Sunday, April 29, 2007

Lord of Ice by Gaelen Foley

Lord of Ice is the story of Lucien's older brother (by just a few minutes) Damien. Damien is considered a War Hero by all England but his adventures in the army have left him scarred and emotionally unstable. He seeks seclusion from the world because he fears that during one of his nightmares or blackout he might harm someone.

When he learns that a close friend, and fellow soldier, was murdered in his home, he finds a cause that will distract him from his drinking and isolation. Damien was named guardian to his friend's niece, Miranda. He goes off to meet the girl and inform her of her Uncle's death but when he arrives in town he goes in search of a bit of companionship the night before. This leads to an encounter with a beautiful actress whom he promptly kisses, gropes and propositions. She is intrigued but, innocent as she is, refuses and tries to get away from Damien but in the process runs into a group of men who try to abduct her. Damien, the hero that he is, saves her but not before turning into the maniacal death weapon he is frightened of.

If you were wondering about the girl Damien saves... you guessed it, she was Miranda. A fact that leads to a bit of awkwardness the following day when he meets his new ward and realizes that she is not a child as he imagines but a full grown temptress.

Miranda has lived abandoned by her family at this school for young ladies, fending off the lewd advances of the head master who is a bit of a pedophile. She is an illegitimate daughter so her family has not really acknowledged her after the death of her father, but her Uncle Jason was always good to her, until he went to war and was injured. Then she was forgotten at the bottom of a bottle. She has tried to live a good life and has found a passion for Theater, which lead to the encounter with Damien. The incident left her frightened of the man, because the violence of his attack against the men that tried to harm her was very brutal. When she discovers that the head master is making her leave with Damien she protests, since she knows that she is the only person standing between him and the young girls at the school. Needless to say that Damien saves the day once again and thwarts her plan in running off the join the theater.

Damien is a good man but troubled. He struggles with his guilt for desiring his ward, but also struggles with his own personal demons. When he discovers that someone is out to kill Miranda he realizes how much he actually cares for her. He had delegated his duties as ward to the women in the knight clan but when seemingly innocent accidents keep occurring it dawns on Damien that someone needs Miranda out of the way, just like they needed Jason gone. Since no one really is aware that Miranda is an heiress, the threat makes little sense.

Needless to say, Miranda is determined to have Damien and has no qualms in using any method in her arsenal to get him.

When I read Lord of Fire, I knew Damien was a complex man who needed to have his story told, but reading his story I realized that he had more depth than it appeared. He did not want or like the attention he got as a war hero and he definitely didn't want to share himself with anyone. The wounded man Foley delivers is wonderfully crafted and with a strength that makes him deserve better than Miranda who is a bit of a spoiled brat at the beginning of the book. Her love for Damien did redeem her enough for me to keep the A I gave this book in place.

Grade: A


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