The Ice Man by Brittany Young
(Silhouette Intimate Moments 849, $4.35, PG)
ISBN 0-373-08749-8
***
Jack Alessandro is the grandson of an infamous Chicago Mafia boss. Reared by his grandparents, Jack left home at the age of 16, yet returned when he was 21 to gain custody of his younger sister, Patti. Jack has built a shipping empire from the piers up, but like many self-made men, he is lonely at the top. And on top is definitely where he intends to stay.

Meanwhile in Washington, DC, at the Department of Justice an investigation is centering on Jack's shipping business. It is suspected of transporting and selling used advanced tech military equipment to unfriendly nations.

Since the focus is on Jack, the Justice Department enlists agent Kyra Courtland to go undercover into the Alessandro organization. The daughter of a former Ambassador to Spain, Kyra is fluent in Spanish, proficient in entertaining and eminently qualified to become an assistant to Jack. That job is currently open because the Justice Department lured Jack's previous assistant away with an offer she couldn't refuse.

Kyra is reluctant to go undercover again. She recently adopted her infant nephew, Noah, after her sister and brother-in-law were killed in the line of government duty. Her boss railroads her into interviewing for the job, and after the interview Jack hires her.

Against her will, the very attractive Kyra, is immediately drawn to Jack. In the past, she has always been able to keep her emotions under control when it came to handsome men. But what torments her most this time is that Jack is a suspect and she is there not just to investigate, but to gather evidence. Her hands-off policy is challenged by Jack who has become enamored with her.

Although a longtime Silhouette author, this is Brittany Young's premier book for Silhouette Intimate Moments. She does a good job with character development while sustaining a high level of sexual tension throughout the book. Although a fairly predictable story line, The Ice Man, while not particularly memorable, does reveal Young's excellent ability to pace a story.

--Thea Davis


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