Archive | May, 2010

Pamela Clare – “Extreme Exposure”

24 May


GENRE: Romantic Suspense
PUBLISHED: Berkley, 2005

SERIES: I-Team series, #1

WHY THIS NOVEL: I really liked book #4 in this series, Naked Edge, so I just couldn’t resist reading the other books.

It’s been years since her child’s father dumped her, and since then Kara McMillan has kept men at bay–although every day she aches more for a lover’s touch. But to get that, the hardboiled journalist mus become vulnerable–a feeling she vowed never to have again.

With his dangerous good looks, charm, and power, Senator Reece Sheridan could have just about any woman he sets his piercing eyes on. But he’s intrigues by only one. This Kara, this gutsy investigative reporter, has a sensuality that arouses him to no end. If she’s a firebrand in print, he guesses, she must be just as fiery in bed…

But this is no fling. A sudden political scandal–and attempts on Kara’s life–could very well drive them apart. Or maybe, just maybe, adversity could draw them into a bond even more intense than their steamy sexual embraces…

Kara is a committed journalist and a loving single mother. She feels lonely – or better make that horny after five years without sex. That’s is why she’s in a bar and feeling out of place and sex starved at the same time when the story begins. It’s there she meets senator Reece Sheridan for the first time in person and while not as sex starved as Kara, he soon is as horny as she thanks to her alcohol-loosened tongue because Kara spouts questions like “Do women really taste like tune?” and that gets Reece turned on.

The suspense starts when Kara gets a call from a man who wants Kara to take a closer look at a mining company and how it handles its environmental duties. Kara does and finds she has a “bona fide whistleblower on her hands” (27). Think Erin Brockovich and you get an idea. Meanwhile, Reece suddenly finds himself on the same side of a bill as his political nemesis. It gives him pause but the bill is beneficial for the environment and so he continues supporting it.

Kara investigates some more and slowly unravels the plot surrounding the mining company while Reece tries his best to make some room for himself in Kara’s busy life as a wary woman, single mother and hard-boiled journalist. When she starts to receive threats on her phone, he starts to throw his weight around as a senator to help her and to try to find out what she’s working on (she can’t tell because of her ethics as a journalist). And soon they both realize that Kara’s investigation might very well have ties to Reece work.

I thought the mystery and the investigation decent, at least better than what I usually find in romantic suspense, and I rather liked that there was no serial killer on the loose. I also thought the look on Reece life as a politician interesting, probably mostly because I don’t know of many romance novel heroes who are a politician, and the political backstabbing and manipulating convincing.

I had some trouble believing the amount of time Reece had as a politician. It seemed like he had a nine-to-five job. As, btw, did Kara as a hard-hitting investigative journalist. Both I’m just not sure about. I also couldn’t see how Reece ended up being elected. In my experience, you can’t just decide to run for something and get elected; not in a big town, at least. But that’s my impression of what had happened. Then Kara’s suggestive questions back from chapter one in combination with his admiration for her work seemed to seal the deal on his unwavering devotion to her. And altogether, Reece just seemed too good to be believable – as a politician and a hero.

Along the same line…I can’t believe a normally not all that outgoing woman asking all those questions under the influence of alcohol, especially when later during a dinner with Reece that woman has no problem drinking two glasses of wine and sharing one bottle of wine without descending into speaking without thought. Equally huh?-worthy to me was Kara’s offer to wash Reece shirt because it had a stain when they are alone in her apartment one evening. Not all that bright (IMO of course) when you’re, like Kara insists she is, not 100% sure you want to get involved with that man and want to get involved now. On that not-all-that-bright side also falls her insistence to not let the death threats win (= make her run). All fine and dandy for herself but not really thinking of the safety of her child. And as the dedicated journalist she is described, I had to wonder why she had no qualms spending three days to get hot and heavy with the senator when she had thousands of pages of documents to wade through. Wouldn’t she have felt compelled to go through them to find out what’s going on above all? (Of course, this was a long weekend and right after something else but still…) In short, in my view there were a few things that just didn’t add up and felt jarring although they didn’t really influence my enjoyment of the novel. As I said, I see them more as niggles + they are subjective.

As with the other two novels I’ve read so far by Pamela Clare, I liked the writing in Extreme Exposure (leaving aside a few odd repetitions). This, together with the decent investigation of the mystery, made the novel an enjoyable and solid read, a read I finished very fast even. But nothing more. I felt no strong connection with the characters, their romance didn’t particular touch me and overall, for me this novel was missing sparks. I didn’t see something that made it memorable for more than its solid writing. Translation: I’m not sorry I read the novel but I’m sure I won’t read it again, except maybe as part of the series.

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Wednesday, 19 May

19 May

Edit: corrected two mistakes

Reading


Today, I had to quit reading Pamela Clare’s novel Hard Evidence on page 37. I’d thought the heroine looked stupid several times already. And on page 37, I encountered the last straw I could take today and I had to stop (there goes my evening of reading on the couch).

Tessa, our plucky heroine, is a “cop reporter” and, or so the reader is told, she’s good at her job. On evening, she witnesses a murder right before her eyes. The next morning, she phones the police and is informed that the police won’t release the report yet or issue a statement (18). Tessa decides to run with the story anyway, making it a “first person, eyewitness account” (18) and the front page for the next day’s issue of the newspaper.

On that next day, she’s asked by the Chief of the police if she’d considered that she’d made herself a target. Tessa says yes but also says she thinks herself safe because now everyone knows what she knows. The Chief agrees that viewed like that Tessa’s right but he also points out that there are easily several other reasons why the killer still might want to see her dead. Tessa, our experienced cop reporter, is surprised… Then later on the same day she accidentally meets the man she suspects is the killer and…is surprised why he knows her name.

That’s when I had to stop.

I’m going to continue reading that novel because I like Pamela Clare’s voice and writing. But I sure I hope that Tessa eventually shows that she’s the good and experienced reporter she’s said to be and that she starts to consider the consequences of her actions in some way before she acts. Because so far, I haven’t seen it once. And that’s too bad.

Gaming

Remember Bebedora? My little warrior-woman reached the top 100 today.

(For some reason, the hair color of my character turned from blond to brown after the last update of the game.)

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Oh, and I’ve written my first longer book comment in ages. Woohoo. I think I’m even going to post it. But today I had to get Tessa off my chest, I’m sorry.