Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: I-Team, Book 4
Hero: Gabriel Rossiter (Gabe)
Heroine: Katherine James (Kat)
Date of Publication: March 2, 2010
Started On: October 28, 2010
Finished On: October 30, 2010
The moment that I have been dreading since I started on the explosive I-Team series has arrived. Yes, I have reached the end of the backlist of the series and now have to wait patiently for the release of the next title in the series, Breaking Point which is to be released on July 2011. There are so many good books that are coming out next year that I am looking forward to, but this would top everything else on my must-have list when it comes out. Naked Edge introduces us to the people of Navajo who also call themselves Diné, meaning “the people”, of the Southwestern United States who are the second largest Native American tribe of North America to which our heroine Katherine James belongs to.
The Hero: Gabriel Rossiter or Gabe as he is known as is a man who thrives on adrenaline rush. Well versed in rock climbing, skiing and what not, Gabe has always been a man of the outdoors ever since he can remember. Described as being rugged and tall with thick dark hair and deep blue eyes with a body to die for, toned by the years of extreme rock climbing sessions Gabe forces his body to endure, Gabe is a man who is running away from his past even though he doesn’t want to admit it. Gabe had pursued a degree in Biology thinking that he wanted to become a wildlife vet, but in the end when the time had come for him to choose a career, all Gabe had wanted to do was be outdoors. So Gabe had gone through the police academy and trained as a paramedic before landing his well earned position as one of the best mountain rangers in the area. A man who doesn’t do long-term relationships nor thinks of himself capable of being any woman’s knight in shining armor, Gabe is a man who likes his sex straight up, with no complications and with women who knows the score.
The Heroine: Katherine James (Kat) or Kimimila meaning Butterfly as her Grandpa Red Crow calls her had grown up in a two room hogan with 7 half brothers and 3 half sisters who jokingly called her as half-ajo because Kat had been the result of her mother’s indiscretion with a white man who had left her once he had known that she was pregnant with his child. Kat’s mother had always deeply resented Kat’s presence and had never felt happier unless she wasn’t around. Described as having dark brown hair, hazel green eyes and caramel skin, Kat is a woman who has sworn that she wouldn’t put herself in a position vulnerable enough to end up like her mother. Shying away from promiscuous behavior, Kat is a woman who is saving herself for her other half and believes in the happily ever afters that her friends on the I-Team had found with their respective partners. Armed with her degree in journalism from the University of New Mexico, Kat had returned home to work at the Navajo Times. But as always, her mother had refused to see the good that Kat was doing and finally her mother’s resentment with her siblings’ indifference had led her to take the best and toughest decision of her life 3 years back when she had decided to leave her home and pursue her dreams elsewhere. Now working as the I-Team’s environmental reporter, Kat has grown to love her fellow team members and the life she has made for herself. Though she may live and work in the city, at heart she is a Navajo whose heart and spirit belongs to the land on which she was born and raised.
Storyline: Kat is participating in an inipi, a sacred Indian ceremony that was being held by her Grandpa Red Crow as a healing ritual for one of their sisters who was suffering from cancer when the police come out of nowhere and breaks up the ceremony, brutal and deadly in the force that they use. And when a few days later, Grandpa Red Crow ends up dead, his death looking suspiciously like a homicide, Kat knows deep in her heart that there is much more at stake than just stopping a religious ceremony held by the Navajo when countless other such ceremonies had been held with the knowledge of the Mountain Parks Rangers. As Kat continues to dig deeper amidst threats on her life which escalates as she draws nearer to the truth, Kat finds that at the heart of all the havoc wreaked on her family lies greed which even drives the best of people to acts of mayhem & murder.
First Encounter: Though Kat believes she has found her place within the I-Team doing work that means something and loving the life that she has made for herself, at times she feels the hectic life of the city closing in on her which drives her to go on hiking sessions to the surrounding mountains. It is when a rock slide hits and Kat falls down breaking a leg in the process that Gabe comes to her rescue, Gabe who is surprised and a little taken aback by the admiration that courses through him at Kat’s bravery.
Time period: This story has a contemporary setting and takes place in the state of Colorado.
Awareness between the hero and heroine: Kat and Gabe cannot be more different from one another even if they tried. Kat, an innocent in every way that matters who believes in waiting for the right man who would love her forever and who wants a family and babies of her own is the opposite of Gabe who lives in the moment, who likes his sex without any complications with women who know what they are getting into. When Gabe finds himself asking Kat out on their second encounter, no one is more surprised than Gabe himself because he hasn’t felt the inclination to woo a woman in 3 long years ever since his fiance Jill Chandler had died leaving a man broken by betrayal in her wake. Even when Gabe knows in his heart that Kat is not the type of woman he can love and then leave behind, his body has other ideas with its fascination for Kat. With each tentative kiss between them that burns hotter and fiercer, Kat is as much a slave to her body’s needs, a first for her in her 26 years of life.
The turning point: With Gabe being the Ranger on call on the night that the praying ceremony was so brutally brought to a halt by the police, Gabe is also a witness to the extreme and unnecessary force used by the authorities in question. When Gabe’s helpless fascination with Kat makes him a witness to Grandpa Red Crow’s dead body which from the first glance itself Gabe deduces to be a homicide, needless to say Gabe is as much drawn to the web of danger that surrounds Kat in her quest for the truth and justice for her people. And when Gabe takes up the task of being a full time bodyguard for Kat, a task which his body relishes in at the mere thought of being in constant proximity to the lure that Kat’s body is for Gabe proves to be the ultimate turning point in their relationship. With Gabe constantly trying to push Kat away, danger and threats on both their lives which they barely escape from forces both Kat and Gabe to search deeper into their feelings and face the ultimate truth that they are definitely two halves that make a complete one.
Ending: The events that take place prior to the ending is one of the hardest parts to get through in the story – not because it was boring or anything but because of the ultimate sacrifice that Gabe makes to spare the life of the woman he loves proving that he is a knight in shining armor – for the right woman. The villain at the end was a total surprise for me, and yes I love being surprised and going into a little bit of shock when I read a novel of the RS genre. And of course, the epilogue as always left me sighing away into the night, satisfied in the knowledge that Gabe and Kat had truly found their happily every after together.
Likes: There are several points that made this story a winner for me. I liked the fact that I got to learn about a tribe of people that otherwise I would have never even heard of if it weren’t for this wonderful story. I was fascinated with their customs, beliefs and superstitious nature which serves them well in their lives and Ms. Clare’s efforts to balance out Kat’s character was well received on my end. As always I loved reading about the hero’s reluctant fascination when it comes to the heroine, something that Ms. Clare delivers in spades in this story. Gabe who is reluctant to put his heart and emotions on the line once again nevertheless finds himself doing just that when it comes to sweet and beautiful Kat who works her underlying charm like a soothing balm to heal Gabe’s wounded warrior heart. As always beautifully done which made the fact that I wanted to savor this last novel a bit longer fly out the window every time I picked up my Kindle to read. And oh yes, the elevator smexing, definitely one of the highlights! *wink*
Recommended for: Those who love reading romances and novels of the romantic suspense genre. You are definitely in for a treat with the I-Team series, the best Romantic Suspense series that I have had the fortune of reading to date.
He supposed he ought to be grateful that she was a no-show. It might bruise his ego, but it helped make up for whatever had gone wrong with his brain Saturday night when he’d –
The restaurant door opened, and she walked in, the wind catching her dark hair for one last moment before the door closed behind her.
Gabe felt a little hitch in his chest.
The elevator doors opened with a ding.
Kat stepped inside, Gabe behind her, his hand on the small of her back along her spine. She pressed G for “ground floor” then turned towards Gabe as the doors slid shut. “I don’t know what Tom -”
“Oh, to hell with Tom!” With a groan, Gabe pinned her up against the elevator wall with his body and kissed her hard and deep, one hand clenched in her hair, tilting her head upward, the other grasping her hip.
In a blink, Kat forgot that she was at work. On deadline. In an elevator. She forgot about the shooting. She forgot everything but him and what he was doing to her, his tongue seeking and subduing her, his lips so hot and smooth against hers, his body pressed hard against hers.
So off I go to find a book that can lift my spirits from the slums it has decided to visit after the very much dreaded conclusion of a most wonderful series – for now.