Title: Surviving Ice (Burying Water Series, Book 4)
Author: K.A. Tucker
SURVIVING ICE (BOOK 4)
BURYING WATER (BOOK 1)
BECOMING RAIN (BOOK 2)
CHASING RIVER (BOOK 3)
The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths series and Burying Water—which Kirkus Reviews called “a sexy, romantic, gangster-tinged page-turner”—returns with a new novel packed with romance, plot twists, and psychological suspense.
Ivy Lee, a talented tattoo artist who spent the early part of her twenties on the move, is looking for a place to call home. She thinks she might have finally found it working in her uncle’s tattoo shop in San Francisco. But all that changes when a robbery turns deadly, compelling her to pack up her things yet again.
When they need the best, they call him. That’s why Sebastian Riker is back in California, cleaning up the mess made after a tattoo shop owner with a penchant for blackmail got himself shot. But it’s impossible to get the answers he needs from a dead body, leaving him to look elsewhere. Namely, to the twenty-something-year-old niece who believes this was a random attack. Who needs to keep believing that until Sebastian finds what he’s searching for.
Ivy has one foot out of San Francisco when a chance encounter with a stranger stalls her departure. She’s always been drawn to intense men, so it’s no wonder that she now finds a reason to stay after all, quickly intoxicated by his dark smile, his intimidating strength, and his quiet control.
That is, until Ivy discovers that their encounter was no accident—and that their attraction could be her undoing.
I've said it before and I will say it again -- K.A. Tucker is incapable of writing a bad story. Her words captivate, annihilate, and exhilarate. I quickly became a fan of hers after reading Ten Tiny Breaths. Several years and countless books later, I have yet to read a novel penned by her that is nothing short of exceptional. Surviving Ice is the fourth and final book in her Burying Water Series. I was incredibly sad to see this series come to an end, but found that the series couldn't have ended with a more remarkable story than Surviving Ice. If you haven't read the previous books in the story, don't worry, each can be read as a stand alone, but I urge you to get your hands on all of them and discover their beauty.
Ivy is unlike any heroine Tucker has written before. It's hard to describe what exactly makes her so unique. I thought Kacey from Ten Tiny Breaths had attitude and snark, but Ivy definitely takes the crown. I loved her no nonsense attitude and (at times) abrasiveness. Her sharp edges aren't defense mechanisms to protect her from previous traumas, they're just inherent pieces of her personality. Despite her intimidating exterior, Ivy has a huge heart and loves the few that are lucky enough to be close to her. Our hero, Sebastian, has his hands full if he stands any chance of getting close to Ivy. It's going to take someone with a strong will to crack her surface. Sebastian is hardened from years of doing the necessary to survive. He's got countless skeletons in his closet and I loved the mystery behind this man. The hero and heroine are both stubborn and strong willed, constantly challenging one another in a battle to see who will concede first. I loved how they pushed each other one second and settled into a comfortable silence the next.
As far as the story goes -- you'll have to experience all the shock and betrayal for yourself. Ivy and Sebastian and thrown together by unfortunate circumstances and must navigate through the destruction to find closure. Nothing about this story is typical or boring. Every page drew me in deeper than the one before it and I found myself unable to let go of Surviving Ice until I reached the end. Even now, I am itching to dive back in and rediscover Ivy and Sebastian's story. There is something profound about Tucker's writing and a finesse to her words you don't come across often in today's saturated market. The suspense, the mystery, and the undeniable chemistry within this story make it one of the best novels around and a definite must read.
Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.
A soft meow catches my ear. The resident tabby cat—a whore who hops from one villa to the next, sharing her affections without discrimination—struts across the thick balcony wall to me, her tail curling in the air as she approaches. I stroke the soft patch of fur beneath her chin and listen to her purr while I begin to mentally prepare myself for my return to California.
It’s been almost five years since I last stepped foot on American soil. Soil that once brought me purpose, love, and determination. Then pain, weakness.
What will it bring me now?
My hand drops from the cat’s chin, deciding I’ve given her more than enough. She leans forward, head-butts my arm— allowing me a chance to reconsider, to show her the kind of love that I am no longer capable of—before giving up and scuttling away.
With a sigh and one last glance over the peaceful blue waters, I flick the cigarette butt that sits mashed up on the railing and venture back inside to where an olive-skinned Grecian beauty is sprawled across my bed. She’s the smoker, and an unexpected outcome of last night, while I enjoyed a quiet solo meal by the water. A curvy, sensual woman, much like the tabby cat, stalking in to impose herself on my life. Except her affections weren’t as easily dismissed, wearing away at my defenses over the hours with throaty laughs and wandering fingertips.
Manipulating my loneliness.
I rarely succumb to it, but last night, I did.
I also must have had too many glasses of that pricey limnio, because I don’t usually end up in my own bed with a prostitute.
I slide a hand back and forth over the smooth skin of her hip until she stirs with a small groan. Eyes as blue as the Aegean Sea below us flutter open to meet mine. Her plump natural lips—that were wrapped around my cock with such expertise last night—curl into a smile. “Good morning, American,” she purrs in her thick accent, reaching for me. “You want more, don’t you?”
Had I not just received that call from Bentley, I probably would have taken her again. But minutes within getting news of my next assignment, my mind is already shifting focus, shutting down my weak human urges, preparing the rest of me for what is to come.
I quash her efforts for a repeat by filling her groping fingers with her crimson dress. “You can let yourself out.”
“But . . . last night was . . .” She stumbles over her own surprise. “Will I see you again?”
There’s no use pretending that either of us is something we’re not, that we will be more to each other than we were for a few paid hours last night. So I don’t bother answering, leaving her on my bed to head to the bathroom, feeling her anger blazing into my back.