Cage of Ice by Sally Wentworth
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
The things we do for love!
Domino is in a tough situation. She falls in love with her bodyguard, who believes she's a married woman, and she can't tell him that she's merely pretending to be her sister, who is in hiding. She has to fight her intense feelings for this compelling, strong man who has claimed her heart, because she could put her pregnant sister in jeopardy if she reveals her secret. Yeah, that's intense.
Cage of Ice presents a scenario like this and it's done in such a way that I couldn't stop reading. Domino is a good person, and she's not selfish enough to go after her own needs, even if she loves Ace so badly it's hard to keep him at a distance. I felt for her and for Ace too. Although Ace acts like he despises Domino at first, it's because he feels that instant lightning strike for her. He loves her and he knows he can't have her, because: 1)she's married, 2)she's his package that he's been hired to protect, 3)his past taught him that rich girls will only bring him to ruin. But Domino (who he knows as Delphine) is not a woman he can ignore or avoid. I loved the fact that Ace was upfront about his feelings for Domino early in this book. He told Domino that he loved her, and that he'd make it work out for them to be together. I did feel conflicted because I hate cheating, and from his standpoint, it was cheating. But it was clear that wasn't a casual thing for him to get around either. I could feel how Domino was torn in two different directions, between her loyalty to her family and to her love and intense feelings for Ace. I hurt for her when she had to push him away and make him think she was a soulless, promiscuous tart who was just playing with his feelings so he'd back off. I was glad that Ace saw deeper and searched for more in this woman he had come to love.
Sally Wentworth does an excellent job of building the tension here. Domino is literally caged in, both physically and emotionally. Stuck in a chateau with her guards, due to bad weather, and the fact that she had to keep a low profile so that the possible kidnappers couldn't make a grab at her, and because they weren't supposed to be there. On top of that is the emotional storm that her bodyguard makes her feel.
Although these kind of storylines tie me into a knot because I want the couple to be able to be together and happy, I also relish the tension and the suspense of having to keep reading to see how things will be resolved. And Ms. Wentworth sustained that practically to the last few pages. My reward for persevering was an ending that was sweet and precious.
Although Ace was the tough, sometimes cruel hero, I really liked him. I could understand why he came on so hard, and I loved that he was a man of action instead of a born into privilege hero. I liked Domino a lot too. She really put her life and her heart on the line for love of her sister, and that spoke to me. I think Domino and Ace really deserved their happy ending, and I'm glad they got it.
This book is darn close to perfect, so I give it 4.5 stars.
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