Colder Than Ice (Mordecai Young Series, Book 2)

Colder Than Ice - Maggie Shayne High-school teacher has been on the Witness Protection program for years after she survived the government raid of the cult group she was kept in at 16. She moved to a Vermont small town about a year or so ago after she rescued her daughter from the clutches of her crazy ex-boyfriend who happens to be the father of her daughter & leader of their cult group. She mainly keeps to herself except for an older lady she’s befriended. Her friends’ attractive grandson Hero & his teenage son stays for a long visit. Unbeknownst to her, Hero is actually an undercover bodyguard sent to protect her from her ex-boyfriend. Heroine gradually begins to warm up to Hero until they have a secret affair while dealing with her friend’s murder & house explosions. But can heroine’s warming regard for Hero last when she finds out about his involvement in her past?

I found Shayne’s Darker Than Midnight exciting but this book? Not at all. I actually read the whole thing, even though it took me 3 nights to do it. I was hoping it would get better as the book went on but I was sorely disappointed. This book just skated on the surface as far as the suspense & the romance went. The suspense was predictable & sometimes contrived (i.e., 2 house explosions in a small town & the residents didn’t seem all that disturbed, h’s friend who was murdered just so happen to change her will & make very detailed funeral arrangements right before she was killed). The romance was not very romantic. Hero had strong feelings for heroine but it seemed to come from his massive guilt over shooting her when she was 16. His guilt complex bordered on obsession. It ruined his marriage & his ability to be emotionally present for his son. He seemed to have idealized her while she was in a coma & his joy at finding her alive so many years later was more like relief over some of his guilt. Heroine was too busy readying herself for her crazy ex-boyfriend’s reappearance & Hero’s presence seemed to annoy her for the first half of the book. She was also more mesmerized with her ex than Hero and viewed her love for Hero as about the same as for her ex. Hero & heroine’s sexual chemistry was slow to grow as a result.

What bothered me the most about this book was the not-very-alpha-like Hero. He was emotionally & mentally weaker than heroine. He had a bunch of insecurities as a father, bodyguard, and potential boyfriend to heroine. And he lied. And lied. And lied. Alpha Heroes have lied but this guy kept lying because he was a big wimp. He was afraid that telling heroine his big secret will get her so mad at him that she won’t want anything to do with him. He lied for his convenience & not for her benefit. His 17yo son even kept urging him to fess up with the truth but he wouldn’t. Hero’s son was actually more alpha-like. I liked him. Also, Hero didn’t have any problems crossing the line of being her bodyguard & her lover. He kept on at her until she finally slept with him. Then, he thought about maybe sleeping with her wasn’t a good idea jobwise. Ya think?

The secondary characters with their various inter-relationships distracted from the romance. There was so much stuff about them. This book at times read like a small-town chick lit. Sometimes it seemed more like a young adult romance with the secondary romance between Hero’s son & heroine’s secret daughter. This book tried to do too much and ended up being a big blah.

Sparsely recommended.