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Ice Storm [NOOK Book]


The powerful head of the covert mercenary organization The Committee, Isobel Lambert is a sleek, sophisticated professional who comes into contact with some of the most dangerous people in the world. But beneath Isobel's cool exterior a ghost exists, haunting her with memories of another life…a life that ended long ago.

But Isobel's past and present are about to collide when Serafin, mercenary, assassin and the most dangerous man in the world, makes a deal with The Committee. ...

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Ice Storm

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The powerful head of the covert mercenary organization The Committee, Isobel Lambert is a sleek, sophisticated professional who comes into contact with some of the most dangerous people in the world. But beneath Isobel's cool exterior a ghost exists, haunting her with memories of another life…a life that ended long ago.

But Isobel's past and present are about to collide when Serafin, mercenary, assassin and the most dangerous man in the world, makes a deal with The Committee. Seventeen years ago Isobel shot him and left him for dead. Now it looks as if he's tracked her down for revenge. But Isobel knows all too well that looks can be deceiving…and that's what she's counting on to keep her cover in this international masquerade of murder.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460301661
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/17/2012
  • Series: Ice Series , #4
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 139,526
  • File size: 729 KB

Meet the Author

Anne Stuart loves Japanese rock and roll, wearable art, Spike, her two kids, Clairefontaine paper, quilting, her delicious husband of thirty-four years, fellow writers, her three cats, telling stories and living in Vermont. She’s not too crazy about politics and diets and a winter that never ends, but then, life’s always a trade-off. Visit her at

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Read an Excerpt

Madame Isobel Lambert was exhausted. It had been a draining weekend in the Lake District—she'd played with her hosts'obstreperous children, gone on long hikes, eaten too much rich food, drank too much red wine, wrestled with her conscience and killed two men. All that without a cigarette. She was not in a good mood.

There was no question that the men had deserved to die. Manuel Kupersmith and Jorge Sullivan were the lowest of the low, and beyond the reach of traditional justice. Drug dealers with a taste for torture and a well-financed sympathy for terrorists, they'd covered their tracks too well. If she'd had to, she would have put a bullet in each of their dark, twisted brains.

As it was, she'd managed to sabotage their car, a nice, antiseptic kill. While she spent a social weekend with a member of parliament and his young family, it had been easy enough to wander past the inn where the two men had taken up residence, easy enough to sneak into the garage while the two were in bed. She knew a great deal about cars, and if her calculations were correct, the brakes would give out at the steep curve above the Lohan Cliffs and the car would end up on the rocks below. If the brakes failed too soon the car might hit a pedestrian; too late and they could run into the busy traffic of the neighboring town. Not something she'd be happy about, but a risk worth taking.

In the end, her timing had been perfect. As her hosts drove her to the train station in Lohan Downs they'd passed the police cars and the cordoned-off section of road, and her host had made important noises about road safety as Isobel breathed a silent sigh of relief. It was done.

She had the Sunday Times with her forthe train ride back to London, and she finished the crossword puzzle in record time. Her flat in Bloomsbury was still and quiet as she let herself in, and she stripped off her clothes and headed straight for the shower, calm and impassive as always, ignoring her shaking hands.

She waited for the water to get hot, then stepped beneath it. And only then did she cry, silently, steadily. Not for the men. But for her own lost soul.

Peter Madsen looked up when Madame Lambert walked into the office the next morning, a cardboard cup of coffee in one hand, a newspaper under her arm. He had the same paper open in front of him.

"Shame about the car accident near the Lohan Cliffs," he said evenly, watching her out of the icy blue eyes that saw too much.

"Indeed," she said calmly. He would have been the one to do it, but he'd pulled back from that kind of work. Everyone reached their limit when it came to wet work—either they burned out or made one too many mistakes. Peter was deskbound, not because of his bad leg but because he'd seen and done too much. His focus had changed to his American wife and the semblance of a normal life, and Isobel wasn't going to do anything to change that, even though she could.

But she was running out of people she could trust to do what was necessary and nothing more. In the three years since she'd taken over Harry Thomason's role as head of the Committee, she'd lost three effective operatives. Bastien had disappeared into the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and family, Peter was no longer on active duty, and Takashi O'Brien was dividing his time between Tokyo and Los Angeles. He could still be counted on to do what was necessary, but Isobel was not the kind of woman who made other people do things she herself wouldn't. And Taka had a new life as well—he didn't need fresh blood on his hands.

Morrison in Germany, MacGowan in Central America were still working ops, and the Thai mission was almost complete. Takashi's young cousin, Hiromasa Shinoda, was due to arrive any day now, and if he was half as good as Taka they'd be in decent shape. Though the learning curve was steep, and Isobel knew nothing about young Mr. Shinoda except that Taka recommended him, which was good enough. But he wouldn't be ready for solo assignments for quite a while, and she didn't know who she could assign to train him.

She hated not knowing things. "You look rattled," Peter said, his voice cool and devoid of sympathy, as she needed it to be.

"I'm fine. It's just been awhile. Any sign of Taka's cousin?"

"Not yet. You had some calls."

There was something about the tone of his voice that twisted her stomach into a small knot of dread. She turned her impassive face back to him. "I imagine I did. Harry Thomason, I suppose?"

"Among others."

There were only the two of them in the Kensington offices of Spence-Pierce Financial Consultants, Ltd., their very effective cover. Anyone who managed to get through to them had every business doing so. More mundane matters were conducted at a distance.

Isobel took the leather club chair opposite Peter's desk, crossing her legs. Good legs for a woman in her sixties. Good legs for a woman in her forties. Not even bad for someone her real age.

"You may as well tell me." She pried the lid off the coffee and took a drink. "I've never known you to spare my tender feelings."

Peter laughed, a sound she was slowly getting used to. In the first ten years she'd known him she didn't think she'd ever heard him laugh. "Sensitivity was never my forte," he said. "Thomason wants to know what you're going to do about the situation with Serafin."

"Thomason can blow himself," Isobel said sweetly.

"Who have we got on him?"

"No one. Bastien did some of the preliminary work, as did I. But things stabilized and we had more important situations to deal with."

"Serafin," she said. "The Butcher." Her day had gone from bad to worse. "I thought he was just going to fade away like Qaddafi."

"No such luck. Only the good die young, and Josef Serafin doesn't fit that category."

She glanced longingly toward her office. She could go in there, close the door behind her and put her head down on the massive teak desk. Maybe bang it a few times for good measure. Peter was watching her, reading her mind. That was the problem with working with someone like Peter—he was smart enough and intuitive enough to know what she was thinking at all times.

She wasn't going anywhere. "Fill me in," she said. "Tell me we're finally going to get to kill him. Please."

"I'm afraid not. We're going to have to save the son of a bitch's life."

"I hate this job," Isobel said, leaning back and closing her eyes for a moment. She gripped the coffee tightly. If her hand revealed even the faintest tremor, Peter would see it. "Details. Everything we know about Serafin, and why in God's name we have to keep him alive. Maybe I'll figure a way around it."

"I doubt it. He's got nine lives. Even Bastien wasn't able to take him down when he was ordered to."

"I forgot about that. Details," she said again, wearily.

"Josef Serafin, somewhere in his early forties. It's anybody's guess where he was born—probably in a slum in Latin America. He first appeared on the scene in the late nineteen-eighties, part of an arms smuggling operation to the Congo. He branched out, became part of a drug cartel out of Colombia, just missing the big takedown in Cartagena, moved on and hired his services out as an assassin. He worked with the Shining Path in Peru, the Red Brigade in Italy, he'd worked in Croatia, Somalia, North Korea. Just about everywhere in the world where bad things happen. He's moved away from crime lords to politics, serving as second in command to three of the most ruthless dictators in recent history. He's managed to escape, unscathed, right before their governments came crashing down, and for the last five years he's been reported to be working in Africa, overseeing ethnic cleansing and political purging."

"Lovely man," Isobel murmured. "And we're supposed to save his life?"

Peter didn't bother to answer her question. "He's hiding out in Morocco for the time being, but we don't know how long that will last. He's got more enemies than bin Laden. Fouad Assawi was his most recent employer, but he was killed, part of the reason Serafin's on the run. Vladimir Busanovich is probably the biggest danger. He holds a grudge, and the last time Serafin worked for him he screwed up. Apparently something went wrong with the last round of executions, and at least three hundred of Busanovich's worst enemies escaped, right under Serafin's nose. Busanovich is not a tolerant man."

"And we're saving Serafin because…?"

"Because of the intel he brings with him. He knows just about all there is to know about the major players in the world of terrorism, and he's willing to trade that information for safe passage out of Morocco. That's where we come in."

She could always say no. She was the titular head of the Committee—in the end her word was law. Orders were handed down by a shadowy group of old men, the actual "committee," and her nemesis and former boss, the newly knighted Harry Thomason, had joined their ranks. She'd like to blame this mess on Thomason, but then, his major drawback had been his readiness to eliminate anyone on the slightest pretext, and Josef Serafin should have been dealt with long ago. Thomason himself had ordered hits on Serafin half a dozen times, but no one, not even Bastien or Peter, had ever been able to get close to him.

Until now. Mistakes happened—Serafin wouldn't be seeking asylum if he hadn't screwed up his deadly orders.

"So what's the plan?" she said, smoothing her perfect blond hair back from her face. "And don't tell me you don't have one—I know you too well. Who are we going to send? We're shorthanded right now, and Genevieve would cut my throat if I tried to send you."

He flashed another of those rare, unexpected smiles that still managed to surprise her. "And then she'd cut mine. I thought of Taka, but he's still cleaning up the cult mess in Japan. Besides, we haven't been given a choice in the matter."

She raised an eyebrow, waiting for it. "They want you to go," he said. "In fact, it's a direct order. You're to get to Morocco, make contact with Serafin, extract him and bring him to London, where we can debrief him."

"And then?"

Peter shrugged. "He's got to have millions salted away in some international account. He's spent the last twenty years or so selling his services to the highest bidder—he'd be well paid for it. Once we get the information from him he'll be able to disappear. With our help." He didn't look any happier about it than she felt.

"Maybe he could have a little accident once he's been debriefed," she said. "Accidents do happen, you know."

"Yes, they do," Peter said evenly. "I can see to it, if you'd like."

She didn't meet his eyes. Never have someone do what you aren't willing to do yourself, she thought. "Let's see if we can even bring him out alive. Do we know what the hell he looks like nowadays?"

"We've got some grainy surveillance photos from his time in Bosnia eight years ago, but they don't show much. Just a tall man with a beard and sunglasses. We've got a couple of recent descriptions from people who escaped ahead of the carnage. I'll put them together and see what we can come up with."

"You and your damn computers," Isobel said. Since Peter had come out of the field, he'd spent his time playing with technology—in all, a less emotionally damaging way to help the cause. Not that she would have thought Peter Madsen had emotions. Until she'd met his wife.

"See what you can come up with," Isobel said.

"How long have we known each other?"

Peter's question was unexpected, and Isobel almost dropped her guard. "Close to ten years by now. Why?"

"You look tired."

"Are you telling me I'm looking my age?" she said, her voice light.

"I don't know what the hell your age is," he grumbled. "You could be forty and you could be sixty."

"Or I could be twenty or eighty," she said. "I take very good care of myself. And I've had the very best of plastic surgeons. Why are you asking?"

"Because sooner or later this gets to be too much.

You and I both know it. And I'd like some warning if you're going to burn out."

"You think I'm getting too old for the game? I'll let you know when I'm contemplating retirement, if you're that eager for advancement. At this point I have a lot of good years left."

"Bastien retired in his thirties."

"So he did. And I expect if it weren't for me you'd be gone, as well. You don't really want my job at all, do you?"

"I've seen what it does to people. Turns them into monsters like Thomason, or comes close to breaking them, like…"

"Like me," she said.

"Like Bastien. Like me. Like you."

She rose with her usual perfect grace. "Tell you what, Peter," she said. "Find me a replacement with a conscience. Find yourself one as well. And then I'll quit."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 42 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2014

    Apple drop

    This rp died

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2014


    So your a new clan , if you ever need help just go to survive and tell me l will gladly help you freinds!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2014

    To ivoryfake

    Ummm. Jst proved you were evil. Thanks. Never cared bout u anyway.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2014

    To 'ivory fake'

    Ivorystar claw up the cats back and clawed out the cats flank fur and then bit of part of its tail.. "IceClan didn't even have anyone. Nobody was active!" Ivorystar hissed. "This is my Clan now. I make the desicions, not you. Go away or stay here. Be a warrior or be a prisoner. Be hunted or be free. Its your choice."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2014

    Welcome to IceClan!!( descript./ rules/ info)

    INFO: We are on of the pact clans!! We are alos the newset.DESCTRIPT.: Main camp: icey and snowy half of year and warm and sunny the other half. Enterance is surrounded with jasmine. There are most med herbs growing inside camp. Dens: all have thick wovens grasses but nursey has grass curtains. Leaders den in a small cave wih a leichen curtain. Territory: we oive below a moutain so we dont get strong winds. We live in a cone tree forest.RULES: Must be active!! All warrior belief( starclan , ect.) And usually rules. INFO: Blizardstar, a female, is looking for a mate!! Socialize!! ~ Blizzardstar

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012

    Welcome to Iceclan!

    Please post your name,description and rank!! If you would like to be deputy go to result 3. If you would like to be medcat, go to 3 but post that you want to be medcat. Main camp next result!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012


    This one and the first one were the best!!!! Reading the 5th in the series now and so far so good

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    Intersting Reading

    If you haven't read the prior 3 books, read them first so you know who the charactors are. This book leads into the last book "Fire and Ice". All of the books in this series are pretty good. They do have a few "dead" chapters, but for the most part, these are good to read. What's nice too is there isn't a lot of nonsense sex scenes. I think the end could of been a little better but a little mystery leads to a 6th book? I recommend getting the entire series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2008

    entertaining read

    i thought this book was great. i like the ice series b/c the author keeps coming up with creative plots, unlike some series that after a while begin to sound the same. there was never a dull moment thru the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2008

    Surprisingly Great!

    Well, I only bought this book because I¿d read all the others. I truly didn¿t think I would like it and to be honest I was like Oh, no not a book about that old ISOBEL. Well, forgive me for even doubting you Anne Stuart. I LOVED it. The book had it ALL. Danger, great chemistry surprises. I love that I could actually BELIEVE in Killian and Isobel`s love. Yes, it was dark and twisted. But I can believe in it. The book was incredibly sexy and I truly did enjoy it. In my opinion it¿s one of your best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2007

    What a disappointment

    I have to say that I was so disappointed in this book, I have read the other three from Anne Stuart and loved them that is why I ran out to buy this new one. The characters in the book are not at all believable you have the main character Isobel who has had a lot of plastic surgery, then you have to believe that she in her fifties or sixties, the book tells you that she also is a killer for her company. I understand what fiction, but come on there is only so much a person can fictionise for themselves. I hope that Anne Stuart next book is a great one because this book was not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2007

    Super Fantastically amazing incredibly good book

    Iv read all the ice series none of them can beat the first one (Black Ice) My favorite book in the world. Every ice book is extremely good but theres something about the characters in the first book that I love more then the other ones. Anyone who loves a romance in a twisted hot way should read these books. I love this author she has a great imagination.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    This is the perfect escape from the every day, mundane.

    I must admit I discovered this series quite by accident, I won one of the books from my local library, and now one month later I actually went out to buy 'Ice Storm' because something about the series is totally addictive. I love that the central female character is strong, resourceful, has no characteristics that make her pathetic and is an adrenaline junkie. The author manages to expose the weaknesses of the character without making you despise her for being a pitiful victim. The violence is equally found in the complexity and range of emotions and not just in shoot-outs and explosions. This is an awesome escapist read that deserves a larger audience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    Okay but not her best.

    There were pieces of Anne Stuarts brilliant writing in this book but I just couldn't feel for these two main characters , I was expecting a much stronger Female lead, especially because she was the head of all these strong male agents that have come in the past books, I was expecting her to be either as strong or stronger since she was boss.I came away really disappointed the male lead was just leading the whole show always getting the better of her. Anne Stuart is a writer i know that prefers her men strong and a little twisted by their work but this hero just seemed more to rub it in than the others that have come before him. Can't give it five stars but you bet I will be buying this authors next book she really does make her characters come alive!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    Loved this new addition

    I am hooked on this series, Black Ice, Cold as Ice, etc. Writing and storylines are unbelievably real. Other romantic suspense books are predictable and almost trite. I loved the characters and even the humor in those like Reno. The author draws you in and doesn't disappoint. I've put down so many boring books in this genre recently that I can't wait for another installment in this series.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    superb espionage thriller

    The ice cool enigmatic Isobel Lambert heads the covert The Committee as such she exclusively works behind a desk, her field days in the cold long past. Behind her cool intelligent façade she still hauntingly remembers when as Mary Isobel Curwen she killed Thomas Killian seventeen years ago her first kill but she rationalized that his death was needed because as a terrorist he posed a threat to her clients.------------ As she looks into the Josef Serafin affair, she stunningly realizes he is Thomas, whom she left for dead. She does not know how he survived, but she believes this terrorist who has killed thousands for the highest bidder is coming for her. His plan is ingenious as he tries to bait her to come back out in the cold with a deal he offers the Committee that they both know they cannot refuse. He will tell all if she escorts him safely from Morocco to London.------------------- ICE STORM is the appropriate name for this superb espionage thriller as the audience wonders when Josef will make his move on Isobel and how she counters it. Josef and Isobel display ice in their veins as they play cat and mouse with each playing both roles in a fascinating relationship. Set aside plenty of time because this is a one sitter.--------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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