Score Sheet Review: Skin Deep by Pamela Clare

Format: E-bookskindeep
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: I-Team After Hours, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Nathaniel West
Heroine: Megan Hunter
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 15, 2012
Started On: May 17, 2012
Finished On: May 25, 2012


The hero 90 A
The heroine 90 A
Story line 90 A
Emotional Intensity 90 A
Suck me in Factor 85 A
Heat & Sensuality  85 A
Conflicts 80 A
Writing Style 100 A
Quotable Factor 80 A
Ending 95 A
Overall Grade 88.5 A

Score Sheet Summary

Skin Deep by Pamela Clare is a spin-off novel from her bestselling I-Team series which is an absolute favorite of mine. Being her first self-published book as well, Skin Deep tells the story of the sexy Marc Hunter’s younger sister Megan Hunter who finds love and redemption when she least expects to.

Megan’s childhood had been a painful one, one filled with abuse of every kind imaginable. Reading Marc’s story would paint a vivid picture of just how much Megan had suffered at the hands of people whom she should have been able to trust, people who misused and abused the position of authority they had over people in situations like the one Megan found herself in. 

Nathaniel West is ex-military, scarred on the inside and out, taking one day at a time in his attempt to move forward in his life. When he sees Megan from community shelter his family donates ground beef to, his interest is piqued enough for him to sit up and take notice. And when Megan and her adorable little daughter Emily’s life gets thrown into danger, it is then that the relationship between Megan and Nathan fosters and grows giving you a beautiful story of love amidst bits of action and humor that only Pamela Clare can deliver. Recommended for fans of I-Team novels.

Favorite Quotes

She didn’t wait for him this time, but rested her palms against the hard wall of his chest, rose up on one knee, and caressed his lips with hers, increasing the pressure.
More shivers.
His eyes drifted shut, his lashes long and dark. One big hand came to rest on her hip as he steadied her. He caught her lower lip between his, and gave it a soft tug.
Belly flutters.

He hungrily took what she offered. There had to be a thousand different ways to kiss a woman, a thousand different ways for lips and tongues to meet, caress, tease. He wanted to find every single one of them.

“Geezus!” His jaw was clenched, his brow furrowed as if he were in pain.
And she knew he was in pain, the same kind of pleasure-pain she felt—precious torment, sweet distress, torturous bliss.

She collapsed onto him, kissed his chest, the left side slick with sweat. He wrapped his arms around her, drew her close, one hand stroking her hair, his heart thrumming in his chest, both of them breathless.
And as sex cooled into sleep, he kissed her tears away.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords


Review: Breaking Point by Pamela Clare

Format: E-bookbreakingpoint
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: I-Team, Book 5
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Zachariah McBride
Heroine: Natalie Benoit
Sensuality: 4
Published on: May 3, 2011
Started On: May 3, 2011
Finished On: May 4, 2011


In the words of our heroine Natalie Benoit, that about sums up this delectable addition to the already 5-star plus I-Team series by Pamela Clare, in which each individual book in this series has rocked my world in so many ways. The 5th installment in the series has been a much awaited one by the thousands of fans of this series all over the world and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I have been on tenterhooks ever since Ms. Clare announced the release date of Breaking Point on her blog a few months back. The wait though an agonizing one has all been worth it as Ms. Clare once again proves her remarkable talent in delivering what readers like us truly want when we pick up a novel of the RS genre.

Breaking Point with its fabulously drool-inducing cover tells the story of the beautiful I-Team reporter Natalie Benoit and Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Zachariah McBride (Zach) who meet each other in the most trying circumstances. Zach is former Navy SEAL and has more than his fair share of battle scars, a testament to the Medal of Honor that he receives upon honorable discharge from the army. Now a U.S. Marshal who puts his life on the line day in and day out doing what he does best, Zach is betrayed by a fellow agent and wakes up in a hell hole from which he has no means of escaping.

Born and bred in New Orleans, Natalie Benoit moves to Denver after Hurricane Katrina brought with it tragedy into her life from which Natalie still suffers. Working for the Denver Independent on the elite I-Team for the past 3 years, Natalie finds herself signing up for a 3-day convention in Mexico because she needs a change of pace from the usual. However Natalie finds more than she bargained for when she finds herself a captive of the notoriously cruel Los Zetas who have their own nefarious agenda all lined up for her.

It is at the compound to which she is taken to and held captive that she meets Zach who is clinging on to his reserves of strength to stay alive amidst the torture that is dished out daily in order to break him. The surge of protectiveness that courses through Zach when he first sights the beautiful Natalie takes him unawares and Natalie’s tenacious efforts to escape infuses Zach with a slight ray of hope that they just might make it out of Mexico with their lives intact.

Thus begins a desperate race across a harsh and unforgiving desert to make it to the safety of U.S. soil, the desert providing its own sources of danger at each and every turn. As Natalie and Zach spend time depending on each other, the attraction that neither of them can deny heats things up to the most delicious levels, the scenes of passion that unfolds between the two done in classic Pamela Clare style, hot enough to skyrocket one’s inner temperature to eyebrow singeing levels. But back home does not turn out to be the sanctuary it promises as danger of the life threatening variety keeps after Natalie, bringing heroes from the previous I-Team books into the picture making this the most action-packed romance that Ms. Clare has written to-date.

There are so many things that makes this a 5+ star read for me. One of them being the unbeatable style with which Ms. Clare brings to life her characters who have the ability to imbed themselves into the deepest recesses of my memory and heart, rendering each and every one of them unforgettable for years to come. Likewise, Zach McBride is the type of hero who has the ability to fuel any woman’s dreams of the naughty as well as the non-naughty variety as he steps up and does what he is  best at – protect the woman he loves at all costs. His attention to detail in bed and out of it carves him a well-deserved notch in my unforgettable-hero list. Though Zach has his own demons that needs to be laid to rest before he can embrace his happily-ever-after, it is Zach’s take-charge attitude that appealed to me the most.

Natalie is a kick-ass heroine in her own right as she battles her own fears and overcomes them to escape the men who hold her captive. Natalie’s inner vulnerability makes her easy to relate to and the way she has the ability to draw Zach out of his shell and make his playful side come out to play was one of the most endearing qualities about Natalie. She has no qualms about expressing her love for a man who deserves all that and so much more and refuses to back down from the fight for her own happily ever after even if it means that the battle she wages is with the man who has earned her heart, body and soul.

And of course, let me not forget the impact the rest of the I-Team heroes bring to the novel as Marc, Gabe and Darcangelo come together and put their very own lives on the line to protect their own. The interactions between the 3 left me with huge grins on my face each and every time and found myself going “Aww!” at a scene towards the end of the book that shows the depth of the relationship between Julian and Marc. Gabe and Marc both get in on the action rendering me speechless a time or two, especially Gabe who seems to have gone up in my total-hottie-alpha-male list after reading this book, if it is at all possible!

If I were to continue rehashing what made this book work for me, I would never reach the end of this review and would probably end up boring you all to tears. But the flowery gushy tone just comes out to play when I end up loving a book to bits as I did with this one. If you are already a fan of the I-Team series and haven’t read this yet, my question would be, what on Earth are you waiting for? Like me, just put your entire life on hold for a couple of hours and indulge in Zach and Natalie’s story as it will sweep you off your feet right from the very beginning. If you have never heard of Pamela Clare and have no idea what the I-Team series is all about, I say its high time that you educate yourselves on this fantastic series. You can find reviews of all the books in the series here if you are interested and I dare you to pick a book and give yourselves a couple of minutes with the story that unfolds. I assure you, time and money well spent!

Favorite Quotes

She slid her arms around his neck, arched into him, desperate for more.
He groaned, and the hand in her hair became a fist. And in a heartbeat the kiss transformed, his lips pressing hard and hot against hers, his tongue thrusting deep.
Oh, my stars!
Heat lanced through her, striking deep in her belly. With a whimper, she kissed him back, welcoming his tongue with her own, breathing in the male scent of him, her insides going liquid as his hand moved slowly down her spine.

He felt empty, broken, defeated.
He wrapped his arms around her, refusing to let go, his head dropping to rest against her chest.
Without a word, she enfolded him in her embrace, holding him to her breast like a mother comforting a child, her fingers curling in her hair, her heartbeat steady in his ear. And he clung to her.

“Shh.” He pressed his finger to her lips. “When I realized I was going to die, the only thing I could think about was you and what an idiot I’d been for not telling you how I felt about you. I think I’ve loved you from the moment you lifted that awful blind off my face. I opened my eyes, and there you were, the bravest, most beautiful woman I’ve ever known. You set me free, Natalie. In so many ways, you set me free.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Diesel Ebooks



So, with the publication of this review, I’ve decided to take things a tad further and do my first giveaway for two reasons. One being that my blog just surpassed the 10,000 hits mark and second because I just adore Ms. Clare as an author and what she can do with her stories. So to celebrate in style, I will be giving away a 20$ Amazon gift certificate to one will be picked out from a random draw which will be held 4 days from now, on the 9th of May 2011. To enter you have to do the following:

  1. Like this review post if you are on Facebook and spread the word to your friends who might be interested.
  2. If you are on Twitter, share this and tweet about the giveaway!
  3. And last but not the least, leave a comment with the post stating your email address and if you are already a fan of the I-Team series I would like to know your favorite hero from Marc, Julian, Gabe, Reece and Zach and why. If you haven’t read the I-Team series yet, I would like to know your favorite romantic suspense novel that you have read to-date. And if you have tweeted or shared the review on Facebook, please mention it on your comment as well as your name would be entered 5 times into the draw. Even if you do not share this review on Facebook or Twitter you can still  leave a comment behind and enter the draw. Good luck fellow readers!

Review: Heaven Can’t Wait by Pamela Clare

Format: E-bookheavencantwait
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: I-Team, Book 1.5
Publisher: Penguin Group
Hero: William Fraser
Heroine: Melisande Charteris
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 2, 2010
Started On: January 15, 2011
Finished On: January 15, 2011

I first came across this title whilst searching through the list of published novels by Ms. Clare after I finished racing through the novels in the I-Team series at breakneck speed. Though by the time I had finished Naked Edge on October last year this title had already been released in Kindle format as a standalone from the Catch of the Day anthology this title was previously released in, I didn’t find out the fact until December last year. Thank God for the fact that someone thought of releasing this as a standalone because otherwise I would have forgone reading this delectable and delicious and entertaining novella by Ms. Clare.

Heaven Can’t Wait is a story that takes place between the 1st book in the I-Team series Extreme Exposure and the 2nd book in the series. For the world of me I can’t remember running into Lissy and Will in Extreme Exposure maybe because Reece Sheridan seemed to steal every vital thinking cell in my brain with his forceful personality in the story. Regardless of whether you have read the I-Team series or not, you can still pick this novella and read it as a standalone.

32 year old William Fraser (Will) is the sports columnist at Denver Independent and a football commentator as well. Raised by a single mother, Will had never known his father. At school Will had excelled at both academics and sports which had earned him a full scholarship to the University of Colorado. Will had been on his way to building a lucrative professional career in football when his knee had been shattered ending his dreams of making it big in the world of football. Graduating with a degree in history only to find out that his mother was dying of lung cancer, Will had been left alone when he had had to say goodbye to his mother a year after he had said goodbye to professional football. Devastatingly handsome with gorgeous blue eyes, Will has had his fair share of women and had almost given up hope of finding someone meaningful to share his life with when things hit it off with Lissy.

Melisande Charteris (Lissy) is the only daughter of wealthy attorney and his trophy wife John and Christa Charteris. Their cold and loveless marriage had worked its charm over Lissy who has a strained relationship with her mother who tries to impose her bitterness about men, marriage and love on her daughter. The fashion editor at Denver Independent, Lissy had at first taken an instant dislike towards Will when they had first been introduced when Will had joined the staff of the paper as the new celebrity sports columnist. Thinking Will to be just another brainless jock with ridiculous good looks, Lissy had turned her nose at him only to have her whole perspective of Will do a 180 degree turnabout when Will helps her after she injures herself whilst out running.

This story kicks off right in the middle of one very hot lovemaking session between Will and Lissy who are to tie the knot in 2 weeks time. The scorching hot chemistry between Will and Lissy burns right through the pages even from the first encounter itself and it is because of Lissy’s mother Christa’s meddling that Lissy starts doubting what she has with Will. As a result, Lissy proposes a bet between them that they go through the next two weeks without sex in the pretense of making their wedding night more meaningful and romantic. Not one to turn down from a challenge, Will accepts the bet and all bets are off when these two engage in a battle of sexual wills to seduce one another and see who is the first to break and admit defeat which makes this novella a highly enjoyable one.

I liked:

  1. Will Fraser. Simply put, I wouldn’t mind having him convince me that going without sex with him is just plain wrong. Sinfully delicious is what he is. ^_^
  2. Lissy. She is the type of heroine you root for right from the very beginning. With her insecurities that come into play during the story which she overcomes with determination towards the end, I loved her teasing nature, the way she loves Will and is willing to admit when she has wronged him. She is the best kind of heroine.
  3. The incredibly sexy Scrabble game that took place! I will never look at a Scrabble board the same way ever again! ^_^
  4. I loved how Ms. Clare put so much into such a short novel that made this one as meaningful as her longer novels. That takes a lot of talent which Ms. Clare has definitely got in spades.
  5. Loved revisiting the I-Team once again! Always a plus point.
  6. Enjoyed the conversations that took place between Will and his buddies. Several laugh-out-loud moments there.

I disliked: None

Favorite Quotes

Her breath came in shudders. Her lips were parted, her eyes closed, her hands clenched into fists in her lap. When her head fell back onto his shoulder, he did what he’d wanted to do all night. He kissed her full on the mouth – and she kissed him back.
It seemed like forever since they’d kissed like this with lips and tongues and teeth, and he found after the first kiss that he wanted more. With a groan, he took her beneath him, pressed her back onto the cushions, kissed her harder, deeper.
She arched against him, wrapped her legs around him, moaned into his mouth, a sweet feminine sound that made every muscle in his body tense and sent his mind reeling with urgent, throbbing lust.

Recommended for: Fans of Pamela Clare and fans of short and hot contemporary romances.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble



Review: Naked Edge by Pamela Clare

Format: E-booknakededge
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: I-Team, Book 4
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Gabriel Rossiter (Gabe)
Heroine: Katherine James (Kat)
Sensuality: 4
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*

Dislikes: None.

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.

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.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo


Review: Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare

Format: E-bookunlawfulcontact
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: I-Team, Book 3
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Marc Hunter
Heroine: Sophie Alton
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: April 1, 2008
Started On: October 27, 2010
Finished On: October 28, 2010

I don’t know how she does it but Ms. Clare rocks my world every time with her delectable characters and engrossing storyline. I’ve never experienced a dull moment nor encountered a scene which I had wished would have gone differently since I started on the I-Team series. Its a testament to Ms. Clare’s creativity and talent that each of these stories have wormed their way into my heart, never to be forgotten, to be revisited sometime in the near future. With only one more book from the I-Team series left for me to read, it’s going to be an unbearable wait till July next year when Breaking Point featuring the mouthwatering Jed Hill on its cover comes out.

The Hero: Marc Hunter or Hunt as he is called by Sophie is a convicted killer serving out his life sentence without eligibility for parole in the Colorado State Penitentiary. Broad shouldered with thick brown hair and deep green eyes, Marc comes from a broken home with a mother who had been a drug addict which had led him to growing up within one foster home or the other. The social service workers had come to take him and his younger half sister Megan away when Marc had just been 10 years old. And to this day, the image of little Megan crying and reluctant to leave her home drives home the guilt that he should have been a better protector for Megan. Marc had managed to clean up his act enough to get a place in the army where he had spent six years of his life becoming a decorated Special Operations sniper and served 18 months in Afghanistan before coming back to Colorado. Seeing that Megan had turned into a drug addict just like their mother cuts Marc up deeper than anything else and he tries to do the right thing by helping her overcome her addiction. With a job at the DEA doing what he can to rid the streets of the drugs that had ruined his family, the life he had created for himself comes crashing down on the afternoon of August 12, 2001. When the walls of the prison closes around him, life becomes undoubtedly that much harder for Marc as the guards hate his guts because he had killed a federal officer whilst the inmates are out for his blood especially those he had helped put behind bars during his time at the DEA. The only thing that keeps him going through the six years in prison is reliving the sweet memory of Sophie or his fairy sprite, the girl who had offered him her virginity on the night he was to leave for the army giving him the most precious and happiest hours of his life.

The Heroine: Sophie Alton had just been 16 years old with a massive crush on Hunt when all her dreams had come true on the night June 9, 1996. Sophie and her brother David had had to move down to Grand Junction, Colorado to live with their maternal grandmother when Sophie’s loving parents had been killed by a drunk driver whilst crossing a road in Denver. With strawberry blond hair, creamy skin and deep blue eyes, Sophie has big dreams of making it as a journalist when Hunt gives her the most unforgettable night of her life beneath the open sky. Though Sophie had dated sparsely throughout the years, every other man pales in comparison to Hunt. 12 years on, Sophie does the prison beat for the Denver Independent’s elite I-team. With her brother David studying to be a horse vet, Sophie saves every penny she can so that she can help David along to achieve his dreams.

Storyline: Sophie had been covering Megan Rawlings, an inmates journey through pregnancy and motherhood for the past couple of months ever since she had covered a piece on the stillbirth of an inmate’s baby which had in turn spurred her on to look more closely into the plight of female prison inmates. Megan had spent 18 hours in labor pains to deliver beautiful baby girl Emily only to give her up to the Social Services. On the day that Megan had earned a 2 hour visit with Emily which Sophie was covering, Megan disappears with Emily in tow leaving a large amount of drugs in her room, a testament to the fact that Megan had once again succumbed back to her addiction which Sophie had been so happy to see that Megan had been overcoming slowly. Since Sophie had grown pretty close to Megan during the months she had spent with her, when Sophie receives an invitation from Megan’s brother in jail, Sophie is more than eager to meet up with him to find out whether he has any information that could lead her to Megan. When Marc walks into the interview room Sophie has no idea of who he is though the very sight of his beautiful Sophie all grown up hits Marc nearly stunning him momentarily. Before Sophie knows it, she is held at gunpoint by Megan’s brother as he flees the four walls of the prison that had been his home for the past 6 years. It is only later on that Megan realizes that Marc Hunter is none other than her Hunt and that Marc had broken out of prison because he feared for Megan and little Emily’s life. It is then Sophie learns of the horrors that Megan had undergone at the Denver Juvenile Detention Centre at the hands of the guards who are sworn to protect the lives of those under them violating the lives of so many women. As Sophie and Marc race against time to find Megan and Emily before the determined and corrupt government officials get their hands on Megan and silence her forever, so does the white hot attraction and feelings between Marc and Sophie escalate which left me breathless -almost all the time! Sigh!

First Encounter: Sophie had been a sophomore when her friend Candy had convinced her into going to the graduation party where she sees Hunt, the hottest guy in senior class and the school bad boy who fuels all of Sophie’s dreams. Marc who has always admired Sophie’s beauty and intelligence from afar becomes her ultimate rescuer and the man to whom Sophie offers her virginity giving them both a night neither of them can forget.

Time period: This story has a contemporary setting and starts from the year 1996 and continues 12 years later.

Awareness between the hero and heroine: The memory of their encounter is a one often revisited by both Marc and Sophie, more so by Marc who dreams about Sophie continuously, the memories being the only thing that keeps him sane throughout his imprisonment. Marc knows that as a convicted killer he has nothing to offer for a woman like Sophie who has her whole life ahead of her. But that doesn’t stop him from wanting her for himself, wanting just one more taste, to touch her just once more, the needs that Sophie arouses in him so feral that it is all he can do to keep his hands to himself. Sophie, though she knows in her heart that Marc will only bring her heartache and nothing else cannot explain why she is so reluctant to help the authorities find him. Memories of scorching kisses and a night of passion fuels the dreams and fantasies of an all grown up Sophie, especially when all Sophie wants to do is just kiss every perfect inch of the man in question. The constant hum of awareness between Sophie and Marc is one the best things about this story.

The turning point: Sophie’s investigations into finding out whether Marc’s insinuations are true opens up a whole lot of troubles which lands her in jail with charges of intent to sell and distribute controlled substances. Out on bail, Marc is the only one who understands the emotions that well up within Sophie and the only one who can keep her safe from those intent on silencing her forever. This proves to be the event that turns things around when Marc keeps Sophie holed up with him in his hidey-hole which bursts forth the torrent of feelings and passion that has been simmering between the two since the night Marc takes Sophie hostage.

Ending: With surprising twists at the end of the story, this story ended in the phenomenal I-Team series style with an epilogue that just had me beaming smiles all around. The tangled web of family loyalties and misuse of authority by those in power kept me at the very edge of my seat towards the end, thinking that it was indeed too late for Marc and Sophie. Lovely ending as always.

Likes: There is nothing like a hot hero to keep the pages turning and Marc is just the epitome of perfect hero material. With his scars and sexy tattoos and his oh so perfect body its a wonder I made it through the story without continuously drooling from the sides of my mouth. Yes, he is that hot. The thing that always astonishes me with every story I read from Ms. Clare is the fact that her heroines are equally appealing. Most of the time heroines tend to get on my nerves one way or the other but I guess Ms. Clare knows just the right ingredients to make her heroines as appealing as the heroes. I loved the combustive passion between Marc and Sophie which were of the eyebrow singeing type. Ms. Clare delivers on all fronts especially with a much needed against the wall scene and an against the car scene which just made my day! And as always loved revisiting the characters from the previous stories which always makes the next book a plus point in my opinion.

Dislikes: None at all.

Recommended for: All romance novel lovers and those who love a good romantic suspense.

So onto book 4 I go!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo


Review: Hard Evidence by Pamela Clare

Format: E-bookhardevidence
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: I-Team, Book 2
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Julian Darcangelo
Heroine: Tessa Marie Novak
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: October 3, 2006
Started On: October 26, 2010
Finished On: October 27, 2010

Another sleepless night, and yep, not even one iota of regret. The I-Series is by far the best Romantic Suspense series that I have had the pleasure of reading and believe me, I have read tons of romantic suspense to-date though I have managed to review only a handful because I started reviewing books only around a year back. Having read Extreme Exposure I didn’t waste any time on starting with the second book in the I-Team series, all the characters of Ms. Clare’s dream team certainly endearing enough that they require a revisit every now and then. So onto my review of Hard Evidence and the dark, edgy and sinfully sexy Julian Darcangelo.

The Hero: From the moment I first encountered Julian Darcangelo’s name itself I envisioned a brooding, scarred and dark hero who could fuel any woman’s wildest fantasies. And Julian’s character represents that and much more. Six feet tall with long hair that he ties up in a ponytail and a rough stubble on his jaw from time to time *swoons*, Julian or Dark Angel as he is known in certain circles is working deep undercover to catch the worst type of scum on Earth. Julian’s childhood is a nightmare to read about. Julian had grown up thinking that its the norm to wake up in the morning to find half naked whores passed out next to his father on the couch. His mother who had been Irish, had divorced his father when Julian had just been two years old. Julian’s good for nothing father had fled across the border with little Julian in tow and had become the worst sort of pimp. Julian’s first love had been a Mexican prostitute his father had paid to screw him when he had just been fifteen years old. All illusions of love and romance had fled once he had walked into find her in bed with his father. Having had no love, nor tenderness in his life, Julian takes to the streets of Mexico to land in jail for 30 years for manslaughter for accidentally killing a man during a fistfight when he had been 17 years old. It had been Ed Dyson from the FBI who had saved him by making him an offer of a lifetime – put his fluent Spanish and Mexican street smarts to use for them or rot in prison. Julian had taken the offer and never looked back. Well-versed in Aikido and armed with his gun which is as much part of his attire as the shirt on his back, Julian is a force to be reckoned with. With the FBI, Julian had gone deep undercover to search out the worst type of trash there is – those responsible for human trafficking, child pornography and use of underage children in prostitution. Nothing about the dark side of human nature when it comes to sex shocks Julian anymore. And though he sometimes dreams and yearns for a normal life with a wife, kids and the whole white picket fence, Julian knows that he is too world weary and cynical to offer a woman what she deserves. Julian has made it his lifelong mission to hunt down and bring the leader of the gang to justice – a man who eluded him in a raid 3 years ago, the reason for which Julian had quit the FBI and started working solo. Constantly blaming himself for each life that his enemy takes down, Julian had been working for the past 4 months serving as the FBI liaison to Denver Police Department’s vice unit when all hell literally breaks loose and brings him in direct contact with Tessa, the woman who changes everything.

The Heroine: Tessa Marie Novak, a coffee addict with long curly blond hair (which earns her the nickname Goldilocks from Julian) and big blue eyes, Tessa is the cop reporter for Denver Independent’s elite I-Team. Tessa had grown up in Rosebud Texas with her mother who had born her when she had just been 14 years old and her drunken lout of a grandfather. Having never known her father, Tessa grows up amidst gossip and insinuations that her mother is actually her sister as well. Right after high school graduation, Tessa leaves her old life behind and totally makes a new life and name for herself. Ashamed of her roots, Tessa never talks about her past and hasn’t spoken to her mother in 10 years. Though Tessa yearns for the happily ever after that Kara had found with Senator Reece (in Book 1, Extreme Exposure), Tessa knows that she is not one to trust a man easily enough to find the love and companionship that she so sorely misses in her life. Having had only one brief affair during her senior year at college which had been 7 years ago, Tessa decides to concentrate all her energies on finding a good story as everything seems to have hit a stalemate for the past couple of  months.

Storyline: It is Tessa’s craving for a cup of coffee that lands her in the midst of a shooting spree that kills a young teenage girl who comes in sobbing and screaming for help from the bad guys who were trying to kill her. Momentarily taken aback, Tessa is a helpless witness to a brutal slaying which changes her perspective on murder and her role as a reporter in investigative journalism. Vowing that the girl who had never had a chance wouldn’t be just a mere statistic, Tessa starts her own investigation into gang-related crimes which puts her in contact with the delectable Julian who sets all her senses afire. Tessa with her reports on the incident stirs the interest of a sadistic crime lord who takes perversive pleasure in hurting women and Julian can’t help his protective instincts that comes forth when it comes to Tessa who makes him defy everything he has believed of himself till now. As the danger escalates around them, so does the fiery passion that burns out of control whenever Julian and Tessa are in each others vicinity. Feelings that each had never thought they would feel come into play and make a situation fraught with danger and red hot passion that much more complicated – a complexity that I as a reader reveled in all throughout!

First Encounter: Tessa first sights Julian after the shocking murder that she witnesses. Tessa mistakenly thinks Julian to be the killer and later finds out she couldn’t be further from the truth. Their first encounter takes place within a cleaning closet at the hospital in which the other witness to the murder had been admitted. Still not knowing who Julian actually is, Tessa’s instincts to flee kick in which doesn’t do her much good when face to face with Julian’s rock hard masculinity pressed to her body from head to foot.

Time period: This story is set in the state of Colorado as well and has a contemporary setting to it.

Awareness between the hero and heroine: Julian at first thinks Tessa to be just another one of those reporters who is after a juicy piece of news that would make her career which makes him at times insulting which raises Tessa’s ire to no end. However Julian’s self-formed opinion doesn’t change his helpless fascination with Tessa. A kiss which Julian intends to silence Tessa backfires on him when he feels the tentative brush of Tessa’s tongue on his which breaks his ironclad control around women. Though both Julian and Tessa are as wary of one another as only two people with broken childhoods can be, the strong connection between them is just too enticing to ignore and even when they are apart from one another, the continuous foray of images of their encounters leave both of them wanting more, much much more!

The turning point: Though Julian knows that he is not the white picket fence kind of guy, Tessa proves to be far much more alluring than he can resist. Each time they nearly make it to the point of no return only to be brought back to reality by something or the other hardens Julian’s resolve to keep his hands to himself, that is until the next time he sees Tessa. When Tessa’s investigative reports nearly earn her an express ticket to the grave, Julian takes her into his lair whereby the constant proximity between them finally proves to be their undoing.

Ending: Before the story is through, Tessa is drawn into a web of deceit by people who are too close to comfort to Julian which in return forces Julian to accept the depth of his feelings for the woman who had torn apart the walls of steel around his heart. The bad guys get what they rightfully deserve, the whole operation of which is brought down during the next couple of days made me go “Yay!!” towards the end. And Julian and Tessa gets their much deserved happily ever after – white picket fences and all during the beautiful epilogue at the very end.

Likes: Dark Angel or Julian is of course the most favorite aspect of the novel from a reader who continually drools over heroes such as him in books. With emotional scars that runs deep within him, Julian is totally the type to bring a girl to her knees. I just want to run my hands all over him! *Winks*
I loved Tessa as the woman who shines light into Julian’s otherwise dark and murky world. Tessa whose world comes crashing down with boob grabbing stalkers after her, changes into the type of courageous yet vulnerable heroine who any reader can relate to. I loved the relationship dynamics in the story and absolutely approve of the fact that Ms. Clare doesn’t let the suspense nor the romance take the lead in the story, but rather keep the two going at the same pace which makes this book a winner on all fronts! And yes, I heart the cover of this one as well! Reminds me of the bathroom scene in the book! *Wicked grin*

Dislikes: Absolutely none!

Recommended for: Fans of romantic suspense and all romance lovers in general.

Onto book 3, and hello another sleepless night!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo


Review: Extreme Exposure by Pamela Clare

Format: E-bookextremeexposure
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: I-Team, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Reece Sheridan
Heroine: Kara McMillan
Sensuality: 4
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.

Off to start on Book 2!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo


Review: Surrender by Pamela Clare

Format: E-book
Read with:  Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: MacKinnon’s Rangers, Book 1
Hero: Iain MacKinnon
Heroine: Lady Anne Burness Campbell
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 28, 2006
Started On: June 26, 2010
Finished On: June 26, 2010

Reading Pamela Clare’s Ride the Fire had me interested in reading other novels by the author. Pamela Clare receives rave reviews on Amazon and the two books I have read of hers to date have convinced me that she is an author worthy of being included in the auto-buy list from now onwards.

Surrender is the first book in the series of MacKinnon Rangers, a handpicked cadre of warriors, who had the fierce courage of their Scots forefathers, combined with the stealth and cunning of the Indians who lived beside them in the wilderness. Iain being the eldest with two younger brothers Morgan and Connor, Morgan’s story already published in December 2008.

Iain is a man who has been forced to serve the British crown in order to save his life and that of his brothers. The one thing which Iain craves for more than anything is his freedom, a man who has simple dreams of starting a family with a woman he loves and taking care of the farm which was his father’s legacy to his sons. However, Iain knows that until the bloody war that they are in the midst of is through there is no hope of him ever gaining his freedom.

It is during one of their intelligence gathering sessions that Iain comes across Anne on the brink of being attacked, raped and murdered by a group from the Abenaki tribe. Anne is a woman who has been wronged by her own family whom she has held dear until she was branded a thief and sold into servitude for a period of 14 years. With a hard and desolate life ahead of her, Anne knew that there is no hope for her dream of starting a family of her own ever being realized with her body bearing the mark of the false accusation which she had fallen under.

Iain rescues Anne at peril to his own soldiers and at the risk of being punished or tried in a martial court for disobeying orders. It is during the first couple of days that Iain treks through the forests with a fatigued and injured Anne towards the safe haven of Fort Elizabeth that the first stirrings of attraction towards each other takes hold.

Though Anne knows that the barbaric warrior who has rescued her is not what she has been brought up thinking a gentleman should be, she can’t help but admire and respect this man who has risked everything to help her in her time of need. Though his gentle touch that leaves her senses all jumbled up makes her wary, for the first time since she was falsely accused of thievery, Anne begins to feel safe.

Ms. Clare cleverly weaves a tale of war, political manipulations, breathless passion and love with characters that you root for right from the very beginning. Action packed with never a dull moment this book left me with humongous respect for those who fight the terrible wars waged in this world just so the rest of us could be safe and sound in our homes with our loved ones.

Though Ride the Fire is my favorite of the two novels that I have managed to read from the author so far, this novel itself is a page turner which you wouldn’t want to put down once you start reading.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble



Review: Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Mobipocket Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy, Book 3
Publisher: Leisure Books
Hero: Nicholas Kenleigh
Heroine: Elspeth Stewart
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 6, 2005
Started On: April 18, 2010
Finished On: April 19, 2010

The first book that I tried from Ms. Clare certainly didn’t disappoint. This story has all the elements that make up a great romance. The web of sensuality that Ms. Clare so cleverly weaves is magical, one that I as the reader got myself lost in.

Ride the Fire is the story of beautiful Scots-Irish Elspeth Stewart and the sinfully delicious Nicholas Kenleigh. On the verge of death, Nicholas accidentally stumbles upon Elspeth, eight months pregnant and living in the harsh wilderness that wasn’t safe for anyone much less a defenseless woman. Somehow Nicholas convinces the skittish Elspeth that he intends her and her baby no harm and Elspeth cares for him until he regains his strength.

Meanwhile, the uprising of the Indians living around the area continues making Nicholas fear for Elspeth and her unborn babe. Though Nicholas has witnessed the evil side of life too many a time and lived through hell and beyond, he can’t help but feel protective towards Elspeth who feels restless and uneasy around his vicinity. Elspeth has always held the notion that men held little regard for anyone else much less the women in their lives. Having lived through episodes of sexual harassment by her step brother which eventually turned her own mother against her, Elspeth has always felt tainted and unclean and unworthy of belonging to anyone. Ever since her husband died her plans have included living alone with her child with no need for a man.

Nicholas changes everything Elspeth has believed in till now. Where Elspeth has associated intimacy with a man with pain, Nicholas teaches her that there is no shame and only joy in the act. Where Elspeth has always associated men with brutality, Nicholas shows her in the best of ways how tender and loving a man can truly be. Both Nicholas and Elspeth who have had so much suffering in their lives find in each other a joy none can turn their backs on. And Ms. Clare has done an excellent job on keeping the adventure going at full pace with the sensuality level at an all high! My my!!

This book is highly recommended for those who love their romances with a good dose of sensuality. You would definitely not be disappointed with this novel. I wanted a Nicholas for myself after reading this book. Yes ladies, he is that good!

Till next time then! I presume I would be catching up on reading all the novels by Ms. Clare pretty soon!!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble