Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: I-Team, Book 1
Hero: Reece Sheridan
Heroine: Kara McMillan
Date of Publication: August 2, 2005
Started On: October 25, 2010
Finished On: October 26, 2010
It’s been sometime since I have been so captivated by a novel that I even resented the need to catch some shut eye if I were to keep the migraines that have been rushing in to make my day at bay since the start of this week. Having read only two historical romances by Ms. Clare prior to this, I didn’t know what to expect from a contemporary romance of hers though I knew that with the amazing reviews her books have received, it would be of the unputdownable kind – and I am so hooked to this series right now that I foresee myself going at the rest of the published novels in the series with a gusto that I knew that I had in me when I first started reading the Night Huntress series a couple of months back. This book had everything and I mean absolutely everything that I crave for when I pick up a romance novel. Loveable characters, enough steam to make me cross-eyed through the hot interludes and a good suspense plot that kept the pages turning even after 1 am on a work night. So onto the review of this riveting book which I hope I can do justice trying to convey what the book actually meant to me.
The Hero: State Senator Reece Sheridan, who was elected to the seat two years back is as sinfully good-looking as they come. Having been a high school social studies teacher and a youth soccer coach prior to running for his seat, Reece had chosen his political career in order to show his students that a person can jump into the corrupt and greedy world of politics and still remain true to his integrity and work towards the betterment of the society without losing who he is. But his true passion always lies within teaching and he hopes to return to doing what he loves when the public no longer wants his services at the Senate. Reece is a staunch environmentalist and an alternative energy bill which he had presented to the Senate had been passed recently. The eldest of four kids, Reece had grown up with his father whilst his mother had whisked away the younger siblings, one brother and two sisters after his parents had split up when Reece had been 9 years old. Currently single, Reece had had a hot and heavy affair with lobbyist Alexis Ryan when he had first been elected until he had wizened up to her tricks and is later framed for her murder.
The Heroine: Kara McMillan is a single mother who works as an investigative reporter at the Denver Independent. Kara’s father had walked out on them when she had just been a baby, a father whom she had never heard from or even met afterwards. With a free spirited mother who adores her daughter and grandson, Kara doesn’t do relationships or men since Galen Prentice had walked out on her when he had found out she was pregnant with his child. With Connor now four years old, Kara was feeling the need for male companionship and craving the high that only a giving male body can show her though Kara knows she is not the type to just jump into bed with anybody. Kara has made a reputation for being ruthless when she goes after the truth, exposing corrupt government officials misusing the taxpayers dollars for their own benefits. With Tom Trent, her cranky and ruthless editor giving her a hard time because she refuses to forget that Connor is an integral part of her life, Kara continually juggles her career and her family life always feeling that she falls short when it comes to giving Connor what he needs.
Storyline: Kara receives a tip from a whistleblower who wished to remain anonymous that the company that he was working for was committing a lot of illegal activities when it comes to getting rid of its toxic waste products. Armed with material from her source which shows neglect on many levels from government officials who are liable to investigate and take action against the many severe offenses committed against the environment by the company in question, Kara ruffles the feathers of men who refuse to part with the millions of dollars of profit they rake in every year. Kara’s relationship with Senator Reece takes off right alongside of this investigation regardless of how much Kara tries to deny the need that she feels for Reece’s magical touch. The investigation takes a nasty turn when Kara’s life is threatened and she is nearly killed in her home, driving Reece to protect what he considers as his and in the process finding out just how deep within the government was the stronghold of corruption.
First Encounter: Kara and Reece meet each other for the first time at a bar to which Kara is taken by her friend Holly to find someone for Kara who would break the dry spell of five long years. In a drunken stupor, the conversation that takes place between Kara and Reece is something to be savored though the simmering attraction that flares between the two is hard to ignore even then.
Time period: This story takes place in the state of Colorado and has a contemporary setting.
Awareness between the two characters: Senator Reece is the stuff dreams are made of. A man who is as comfortable in the kitchen as in his office, Reece awakens something that had long since slumbered inside of Kara. An inherent sensuality that had laid dormant for the past 5 years suddenly takes hold of Kara and she can barely keep her hands off of Reece much less not think about him and his wicked hands 24/7. Reece is as much taken with Kara and what follows are all combustive and explosive encounters between the two which left me totally breathless at all times. Sigh!!
The turning point: Kara and Reece’s relationship grows right alongside with the danger that grows out of control as the investigation Kara starts continues to mount evidence that could bring down the company in question to its knees. Kara who is not used to being protected and cosseted finds it a strange yet endearing trait when Reece shows her with just more than his words and his touch how much Kara means to him. Though Kara tries to drive Reece away from time to time, mostly they are halfhearted attempts. Their explosive attraction coupled together with Reece’s generous and giving nature slowly crumbles the walls around Kara’s heart without her knowing and when danger and scandal threatens to tear them apart from one another for good both Kara and Reece face the fact that they love each other and would give up everything just to be able to hold each other for one last time.
Ending: I don’t think I could have been more satisfied with the ending even if I had tried. All the bad guys except for one or two get what they deserve, Kara and Reece get their happily ever after and the epilogue shows the happy couple’s life a couple of months later. As I always say in my reviews, a good epilogue goes a long way in making for a great story.
Likes: Mmmm… where shall I start? Basically I loved everything about this book from its wonderfully heady cover to office desk smexing to its wonderful ending. I absolutely loved Kara, Reece and Connor and the character development that goes on in the story. Reece is one of those yummy alpha heroes that you can’t help but sigh and moon over and over. Kara is a heroine who is beautiful on the inside and the outside for her relentless desire for justice and the reserves of courage and her deep abiding love for Connor and of course Reece. Now who wouldn’t love a man like Reece? I absolutely savored the mystery that unfolded which kept me right at the edge of my seat so to say. Superb storytelling as always by Ms. Clare.
Dislikes: Absolutely none!
Recommended for: All fans of romantic suspense and romance book lovers in general.
“Just a kiss, Kara. Nothing more. Don’t tell me the woman who brought city hall to its knees is afraid of a kiss.”
Even in the dark he could see the flash of fire in her eyes. “Of course I’m not afraid of a kiss! But you’re assuming I want to be kissed.”
He leaned across the seat and brushed his lips with his. “Don’t you?”
He heard her quick intake of breath, saw the heat in her eyes, and he knew he had his answer.
He pulled her closer, tasted first her upper lip, then lower, forcing himself to go slowly. He wanted to get past her reserved exterior, to awaken that part of her she tried to hide, to force her to admit, at least to herself, that she felt some attraction to him. He wasn’t trying to seduce her. Not tonight.
But then her lips parted, and her tongue flocked his, one timid touch.
With a groan, he fisted his hands in the dark silk of her hair, crushed her against him, and kissed her the way he’d wanted all evening – deep and hot and hard.
But it was her scent that just about killed him. Clean skin. Woman. And something more – something that made him feel like dispensing with five thousand years of civilization, dragging her off to a cave somewhere, and filling her with babies.
She spun about to face him before he’d had time to step back, her breasts grazing her ribs, her pupils dark, a look of surprise on her face. And he smelled it again – that scent. It rose off her skin like body heat, like pheromone, like lust. Faint but intoxicating, it grabbed him by the gonads.
Caves. Neanderthal sex. Babies. That’s what he wanted.
She had just pulled her dress coat from her hanger when Conner came bouncing out of her bedroom and down the hallway with something in his hand.
“Mommy, what’s this jiggle stick?”
She looked to see her son standing not two feet away from Reece with her purple jelly vibrator in his hand. And he was shaking it making it waggle back and forth.
“Oh, my God! Connor!” Blood rushed to her face, and she grabbed her son’s hand. “Give me that!”
Off to start on Book 2!