Title: Ice (Salisbury Series: Book Two)
Authors: Chris Quinton and RJ Scott
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Length: 297 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: Danger and intrigue play out alongside the growing feelings between Greg and Jon. I loved the chemistry the authors built between these two men.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: With millions in diamonds at stake, can Jon make Greg see that some things are not worth dying for?
Footloose adventurer Greg Drakowski used to live for the moment but these days shadows of grief and guilt cling to him. Recklessly following one lead to the next, Greg crosses oceans at the very hint of treasure, and doesn’t care that he rushes into danger.
This time his quarry is a cache of diamonds, hidden away decades ago. When the clues bring him to the ancient city of Salisbury, he knows he’s close to success.
Renovations expert Jonathan Ellis is part of Ageless Wood Restorations – three generations of knowledge and trade. Focused and hard-working, Jon finds value in recreating the elegance of the past with his own hands, and it will take something – or someone – extraordinary to break into his enclosed world.
When Greg drops into Jon’s lap he finds it impossible to refuse him. Even when the bad guy appears and Jon isn’t sure whom he can trust, he knows he has to stand by Greg, if only to save the idiot from himself.
Review: Treasure hunting, love on the rocks, and a murderous betrayer provide the foundation for Ice, book two in RJ Scott and Chris Quinton’s Salisbury series.
Set up as a standalone novel, Ice picks up at the Laurels restaurant, with the city of Salisbury as its backdrop, and follows the events of book one in the series, Heat. An arsonist had wreaked havoc on the historic building that houses the restaurant, leaving Lewis and Devon with the job of finding someone to restore the place to its former beauty. Enter Ageless Wood Restorations, Jon Ellis, and his Uncle Paul, who’ve been hired to do the refurbishing.
This story not only starts with an exciting bang but does a fair job at tweaking the heartstrings too, as we’re introduced to adventurer Greg Drakowski, international treasure hunter…which is the rather oblique term for what he truly is—a thief. Greg has suffered a blow on this mission that causes him to examine where he is in life and where he desires to be. Finally accepting what he’s decided will be his last assignment before he disappears into a quieter life—the recovery of a collection of lost Russian diamonds—Greg ends up at none other than the Laurels, where he seemingly becomes the answers to Jon Ellis’s prayers. At least in the business sense.
With a Drakowski family gift for woodworking as the ace up his sleeve, Greg quickly proves himself invaluable to Jon’s family business—if not exactly to Jon himself. While there’s no doubt a frisson of sexual attraction between these two men, Jon isn’t having any of Greg’s flirtatious ways. Greg’s appearance is maybe just a tad too convenient, his answers a tad too practiced without revealing much of anything personal, and besides, Jon has a rule against mingling business with pleasure.
The authors do a great job of building upon the sexual attraction between Greg and Jon, in addition to building on the intrigue surrounding the search for the diamonds, the resulting aftermath of which is complicated by growing feelings between them. And let’s not forget the lies—both outright and by omission—that Greg must stick to in order to protect Jon when it becomes clear that someone is bent upon making sure no one who could point the finger of accusation towards him is left alive. And guess who falls directly into this category… As with any good mystery with a romantic premise, trust becomes a huge factor, and obstacle, between Jon and Greg. It all worked together really well to ramp up my investment in this relationship somehow working out.
Danger and intrigue play out alongside the growing feelings between Greg and Jon. I loved the chemistry the authors built between these two men, and I was rooting for them to find a way to be together all while wondering how Quinton and Scott were going to make it happen in a way that would be believable. The action builds to an exciting crescendo, and that believable ending? Yes, it worked for me. When life and love work to complicate rather than complement, and then, in spite of the odds against them, the characters are able to find their happy ending anyway, that’s a pretty solid definition of romance. The authors have delivered that in Ice and have done it with a fast paced plot, some cheeky banter, and great dialogue that helps to tell the story.
This was a sweet and fun installment in the Salisbury series, and Greg and Jon earned their happily-ever-after in a tension filled way.
You can buy Ice here: