Review: A Taste of Ice by Hanna Martine

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Taste of Ice by Hanna Martine (The Elementals #2)
Paranormal Romance
December 31, 2012
Berkley

Reviewed by Mandi

These days, I find myself seeking out new contemporary authors or series, but not so much paranormal. However, when book one of this series, Liquid Lies arrived on my doorstep earlier this year, I tried it and really enjoyed. Taste of Ice continues the world where aliens have secretly infiltrated earth, and are warring with each other, unknown to most humans. I believe this book can be read as a stand alone, however one of my big frustrations with this book is that the world and the prior events are not rehashed early enough, or in enough detail. I had forgotten who the Ofarians and Tedrans were and their history. It’s not until deep in this book do we get reminded of the past, but by then I was frustrated.

Xavier was born inside of a factory of sorts, a building where Ofarians, water elementals from a different planet, were holding and torturing Tedrans, the rival alien people. Xavier was raised in this plant with no windows and no friends, and when he was a young adult, he became a breeder against his will. He was forced to have sex with woman after woman, and for some reason his sperm would always impregnate each one. His guard, who he calls ‘The Burned Man’ (because half his face was burned off) was ruthless and reveled in Xavier’s torture.

But the last time he saw that prison was five years ago. In book one, he was freed and the plant was destroyed. He now has a chance at life, and finds himself in the small town of White Clover Creek, working as a cook in a restaurant. He hasn’t touched a woman in quite sometime, trying to overcome his obsession with sex. He still hallucinates that the burned man is with him, hearing him taunt him in his head, trying to get him to have sex with every woman he sees. But Xavier is holding strong. This town hosts a big film festival every year, which brings the debut artist, Cat to town to show off her work in front of important Hollywood folk. Cat knows she is drawn to water, and she is overcome with urges to paint it. She doesn’t know why, but she just goes with the flow. When she sees Xavier, she feels like she knows him, but is pretty sure this is the first they’ve met. Xavier feels drawn to her too, but tries to push her away, not wanting to soil her with his dirty self. But Cat pursues him, and soon Xavier builds up the courage to respond to her advances. When Cat’s sponsor for the show, Michael, turns out to be a bad, bad man, Xavier and Cat have to unite together to try to stave off a war.

Xavier is an interesting character because he is so tortured and damaged. And I love a damaged hero. He is very skittish around women, and doesn’t know how to take Cat and her abruptness. What I found a little odd is how understanding Cat is with Xavier. He acts strange! As the reader you are in his head so you know he is a decent guy. But if I was faced with a man like this, a stranger in a strange town acting weird, would I get all hot and horny? I mean – the sex and the build-up is hot, but I found Cat to be too willing to accept Xavier without really knowing him.

Michael is the baddie in this book and he is really sick and evil. I think he is portrayed well. For the most part this story is engaging, but personally I didn’t love how things played out at the end. There is a big twist that had my eyes pop open, but I just didn’t care for how it all wraps up, including the epilogue.

So, this one was a little bit of a let down after the fab first book. I really hope Griffin (a supporting character in both book one and two) gets a book next. I really enjoyed him and his fire elemental friend.

Rating: C

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