Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker #Review

Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker #ReviewSurviving Ice by K.A. Tucker

Series: #4 Burying Water
Genres: New Adult Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Atria Books on October 27, 2015
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Well, if you’re going to end a series, end it with a huge cymbal rattling bang. With this series, I was never sure who was getting their story next. But once the blurb came out on this one, I was anticipation itself. Ivy was that character that was a jarring note since the moment she was on the scene in the first book. Ivy is Ivy and one in a million. I couldn’t figure her out so getting her story and her perspective was like being handled a treasure trove to delve through. And if Ivy’s story came from a hero that was equal to such a person and the situation was tension-wrought and dire?

So, this was book four in the Burying Water series. It can be read as a standalone just as the others before it. Some of the characters and references are recurring, but the plot thread is new and trust me, Ivy was a mystery even though she has been around since book one.

The story opens with Ivy now living in San Francisco with her crusty uncle and working with him in his tattoo parlor, Black Rabbit. He is tough to love, but then so is she. That said, Ivy does love Ned and for once is considering putting down roots. Then her world goes up in flames when Ned is murdered and Ivy is there hidden in the back to hear and see enough to leave her shaken. Her tough girl persona sees her through some of it, but she is definitely in over her head. That is, until she lets a near stranger past her defenses and trusts Sebastian to help her and so much more even though she knows he is keeping deep, dark secrets.

Sebastian has been a contract killer since he left the military, but still doing the job of keeping people safe through his work. His handler is a man who is like a father to him so when Bentley calls him back to the States for a delicate job, he doesn’t hesitate. But from the moment he hears the assignment and sees the file, he is uneasy. Bentley isn’t his usual self either. Retrieve the compromising tape and clean up any loose strings including the blackmailer’s niece. Sebastian goes into the assignment like any other and won’t let Bentley rush him. He recons Ivy Lee and all the places Ned might have hidden the tape. He isn’t convinced Ivy knows anything more than what the police think- a robbery gone bad or something to do with the local motorcycle club. He gets close to her and soon feels an unwanted attraction to the prickly independent woman who reminds him of himself the way she seals everything off behind her indifferent facade. Sebastian must keep Ivy from learning the truth even while finding the tape to get Bentley and the two bruisers he has sent in besides Sebastian off her back. He now wonders if he might be able to lay his ghosts to rest and come home.

This was a humdinger of a story. It grabbed me in and wouldn’t let go from the first chapter. I think I only put it down once. Whether it was the suspense situation, the intriguing characters, or the even more intriguing romance, I was hooked.

Ivy is the key in this one. She is one tough woman. If she were a plant she’d be a cactus. She’s all bristly and painful to touch on the outside, but soft and vulnerable on the inside. She makes any overtures toward her a hard fought thing. Only the few and strong get past her guard to the real Ivy underneath. The average person probably wouldn’t put the time in with someone like her. Fortunately, Sebastian isn’t average. He has gone through so much that it sucked the life out of his soul. He understands Ivy on a level that she doesn’t even understand herself. He needs her as much as she needs him. Unfortunately, she has no idea who or what Sebastian is and he wonders how bad the fallout will be when, not if, she discovers the truth. Can she still care about the real Sebastian?

Well I don’t know about Ivy, but I sure could. He’s one bad hombre that is hot as sin to boot. He is cold and lethal whether it is ex-military operatives or big bad boy bikers. He wades in and lays them to waste. He takes Ivy’s jabs and tangles her up so that she can’t resist him. He will do anything to keep her safe and protected. Oh yes, Sebastian is a great hero.

Like book two, there is that whole Sword of Damocles thing going on. Sebastian has secrets and Ivy isn’t dumb so as the reader I kept waiting to find out at what point it would all come out and just how awful things would get. I also wondered how Sebastian was going to handle his ‘stuck between a rock and hard place’ assignment. He doesn’t want to let down the man who supported him after everyone else pushed him aside when he left the military including Sebastian’s own dad, but his moral compass won’t let him kill an innocent even for a cover up. He can’t walk away and let others put down an innocent, either. There was so much going on with the situation surrounding that volatile tape. I love how the author slowly unwound this story until the whole truth was out.

In the end, I had that bittersweet taste that I get whenever I thoroughly enjoy a book and it just happens to be the last one in a series. This series of New Adult Romantic Suspense are ones that I highly recommend even to those who don’t read New Adult. The characters are mature, the plot has originality and complexity, the romances are complicated and take their time, the suspense is nail-biter type, and the overall impact can be breath-taking.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #358 NA

Cliché Klatch #217 ‘I’m in my element’

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I’ve seen this series around and really want to try it. Your review only makes me want to even more so. Great review, Sophia.

    • Oh good, Melanie! I was trying to show my excitement without giving away the good parts. Hope you get the chance soon.

  • I’ve not read a K.A. Tucker book yet, but I do have her upcoming release to read. I may give this series a go after I get a feel for her writing. Great review!

    • I grabbed that one, too, Lekeisha. I started with her Ten Tiny Breaths series and liked it for the most part, but then loved this series. I feel that she keeps getting better. Hope you enjoy the new one.

  • Do you hear the sigh Sophia? I’m kinda kicking myself that I haven’t gotten on the Tucker train yet. So many of yall have enjoyed them and man they sound good!

    • LOL! You know I get the same about some of your series. 🙂 This is one of the few authors that I’ve actually read nearly straight through her releases in order. She was good in her Ten Tiny Breaths, but with this series she was better. Can’t wait for the new one. It’s on Net Galley with Atria publishing if you want to try for that and see if you like her writing. It looks like a standalone, but at the very least its a first book.

      • Ahh it’s so tempting. It really is. I’m trying to be good though and get caught up on review books. Rosie being sick got me way behind. Hoping that by end of January I’ll have made some progress and can play at taking reviews again 😀

  • can’t believe I only read one of her books, the worse part is, I loved it… I just I don’t know. This sounds emotional and amazing

    • It is emotional and intense. The whole series was. Hope you get a chance, Lily!

  • *happy dancing* I am so glad you loved this too Sophia!!

  • I have seen it around and everyone seems to like it

    • Her books and writing get better with each one.

  • I think every book in this series was 5 stars for me! So happy you enjoyed Ivy as well!

    • I was amazed how solid each book was for me, too, Lorna. Book three was my least liked one and that only means I really enjoyed, but liked the other stories more.

  • lol – Ivy is definitely a cactus. And I love her. Very true, this was a great end to the series.

    • I sometimes get these images in my head and just have to go with them. I kept seeing one of those cacti with the long lethal needles. 🙂
      I was bummed to see this series end.