Spellbound, Maggie didn’t move. The desire in Alex’s eyes was palpable, and there was no doubt as to what was about to happen. Years before she had done everything in her power to prevent it, but as she lay in the snow, straddled by the most stunning woman she had ever met, Maggie could no longer deny what she wanted. When she felt Alex’s breath on her face, Maggie closed her eyes in anticipation only to open them a second later when Alex let go of her wrists and scrambled to her feet. Confused, Maggie looked up at the woman, and where just seconds before she had seen passion, Alex’s eyes now held only sadness.”
„Seeing her father’s confused look, Maggie swallowed hard, realizing she had reached the moment of truth. Taking a deep breath, she said, “Dad, I’m in love with Alex.”
The world stood still for a moment. Other than the tick of the clock on the mantle, not a sound could be heard as Douglas Campbell replayed his daughter’s words in his head. Placing his cup on the table, he said quietly, “You’re what?”
“I’m in love with her, Dad, and I have been since the day I met her.””