I’m a huge fan of Anne Stuart. Her Ice series is one of my favorite Romantic Suspense series and I reread some of those books often. It has been a while since I read something by her so when I saw this new book, I thought I would give it a try. Imagine my happiness when I found out this new series is a continuation of the Ice series. The Committee is back in full force and Peter Madsen is now the head.
Consumed by Fire features the first of the bad boy Committee members, James Bishop. James’s recent job is to get rid of the accountant for the Corsini family, hopefully throwing everything into turmoil. His partner Claudia takes care of the job while James quietly kills the chauffeur. As the pair are about to leave the church, Evangeline Morrissey appears and ruins everything. James doesn’t think she saw anything but Claudia insists on killing her. James agrees to take care of the situation but instead of killing her, he seduces and marries her, then leaves with her family jewelry. There is one hard rule in the Committee and that is killing family members is off limits so by marrying Evangeline, James is actually protecting her.
Five years later, Evangeline is a harder, much less innocent woman. The events that happened with James left her with scars and has never fully trusted men since. She went through a period where she screwed every man available and when that didn’t work she tried marrying another one. After that was also a failure, she swore off men and decided to concentrate on her research. After James ruined her for her old studies she traded fields and is now touring in her RV going from camp site to camp site. When she stops for the night and opens her camper to find a strange man inside she isn’t sure what to do.
That man turns out to be her wayward husband and he says he is there to protect her as she gets him to New Orleans. Once there he will leave her and never bother her again. Seeing him again brings up murderous thoughts but also reminds her how fantastic sex was with him. Eventually things come to a boiling point and Evangeline and James are right back where they started, in bed. But people keep interrupting them and trying to kill them and it is up to James to protect her and get rid of those people. There are a couple crazy twists and turns but the pair finally arrive in New Orleans where James and his partner work to clear up the issue. Once everything is taken care of though, where will that leave James and Evangeline?
Anne Stuart’s heroes define the word arsehole. They are brutal, married to the job, not all likable but when they find that one woman…bam! They are down for the count. That perfect woman does not make them soft, if anything she does the opposite. They fear ever being weak and lash out at the thing supposedly making them weak. I adore her heroes, I have from the first Ice book I picked up. I love watching their downfall. They never become less of an arsehole but there is something about them that makes you fall.
“Sorry,” she said, and then gave a little laugh, annoyed with herself. “It’s a bad habit of mine.”
“Sorry, sorry, sorry,” he mimicked lightly. “Come to bed with me.”
For a moment she thought she’d misheard him. “I beg your pardon?”
“I said come to bed with me,” he said, still that lazy voice that signaled no strong interest at all. “I could teach you not to be sorry about anything.”
I’m excited for this new series. The Committee is branching out to the US and James and his partner Ryder are in New Orleans to open a new office. With this new office there is sure to come new operatives and several stories. One of the bad guys who was done in here, let’s just say I’m not convinced they are gone and I will still look for them in future books. I have a feeling this person will be a thorn in the Committee’s side for a time to come.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was like reading some of the old Ice books but now we have a new generation of super spies. If you liked Anne Stuart’s old stuff and want to read more, then this book is for you. If you have never read her stuff and are looking for excellent, dominant, take no prisoners heroes, with a darker type romance then you should pick up this book. I think you will like it as much as I did. Final grade- B+
“Personally I think reacquainting yourself with my mighty wang will render you frozen in awe and lust, leaving my balls intact, but I may be overrating my attraction. I’m willing to risk it if you are.”