Lone Star Ice and Fire
L.E. Brady
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Lone Star Ice and Fire

L.E. Brady
Coral Press
416 pages
April 2004
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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This is a story of brotherhood in all its aspects - the good, the bad, the downright evil, and the saved. Think Cain and Abel in a stranglehold, think the Wright Brothers in the glory of flight, think Mike and Darrell Waltrip duking it out behind the wheel at 180 mph, but whatever you do, think Big, because this is also a ten-gallon tale about Texas.

Sonny was the star of the family, a blues guitarist with a future, but guilty about leaving his younger brother home to be a target of brutal beatings and daily doses of despair. But while Sonny wasn't looking, Walker was picking out tunes on the guitar. The music that Walker could make was out of Sonny's realm - Sonny was all heat, beat and rhythm, while Walker was cool, detached, and way out there. So they were dubbed Fire and Ice.

They shared, sparred and separated, over and over again, in the wild world of the road, the honky tonks, and the big Texas bigtime - for them, Austin was a city with no limits. They shared some women, too - when your lover calls your brother's name in the middle of the act, you know that's a recipe for the blues. And, as Walker says, "They don't call it the blues for nothing, babe. Pain makes it burn."

L.E. Brady is a music-knowledgeable, guitar-loving blues fan and a writer who can go the distance. Her dialogue sounds like where it comes from - the heart of the blistering southland. She deals as well with the screwed-up empty madness of drugs as with the mysteries of a girl singer's heart, and tells it all with down-home soul. This is a novel that leaks passion out from all the edges, without ever veering too far from the straight storyline.

For those who love that sexy Texas flavor, and the men and women who make the music that makes the barbecue go down smooth, this is a must-read.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Barbara Bamberger Scott, 2004

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