An absolutely enthralling romance that is as charming as it is sexy! An intelligently-written love story full of rich characters living in the greatest city in the world.
“Cold as Ice” is one of many fantastic stories written author Gracie C. McKeever and published by Siren Publishing. It’s the second book in McKeever’s Play On series, though each installment is its own individual story to be enjoyed as part of a larger universe. Being on the longer side (more than 70k words) it took me a while longer to finish, but kept me enthralled all the way until the end.
The book tells the story of psychoanalyst and Domme, Iceland Taylor. A tragic past has shaped her into a woman with a strong drive to help troubled teens, victims of PTSD and abuse. Strong-willed and extremely independant, she lives each day knowing what she needs to do, and how she’s going to do it. Though, there is much more to her than meets the eye. Not only intelligent, she is kind, spiritual, enigmatic, and cares for others with her full heart. Lars Anderson, on the other hand, could be said to be a complimentary contrast to Iceland. A people-pleaser, Lars is light-hearted, easy to talk to and just to be around. His fun-loving attitude is a breath of fresh air to Iceland who runs into him in what I can only describ as one of the best, geeky meet-cutes I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The story implies they have met a time or two before in the past, but this seems to be the moment they choose to get to know each other on their terms.
While Lars has all the appearances of everything Iceland needs in her own life, she can still see the lingering scars of something underneath the façade of the carefree bachelor. They agree on a contract for a D/s relationship, hopeful that the chemistry they experienced thus far translates into their ability to give each other what the other one needs. However, what Lars is looking for proves to be a bit more than Ice can give him: her heart. “Cold as Ice” is read from the perspective of both Iceland and Lars, telling the same story in parallel to each other. But there’s a third story building in there as well. A thriller that loves to tease a climax you won’t see coming right up until the very last minute.
I love how intelligently-written the story is. There are so many characters each of the protagonists interact and engage with, and each one feels very three-dimensional. Regardless of how short or long their presence in the narrative lasts, you can really get the sense that these are people with their own lives and their own stories playing in the background. They have their own lives, and you start to wonder what they might be up to, rather than see them as some sort of prop to help move the story forward. Each one has a presence that is felt all throughout the story.
The relationship that builds between Ice and Lars is certainly a dynamic one. There are several elements involved that challenge their perceptions of one another, and take the time to assess and understand who they are and what they are looking for on an emotional and spiritual level. Neither of them go into this relationship fully ready to dive in, and are justifiably skeptical about their future together. I dislike when a story features people who are fully invested in another person from first blush, but McKeever clearly has the foresight and understanding of what makes a mature, well-rounded relationship. And when it comes to BDSM, it’s clear she has done her research and understands the lifestyle. That is fundamental to what is needed in erotic fiction today, and I really appreciate it.
For these reasons, it perplexes me as to how a great story such as this, published in 2019, could have little to no reviews on any of the platforms I have looked into. I feel it deserves more attention, and would highly recommend “Cold as Ice” to anyone who enjoys a feel-good romance between two people who feel as real as you or me, and appreciates a good D/s relationship.
“Cold as Ice” by Gracie C. McKeever
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