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Friday, June 2, 2006

Lord of Ice by Gaelen Foley

Damien Knight, the earl of Winterley, is proud, aloof, and tormented by memories of war. Though living in seclusion, he is named guardian to a fellow officer’s ward. Instead of the young homeless waif he was expecting, however, Miranda FitzHubert is a stunning, passionate beauty who invades his sanctuary and forces him back into society. Struggling to maintain honor and self-control, Damien now faces an even greater threat: desire.
A bold, free spirit, Miranda has witnessed the darkest depths of Damien’s soul–and has seen his desperate need for love. But before she can thaw his unyielding heart, she must endure a terrifying nightmare of her own. . . .

I truly enjoyed this story by Gaelen Foley. I think she's a master at wrapping her readers up in a new and exciting world.

In this case, Miranda FitzHubert has been stuck at a boarding school her entire life. She's the bastard daughter of an Earl and her mother was an actress who died when she was a little girl. Her father took responsibility for her and sent her to an all girls school. Unfortunately, it's a terrible place with a horrible guardian who is sick and twisted. Her father dies, leaving his younger brother in charge of her, and he's murdered, leaving our hero, Damien, as her new guardian.

Damien is a war hero who's been suffering from PTSS (that's post tramtic stress syndrom, though they didn't have a term for it back in the day, so I'm the one who said that) and convinced he's going insane. When he finds out his good friend has been murdered and he's Miranda's guardian, he figures she's just a child still, and will stay at school.

Miranda, who wants to be an actress like her mother, has been sneaking off and working at the local theatre. Before heading to the boarding school, Damien stops by the theatre and is captivated by Miranda. He tries to get her into his bed, not realizing she's his ward or that she's still a virgin. Miranda almost submits, but at the last minute comes to her senses. Damien still ends up saving her from some bandits and she runs back to school.

The next morning he shows up, figures out she's the one from last night and his ward, and takes her from the school.

That's all in the first two chapters. WHEW!

From there, Miranda saves her fellow classmates from the school's evil headmaster with Damien's help, they travel to his home and then to London, where she has her come out, someone keeps trying to kill her, they fall in love and Miranda helps him get rid of his demons from the war.

We know from the beginning of the book who's trying to murder her and why, and I'm happpy to report that aspect of the story takes a back seat to the love interest, which I always think is good. Miranda isn't a brainless chit, and she's smart enough to know when she's in danger and needs protecting. She wasn't one of those idiot heroines who rushes headfirst into danger, which I enjoyed. She was strong and brave and fought for what she wanted...Damien.

For his part, he fights his attraction, mostly because he's convinced he's not worthy. Watching the struggle was good.

One of the things that I both hated and loved about this book is that GF didn't stop the story with the wedding and the HEA. She took it one step further and showed them AFTER they got married, and even added another element of drama after the murderer was out of the picture. I hated it, because Miranda took leave of her normal senses and acted like an idiot, but I loved it because it's not very often that an author keeps going with a story.

All in all, I'd say it was a great read. It's part of a series, and I enjoyed it.

4 out of 5

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