Ballantine, Nov 10 2009, $24.00
Gabriel McQueen drives up from North Carolina to spend the holidays with his family in Wilson Creek, Maine. The widowed soldier looks forward to time with “Gran”, his dad the sheriff and his son Sam. However, his father asks him to take a quick run up to the Helton family cabin to make sure Lolly Helton, who went up there to pick ups some items, but should have returned by now and is out of phone contact, is all right as a nasty storm is coming.
As Gabe muses back to his icy childhood rivalry with Lolly while driving to her cabin, she is in danger trapped by two irrational meth addicts. Gabe quickly assesses the situation on the ground and uses his military training and experience to extract Lolly from the house and the enemy. However, as covertness as he was, the two maniacal thugs go after them.
This is an exciting fast-paced romantic suspense with the frozen isolated location enhancing the perilous situation. Gabe is a terrific heroic protagonist although it is convenient to have his background in extraction and survivability under harsh conditions. Lolly still rips skins form him as he discovers how to melt the Ice and prevent further epidermis loss by kissing her. Although the addicts are stereotypes fans will enjoy Linda Howard’s quick by exhilarating survival of the fittest thriller.