"Fire and Ice" reads very much like an extra long letter of the month from one of those men's magazines that my brother liked to hide under his mattress. That's not a bad thing though, because being a girl, the photos never did a whole lot for me. But every now and again I'd come across a letter and it was time to break out a beach towel.
This story had me reaching.
It's the story of a married everyman who's separated from his wife briefly due to their jobs, and he just happens to live next door to a pair of amazingly beautiful and sexy young women. He makes their acquaintance and in the best letter of the month tradition, he does eventually get to make them.
The fun is getting there, in the first place. This isn't an in-your-face stroke story; it's a little slower paced than that and I appreciated the author's use of time to develop his characters. We get some teasers early, the usual descriptives to address the girls and how they look and act. And we learn of our hero's interest in them, which he duly suppresses, being happily married as he is.
Once we find out just who, and most especially what, these girls are (I will tell you they work in the 'entertainment industry') the writing picks up. It isn't bad for the first third of the story; the narrative is clean and simple, but not really captivating for me. As I say though, that changes. I think the author finds his groove when he finally gets to play with the two female leads. It's fun to read and that's when the story becomes interesting for me. That's where the foreplay is.
Soon thereafter the story moves to the sex. It doesn't hurry, there's no rush, the pacing remains consistent throughout the tale, and the sex is good, not the Chicago Fire, but reasonably hot and worth the wait. I like longer scenes that give me more than just a lot of moaning and groaning and metaphorical descriptions of body fluids, so I'm happy with this. The sex here is described faithfully, much like it happens every day and twice on my anniversary. Fantasy is almost always improved by the addition of realistic elements, and in this story they're combined very nicely.
Technically it's a written well; there are the occasional errors with grammar and spelling, but not so much as to be a distraction. Pacing, as I mentioned is good for me. All the characters are believable enough; even the two girls, being a little over-the-top as they need to be, they work just fine. They're not carbon copies of each other, they have their own personalities and they're likable girls, which isn't always the case in stroke porn.
The one thing I would pick on would be the plot actually. The opening paragraph suggests there's going to be major fidelity issues in store for the main character, and it repeats throughout the story, but nothing ever comes of it. There's no real angst or guilt expressed and life goes on for the man in question. This is fundamentally an escapist stroke story, so a lot of emotional or moral conflict isn't necessarily needed or even welcome. But with all the references...It seems contradictory and I get the feeling this story would work better without those. Whether they're used to give the guy a white hat to wear, or as an excuse for him not to try and become emotionally attached to the girls, I'm not sure. Either way that aspect of the story seems very flat.
Bottom line? I'll keep this one handy. I'll read through my favorite bits before bath time, and close my eyes and let my fingers do the walking as I soak. It's definitely worth reading and I recommend it to anyone who likes a little buildup, a little foreplay before the real sex scene plays itself out.