Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

“Sometimes danger is hard to see...until it’s too late.”

Britt Pfeiffer is planning on spending the entire week of spring break with her best friend Korbie. The two girls along with Korbie's boyfriend, Bear, will be staying at Korbie's family cabin, Idlewilde, located in the Grand Teton National Park. The only way that Korbie's parents are letting Bear stay is that her older brother, Calvin, will be chaperoning. Britt isn't happy over this development considering he is the ex boyfriend she only recently gotten over. In the immediate aftermath of her heartbreak, Korbie let Britt plan their break. Britt's original scheme was to get Calvin back, hence the trip to Idlewilde. Calvin is practically a mountain man. Now, eight months after he broke her heart with a phone call and not a word since, she knows that they won't be getting back together. The trip isn't what she planned.

Stopping for gas at the SevenEleven before picking up Korbie, a pair of hands cover her eyes and the voice she has dreaded hearing fills her ear. It's Calvin and Britt is trying to act nonchalant. She asks about a girlfriend and tells Calvin that she is seeing someone. He doesn't believe her, especially when she points out an older boy at the gas pumps. The boy comes in and Calvin goes to introduce himself. Hiding behind the shelves because she knows that the gig is up, Britt is floored that the boy plays along. He seems to be a mind reader in bag he gets all of the details correct. Calvin is visibly fuming. The boy introduces himself as Mason and leaves, saying that he will see her next week. As she passes by Calvin's BMW, she takes his classic CD collection. She hopes to make him sweat wondering where it is until she gives it back. Britt leaves to pick up Korbie.

Britt isn't happy that Korbie hasn't finished packing and Calvin will beat them there. Driving along, Korbie discovers the stolen CD case and asks Britt about it. They can talk about her brother as long as Britt doesn't bring up kissing him. Opening it up, the girls discover a map of the park with Calvin's painstakingly detailed notes. Britt knows that she can use it to her advantage on her hike.  As they are driving up the mountains, dark clouds start to gather. Soon rain drops start to fall and Britt stops her Wrangler to snap the top back into place. She is soaked by the time she gets back into the vehicle. The rain doesn't slack off and the temperature begins to plummet. Soon the snow is so thick and deep that they are stuck. Britt isn't so sure that they aren't lost. There is no cell phone reception. Knowing that they need to find some shelter before they freeze to death, Korbie decides to follow Britt into the forest.

After an hour hiking, the girls see lights up ahead. They have come upon a cabin and they beat on the door for awhile before it opens. Two guys older than them are standing there and Britt cannot believe her eyes. One of them is Mason, the guy she used to make Calvin jealous earlier. He isn't happy to see her and tries to get them to leave. The other guy is ready to let both of them in. Finally, Mason relents but doesn't make them feel welcome. Once inside, it is apparent that Mason will do just about anything to get them to go. Korbie begins to flirt with the other guy, Shaun, and he is more than willing to comply. Britt realizes that Mason doesn't want them around Shaun. The tension only gets thicker as the night goes on. Korbie is jealous of Britt. She wants Shaun for herself, even though she has a boyfriend, and wants Britt to back away. Dinner is a disaster. Mason doesn't eat and Korbie complains about the food. Britt tries to diffuse the situation when she notices both Shaun and Mason trying to keep their tempers in check. Korbie cannot keep her mouth shut about Britt, Mason or the food. Mason asks the girls what kind of gear they brought with them. Britt starts going over the supplies they packed and Korbie wants to know why. Shaun stands up and tells them that they didn't plan on staying in the mountains. If he is going to get out any time soon, they are going to need their stuff. That is when Britt realizes that Shaun has pulled a gun from his waistband and is pointing it at them.

They separate the girls to question and see who has the best chance of getting them off of the mountain. Shaun realizes quickly that it is Britt and Britt needs to come up with a plan to keep both of them safe. It seems that Shaun is in charge and she tries to find out why Mason helped her out with Calvin at the gas station. She tells Mason that Korbie is a diabetic and needs her insulin. She isn't but it is the same excuse they used one summer at camp to get out of some work and hopes that Korbie picks up on it.. Britt knows that if she can convince the guys that Korbie is sick and will only slow them down, she will be safe until Calvin or Bear might be able to find her. Shaun wants Britt to lead them off of the mountain so that they can steal a car and get away. Shaun overheard Britt's comments about Korbie being sick. He wants Britt to tell Mason how to get back to her Wrangler to retrieve the supplies and Korbie's medicine. She tries to convince him that the medicine would be frozen by now and no good. Mason leaves and Britt tries to figure which one of the guys is in charge because Mason is throwing off mixed signals.

Can Britt and Korbie get away from Shaun and Mason? Did Britt convince the guys to leave a sick Korbie behind? Will Britt be able to find her way off of the mountain? Do either Calvin or Bear come looking for them? Who is the ring reader between Shaun and Mason? Will Britt be able to trust one of them? And will Britt survive this ordeal?

Visit Becca Fitzpatrick's website.

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