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Black Ice
     

Black Ice

4.3 65
by Becca Fitzpatrick
 

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Danger is hard to resist in this sexy thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Britt Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected

Overview

Danger is hard to resist in this sexy thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Britt Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there…and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

Rife with psychological twists exploring themes of revenge, misogyny, and familial duty” (Publishers Weekly), Black Ice is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/11/2014
High school senior Britt Pheiffer plans to spend spring break backpacking in the Grand Tetons before a blizzard strands her, and two strangers take her hostage. Forced to feign wilderness expertise, she promises to guide them to the highway so they’ll spare her life. An abrupt and disturbingly graphic opener sets the tone for Fitzpatrick’s (the Hush, Hush Series) staccato storytelling and barrage of deadly complications. Britt is smart and resourceful, untangling mixed signals from mysterious captor Mason (who helps her lie to his partner-in-crime, Shaun, to save her friend Korbie), plotting her escape, and navigating the brutal elements—blinding snowfalls, frigid temperatures, and grizzly bears. As Britt narrates the tale, she flits between naïve damsel in distress, desperately hoping her outdoorsy ex, Calvin, will come to her rescue and quick-witted young woman who shows resiliency after making the sickening discovery that her captors have killed before. In the vein of Marcus Sedgwick’s Revolver, Fitzpatrick’s novel is rife with psychological twists exploring themes of revenge, misogyny, and familial duty. Ages 14–up. Agent: Catherine Drayton, Inkwell Management. (Oct.)
Publisher’s Weekly
“Fitzpatrick’s novel is rife with psychologicaltwists exploring themes of revenge, misogyny, and familial duty.”
VOYA, October 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 4) - Walter Hogan
Fitzpatrick, author of the Hush, Hush series, takes a turn from the paranormal to this somewhat more realistic crime thriller. As in the author’s previous novels, romance continues to drive the action, with high school senior Britt lurching from the arms of one handsome fellow to another, as the death toll mounts, and she tries to figure out which eligible bachelor is the local serial killer. At one point, she and one of her beaux are menaced, in short order, by a wolverine, a pack of wolves, and finally a grizzly bear, with each of these rare predators appearing at just at the right moment to launch the excitable narrator into the arms of her hunky companion (who is either the serial killer or her hero and true love). This suspense thriller set in Grand Teton National Park during a spring blizzard is the high-hormone adolescent equivalent of any of Nevada Barr’s adult-market novels concerning a female park ranger who solves murders in spectacular natural settings. Here, Fitzpatrick serves up lurid violence featuring torture and grisly murders, all narrated by a properly abstinent heroine who makes out feverishly with a couple of her suitors, and even spends the night with lusty young men without—readers are carefully reassured after each hot scene—ever losing her virginity. Girls who enjoy lengthy romantic suspense novels will be the prime audience for this one. Reviewer: Walter Hogan; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-08-12
This wannabe romance remains a thriller at heart.Britt wants to go hiking in the Tetons as she tries to recover from the end of her romance with Calvin Versteeg. She and Calvin's sister, her best friend, Korbie, set out for the Versteegs' palatial cabin but break down in the middle of an unexpected blizzard. They trudge through the snow and find a cabin occupied by Mason and Shaun, who reluctantly take them in. Soon, however, the girls learn that the young men are on the run from the police and intend either to kill them or take them hostage. Britt talks them into leaving Korbie behind while she accompanies them as their guide in a hike toward the highway, where Mason and Shaun plan to steal a car and escape. While in the cabin, however, Britt discovered a long-dead body that she believes is a missing girl. Events spiral out of control when Calvin shows up. It's clear that someone is a murderer, perhaps even a serial killer, but which one? Fitzpatrick keeps the focus more on suspense than on the underlying romance, pitching the book to two complementary audiences. Although some of Britt's reasoning comes across as rather tortured, the story still works as a good thriller. Except for Korbie, effectively drawn as a self-centered, spoiled brat, the characterizations are fairly shallow. Plenty of thrills and some kissing too. (Thriller. 14-18)
School Library Journal
08/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—After a horrifying prologue depicting a young girl's kidnapping and murder near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this thriller commences one year later, when 17-year-old Britt and her best friend Korbie head out for a hiking trip in the Tetons. When Britt finds out that Korbie's older brother, her ex, will be at their family cabin too, she's torn between trying to win him back and trying to get over him. A freak storm makes the friends lose their way. When the teens knock on the door of a cabin looking for assistance, they unwittingly become part of a plan that its handsome occupants are in the midst of concocting. Britt finds evidence that the two men may have been involved in the disappearance of several women. Convincing them to leave Korbie behind and to take her with them as a guide, the heroine tries keep them all alive during the storm, while also plotting her escape and piecing together the clues to what happened to the missing women. After the heart-poundingly realistic prologue, the rest of the book is a bit frothy, with typical romance plot points. However, the mystery builds with each chapter and the writing is good enough to sustain a sense of foreboding with each page. Despite the unrealistic and saccharine story of the protagonist falling in love with one of her captors, this is a book with inarguable appeal. Britt has realistically complex feelings towards her parents, best friend, and ex-boyfriend, and many teens will enjoy the mix of horror, mystery, and chick lit.—Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442474260
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
10/07/2014
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
740,422
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
HL720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Black Ice

CHAPTER ONE


If I died, it wouldn’t be from hypothermia.

I decided this as I crammed a goose-down sleeping bag into the back of my Jeep Wrangler and strapped it in, along with five duffels of gear, fleece and wool blankets, silk bag liners, toe warmers, and ground mats. Satisfied nothing was going to fly out on the three-hour drive to Idlewilde, I shut the tailgate and wiped my hands on my cutoffs.

My cell phone blared Rod Stewart crooning, “If you want my body,” and I held off answering for a moment so I could belt out the “and you think I’m sexy” part along with Rod. Across the street, Mrs. Pritchard slammed her living room window shut. Honestly. I couldn’t let a perfectly good ringtone go to waste.

“Hey, girl,” Korbie said, snapping her bubble gum through the phone. “We on schedule or what?”

“Tiny snag. Wrangler’s out of room,” I said with a dramatic sigh. Korbie and I had been best friends forever, but we acted more like sisters. Teasing was part of the fun. “I got the sleeping bags and gear in, but we’re going to have to leave behind one of the duffels: navy with pink handles.”

“You leave my bag, and you can kiss my g-ass money good-bye.”

“Should’ve known you’d play the rich-family card.”

“If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Anyway, you should blame all the people getting divorced and hiring my mom. If people could kiss and make up, she’d be out of a job.”

“And then you’d have to move. Far as I’m concerned, divorce rocks.”

Korbie snickered her amusement. “I just called Bear. He hasn’t started packing yet but he swears he’s gonna meet us at Idlewilde before dark.” Korbie’s family owned Idlewilde, a picturesque cabin in Grand Teton National Park, and for the next week, it was as close to civilization as we were going to get. “I told him if I have to clear bats out of the eaves by myself, he can count on a long, chaste spring break,” Korbie added.

“I still can’t believe your parents are letting you spend spring break with your boyfriend.”

“Well—” Korbie began hesitantly.

“I knew it! There is more to this story.”

“Calvin is coming along to chaperone.”

“What?”

Korbie made a gagging noise. “He’s coming home for spring break and my dad is forcing him to tag along. I haven’t talked to Calvin about it, but he’s probably pissed. He hates it when my dad tells him what to do. Especially now that he’s in college. He’s going to be in a horrible mood, and I’m the one who has to put up with it.”

I sat on the Jeep’s bumper, my knees suddenly feeling made of sand. It hurt to breathe. Just like that, Calvin’s ghost was everywhere. I remembered the first time we kissed. During a game of hide-and-seek along the riverbed behind his house, he’d fingered my bra strap and shoved his tongue in my mouth while mosquitoes whined in my ears.

And I’d wasted five pages recording the event ad nauseam in my diary.

“He’ll be back in town any minute,” Korbie said. “It sucks, right? I mean, you’re over him, right?”

“So over him,” I said, hoping I sounded blasé.

“I don’t want it to be awkward, you know?”

“Please. I haven’t thought about your brother in ages.” Then I blurted, “What if I keep an eye on you and Bear? Tell your parents we don’t need Calvin.” The truth was, I wasn’t ready to see Calvin. Maybe I could get out of the trip. Fake an illness. But it was my trip. I had worked hard for this. I wasn’t going to let Calvin ruin it. He’d ruined too many things already.

“They won’t go for it,” Korbie said. “He’s meeting us at Idlewilde tonight.”

“Tonight? What about his gear? He won’t have time to pack,” I pointed out. “We’ve been packing for days.”

“This is Calvin we’re talking about. He’s, like, half mountain man. Hold up—Bear is on the other line. I’ll call you right back.”

I hung up and sprawled in the grass. Breathe in, breathe out. Just when I’d finally moved on, Calvin was back in my life, dragging me into the ring for round two. I could have laughed at the irony of it. He always did have to have the final say, I thought cynically.

Of course he didn’t need time to prepare—he’d practically grown up hiking around Idlewilde. His gear was probably in his closet, ready at a moment’s notice.

I rewound my memory several months, to autumn. Calvin was five weeks into his freshman year at Stanford when he dumped me. Over the phone. On a night when I really needed him to be there for me. I didn’t even want to think about it—it hurt too much to remember how that night had played out. How it had ended.

Afterward, taking pity on me, Korbie had uncharacteristically agreed to let me plan our upcoming senior spring break, hoping it would cheer me up. Our two other closest friends, Rachel and Emilie, were going to Hawaii for spring break. Korbie and I had talked about spending our break with them on the beaches of Oahu, but I must have been a glutton for punishment, because I said adios to Hawaii and announced that in six months we would be backpacking the Tetons instead. If Korbie knew why I’d chosen the Tetons, she had the sensitivity not to bring it up.

I’d known Calvin’s spring break would overlap ours, just like I’d known how much he loved hiking and camping in the Tetons. I’d hoped that when he heard about our trip, he’d invite himself along. I desperately wanted time with him, and to make him see me differently and regret being stupid enough to give me up.

But after months of not hearing from him, I’d finally gotten the message. He wasn’t interested in the trip, because he wasn’t interested in me. He didn’t want to get back together. I let go of any hope of us and hardened my heart. I was done with Calvin. Now this trip was about me.

I closed my mind to the memory and tried to think through my next steps. Calvin was coming home. After eight months, I was going to see him, and he was going to see me. What would I say? Would it be awkward?

Of course it would be awkward.

I was ashamed that my next thought was so incredibly vain: I wondered if I’d gained any weight since he’d last seen me. I didn’t think so. If anything, the running and weight lifting I’d done to prepare for our backpacking expedition had sculpted my legs. I tried to cling to the idea of sexy legs, but it wasn’t making me feel any better. Pretty much, I felt like throwing up. I couldn’t see Calvin now. I’d thought I’d moved on, but all the pain was surging back, swelling in my chest.

I forced a few more deep breaths, composing myself, and listened to the Wrangler’s radio playing in the background. Not a song, but the weather report.

“. . . two storm systems set to hit southeastern Idaho. By tonight, the chance of rain will rise to ninety percent, with thunderstorms and strong winds possible.”

I perched my sunglasses on top of my head and squinted at the blue sky stretching from one horizon to the other. Not a wisp of cloud. Just the same, if rain was coming, I wanted to be on the road before it hit. Good thing we were leaving Idaho and driving ahead of the storm, into Wyoming.

“Daddy!” I hollered, since the house windows were open.

A moment later he came to the front door. I craned my neck to look at him and put on my best little girl pout. “I need money for gas, Daddy.”

“What happened to your allowance?”

“I had to buy stuff for the trip,” I explained.

“Hasn’t anyone told you money doesn’t grow on trees?” he teased, observing me with a patronizing shake of his head.

I jumped up and kissed his cheek. “I really need gas money.”

“Of course you do.” He opened his wallet with the softest of sighs. He gave me four faded, rumpled twenties. “Don’t let the gas tank drop below a quarter full, you hear? Up in the mountains, gas stations start to thin. Nothing worse than getting stranded.”

I pocketed the money and smiled angelically. “Better sleep with your cell phone and a tow rope under your pillow, just in case.”

“Britt—”

“Only kidding, Daddy,” I said, giggling. “I won’t get stranded.”

I swung into the Wrangler. I’d dropped the top, and the sun had done a fine job of warming my seat. Sitting taller, I checked my reflection in the rearview mirror. By the end of summer, my hair would be as pale as butter. And I’d have added ten new freckles to the ranks. I’d inherited German genes from my father’s side. Swedish from my mother’s. Chance of sunburn? One hundred percent. Lifting a straw hat off the passenger seat, I squashed it on my head. But dang it all, I was barefoot.

Perfect attire for 7-Eleven.

Ten minutes later, I was in the store, filling a cup with Blue Raspberry Slurpee. I drank some off the top and refilled it. Willie Hennessey, who was working the register, gave me the evil eye.

“Good grief,” he said. “Help yourself, why don’t you?”

“Since you offered,” I said cheerfully, and stuck the straw between my lips once more before refilling.

“I’m supposed to keep law and order in here.”

“Two little sips, Willie. Nobody’s going bankrupt over two sips. When did you become such a crank?”

“Since you started pilfering Slurpee and pretending you can’t operate the gas pump so I have to come out and fill your tank for you. Every time you pull in, I want to kick myself.”

I wrinkled my nose. “I don’t want my hands smelling like gas. And you are particularly good at pumping gas, Willie,” I added with a flattering smile.

“Practice makes perfect,” he muttered.

I padded barefoot through the aisles looking for Twizzlers and Cheez-Its, thinking that if Willie didn’t like pumping my gas he really should get another job, when the front door chimed. I didn’t even hear footsteps before a pair of warm, calloused hands slipped over my eyes from behind.

“Guess who?”

His familiar soapy smell seemed to freeze me. I prayed he couldn’t feel my face heat up under his touch. For the longest moment, I couldn’t find my voice. It seemed to shrink inside me, bouncing painfully down my throat.

“Give me a clue,” I said, hoping I sounded bored. Or mildly annoyed. Anything but hurt.

“Short. Fat. Obnoxious overbite.” His smooth, teasing voice after all these months. It sounded familiar and foreign at the same time. Feeling him so close made me dizzy from nerves. I was afraid I’d start yelling at him, right here in the 7-Eleven. If I let him get too close, I was afraid I might not yell at him. And I wanted to yell—I’d spent eight months practicing what I’d say and I was ready to let it out.

“In that case, I’ll have to go with . . . Calvin Versteeg.” I sounded carelessly polite. I was sure of it. And I couldn’t think of a bigger relief.

Cal came around me and leaned an elbow on the aisle’s endcap. He gave me a wolfish smile. He had nailed the whole devilishly charming thing years ago. I’d been a sucker for it back then, but I was stronger now.

Ignoring his handsome face, I gave him a bored once-over. By the looks of it, he’d let his pillow style his hair this morning. It was longer than I remembered. On the hottest days of track practice, when sweat dripped off the tips, his hair had turned the color of tree bark. The memory made something inside me ache. I shoved aside my nostalgia and eyed Calvin with cool detachment. “What do you want?”

Without asking, he bent my Slurpee straw sideways and helped himself. He wiped his mouth on the back of his hand. “Tell me about this camping trip.”

I yanked my Slurpee out of his reach. “Backpacking trip.” I felt it was important to make the distinction. Anyone could camp. Backpacking required skill and moxie.

“Got everything you need?” he went on.

“And a few wants, too.” I shrugged. “Hey, a girl needs her lip gloss.”

“Let’s be honest. Korbie will never let you leave the cabin. She’s terrified of fresh air. And you can’t say no to her.” He tapped his head wisely. “I know you girls.”

I gave him a look of indignation. “We’re backpacking for one full week. Our route is forty miles long.” So maybe it was a teensy exaggeration. In fact, Korbie had agreed to no more than two miles of hiking per day, and had insisted we hike in circles around Idlewilde, in case we needed quick access to amenities or cable TV. While I’d never truly expected to backpack the entire week, I had planned to leave Korbie and Bear at the cabin for a day and trek off on my own. I wanted to put my training to the test. Obviously now that Calvin was joining us, he was going to find out about our true plans soon enough, but at the moment my biggest priority was impressing him. I was sick of him forever insinuating that he had no reason to take me seriously. I could always deal with any flak he might give me later by insisting that I’d wanted to backpack the whole week and Korbie was holding me back—Calvin wouldn’t find that excuse far-fetched.

“You do know that several of the hiking trails are still covered in snow, right? And the lodges haven’t opened for the season, so people are sparse. Even the Jenny Lake Ranger Station is closed. Your safety is your own responsibility—they don’t guarantee rescue.”

I gazed at him with round eyes. “You don’t say! I’m not going into this completely in the dark, Calvin,” I snapped. “I’ve got it covered. We’ll be fine.”

He rubbed his mouth, hiding a smile, his thoughts perfectly clear.

“You really don’t think I can do it,” I said, trying not to sound stung.

“I just think the two of you will have more fun if you go to Lava Hot Springs. You can soak in the mineral pools.”

“I’ve been training for this trip all year,” I argued. “You don’t know how hard I’ve worked, because you haven’t been around. You haven’t seen me in eight months. I’m not the same girl you left behind. You don’t know me anymore.”

“Point made,” he said, flipping up his palms to show it was an innocent suggestion. “But why Idlewilde? There’s nothing to do up there. You and Korbie will be bored after the first night.”

I didn’t know why Calvin was so set on dissuading me. He loved Idlewilde. And he knew as well as I did that there was plenty to do there. Then it hit me. This wasn’t about me or Idlewilde. He didn’t want to have to tag along. He didn’t want to spend time with me. If he got me to drop the trip, his dad wouldn’t force him to join us, and he’d get his spring break back.

Digesting this painful realization, I cleared my throat. “How much are your parents paying you to tag along?”

He made a big deal of looking me over in mock critical evaluation. “Clearly not enough.”

So that’s how we were going to play this. A little meaningless flirtation here, a little banter there. In my imagination, I took a black marker and drew a big X through Calvin’s name.

“Just so we’re clear, I argued against having you come. You and me together again? Talk about uncomfortable.” It had sounded better in my head. Hanging between us now, the words sounded jealous and petty and mean—exactly like an ex-girlfriend would sound. I didn’t want him to know I was still hurting. Not when he was all smiles and winks.

“That so? Well, this chaperone just cut your curfew by an hour,” he jested.

I nodded beyond the store’s plate-glass window toward the four-wheel-drive BMW X5 parked outside. “Yours?” I guessed. “Yet another gift from your parents, or do you actually do more than chase girls at Stanford, such as hold down a respectable job?”

“My job is chasing girls.” An odious grin. “But I wouldn’t call it respectable.”

“No serious girlfriend, then?” I couldn’t bring myself to look at him, but I felt immense pride over my oh-so-casual tone. I told myself I didn’t care about his answer one way or another. In fact, if he’d moved on, it was yet another flashing green light telling me I was free to do the same.

He poked me. “Why? You got a boyfriend?”

“Of course.”

“Yeah, right.” He snorted. “Korbie would have told me.”

I stood my ground, arching my eyebrows smugly. “Believe it or not, there are some things Korbie doesn’t tell you.”

His eyebrows furrowed. “Who is he?” he asked warily, and I could tell he was thinking about buying my story.

The best way to remedy a lie is not to tell another lie. But I did anyway.

“You don’t know him. He’s new in town.”

He shook his head. “Too convenient. I don’t believe you.” But his tone suggested he might.

I felt an overpowering urge to prove to him that I had moved on—with or without closure, and in this case, without. And not only that, but that I’d moved on to a much, much better guy. While Calvin was busy being an oily womanizer in California, I was not—I repeat, not—moping around and pining over old photographs of him.

“That’s him. See for yourself,” I said without thinking.

Calvin’s eyes followed my gesture outside to the red Volkswagen Jetta parked at the nearest gas pump. The guy pumping gas into the Jetta was a couple years older than me. His brown hair was cropped, and it showed off the striking symmetry of his face. With the sun at his back, shadows marked the depressions beneath his cheekbones. I couldn’t tell the color of his eyes, but I hoped they were brown. For no other reason than that Calvin’s were a deep, lush green. The guy had straight, sculpted shoulders that made me think swimmer, and I had never seen him before.

“That guy? Saw him on my way in. Plates are Wyoming.” Calvin sounded unconvinced.

“Like I said, new in town.”

“He’s older than you.”

I looked at him meaningfully. “And?”

The door chimed and my fake boyfriend strolled inside. He was even better-looking up close. And his eyes were most definitely brown—a weathered brown that reminded me of driftwood. He reached into his back pocket for his wallet, and I grabbed Calvin’s arm and hauled him behind a shelf stacked with Fig Newtons and Oreos.

“What are we doing?” Calvin asked, staring at me like I’d sprouted two heads.

“I don’t want him to see me,” I whispered.

“Because he’s not really your boyfriend, right?”

“That’s not it. It’s—”

Where was a third lie when I needed it?

Cal smiled devilishly, and the next thing I knew, he had shaken off my hand and was ambling toward the front counter. I trapped a groan between my teeth and watched, peering between the two top shelves.

“Hey,” Calvin said affably to the guy, who wore a buffalo-check flannel shirt, jeans, and hiking boots.

With barely a glance up, the guy tipped his head in acknowledgment.

“I hear you’re dating my ex,” Calvin said, and there was something undeniably wicked in his tone. He was giving me a taste of my own medicine, and he knew it.

Calvin’s remark drew the full attention of the guy. He studied Calvin curiously, and I felt my cheeks grow even hotter.

“You know, your girlfriend,” Calvin prodded. “Hiding behind the cookies over there.”

He was pointing at me.

I straightened, my head surfacing above the top shelf. I smoothed my shirt and opened my mouth, but there were no words. No words at all.

The guy looked beyond Calvin to me. Our gazes locked briefly, and I mouthed a humiliated I can explain. . . . But I couldn’t.

Then something unexpected happened. The guy looked squarely at Calvin, and said in an easy, unruffled voice, “Yeah. My girlfriend. Britt.”

I flinched. He knew my name?

Calvin appeared similarly startled. “Oh. Hey. Sorry, man. I thought—” He stuck out his hand. “I’m Calvin Versteeg,” he stammered awkwardly. “Britt’s . . . ex.”

“Mason.”

Mason eyed Calvin’s outstretched hand but didn’t take it. He placed three twenties on the counter for Willie Hennessey. Then he crossed to me and kissed my cheek. It was a no-frills kiss, but my pulse thrummed just the same. He smiled, and it was a warm, sexy smile. “I see you haven’t gotten over your Slurpee addiction, Britt.”

Slowly I smiled back. If he was game for this, then so was I. “I saw you pull in, and needed something to cool me off.” I fanned myself while gazing up at him adoringly.

His eyes crinkled at the edges. I was pretty sure he was laughing on the inside.

I said, “You should stop by my house later, Mason, because I bought a new lip gloss that could use a test run. . . .”

“Ah. Kissing game?” he said without missing a beat.

I shot a covert glance at Calvin to gauge how he was handling the flirting. Much to my enjoyment, he looked like he’d caught a mouthful of lemon peel.

“You know me—always spicing things up,” I returned silkily.

Calvin cleared his throat and folded his arms over his chest. “Shouldn’t you be heading out, Britt? You really should get to the cabin before dark.”

Something undecipherable clouded Mason’s eyes. “Going camping?” he asked me.

“Backpacking,” I corrected. “In Wyoming—the Tetons. I was going to tell you, but . . .” Ack! What possible reason could I come up with for not telling my boyfriend about this trip? So close to pulling this off, and I was going to blow it.

“But it seemed unimportant, since I’m heading out of town too, and we won’t be able to spend the week together anyway,” Mason finished easily.

I met his eyes again. Good-looking, quick on his feet, game for anything—even pretending to be the boyfriend of a girl he’d never met—and a frighteningly good liar. Who was this guy? “Yes, exactly,” I murmured.

Calvin cocked his head at me. “When we were together, did I ever take off for a week without telling you?”

You took off for eight months, I thought snidely. And broke up with me on the most important night of my life. Jesus said forgive, but there’s always room for an exception.

I said to Mason, “By the way, Daddy wants to have you over for dinner next week.”

Calvin made a strangled noise. Once, when he’d brought me home five minutes after curfew, we’d pulled into the driveway to see my dad standing on the porch tapping a golf driver in his palm. He’d marched over and smacked it against Calvin’s black Ford F-150, leaving a nice round crater. “Next time you bring her home late, I’ll aim for the headlights,” he’d said. “Don’t be stupid enough to need three warnings.”

He hadn’t meant it, not really. Since I was the baby of the family and the only girl, my dad had a grouchy streak when it came to the boys I dated. But actually, my dad was a lovable old bear. Still, Calvin never broke curfew again.

And never once had he been allowed to come to dinner.

“Tell your dad I could use a few more fly-fishing tips,” Mason said, continuing to hold up our charade. Miraculously, he’d also correctly guessed my dad’s favorite sport. This entire encounter was starting to feel . . . eerie. “Oh, and one more thing, Britt.” He combed his hand through my hair, pushing it off my shoulder. I held perfectly still, his touch freezing my breath inside me. “Be safe. Mountains are dangerous this time of year.”

I gawked with amazement at him until he pulled out of the gas station and drove off.

He knew my name. He’d saved my butt. He knew my name.

Granted, it was printed across the chest of my purple orchestra-camp tee, but Calvin hadn’t noticed that.

“I thought you were lying,” Calvin told me, looking stupefied.

I handed Willie a five for my Slurpee and pocketed the change. “As satisfying as this conversation has been,” I told Calvin, “I should probably go do something more productive. Like key that Bimmer of yours. It’s too pretty.”

“Just like me?” He waggled his brows hopefully.

I filled my cheeks with Slurpee, miming that I intended to spit it at him. He jumped clear and, to my satisfaction, erased his cocky grin at long last.

“See you tonight at Idlewilde,” Calvin called after me as I pushed out of the store.

By way of answer, I gave him a thumbs-up.

My middle finger would have been too obvious.

As I passed Calvin’s BMW in the parking lot, I noticed the doors were unlocked. I glanced back to make sure he wasn’t watching, then made a split-second decision. Climbing through the passenger door, I knocked his rearview mirror out of alignment, dribbled Slurpee on the floor mats, and stole his vintage CD collection from the glove box. It was a petty thing to do, but it made me feel a smidge better.

I’d give the CDs back tonight—after I’d scratched a few of his favorites.

Meet the Author

Becca Fitzpatrick is the author of Black Ice, Dangerous Lies, and the Hush, Hush saga, including Hush, Hush; Crescendo; Silence; and Finale—all of which debuted as New York Times bestsellers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she’s most likely running, prowling sales racks for shoes, or watching crime drams on TV. She lives in Colorado with her family. Find out more at BeccaFitzpatrick.com.

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Black Ice (w.t.) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
b_ls More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by Becca Fitzpatrick that I have read. I have been waiting to read this one since I saw the cover. Despite some of the negative reactions to this book I enjoyed it. It kept me interested and had a fun and twisty story. Britt and her friend Korbie decide to go hiking in the mountains instead of to the beach for spring break. A girl after my own heart. I would have chosen the same. To Britt's surprise her ex, and Korbie's brother, Calvin decides to chaperon. Britt is still conflicted about how she feels about Calvin and isn't too happy about him coming. While getting supplies she picks a random guy in the store to play her fake boyfriend. Lucky for her he plays along and does a great job. When Britt and Korbie are on their way to the cabin a big storm hits and they are stranded in the jeep. They decide to walk and hopefully find a place to get out of the weather. They stumble upon a cabin with a couple guys in it. A couple hot guys, unfortunately for the girls things go south fast. They are not regular guys, they are fugitives and their trip just got a whole lot worse. Will they make it off the mountain or die trying? Mason and Shaun have to get off the mountain and Britt is their best chance. They are on the run and can't wait to be rescued. Luckily for Britt she has had some training and has Calvin's map that is very detailed. Britt however recognizes Mason as the guy at the gas station. She tries to use that to her advantage. He didn't come off as a kidnapper to me. Not someone who would commit crime either. There was just something about him that was different. I was on his team the whole time to be honest. There's something about forbidden love that I like and falling for your kidnapper takes the cake. Mason and Britt share glances and secret conversations. Britt is conflicted about this for obvious reasons. Let’s just say things get steamy with these two until Britt finds incriminating evidence. Will she be able to get away to the safety of Calvin? Is running away more dangerous?  I really enjoyed this book. Did some stuff happen that was kind of unbelievable? Yes. I thought it was perfectly normal for Britt to retreat to her positive memories of Calvin to escape her situation. I didn't really like Calvin though. I think it was because he cheated on Britt and I hate that. No matter what. Korbie was your typical rich girl stereotype. Not to bright and kind of annoying. I thought they all worked well for the story though.  I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future!
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Becca Fitzpatrick brings readers her first standalone young adult suspense novel. This book is a major departure from Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series with was largely paranormal in nature. Black Ice is a thrilling novel that the reader will find a hard time putting down. Fitzpatrick uses a spring break back-packing trip to land her heroine in some very hot water with a possible killer. Reader's who are looking for a romantic suspense novel with a younger set of characters will probably find a lot to like here. What I liked: Britt was what I would call a typical teenage girl. She thought she could do anything, including hike the Teton mountain range with a snowstorm in the forecast. Do you know many teenagers that don't think they can rule the world? LOL. The problem was she was a bit of a spoiled brat. She may have trained for her trip but she wasn't a survivalist. She didn't have any experience and she relied a little too heavily on the male persuasion to get her out of trouble. All that being said, she was just a young girl and I thought Fitzpatrick nailed that. She had to learn how to be a strong independent woman, and if being kidnapped doesn't do that for ya, don't know what will. I loved the tension, the suspense and the sense that you really didn't know who to trust. Who was the bad guy? Even Britt isn't sure. I found myself riveted to the pages, because I just couldn't put my finger on it. I wanted to know how Fitzpatrick was keeping me from figuring out who that killer was. I was shocked at what was really going on. I wasn't even close to being on the right track and that is a rare occurrence. Calvin was Britt's ex-boyfriend. He cheated on her. He dumped her, he was a scumbag, but she still wanted to impress him. Sound like any teenager you know? Yep, me too! Korbie was Britt's best friend. A best friend that was even more spoiled than she was. A best friend that was constantly putting her down. Friend or enemy in disguise? probably a little of both. Who were the most intriguing characters in the book? the kidnappers, hands down. Mason and Shaun were 'menacing' in some ways. Secretive, hostile. I liked that, I wanted to the bad guys to be bad guys, but I wasn't sure they were bad guys... eke gads! I liked this book a lot. What I didn't like: The maturity level was a bit lacking for me, but that might be a my own issue. I wanted Britt to be strong up front, and that took a little while. She was a typical teen and I was afraid she had Stockholm Syndrome when she started falling for her kidnapper. But it got better. And she started to solve her own issues. I didn't like the idea that a man had to fix things and when that faded away I was happier. Bottom Line: This book probably isn't for everyone. I think Becca Fitzpatrick gives readers a great teen heroine, but you have to keep in mind that she is a teen. There were moments when Britt let the men in her sphere take charge and had me scratching my head at the idea that it took a man to do it. But all that aside. It was still a good book. One that made me turn the pages fast and furiously. A good take on a YA thriller. We'll see if she does more.
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
Very Good Contemporary Young Adult, Romantic Suspense Teton Mountains, Wyoming Britt Pfiffer trained so that she can backpack the Teton Range. What she isn’t prepared for is an ex-boyfriend who has decided to join her. An ex-boyfriend that still haunts her every thought. An unexpected blizzard hits before she can begin to explore her feelings for Calvin though. It also forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin and accept the hospitality of the two very handsome occupants. Unfortunately the two men are fugitives and Britt soon finds herself hostage. Britt agrees to guide them men off the mountain in exchange for her life. Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. Britt soon finds chilling evidence of a series of murder that took place on that very mountain which complicates things even more. It is also a discovery that makes Britt the killer’s next target. Nothing is as it seems though in the mountains. Everyone it seems is keeping secrets. Including Mason, one of her kidnappers. Britt is confused by his kindness and is wondering if he is an enemy or an ally. This is a book that has so many twists and turns in it that it will keep readers guessing as to just what is going on and what secrets everyone is keeping and if Britt will even manage to survive the mountains. This is a book that is hard to put down once the reader starts it as they will want to know just how it ends and they are taken on an amazing ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It's the first one in a while that I can say that about. There's mystery, intelligence, and a love interest that slowly builds and makes you fall in love, too. I couldn't put it down and continue to desperately search the "Murder Mystery Mayhem" nook section for another book that will be good enough to follow this one. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had my heart torn the whole time! Definitely on the edge of my seat. A MUST read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick was full of suspense and action. I figured out who was bad pretty early on, but the story was told so well that it didn't put a damper on my enjoyment of the story one bit. The characters are in the mountains, in a remote area, in the middle of a snowstorm. So, they have many challenges to survive, not to mention each other. There was a bit of romance thrown in the mix to amp it up, I'm not sure why I waited so long to read this. It definitely didn't disappoint. Just like Hush, Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick knows how to tell an addictive and engaging story that doesn't let you put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After falling in love w Hush Hush series, I had to see if the amazing writing continues in Ms Fitzpatrick ' s new book...and it sure does! The characters are well described so that even thou "Mason" is Britt's kidnapper i had to wonder if I had Stockholm Syndrome myself bc I definitely was cheering for the 2 main characters. What the 2 had to go thru definitely kept me reading in fear that I didn't want them to suffer more in the blizzard if I took a break. A must read by an author, who I'd recommend all her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Need a new one from her. This book is amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by this author, and I will definitely read more in the near future! I needed a break from all the paranormal/supernatural fiction that I had been reading, and this was the perfect departure. Only 300 pages and the whole book spans only four days but it was action filled and tense the whole way. I loved seeing Britt's character change throughout the story. At the beginning of the book she was a fun girl that I would like to be friends with, by the end she was a girl I would like to be. One other thing I was surprised by was that she actually dreamed of being married before she had sex; how refreshing! Only negatives for me were that the ending was slightly cliche, and it almost seemed like the police took her word as the main evidence in the murder cases...I'm not sure the evidence they collected would be enough to convict the killer of all three murders in real life. Regardless, I would highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Holy plot twist! Loved every bit of it. I was beyond excited when she announced a new book and I had very high expectations for it, especially because the Hush, Hush series was extremely captivating. I was highly satisfied when I finished the book and only one thing I would change.  I wish the ending was not a cliche, but other than that, the book is unique and unlike her other works, which was refreshing for me since I had read her other 4 books.  
Jade_Alanna More than 1 year ago
Dark and romantic... strange combination, but good overall.
WulfLuva More than 1 year ago
“Over the mountains and through the woods to a home in the middle of nowhere with two creepy guys inside they go…” Britt and Korbie are on their high school spring break trip, travelling to Korbie’s vacation home in the mountains, when the snowstorm hits. They’re all alone, so what do they decide to do? They decide to get out of their car, and walk. Then, they decide that bunking with two random guys in their empty-looking cabin is a good idea. Have they never seen a horror movie!? These girls made some very poor life decisions. If screaming at them through the pages would have helped, I would have done it. Screaming thought #1) Don’t leave your warm car when you don’t know if you can find shelter! Screaming thought #2) Don’t go knocking on the door of the random cabin that’s in the middle of nowhere! And screaming thought #3) Don’t trust two random guys living in a cabin in the woods! Honestly, the first half of this book leaves no room for anything but thinking thoughts like these. Britt, the main character, and Korbie, her mean frenemy, are simply too delusional to even deem realistic. Britt has impractical feelings towards someone she should not have these feelings towards, and both of the girls’ emotions in their situation are completely unrealistic. The dialogue for the entire book also jumps on that unrealistic snowmobile. It’s also corny, cheesy, and every other food-flavor that describes awkward and mushy. However, a little more than halfway through, things start actually getting good… Or at least, better than they had been. Character development starts showing up! And an awesome backstory for a central character makes an appearance! And while the ending is predictable, it’s still an interesting thriller story that had me wondering how the characters were going to make it out of there alive. So, if you’re stuck inside on a snowy day with a power outage and you have nothing more interesting to do, reading this book could make you feel totally better about how non-life-threatening your situation is, or it could make you never trust anyone ever again. *Note: I received a copy of this book to review from Book Review Board of Missouri. This in no way altered my opinion/review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had such low expectations for this book but it turned out to be so good and full of surprises
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was definitely one f the best books I have ever read, its just fabulous
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a page turner...couldn't put it down!!!
Andrea17 More than 1 year ago
Britt and her bestfriend Korbie are going to spend their spring break at Korbie's family cabin up in Wymoing with Korbie's older brother/Britt's ex-boyfriend, Calvin, and Krobie's boyfriend, Bear. However, on the way there an unexpected snow storm hits and the girls are stranded in the middle of nowhere. After hiking for about an hour, they find Shaun and Mason in a cabin. If it seems too good to be true, it is. Shaun and Mason are both on the run and, after telling a few white lies, instruct Britt (at gun point) to lead them off the mountain. Initially, I didn't like Britt. She took a long time to grow on me - and it wasn't until she was stranded in the middle of nowhere with Shaun and Mason that I did like her. She portrays herself as helpless and allows the men in her life to take care of it. It isn't until she can only depend on herself that she shows her true colors. Of course, during this ordeal she keeps thinking/hoping that Calvin will magically show up and save her. I wasn't crazy about her Calvin obsession, he did suddenly break-up with her without much of an explanation, but at the same time Calvin is her first love. We've all been there and given her age and the situation, it's understandable. So I can forgive her for this. I don't care much for Korbie, who calls "dibs" on Shaun despite the fact that she has a boyfriend and is in constant competition with Britt, even when they're stranded in a snow storm in the mountains. I really don't see how they're best friends, but "acted more like sisters." Maybe I just have too good a relationship with my friends and sister to get it? And maybe I have a bit of Stockholm Syndrome, bonus points to Britt for acknowledging this, but I'm a fan of Mason. And that's all I'm going to say about him because this is a story where regarding both characters and plot, it's best to go in as blindly as possible. I figured out the ending about half way through the book, but in no way did it take away my enjoyment of Black Ice. I still flew through these pages, indent on finding out what was going to happen. I was  entirely focused on the events unfolding before me and wanted nothing to do with the real world until I finished. I was up until midnight reading it and only stopped because the light was bothering my husband and my book light had died. When I woke up the next morning, I skipped my workout so I could finish the last 100 or so pages. I just had to know what was going to happen! This novel is, in my opinion, what is missing from YA: thrillers. Straight up thrillers. Not the "We need to save the world before they destory and/or enslave us!" or "We must overthrow this evil totalitarian government!" but just straight up thrillers. And that is what Becca has given us with Black Ice. An exciting and nail biting thriller that will have your heart racing and wondering what obstacle our heroine will find next in her fight to survive.
Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! The synopsis is a bit misleading - the book was much more a thriller than a romance. The tension and danger level kept me turning the pages. I'm not a big murder mystery fan but there was enough intrigue in this story that I was fully engaged trying to unravel the mystery and worrying about Britt's safety. The girl power thread of the story, wherein we see Britt transform from a near helpless spoiled girl to a young woman capable of fending for herself, was an added bonus. I'm usually a fantasy and dystopian fan but I strong recommend you check out Black Ice.
TheGoldenMantle More than 1 year ago
Synopsis: Britt was dumped by her boyfriend Calvin 8 months ago and now she's going to show him by hiking a 40 mile crest trail. That all seems grande until a storm causes her and her best friend to be taken hostage by two crazed murders. Now Britt has to use her skills to get off the mountain and survive the lunatics. She ends up with a bout of Stockholm Syndrome and begins to learn things about the people she trusted she never thought where possible. What I liked: I adored Britt's character. I've probably said it a million and one times  here but there's nothing that I like to see in a book more than a strong female protagonist. That doesn't mean that girls have to be super strong physically, or have some awesome power but it's great to see one who is a normal teenager overcoming crazy odds. Though Britt is wrapped up in boy drama throughout most of the book, she also learns a lot about herself and her strengths through the intense circumstances she faces. Speaking of that, holy crap! This book was incredibly suspenseful, just when I thought I had things figured out Fitzpatrick throws a freaking curve ball. All of the life and death situations the characters are in keep the book interesting while also playing towards the plot. Each situation falls into a larger puzzle culminating in an amazing ending. Sure, there are signals that let you know who the bad guy is but I still found myself wondering if Fitzpatrick would really go there and she did. What I didn't like: Korbie, Britt's best friend, felt like a throwaway character and kind of useless to the overall story. I wish she was either more flushed out or just not in the book. There were also points in the book where I felt Britt could have escaped her captors. Towards the end I just didn't understand why she was so compliant. Overall, if you like a suspenseful mystery you'll love this one. I'm a big fan of Becca Fitzpatrick and this is probably my favorite of her books. It has the perfect mix of mystery, adventure, and romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The main character doesn't display any depth of character until very far into the book. She's basically a helpless, whiny, naive brat and really annoyed me. She's irrationally obsessed with her ex who was clearly using her and it was kind of pathetic to read. Her relationship with her "bestfriend" is toxic and abusive, it doesn't make sense that they would be friends. However, once she finally grew a backbone and started making her own decisions the story was a more enjoyable read. While her weakness for most of the book is important in the main character's development it seemed too slow a change and the entire story suffered because of this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms-TAB More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this book. I read Hush Hush and I absolutely adored it. This book on the other hand was much different. In essence it was a thriller; however, there were so many motifs and themes that coursed through this book. The characters were well constructed with their flaws and strengths. Honestly, at times I forgot these characters were a work of fiction because there are truly people out there in the world like them.  In sum, I must say, this book catered to those who were looking for a light thriller created with profound thinking.
smg5775 More than 1 year ago
Britt and best friend Korbie are supposed to hike in the Tetons during their spring break. A storm comes up as they are driving to Korbie's parents' mountain lodge. They are stranded on the road and must find shelter. The hunting cabin they find is also occupied by two men who take them hostage in exchange for them getting the men off the mountain. When Britt realizes these are wanted men, what are the girls' lives worth? I loved this book! The suspense builds as the story goes along. I thought I knew who was guilty but the twists and turns kept me guessing. Not only is Britt battling the men but she must also battle the weather and the mountain. I was on edge as I read wanting to know who was guilty, would Britt make it. I loved Britt and eventually came to love Mason (I was predisposed to it from the beginning.) I could not stand Korbie or her brother Carl (spoiled brats who were given everything but love.) They were exactly the same and I could not see what Britt saw in them. Britt was strong physically and emotionally. She did not see herself as Mason did or as I did. She was awesome and she had a reason for everything she did. She is a good role model for young women. I enjoyed BLACK ICE and plan on reading more Becca Fitzpatrick. She writes a good tight story that leaves you wanting more.