Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice

by Julie Garwood

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Overview

Sophie Rose is a crime reporter at a major Chicago newspaper and the daughter of Bobby Rose, a charming gentleman and big-time thief. When asked to write an exposé about her notorious father, Sophie quits and goes to work at a small newspaper, covering local personalities such as William Harrington, the 5K runner whose trademark is red socks. Those socks—with Sophie’s business card tucked inside—are practically all that’s found after Harrington is killed near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, seemingly in a brutal polar bear attack.
 
Sophie heads north to investigate, but danger follows in her wake. After one attempt on her life, she’s assigned brash but sexy Jack MacAlister as a bodyguard. But Sophie and Jack will soon be fighting more than their growing passion for each other. Powerful forces will stop at nothing to prevent the exposure of the sinister conspiracy Sophie and Jack are about to uncover.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345500762
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/29/2009
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 91,887
Product dimensions: 4.15(w) x 6.86(h) x 1.03(d)

About the Author

Julie Garwood is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Sizzle, Fire and Ice, Shadow Dance, Slow Burn, Murder List, Killjoy, Mercy, Heartbreaker, Ransom, and Come the Spring. There are more than thirty-six million copies of her books in print.

Read an Excerpt

One

A polar bear did him in. The biggest damned polar bear anyone had ever seen in or around Prudhoe Bay in the last twenty-five years, or so it was reported.

Arrogance got him killed, though, and if William Emmett Harrington hadn’t been such a narcissist, he might still be alive. But he was a narcissist, and he was also a braggart.

The only topic of conversation William was interested in was William, and since he hadn’t accomplished much of anything significant in his twenty-eight years on earth, he was painfully boring.

William lived off his inheritance, a hefty trust fund set up by his grandfather, Henry Emmett Harrington, who must have had an inkling of the lazy-ass gene he was passing down, because his son, Morris Emmett Harrington, didn’t work a day in his life. And Wil-liam happily followed in his father’s footsteps.

Like all the Harrington men before him, William was a handsome devil and knew it. He didn’t have any trouble getting women into his bed, but he could never lure any of them back for a repeat performance. No wonder. William treated sex like a race he had to win in order to prove that he was the best, and because he really was a narcissist, he didn’t care about satisfying his partner. What he wanted was all that mattered.

His past conquests had come up with various nicknames for him. Pig was one. Quick Trip was another. But the one that was uttered most behind his back was The Minute Man. All the women who had gone to bed with him knew exactly what that meant.

Besides self-gratification, William’s other passion was running. He’d made it a full-time job because, as with sex, he was shockingly fast. In the past year he had accumulated twenty-four first-place prizes within a six-state area, and he was about to enter a 5K race in his hometown of Chicago to collect his twenty-fifth. Since he believed crossing the finish line first was going to be a momentous event that everyone in Chicago would want to read about, he called the Chicago Tribune and suggested they do a feature article about him in the Sunday paper. Harrington also mentioned more than once how photogenic he was and how a full-color photo of him would enhance the article.

One of the local news editors at the Tribune took the call and patiently listened to William’s pitch, then bounced him to one of the entertainment editors, who quickly bounced him to one of the sports columnists, who bounced him to one of the health and fitness editors, who wrote an entire article on the top-five allergens plaguing Chicago while he listened to the spiel. None of them was impressed or interested. The last editor to speak to William suggested that he give him a call back when he had ninety-nine wins under his belt and was going for one hundred.

William wasn’t discouraged. He immediately called the Chicago Sun Times and explained his idea for a story. He was rejected yet again.

William realized he was going to have to lower his expectations if he wanted to see his name in print, and so he contacted the Illinois Chronicle, a small but popular neighborhood newspaper that focused primarily on local issues and entertainment.

The editor in chief, Herman Anthony Bitterman, was an antacid-popping seasoned veteran of the press with a pronounced Brooklyn accent. For thirty years he had been on the foreign desk of The New York Times and had garnered several prestigious honors including the RFK Journalism Award and the Polk Award, but when his good-for-nothing son-in-law ran off with another woman—his daughter’s yoga instructor, for the love of God—Herman retired from the Times and moved with his wife, Marissa, to Chicago where she had grown up and where their daughter now lived with her four little girls.

A newsman at heart, Herman couldn’t stay retired long. When the opportunity presented itself, he took the job at the Chronicle as a distraction from boredom and an escape from the horde of meddling in-laws.

He liked Chicago. He’d gone to Northwestern University, where he’d met Marissa. After graduation, they had returned to his hometown, New York, so he could take a job at the Times. Coming back to Chicago after decades in New York was a real adjustment. He had lived in a cramped two-bedroom Manhattan apartment for so long that a two-story brownstone took some getting used to. His only real complaint was the lack of noise. He missed falling asleep to the soothing sounds of cars screeching, horns blaring, and sirens shrieking.

With so much quiet, even at the office, Herman found it difficult to get any work done. To compensate, he brought in an old television set from home, plopped it on top of his mini refrigerator, and left it on all day with the volume turned up.

When the call came in from William Harrington, Herman hit the mute button before picking up the phone. While he ate his lunch—an Italian sausage and green pepper sandwich drenched in ketchup and washed down with an icy cold Kelly’s Root Beer—he listened to Harrington pitch his story idea.

It took Bitterman all of half a minute to sum up William Harrington. The man was an egomaniac.

“Red, huh? You always wear red socks and a red T-shirt for every race. And white shorts. Yeah, that’s interesting. Even when you run in the winter? Still wear the shorts?”

His question encouraged Harrington to ramble more, allowing Bitterman time to finish his sandwich. He took a long swig of his root beer, then interrupted Harrington’s grandiose opinion of himself and said, “Yeah, sure. We’ll do the story. Why not?”

After scribbling down the particulars, Bitterman disconnected the call, then wadded up his brown lunch sack and tossed it into the trash can.

He crossed the office to get to the door—a no small feat considering nearly every inch of the room was filled with crates of Kelly’s Old-Fashioned Root Beer stacked halfway to the ceiling. Since his door wasn’t blocked, his office hadn’t been deemed a fire hazard, at least not yet. He was hoarding what was left of Kelly’s Root Beer because, in his estimation, it was the best damned root beer he had ever tasted, and when he’d heard the company had been forced to close its doors and was going out of business, he had done what any root beer addict would do and rushed out to buy as many bottles of the stuff as he could get his hands on.

“Blond Girl!” he shouted. “I’ve got another story for you. This one’s a humdinger.”

Sophie Summerfield Rose tried to ignore Bitterman’s bellow as she put the finishing touches on an article she was about to e-mail him.

“Hey, Sophie, I think Bitterman’s calling you.”

Gary Warner, a brute of a man and the office snitch, leaned over her cubicle. His smile reminded Sophie of a cartoon fox with his teeth bared. He looked a bit like a fox, too. His nose was long and pointy, and his complexion was as dull as his long straggly hair. Mullets had never really been in style, but Gary loved his and used so much hair spray on it, it looked starched.

“Since you’re the only female here today and since you’re the only blonde in the entire office, I’m pretty sure ‘Blond Girl’ means you.” He had a good laugh over what he considered a hilarious observation.

Sophie didn’t respond. No matter how obnoxious Gary became, and he had cornered the market on obnoxious a long time ago, she refused to let him rile her. She carefully pushed her chair back so she wouldn’t hit the file cabinet again. It already had so many dents, it looked like someone had taken a baseball bat to it.

The Chronicle was housed in an old warehouse. It was a huge, gray stone building with gray cement floors, gray brick walls, and a dingy gray ceiling that Sophie suspected had once been white. The fluorescent lighting was nearly as old as the building. The presses were in the basement. Circulation and the other departments were on the first floor, and the editorial offices were on the second floor. It was a huge space, yet each gray-paneled cubicle, including hers, was the size of a refrigerator. A side-by-side, but still a refrigerator.

The Chronicle could have been a depressing place to work, but it wasn’t. Colorful posters hung above the gray file cabinets that lined the far wall, and each cubicle was brightly decorated. Some were more creative than others, but each gave a hint of the occupant’s personality.

Gary’s cubicle was decorated with half-eaten sandwiches and pastries, some at least a week old. He wouldn’t let the cleaning crew touch his desk, and Sophie didn’t think it had ever been cleared of the clutter. She wouldn’t have been surprised to find roaches skittering under all the garbage, but Gary probably wouldn’t have minded. He was most likely related to some of them.

Still hanging over her cubicle wall, his frame was so large she thought he might just snap the panels. When Sophie stood, Gary was entirely too close, his rancid aftershave overwhelming.

So that he couldn’t snoop while she was in Bitterman’s office, Sophie turned her computer off and made sure he saw her do it. She wasn’t being paranoid. Just last week she had caught him sitting at her desk trying to get around her password to access her e-mail. He had already rifled through her desk. Two drawers were open, and he hadn’t bothered to put the stack of papers back where she had left them. When she demanded to know what he was doing at her desk, he stammered lamely about his computer being down and how he was checking to see if hers was down, too.

Bitterman roared again, and Sophie, feeling somewhat like a mouse navigating a maze, hurriedly zigzagged her way around the cubicles to reach his office at the end of the long room. She pictured a piece of yellow cheese dangling from a string in front of her boss’s door. Wasn’t that the reward for the little mouse at the end of the maze?

“Hey, Sophie, heard from your father lately?” Gary shouted from behind.

He had asked her that same question about ten minutes after she had started working at the Chronicle, which was probably why she had taken such a quick dislike to him. Not only was Gary a snoop, but at times he could be downright antagonistic. Usually, people skirted around the subject of her dad, Bobby Rose, when they first met Sophie, but not Gary. She had just started writing her first article when Gary had called over the cubicle wall, “Hey, Sophie Rose . . . oops, it’s Sophie Summerfield, isn’t it? I forgot, you’re not using your daddy’s name. Guess you don’t want the world to know who you are, huh? I wouldn’t either if my old man was a crook. Who’s he scammed lately? Heard he’s made off with a butt-load of money. If you ever see him again, tell him ol’ Gary could sure use a loan. Tell him a couple of million would do just fine. . . .”

She hadn’t answered him then or the hundred or so other times he’d asked about her father, and she wasn’t about to answer him now.

Gary wasn’t the only one interested in finding her father. She received regular visits from the FBI, the IRS, the CIA, and just about every other government agency with initials. All of them wanted to know where Bobby Rose was; all of them wanted a pound of his flesh.

She heard Gary call out his question again, but she continued to ignore him as she rounded the last cubicle and reached Bitterman’s office.

Customer Reviews

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Fire and Ice 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 287 reviews.
jjmachshev More than 1 year ago
Julie Garwood's newest contemporary "Fire and Ice" is a fast-moving, exhilarating read with an unlikely lead couple and a twisting mystery. The heroine was introduced in "Murder List", but now Sophie gets her own story, and her own FBI hero!

Sophie has left her big journalist job to work at a smaller paper outside Chicago. At least this editor agrees not to pump Sophie for information about her father! But when her father is implicated (again) in a possible crime, Sophie prepares herself for another round of questioning from various government agencies, not to mention threats from his enemies. Then one of Sophie's local intereste interviewee's turns up dead...in Alaska...eaten by a polar bear! Surely a trip to the frozen north will give Sophie a break, and it couldn't hurt for her to have a little distance from totally unsuitable Jack MacAlister.

Jack would have to be dead from the neck down not to notice how attractive Sophie is. But Bobby Rose's daughter? How inappropriate is that? Too bad that it seems Jack's libido isn't listening. And when Sophie is injured, Jack quickly realizes that she could use a little muscle on her trip to the frozen wastes of Alaska. And good thing Jack's handy with a gun when it appears Sophie's trip didn't deter someone who wants her dead!

Several different stories come together and require the reader to track carefully if they want to figure out who's trying to kill Sophie, and why. The banter and sizzling attraction between Sophie and Jack add just the right amount of humor and heat to Garwood's latest romantic suspense. Another hit for me and one I couldn't put down till the end.
LuvSmut More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up because it sounded good and it was very good! Because I love series books I've got to go back and get the first one. I love stories that take you places with intrigue. This book has that as well as a good love story. The characters keep you interested. Overall the book was hard to put down.
HoplessRomantic More than 1 year ago
I LOVE Julie Garwood, honest to gosh I do! However, I am peeved with her newest works. I liked Heartbreaker, Mercy, Murder List but what happened with slowburn, the dance one or this thing? I loved her historicals. Ransom is awesome and the others historicals simply wonderful. I hope she plans on going back to write more historicals.
HEDI09 More than 1 year ago
I agree with the five star reviews! Love Julie Garwood! Not much I can say to top the others so I will recommend another book that I absolutely fell in love with....EXPLOSION IN PARIS, by LINDA MASEMORE PIRRUNG...Should be on every woman's book club list!! Check out the reviews! They hooked ME!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Julie Garwood books. She is one of my favorite authors. I love her historical books so much better than her contemporary novels though. This story was Ok but a little disappointing. I think with the historical novels she uses more humor and the romance is not as rushed. With modern day where everyone has sex right away, I think you lose the fun of the characters really getting to play off each other. The plot was different but just not as great as some of her other work. I wish she would come out with a historical romance novel soon!
Garwood-Videos More than 1 year ago
We've given you a glimpse at FIRE AND ICE in a video. It's on YouTube. Just type "Fire and Ice by Julie Garwood" in the search box. www.youtube.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Julie Garwood is one of my favorite authors. Her books are intense and fun, although this book would be one of the lessers from her writings. Fire and Ice is still better than most romance books I have read, but it did seem to lack a certain characteristic of emotion and depth. Overall, I would recommend any of her books - Especially her historical collection. They're heart-warming.
Anonymous 6 days ago
Love Julie's writing.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Good read
PermaSwooned on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book in a series. This seems to be a popular writing method these days for romance/mysteries. It keeps from having to invent so many characters, I guess. As in most of these books, the main character is a childhood friend of the heroine of book one and also the soon to follow book three. She gets involved & falls in love with the best friend of husband #1. All these series are getting a bit tiring. It is not necessary to have read book #1 first, at least. The story is somewhat interesting in the scenes in Alaska and on the testing of some sort of naturally produced enzyme in the wolves being studied there. This is a beach book. Nothing heavy, but the characters are fun.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sophie Rose, a reporter for a marginal Chicago newspaper, is a person of interest to enough government agencies to make great alphabet soup, and for nothing she's done. Her father, a modern day Robin Hood, makes a habit of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor - and of staying one step ahead of the police. So Sophie's used to taps on her phone and semi-polite invitations downtown to answer a few questions.But when one of her more boring interviewees turn up (or mostly) in Alaska with one of her business cards tucked into his signature red running socks, she's in a whole lot more trouble than her father ever got her into.Enter Jack MacAlister - an unintentional YouTube star, the semi-disgraced FBI agent just may be Sophie's only hope.I wanted to enjoy this book, I really did. But the writing didn't have Garwood's usual flow. The plot was needlessly complicated, the humor seemed forced and mechanical, and the quirky characters weren't. Not a keeper.
momtotwo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. As part of the Buchannan series I was expecting to see more of that family in it. The main character's best friend is married to Alec Buchannan, and he does have a smaller role in the novel, but definitelt not a main character. That was a bit disappointing, but overall a good book, worth the read!
datwood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Garwood's early historical fiction, but I haven't enjoyed the contemporary so much. This one is, happily, a good contemporary.. I'd rank it up with some of Mary Stewart's romantic suspense novels. The romantic tension between Jack and Sophie was fun to read. The whole "Alpha project" was a bit unbelievable, but still I enjoyed the story.
jjmachshev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Julie Garwood's newest contemporary "Fire and Ice" is a fast-moving, exhilarating read with an unlikely lead couple and a twisting mystery. The heroine was introduced in "Murder List", but now Sophie gets her own story, and her own FBI hero!Sophie has left her big journalist job to work at a smaller paper outside Chicago. At least this editor agrees not to pump Sophie for information about her father! But when her father is implicated (again) in a possible crime, Sophie prepares herself for another round of questioning from various government agencies, not to mention threats from his enemies. Then one of Sophie's local intereste interviewee's turns up dead...in Alaska...eaten by a polar bear! Surely a trip to the frozen north will give Sophie a break, and it couldn't hurt for her to have a little distance from totally unsuitable Jack MacAlister.Jack would have to be dead from the neck down not to notice how attractive Sophie is. But Bobby Rose's daughter? How inappropriate is that? Too bad that it seems Jack's libido isn't listening. And when Sophie is injured, Jack quickly realizes that she could use a little muscle on her trip to the frozen wastes of Alaska. And good thing Jack's handy with a gun when it appears Sophie's trip didn't deter someone who wants her dead!Several different stories come together and require the reader to track carefully if they want to figure out who's trying to kill Sophie, and why. The banter and sizzling attraction between Sophie and Jack add just the right amount of humor and heat to Garwood's latest romantic suspense. Another hit for me and one I couldn't put down till the end.
moekane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Entertaining flluff of a read with the plucky heroine and manly hero done with humor and readability, but the suspense portion was less than compelling and the pages from the villain's diary interspersed between chapters was more annoying than suspenseful. I prefer Garwood's historicals.
krissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the Buchannan series, and I kind of like the idea of this spin off. Sophie is one of the friends of the girl who marries one of the Buchannan brothers in Murder List . I like that we are revisiting, and getting to know some of the characters from that book a little better, as we as introducing a few new ones. Garwood has a gift for inventing characters that are unique and memorable. Their quirks make for a fun read. Also, this one had an appropriate twist at the end, and so had great payoff for me. I¿m glad I read this one in spring and not winter, because just reading about the parts that took place in Alaska made me cold. I may have had frost bite if it had been winter. Garwood tends to be a light read, but there is always enough exciting moments, and enough romance to make it worth the read, and this one lived up to expectations. =D
raenstorm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really loved this one. Julie always manages to create characters who grab me and won't let go. However, she also excels at surrounding these characters with interesting stories as well. I enjoyed learning more about Sophie and I know I enjoyed getting to know Jack because my one nitpick with the book was that there were two points that hinted at something more Jack was hiding that never mentioned again once the two characters were more comfortable with each other. I couldn't tell if I was just reading more into those moments or if it was something that just got dropped. Either way, that was the only part of the book that bothered me. Overall, it was yet another favorite by Julia.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her other contemporary novels are much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Julie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PeniA More than 1 year ago
Sophie, one of Regan's BFF's from Murder list, is quite a character. The daughter of a netorious theif who always seems to be one step ahead of authorities and a public hero, Think modern day Robinhood. Sophie is strong and confident because she has had to be. With Jack who is equally strong minded and stubborn, this story is filled with their clashes of personality as well as the heat of their unwanted attraction. I highly recommend this story. Note: This story stands on its own but is greatly enhanced when read after Murder List.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little off on the flowing. Hard to read for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this author....i have read almost all of her books andhave only read one that i did not care for. I highly recomend that you read all three books in the series This book follows Murder List, its not necessary to read that book first but it is nice to haeto background on all of the characters (there is one inconsistency between the two stories that was annoying, in Murder List they talj a lot about how Regan's Mom is dead, but in this book they mention she is alive and in her honeymoon). If you want the last friends story you can read fast track after this book.
BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
I had a lot of fun with Fire and Ice. I happened to get the audiobook to listen to this novel. You can always count on that they are really well done! Fire and Ice introduces us to FBI agent Jack MacAlister and reintroduces us to Sophie Rose, Alex Buchanan, Reagan Buchanan, Bobby Rose, and others. Synopsis: Sophie is busy at her desk writing an article for the Chicago Chronicle. She wonders what the next assignment might be. Mr. Bitterman her boss soon let’s her know that she needs to interview a man who called the newspaper for an interview. Sophie contacts and meets with William Harrington who called the paper. When they met he talks for three hours on his favorite topic himself and his upcoming races and lets slip about the Alpha Project. Sophie barely pays attention until he shows up dead a couple of days later. Well naturally she’s curious! There is one major problem someone has made a threat on her life. Will she accept help from Jack and her friends? Will she be able to find out what happened to William Harrington? My Thoughts: Remember I said fun right! What makes Julie Garwood’s characters so interesting is how unique she makes them. We met Sophie in another of Julie’s novel The Murder List. I am glad that we got to know her a little better in her own novel. What would you do if you had a father who is wanted by the authorities on a regular basis? You are constantly called in by the cops for questioning. You are used to having your life threatened. How does the author make the pairing of Jack and Sophie so relatable? The other concepts of the story are well done. The plot is predictable but an entertaining ride. I am always very entertained by Julie’s novels. Humor makes it all that much more entertaining!