Cover Image: Ice Queen

Ice Queen

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

If you enjoy Brooke’s books based in East Quay, you’ll be happy to see another installment. Some of the previous books’ characters make appearances but the focus is on the two new characters – Aislan and Susanna.

I’ve enjoyed Brooke’s romances quite a bit – they provide a sweet and emotional storyline with engaging characters – and this definitely is one more that I would add to the list. I vacillate over whether I like the common setting/characters … it’s nice to have re-visit with the women from the last books, but at the same time, it feels a bit contrived to have all these women whose lives intersect. East Quay is starting to rival Rad’s Provincetown for the largest lesbian protagonist population. 🙂

This is a romance based on an ice queen trope – Aislan is the gregarious and charming school counselor who manages to melt the icy reserve of Susana, a buttoned up CEO who’s focus is on business and not interpersonal relationships. There’s very little external obstacles or angst – other than the requisite baggage each woman brings related to confidence, trust and commitment. I really enjoyed the two characters – there was a nice development of both that wasn’t totally dependent on their relationship or romance. There’s a great chemistry between the two that ratchets up pretty quickly and there’s more than a bit of sizzle in their encounters.

One of the subplots (that actually bring the women together after their chance meeting at a club) revolves around Susanna’s daughter’s struggles at her school. Rather than hitting the reader over the head, I think Ms Brooke handles the bullying through insinuation and hints – and Cynt is portrayed in a pretty realistic way with not wanting to tell her mother and internalizing the anger and pain. Like Susanna and Aislan, the readers know that there’s something going on, but Cynt won’t talk about it.

An enjoyable romance read with great new characters introduced to East Quay’s microcosm of lesbian power players and celebrities. I would recommend to anyone that wants a bit of romance to lighten up your lockdown days.
Was this review helpful?
I have not read many books by Gun Brooke, but the ones I have read I have enjoyed including Ice Queen. The one that I really enjoyed about this romance is that the two mains Aislin and Susanna have great chemistry. Brooke does a fantastic job showing how chemistry should be written. I like the class difference for the mains and that Susanna's daughter was actually likable (even though she was having major issues). I really did like this storyline and will continue to read Gun Brooke's books.

3.75 stars.

This arc was provided by netgalley and the publisher for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this one!. I always enjoy a good book about one character beeing an ice queen which is'nt that much frosty in the end. Thanks. 4 1/2 stars.
Was this review helpful?
I think that this is my first time reading a lesfic novel featuring an ice queen (I know...where have I been!) and I was really pleasantly surprised. I loved the chemistry and sexual tension between Susana and Aislin and was happy to find that it was more slow burn than a lot of lesfic I've read recently, and it suited the story really well! Although this is my first book in the Coffee Sonata universe I never felt lost plotwise or characterwise and I'm really eager to read more in this series! There were a few loose threads left at the end of the book that I would've liked wrapped up but overall this was a great first read from this author!
Was this review helpful?
ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Gun’s [book:Coffee Sonata|219100] is a favourite of mine, so I was happy to see another book in that ‘verse’. Like all of Gun’s stories, this features an age gap, and also features the Ice Queen trope. Susanna is a busy business woman who has trouble reaching her teenage daughter, Cynt. Cynt is attending a prep school and being bullied, she meets Alyssa, a high school counsellor by chance and they strike up a friendship. Alyssa also meets Susanna by chance and the two are immediately attracted to each other. 

Cynt’s issues keep drawing Alyssa and Susanna together and they eventually start a relationship. This is interspersed with various cameos by the MCs of previous books, so we get updates on where many of them are now. I liked how the relationship between the MCs unfolded and that during multiple spots where a miscommunication would usually happen, they instead talked to each other and resolved their issues. Communications is so rare in lesfic, and I love when characters act like adults instead of children. 

Cynt is also a great character, but I found the bullying storyline confusing. Both Alyssa and Susanna overhear conversations and suspect Cynt is being bullied, yet neither questions her about it. Susanna is very wealthy, so I refuse to believe she wouldn’t have had the principal fired for his actions alone. The epilogue was also weird, with Susanna suddenly referred to as ‘Mom’, as if it was from Cynthia’s POV, but it was still written in third person, so it was really disconcerting. The whole bullying thing was only revealed properly in the epilogue as well, and I couldn’t figure out why it was wedged in there. 

Apart from that though, this is a nice, sweet, age-gap romance. Brooke fans will enjoy this. 3.75 stars.
Was this review helpful?
Ice Queen was a great book. I felt a connection to the two women both with issues of self confidence when it comes to relationships. The story was a bit of a slow burn romance but was told with such skill that it lacked for nothing. Angst, love, lust... this book was one I truly enjoyed.
Was this review helpful?
Gun Brooke is fast becoming my favorite romance author.

She makes stories about discovering love fresh with strong, believable women.

In this story, Aisling is am empathetic, talented high school counselor.  After missing the bus and seeking a warm place to wait, she strikes up a conversation with a young teenager.  Days later, they run into one another again and it becomes apparent the teenager is distressed, unhappy and looking for a sympathetic ear. 

A couple of seemingly unconnected events pull Ainsley, Cynt and her mom together and they navigate friendship, trust issues and love together.

Steamy scenes are sprinkled throughout the journey to love.
Was this review helpful?
Four and a half stars. Happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed my first Gun Brooke book.
The title is a little on the nose, is it not? I was a little disappointed to find that there was no other significance to it. The thing is, Susanna barely seems to qualify as an ice queen. She is definitely reserved, but her actions around Aislin and the narration from her perspective just soften her. I was really happy to see Aislin recognize and actually verbalize that late in the story. That isn't a complaint, because I liked her character, and it was easy to root for the relationship, but a book literally called Ice Queen should probably play to a more extreme version of the archetype.
I liked that the characters were both rational and easy to relate to. The Cynt situation was a terrific set-up for getting them together (although I was quite annoyed when her story was fully revealed at the very end.) The relationship is smooth sailing until the final obstacle, which bothers me now that I think about it, since there should have been some hint at inner emotional turmoil somewhere. But the way that the conflict is written is nicely done. No unnecessary drama, just emotions and willpower and two people working it out together. They hurt each other, but they don't even have to storm off and sulk before they realize their error. Other readers might have different opinions but I really liked it this way.
No, it wasn't quite perfect enough to warrant five stars. There are my aforementioned points, as well as my expectation that we'd Susanna in boss mode at work, to better understand the responsibility she faces and just her character in general. That didn't happen, so the five devices breakfast scene comes as a bit of a shock to us as well as to Aislin... but it's hardly an issue. So yes, I would thus defend my rating.
Was this review helpful?
Having read all of Ms. Brooke’s books, I was looking forward to this new one.  It is a romance set in the Coffee Sonata Universe series setting.  For those who enjoyed Coffee Sonata, you will enjoy this one, too.

In Ice Queen two women are attracted to each other.  They come from two different backgrounds and have a large age gap between them.  However, as readers know, these issues rarely make a difference when it comes to romance.  

Aislin Kennedy is a high school counselor who loves her job.  She is quite successful as a counselor. The students appreciate her and confide in her.  Susanna Garry is the CEO of a major fashion conglomerate.  She puts in a lot of time and effort to continue making the business a huge financial success.  Unfortunately, she has not been lucky in love and has had two horrific divorces.  The only good thing she got out of her second marriage was a sweet child.  It is this child, Cynt, who brings the two women together.

The story Ms. Brooke tells is a very appropriate one.  She handles the subject of bullying which takes place in schools and its effects on the children who are being bullied.  Of course, unlike the bullying experienced in earlier generations, today we see it not only taking place face to face but also through social networks.  I feel that Ms. Brooke did a great job of addressing this issue and bringing it to the attention of her readers.

The plot flowed well, and the character development was good.  For those who love Ms. Brooke’s books, you will not be disappointed.  I rate Ice Queen with 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book following the lives and loves of women living in the community of East Quay, Rhode Island. 
    Susanna Garry  has worked hard to get where she is today the CEO of a large international fashion conglomerate. While she thrived at her high stress career but in making her way to the top she has lost her way when it comes to her 14 yr old daughter, Cynt.  All she knows is that her daughter doesn’t want to be around her, which is far from the truth. Cynt is being bullied but doesn’t feel like her mom would or even want to help her through. Cynt is enrolled in the Drew Academy, a school known for its ability to help their students get in the ‘right’ colleges.
    Aislin Kennedy works as a high school counselor at the local public school East Quay Highschool. Aislin loves her job, helping students reach their full potential whether it is going on to college or finding work working in the trades, being anything from a welder to an electrician, etc. But when it comes to the wages she earns she always finds herself barely being able to keep herself afloat. 
    When Aislin's car breaks down, again, she relies on the bus to make her way around. But when she misses the bus she decides to wait for the next one at a local coffee shop. It’s there she meets and starts talking with a young teenager who’s having a hard time. After this it’s agreed that with Cynt mothers permission she would start helping where she could, hoping to bring mother and daughter closer. 
     Now Aislin had met Susanna before, at a nightclub where the two women shared a dance. Both were instantly drawn to the other but would the rich, powerful  Susanna ever have anything to do with Aislin. Susanna hasn’t had a relationship in a while, they have just never worked for her. Aislin has her own past she’s still dealing with. Was she willing to try with Susanna. Ms Brooke knows how to tell a story and she always brings us up to date on what’s  happening with the various characters from other books that used East Quay as a backdrop. Here she gives us an easy, interesting cast that you can’t help but like. Very, very enjoyable read. 
ARC via NetGalley/Bold Stroke Books
Was this review helpful?
I loved her older books, Coffee Sonata, Course of action and Fierce overture, and this book is back 9n track, in my opinion, after a lot of searching and wandering... It's a fun read, it has serious enough moments, and the characters just grow on you.
Was this review helpful?
This was quite different from the author's previous books, but age gaps are a theme she often follows and this was a fine example of it. Both lead characters were well written, flawed yet very likable. The chemistry between them was unexpectedly hot, and it was so refreshing to see two characters communicating well and talking about their insecurities - the author could have thrown in some more drama for drama's sake but I'm glad she avoided the temptation and that this was a relatively angst-free, easy read. Some of the characters from the author's previous books made an appearance here - it was years since I read those so I didn't particularly remember the characters but that didn't detract from the story. Overall a very pleasurable read.
Was this review helpful?
Gun Brooke's Coffee Sonata and Blush Factor are two of my all-time favorite romances, so I was thrilled to see that she has a new book set in the East Quay universe.  This is an ice queen (obviously)/age gap/rich vs normal story, all tropes that are among my favorites. This can be read as a stand alone, but starting with Coffee Sonata would be my recommendation.
Was this review helpful?
This read tells the story of Susanna Durr, CEO of a fashion conglomerate with a strong and powerful personality, and an ice queen. Her daughter Cynthia (Cynt) is being bullied at her current school. Aislin Kennedy is a high school counselor with a wonderful and open personality. Susanna is having difficulty understanding her teenage daughter. Enter school counselor Aislin who meets Cynt at a coffee shop one afternoon, and Susanna at a night club, where sparks ignite between the two on the dance floor. Both have wounded hearts and are afraid to trust their hearts again. All three are in need of healing.

There is something to be said about watching an ice queen melt. What makes it interesting is how the melt unfolds. With the ingredients, teenager and high school counselor, it made for an interesting story. I was glad to see that the emphasis was on all three because I cared about all three, especially Cynt and the bullying she had to deal with. I hate bullies!
Was this review helpful?
I like a lot of Gun Brooke's stuff. This did what it said in the summary. Happy ending of course. It had its moments.. I think I prefer her books that have a bit more action in them but this was quite a good story. I don't think I would go out of my way to buy it though. Sorry.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book! I mean, yes, the title got me. Who's not a sucker for a good ole fashion ice queen story? But I really liked both characters a lot and thought their chemistry was off the chart. 

First thing, I felt like both Susanna and Aislin were well developed. I knew what kind of people they both were right from the start. I think both their internal monologues and the fact that you got both sides of their story helped a bit with getting into their heads. 

I also enjoyed how they sort of met through Cynt but also not. When I read the description, I thought all their interactions would be through Susanna's daughter but they weren't. I don't want to give any spoilers away, but it was fun to read how two sides of their lives came together and forced them to figure out whether to ignore their first meeting or not. 

Which brings me to how much I loved Aislin. You would expect her to be intimidated by Susanna, but she wasn't at all. She was incredibly bold and open, which helped Susanna come out of her shell. She was the real strength of the book, despite the title! 

Last thing, this book is technically part of a series, as other characters from other books by Gun Brooke make appearances. Having said that, I didn't feel like you needed to read them to enjoy this one. I do want to go back and read the others, but only because I liked this one so much. 

Definitely recommend a buy and a read.
Was this review helpful?

Aislin is a high school guidance counselor who meets a young girl, Cynt, in a coffee shop.  It’s obvious to see the girl has a lot on her mind so Aislin sits with her and a friendship begins to blossom.  It’s agreed that if Cynt can get her mother’s permission, they will continue to stay in each other’s lives.  Later Aislin goes to a new club with her friends for a night of dancing.  She sees a stunning woman exiting from a limo and is smitten… The woman is the ultra-successful Susanne Durr, so far out of Aislin’s world as can be but a girl can drool, right… Later when the pair have the chance to dance together, Susanne finds herself just as intrigued.  A call from her housekeeper about a concern for her daughter pulls Susanne away from the club before the women can figure out what it is between them and they both think that will be the last they see of each other. Little do they know that this is just the beginning for them as they share a common connection…You will have to read it to discover the rest, but it’s not a hardship! 

To say that I loved this book would be a huge understatement!!! My all-time favourite series is Ms Brookes’ romantic East Quay series and this book is another in that line!! I was so shocked and surprised to discover this making me utterly blissed out! The writing in this drama is on point and practically perfect from an editing standpoint as well as from a story view.  It’s filled with lovely characters who are realistic and easy to care about.  They have their problems and not all is smooth sailing but it’s so nice to watch them figure things out. I would love to have had more of the story, especially the part where they confessed their relationship to others but then again if I had my way, the book would have been 500 pages long lol.  The wonderful women from the previous books, Manon, Eryn, Vivian and Mike as well as a few others are included in this wonderful tale just to make things that much more perfect.  Having spent time with these old friends made me realize how much I missed them so I am off to re-read the series again! Give this one a try and see if you agree!
Was this review helpful?
Well where to start......I didn't love this but I didn't hate it either. It was just an okay book. I love Ice queens and watching them melt but this wasn't an Ice Queen. Susanna was just closed off she was never really a cold person. The story line was okay. The characters were fine but I didn't feel the heat from them or the romance. I felt awkward at parts.
Was this review helpful?
This is a first author for me, I have not read any of Ms. Brooke's books yet so was excited to jump into this story.  It is based around Aislin, and high school counselor and Susanna, a CEO of a conglomerate of businesses.  The timeline is around 3-4 months and it opens up with Aislin meeting Susanna's daughter Cynthia (Cynt).

The story does move along at a good pace, Aislin finally does meet Susanna, formally, through Cynt.  I do like how Aislin and Susanna met first at the club, neither knowing they have Cynt in common, It gave the reader a better warm up to Susanna, I think had we met her in the formal way, the Ice Queen title would have be front and center, but we get a pick of Susanna in the club to see a bit more warmer side first.  

This book is heavy on the narrative style, where as I am more of a heavy on the dialog style, so for me the book was a bit slow moving, but again that is just my taste.  The dialog does come out more towards the end, again I am a sucker for dialog interaction with characters.  

As expected, warming up to Susanna was a bit hard, but the book is called Ice Queen after all <smile> but in the end I fell in love with her and of course Aislin.  I got the impression from some of the other sub-characters in the book, that this book has threads to other books of Ms. Brooke's, but I found I could follow along with some of the scenes without having to have read past books, though it does make me want to look into those for some of the stories of the other women in the book.

All in all, it was an enjoyable read and the ending was a good wrap-up to the start of their relationship.  I will say though I would have loved to have had more of Susanna ripping into her ex Craig <smile>.

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, but would have written the same opinion if I had come across this author on my own.

To see my Amazon review, it is under CC-enjoyable read
Was this review helpful?
This was a  really good novel, loved all the characters in this book. Aislin and Susanna were really cute and sexy together and I loved that there was very low drama in the story. Loved  Susannas' daughter Cynt as well. There were some moments where I really felt for one or more of the characters but mostly everything worked out in the end.. This was an age gap romance that featured characters from other books from this author it was good to catch up with some of them in this book. I would definitely recommend this author to anyone who loves a romantic female female  age gap romance with very low drama and some very sexy scenes.
Was this review helpful?