3 1/2 stars.I couldn't decide whether to give this book 3 1/2 or 4 stars. I finally decided on 3 1/2 stars because I disliked and was annoyed by Kara's character through most of the book. She did, however, become more palatable by the end of the story. Unfortunately, because of my dislike for her character, and the fact the plot mostly revolved around her, I had a hard time staying fully engaged in the storyline.In addition, I would have preferred that Kara and Reece, her love interest, spend more time together throughout the book. It would have heightened the sense of romance, making the story feel more than just a suspense thriller with steamy erotic scenes thrown in. Fans self just thinking about the steam factor in this book. Kara's character is the epitome of the fiercely independent, fickle heroine. Oh, how I wanted to smack her! She couldn't seem to make up her mind how she felt about Reece. She was constantly trying to push him away in the name of self preservation. It got old real fast. Having said that, she did have a sensitive side that was touching. My heart ached for her as she battled her insecurities about being a good mother. Most mothers can identify with that feeling.As for Reece's character, I pretty much loved everything about him. He really was a fantastic character. He's sweet, charming, sensual, sexy, helpful, passionate, intelligent, thoughtful, courageous, confident, optimistic, witty, idealistic, and frankly too good for Kara. Alright, I admit, he may be a little "too good to be true." Brutal honesty...he's "a lot" too good to be true. But that's okay, being the impeccable specimen that he is, he knew he needed to make up for Kara's character. I really enjoyed the suspense, action, eroticism, and humor in this book. Pamela Clare is a master story teller and I honestly feel guilty for giving one of her books only 3 1/2 stars. Unfortunately, no matter how skilled an author is, it's difficult to completely connect with a story when the reader doesn't particularly like one of it's main characters or finds the subject matter of little interest. Extreme Exposure may not be my favorite book, and the odds of me reading it again slim, but it is a good book by a very talented author.AH
I’ve found a new author to add to my list of favorites. Reading Pamela Clare’s Extreme Exposure was a real treat. From the first margarita enhanced scenes right to the very end, I was hooked. I could not put the book down. Extreme Exposure is the story of Kara McMillan, an investigative journalist. Kara has the opportunity to expose a major polluter in her area. Her investigation puts her in danger and causes some very scary moments. Luckily, she has Senator Reece Sheridan as her protector.I absolutely loved Kara’s character. Kara was a strong, single mother completely dedicated to her young son Connor. She is a hard worker and stands up for her rights. Her idealism is infectious. Kara has been unlucky in love, and very hesitant to start a new relationship. And what can I say about Reece? Reece made me sigh, made me swoon, and he made me dream. Aside from being just a little too perfect, I absolutely loved him. Loved his sense of responsibility, his sense of humor, and the way he protected his woman. And yes, he is hawt!There’s also a real thriller happening between all the love scenes. It’s a great story and kept me on the edge of my seat. The investigative journalism part of the book seemed very realistic as well. Kara had to work through tons of paperwork to find her answers. It never ceases to amaze me how much research needs to go into a newspaper story.There are a few very memorable scenes in this book. One of my favorites included a purple jiggle stick. I’ll now look at mountain lions in a whole new way. Thanks, Reece!Oh, and Reece, you can get me hot and bothered anytime.Mojca
Oh, wow. It's not often that a book leaves me speechless after finishing it, but Extreme Exposure is definitely one of those (rare) books.I actually don't know what to write in my review, so I'm just going to blab a little, if you don't mind. This was a completely impulse buy for me, because of the good reviews it got from my GR friend. And because I usually go a bit crazy where books are concerned, I bought the entire series, based solely on those good reviews (I didn't read the less good ones).Needless to say, I'm not in the least sorry for that impulse buy of mine, though I feared to be before I started. The biggest cause for that fear was the blurb. A romantic suspense novel about an investigative reporter and a senator? No cops, no federal agents? Are you kidding me? I was sure it would be a huge fiasco with the investigative reporter and the politician going all quasi-PI on the reader, getting in all sorts of troubles, all the way convinced they were doing a great job, a better job than a cop.Well, that fear of mine was completely wasted and I realized it from the first paragraph. Ms. Clare's story grabbed me into its clutches, pulled me in, and didn't let go until the end.Granted, none of the major players was a cop, federal agent or anything remotely similar, yet they didn't seem silly, preposterous or pretentious in the investigation. Ms. Clare created a group of well-developed characters utterly and completely aware of their limitations, both psychical and juridical, that didn't pretend to me more, to do more, to know more, that was expected of them.And that's what I loved most about this story, that's what worked to its advantage, and that's what kept me turning the pages, curious to see what would happen next, how the characters were react, who was the bad guy, what the investigation might uncover...Well, that and the romance. Because we can't have a romantic suspense with only the suspense, can we? There has to be a sub-plot centering on the romance. And this one worked beautifully alongside the main investigation plot. It didn't take center-stage, yet it didn't remain relegated to the sidelines. The two parts of the story flowed seamlessly and perfectly together.And the characters...I'm so happy to report none of them, the hero, the heroine or any of the supporting cast, annoyed me. I understood Kara's reservations, I loved Reece's patience, I adored the motley crew at the newspaper, Chief Irwing was a sweetheart...It doesn't happen often, but beside leaving me speechless, every single element of this story clicked, worked perfectly in juxtaposition to the others, creating one hell of a good story.Hats off to Pamela Clare.Beanbag Love
It took a while for me to get into this story. I don't really like politicians as main protagonists. They're always these idealistic to a completely unbelievable degree figments of the imagination. Add to this a heroine who is a non-smarmy political journalist and you've got a fairy tale on a believability scale with Thumbelina.But it's also a crime story, and that again is a cliche. An Erin Brockovich tale that ensnares both hero and heroine and includes an evil corporation, a dirty factory, corrupt politicians (everyone except our hero, of course), and run down houses with old people on oxygen who have complained to the EPA for at least two years with nary a peep in return. Seen it too many times to be on the edge of my seat. The leads are good, even though Reece (our hot state senator) is a bit squeaky clean and Gary Stu-ish. Kara is a bit of an emotional basket case, and some moments are not believable to me. She's not stupid, but she does a few stupid things and it gets annoying after a bit. But their chemistry is believable for the most part.I was surprised by some of the writing. Clare resorted to some ripe repetition, which is unexpected in such a good writer. I'll have to do a search, but I swear Reece had rage boiling in his gut, white hot rage coiling in his gut or some other variation of rage doing something in his gut at any given time. Use the rage too much, and you've got a rather unstable hero for our emotionally confused heroine. It truly was his first reaction to almost any news. Rage. It got very old and I was disappointed with Clare for stepping into a rut with it.I'll read the next in the I-Team series, but as I said, politicians and reporters are not necessarily my favorite protagonists. The I-Team refers to the "Investigative Team" of a Denver, CO paper, BTW, so we're in the journalist world whether we like it or not. It's possible that Clare was just struggling a bit with the contemporary format and language, as she's typically a writer of historicals. These might get better as I go along. (disclosure: I used to work for several different magazines, which is probably why I'm not all that interested in journalists as heroes or heroines of stories)HOWEVER, if you're interested in some smokin' sex scenes, Reece doesn't disappoint. Rawr. ;^)Jennifer Lane
Now that I'm writing a romantic suspense series, I'm finally catching up on reading some awesome romantic suspense authors like Pamela Clare. Extreme Exposure is the first novel in the I-Team series, and I can't wait to read the rest of the novels based on my enjoyment of #1.The book cover says "The hardest exteriors hide the most vulnerable places", which is true of the romantic leads Kara McMillan and Reece Sheridan. Kara is an investigative reporter on the I-Team, specializing in environmental crimes. She has an adorable 4 year-old son Connor, who loves dinosaurs and smells like baby shampoo. The main reason Kara has a hard outer shell is that Connor's father is a total cad who wants nothing to do with his son. Kara has to fight to take care of Connor as a single mother, and is terrified of getting hurt again.Reece is a Colorado state senator. How refreshing that Ms. Clare portrays a politician as one of the good guys, which is hard to believe in today's political climate but Reece's kindness and integrity make it more plausible. He's a former schoolteacher who wants to make the world a better place, inevitably smacking up against the corruption and greed making his goal quite difficult.I LOVED the first meeting between Kara and Reece. Kara is drunk on the powerful margaritas served at Rio del Sol (I think I might have tried one of their margaritas in Boulder if I remember correctly) and she says some outrageous things to Reece as a result of her loosened inhibitions. Then their relationship begins to develop, a slow burn that was delightful to read. An environmental crime threatens their romance but I liked the way Ms. Clare handled the characters' quick attempts at resolving the misunderstanding.The secondary characters, including Kara's tantric-loving mother, best friend Holly, and caddish ex Galen, as well as Reece's friend Miguel, are well-drawn and fun to read. Even the police chief has his own special style:Chief Irving arrived in less than ten minutes. He was a big, beefy man with a beer gut that made him look eleven or twelve months pregnant. His white hair was cropped short and stood almost on end, giving him the look of someone who'd recently gotten an electrical shock. But the pale blue eyes that gazed out at them from beneath bushy white eyebrows were intelligent, appraising---the eyes of a lifelong cop. (p. 122)Kara is totally smitten by Reece's hotness:Her gaze traveled from his feet, which rested on the coffee table---could feet truly be sexy?---up his long, muscular legs, over his navy silk boxers with their appealing bulge to his bare torso. What must it be like to live in that body, to have all that delicious muscle and velvety man-skin within reach all day every day? If Kara had his body, she'd be too busy touching herself to make it out of bed in the morning. (p. 271) Ha!I assume future books in the series will explore other I-Team characters, and I look forward to learning more about Kara's colleagues. This is an excellent read!Laura the Highland Hussy
3.5 starsI'm not reviewing this one in depth since it's been done by bajillions before me, but I enjoyed the story and characters, and I LOVED the sense of humor. But I didn't feel it was a rocks my socks fantastic book. I can see why so many love this series, though. And yet, I couldn't get the pages to turn fast enough (stupid e-reader button!). It had a few eye-rolling moments, definitely. The "demands" Kara made of Reece kind of pissed me off, and I think that it *is* okay to have a happily ever after without babies. And yet I still enjoyed the book. I'll definitely read the rest of the series, but I'm not chomping at the bit to get through them. One thing that made the suspense storyline work for me though, is a recent interview with Pamela Clare at Riverina Romantics (you can read it here ) and I realized how close to home the suspense action must have been for her. Wow, that bumped the book up a notch, in my opinion.So, yeah, great plot, hysterical moment with Reece, Mr. Jiggle Stick, and a menage a trois (my favorite part! lol-really, the part where Kara is tied up and Reece is like "I didn't think you'd mind if I brought a friend." And pulls out her purple vibrator!) and a good ending. the epilogue was over-kill to me. I'm all for marriage and babies and HEA, hello! have you met me? (lol) but this was a little over the top.Taryn at My Secret Romance
When I was in high school, I took a journalism class. Well, I shouldn't say I took it, I was in the class for about 3 weeks and then dropped it. I had loved the idea of writing and wanted to be part of the newspaper in high school. The problem was was that I was intimated very easily and having to pen papers upon papers made me drop the class (even though I knew thats what journalism entailed). I think subconsciously I wanted to take the class to challenge myself since I knew that I wasn't a writer and words just don't come to me easily. I wish now after reading this book that my Guidance Counselor hadn't let me drop the class. I think I would have enjoyed very much being a writer and doing investigative work. I didn't think I would like this series but I gave it a try anyway. I have tried a few genres outside of paranormal romance but could not get into them. Paranormal Romance just does it for me. Plain and simple. But I have to say that I truly enjoyed this book and can not wait to read the next one. The characters are very well developed and you're able to connect with them. Kara and Reece now have a small place in my heart. I loved the fact that the characters didn't jump into sex in the first chapter either. Thats a big turn off for me. I feel like they need to know each other on some level before that happens. The storyline was great! It kept me wanting for more. I loved Karas investigative work the most and how she never gave up. I had an idea who the stalker/murdered was but at the same time still wasn't sure. This is a very well written novel and I am so glad my friend recommended it to me. Now onto Hard Evidence.Zeek
Pamela Clare knows how to write. Her plotting is never simple and always smart, yet she manages to entertain whether she's writing historicals or contemps.Extreme Exposure, the first in Clare's I-Team series, is fantabulous! Now, I am not a huge straight contemporary romance fan, and though I enjoy her historicals immensely, I held off on the I-Team series for awhile because of my usual "meh" feeling toward the genre. Even when I started Extreme Exposure, I came to it with trepidation, because I've read so many "I fell in love with a Senator/CEO" plot lines in the romance genre- I just couldn't see myself falling for the hook again. (No one could do it like Sandra Brown and Linda Howard back in the day.) But by page 10 Clare allayed my fears and I was hooked.Kara McMillan is a independent, smart Investigative journalist. Between her time-consuming job and raising her son alone, she has little time for romance. The book opens with Kara standing alone at a bar wondering why she allowed her best friend Holly to talk her into going out. While playing the wall flower and watching her outrageously extroverted friend make her rounds- she encounters the very handsome Colorado Sate Senator, Reece Sheridan. By the time they get to strike up a real conversation, she's had three margaritas and is saying things she never would dream of saying stone cold sober. With the best intentions of seeing her once burned, twice shy friend finally hook up, Holly ends up ditching her- leaving her with no way of getting home.Reece steps up to the plate and like the gentleman he is he takes her to her door and leaves without even a kiss good night.The next morning Kara is horrified when she remembers what all she said the night before and she vows to break her friendship with Holly and duck Reece Sheridan whenever she can.Meanwhile a tip comes onto her desk about a company dumping toxic waste and with her usual dogged determination, Reece is soon forgotten- well almost anyway- as she dives in headfirst.Reece however has not forgotten the brilliant journalist and he's determined to make a date. Though Kara certainly has no time for a relationship she can't help but say yes when Reece comes a-knocking and the passion between them sets them both aflame. But it's his kind words to her son that makes her fall for him- hard.What neither of them realize is that Kara has just stirred up more than she bargained for in her investigation and Reece is somehow involved. Someone doesn't want the truth uncovered and when danger darkens her door, Reece and Kara's lives become more entangled then either could ever imagine.Hot sex, smart scintillating dialogue and a solid thriller plot. What more could you ask for?Buggy
Opening Line: “Kara McMillan was going to kill her best friend.”So how good was this! Thanks to everyone who kept recommending this series to me over and over (and over) again, now I get what all the fuss has been about. And Pamela Clare well what can I say, this is the 7th book of yours I’ve read now, covering two genres and they’ve all been 5 star reads, so thanks for being amazing.One of the reasons I put this off for so long was that I just couldn’t get into a politician as our hero. Yeah I made assumptions, because I couldn’t believe that a stuffy, suited, paper pusher could be so, freakin hot! Or for that matter even slightly interesting, I mean at some point his character is going to have to do political stuff which is always so bor-ing, and yes Reece does hang out at the capital and pass bills and vote on shit but he’s also so much more. Okay I’m just going to say it; Reece Sheridan is the perfect man, a total keeper.I’ll admit I still cringed a bit when he was described as wearing a bow tie ...um no thanks but the Senator makes up for his fashion sense in so many other ways; like his extreme cooking skills, he’s great with kids, he’s also funny, has a six-pack, knows his wines, and drives a jeep (I wonder if it’s a CJ or a YJ ?) He has a compassionate yet take charge nature and goes all alpha and growly in the bedroom, he’s also good with his hands i.e. he has the ability build a cabin in the woods complete with a bed made from tree branches and then take you outside in the snow and have mountain lion sex with you !! Jeez Louise.Okay where was I? I’m all befuddled now. Right, Extreme Exposure book is book 1 in the I-team series, centering around Kara McMillian a single mother and hard hitting journalist with a penchant for margaritas and purple jiggly things (god those scenes made me laugh) Kara is struggling to be a full time mum for her son while still holding down a full time job. She’s given up on any hope of a love life after the disaster that was her son’s father and the fact that her boss is a bit of an ass and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. When Kara receives an anonymous tip from an employee at the Northrup Mining Corp regarding a host of environmental crimes including the dumping and disposal of toxic waste (I admit I had flashes of Erin Brockovich here) Launching into her investigation Kara soon realizes she’s got the potential for a huge story on her hands. People’s lives are at stake and the extent of the corruption is beyond anything she could have imagined, going all the way to; you guessed it, the senate which does put a kink into her blossoming affair with a certain politician. Before long he’s also on her list of suspects and Kara’s running for her life.This was just all out fantastic read, superbly written with believable, well rounded characters, sex scenes that were off the charts hot, an exciting suspenseful and interesting storyline that stayed out of OTT territory and kept me engrossed with moments of humour, vulnerability, intrigue and passion. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead next. CheersLady Jaye
For some reason, the series name, I-Team, had me expecting an Elite Ops/SEAL/mercenary sort of romantic suspense. So I was confused for a moment there when I realized we were dealing with the Investigative team of a newspaper and not hot men who are trained killers, heh. But once that was cleared cleared up, I started noticing a few things. The book is a lot more romance than suspense, so much so that you could take the suspense part out, and you still pretty much had a solid romance going on. Speaking of romance, this one was as steamy as you could get without making it erotica. I liked Kara and Senator Reece. They were solid characters who behaved their age - both in their thirties, not too much angst, hiding information leading to big misunderstanding, no TSTL moments...it felt age appropriate.It was a very quick read. It didn't feel like 300+ pages at all, which is a very good thing, right? The epilogue was HELLA cheesy! But it was all good. Overall, it was a nice evening's escapism, and a good introduction to romantic suspense for someone used to reading romance. I am adding this series and Ms. Clare to my TBR list.UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine...
My review:I’ve read Pamela Clare’s Historical Romance series, MacKinnon’s Rangers highlander novels, Surrender and Untamed and loved them both, so when I heard that she had a romantic suspense series, I was pretty sure I’d enjoy them as well, and wow, was I ever right! Now my biggest dilemma is, do I plow through the rest of the books, one after the other, or pace myself? Extreme Exposure is the first book in the suspense filled I-Team series. The I-Team is the investigative reporting team at the Denver Independent newspaper, made up of Tom Trent - Editor in Chief, Syd Wilson - Managing Editor, and journalists/investigative reporters; Kara MacMillan, Matt Harker, Sophie Alton, Tessa Novak, and Joaquin Ramirez. Now, most of the romantic suspense books I’ve read are about military, police, firefighters, etc., so I had no idea that a reporter investigating a story could be so exciting – and dangerous. This story focuses on Kara MacMillan and Senator Reece Sheridan and when I bought this book I had no idea that it revolved around a newspaper reporter as the heroine and a good guy politician as the hero. Another something that is different is that in Extreme Exposure it’s the female lead who’s taking risks, making enemies, and living dangerously. That’s not to say that Reece doesn’t have his own fires to put out and enemies to escape, because he most certainly did.I’ve never really given much thought to what an investigative reporter actually does, so I appreciated the detail and the insight we’re given into what happens on a daily basis with meetings, appointments, interviews, etc., and I also appreciated the way that it was done. Usually, I feel that the first book of a series suffers from what I affectionately call “F-BITSs” – First Book in the Series syndrome – where there’s so much character introduction and world building that we’re lost in page after page of data resulting in information overload. However, Ms. Clare did this in such a way that we were actually inside those meetings, watching what transpired, what needed to be done next and listening to the interactions. I much prefer the authors who show us by allowing us to experience it, rather than tell us what happened after the fact. It keeps things from becoming boring and “lecture-esque.” Another thing I was glad to see was how Kara juggled her career and her family, namely her son, Connor, a four year old bundle of dynamite. Connor’s father had abandoned them as soon as he learned that Kara was expecting their child, so everything she had to do was done alone, as a single mom. There was nothing glamorous about Kara’s life and she worked her tail off to be the best she could be as both a journalist and a mother. She struggled at times, and her choices were not always easily made. This is what real life is like for a mom who wants a career and who also wants to raise her child herself, without relying on nannies and babysitters to do it for her. Kara was fortunate enough to have a loving, supportive - albeit quirky - mother, Lily, who was more than willing to step in and help when she wasn’t attending demonstrations and sit-ins sans shirt and bra. Yes, you read that right – topless. And I’ll just toss this in real quick; her mother made for some fun times and interesting relationship storylines.The glimpse into the life of a Senator, in this case, one Reece Sheridan, was quite enlightening. Maybe if I had paid closer attention in high school civics it wouldn’t have seemed quite as fascinating, nevertheless, it was. Reece didn’t really have any other responsibilities other than his senatorial duties, and it’s a good thing because they took up most of his time. It was educational, but not boring. Now, Kara and Reece had known each other from press conferences and interviews, that kind of thing. But they happen to meet in a bar one night and Reece was immediately interested while Kara wanted to keep things professional. Well, until she’d had three margaritas and was chatting him up about oral sex which made for a pretty funny scene. I enjoyed the way their relationship progressed. Kara was trying to keep a “safe” distance, and Reece wasn’t giving up, but he wasn’t being all pushy alpha male, either. In fact, he’d given Kara a ride home from the bar that first night and when, in her tipsy state, she’d rather blatantly propositioned him, his reply was, “Not this time”…”Ask me again when you haven’t had three.” I really admired the integrity with which they both performed their jobs. While it’s easy to imagine that all politicians are crooks, Reece was not. He had been a high school U.S. Government teacher and had given a very passionate speech to his students about the need for citizens to become involved in government. When his students challenged him to run for Senator, he did and he won. It was important to him to show his students that you in fact could be a politician and be honest at the same time. While he was doing his “time” at the Capital building, he always planned to return to his true love, teaching, knowing that he’d be learning very valuable lessons which he could then use to educate his students in a way text books never could.I suppose we don’t too often read about crooked journalists, at least I don’t. So it wasn’t too terribly shocking that Kara wanted to do everything by the book. In all her requisitions, in all her dealings and interviews, every “t” was crossed and ever “I” was dotted. There were times when it was annoying as hell when I wanted her to be able to just hurry up and get the bad guy, but she was being true to her profession and her ideals. I couldn’t fault her for that.There were a few great quotes and scenes, and this was one of my favorites: Very slight spoiler:Her labor had been so much easier and faster this time, with the pain overwhelming her only toward the very end. But then her mother and Reece had been there to help her through it, together with the midwife and Reece’s sister Melanie, who’d become a good friend. Holly, Tessa, and Sophie, whose job it had been to entertain Connor during Kara’s active labor, returned at the last minute, just in time to watch the actual birth.Reece, whose love had sustained her through the last excruciating hour, had been the one to catch Caitlyn. With the guidance of the midwife, he’d eased their daughter from Kara’s body. Then he’d looked up at Kara through eyes filled with tears, a look of amazement on his face. “It’s a girl!” Kara would never forget that moment for as long as she lived – even if in the next instant she’d overheard Holly tell Tessa and Sophie, “If I ever have a baby, I’m going to have a Brazilian wax first. Keep it pretty, you know?”“Honey, when you’ve got an eight-pound object coming out of your cooter, the last thing you’re going to care about is how it looks,” had been Tessa’s reply. End spoilerOverall, I found this to be a surprisingly well balanced story. There was action and suspense, sex, drama, romance, sex, passion, intrigue, mystery, sex… oh, did I mention there was a lot of sex? And it was hot sex, too - vanilla, but hot. And I don’t feel like it overwhelmed the story.I’m so, so pleased to have found this variation on the romantic suspense theme – something other than macho male warriors – and can’t wait to read the next book!The I-Team reading order, so far:1. Extreme Exposure1.5 Heaven Can't Wait - a novella found in the out of print anthology Catch of the Day and on ebook 2. Hard Evidence3. Unlawful Contact4. Naked Edge5. Breaking Point5.5. Skin Deep5.9. First Strike6. Striking Distance----------If you're already a Pamela Clare fan, or interested in learning more about her and her books, be sure to stop by our Pamela Clare Fan Group here on Goodreads!Julianna
Reviewed for THC ReviewsExtreme Exposure is my first read by Pamela Clare, and I have to say that she is a good story-teller. The book had a nice balance of elements too. I had all the bad guys fairly well figured out by the reveal, so nothing was too big of a surprise in that respect. However, the suspenseful nature of the denouement and some of the earlier scenes were still well done, and there were even some lighter, humorous moments as well. Kara's drunken sex interview with Reece was pretty amusing (apparently she is a dedicated journalist even under the influence ;-)), as was her son producing Mommy's vibrator at an extremely inopportune time. The romance didn't fully produce a deep, swoon-worthy emotional connection for me, but it did have some memorable moments, such as when Reece brought his planned dinner to Kara, cooking for her, and when he loyally sat by her bedside after she'd been severely injured. Although not quite as steamy as I was expecting based on other's reviews (most of the love scenes were a little too short and not very detailed), there was one scene in particular that was definitely scorching hot. Overall, Extreme Exposure was a pretty enjoyable read, but the author has some odd quirks in her writing style which kept the book from being the perfect 5-star read for me that I thought it could have been.Just like Kara, the heroine of Extreme Exposure, Pamela Clare has an extensive background as an award-winning journalist. However, authoring a newspaper article and authoring a novel require two very different writing styles, and I couldn't help but feel that her journalistic style kept seeping into the novel, giving me something of a roller-coaster experience with the narrative. Sometimes, I was engaged in the story and really enjoying it, and other times, it just simply didn't catch my attention and draw me in the way a romantic suspense tale should. I think this was owing to a large part of the book being written in a rather passive way with quite a bit of telling and not enough showing. Ms. Clare also has a tendency to write most of the introspective passages in past perfect tense as the characters basically relive something that has already happened. I've never really seen this in a romance novel before, or at least not to this extent, and in my opinion, it added to the passivity. In general, I think it is a good rule of thumb to keep the reader in the here and now, especially when trying to build a romantic relationship and a suspenseful plot, rather than reliving events after the fact. As written, it was almost like having dozens of mini flashbacks in the narrative. I also wasn't very fond of her repeating certain phrases and passages during introspective moments either. I just didn't feel the need to be reminded of what another character had said or something the person who was ruminating had read, often just mere pages after it had occurred the first time. In my opinion, it only served to slow things down. While some parts of Ms. Clare's writing style may not have been entirely to my liking, I do want to give credit where credit is due. I thought she was great with describing the settings and environmental details which made me see them clearly in my mind's eye. She also did a good job with the dialog which had a snappy, concise and natural flow. In addition, she created some likable characters in Reece and Kara, as well as Kara's son, Connor, who actually acted like the small child he was and not just a tiny adult.Before starting Extreme Exposure, I have to admit that I was a little skeptical of a politician making good romantic hero material as they tend to have a bad reputation. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. Reece was one of those rare “good guy” politicians, someone who got into it because he truly wanted to make a difference both in the lives of his students, who had encouraged him toward this temporary career change, and in the lives of his constituents. He had a moral compass that kept him from doing things that could be misconstrued, and he and his office were about as transparent as government gets. Because of this, I wish the author hadn't felt the need to justify Reece's actions by frequently reminding the reader that he wasn't abusing his power when he occasionally pulled some strings to get information. I think it was already pretty obvious that he was only doing it for the greater good. Ultimately, Reece was a fabulous guy who made a wonderful romance hero. I loved the way he was a perfect gentleman at their first meeting when Kara was drunk, how he verbally defended Kara, tried to physically protect her, and refused to leave her side when all the bad stuff started happening. And all this, while still being an amazing lover who could make her body sing, a talented cook who could make a delicious meal without breaking a sweat, a great handyman, and he loved kids too. Where can I sign up for my own Reece? (Oops, forgot, I'm a married woman for a second there.;-)) The two things about him that were slightly troublesome were his lack of judgment in previously sleeping with a lobbyist, and that he seemed to fall in love with Kara a little too easily and without a lot of explanation. However, I can't fault the latter too much, because I love when the hero recognizes his feelings early in the story.Kara was an admirable heroine. She was obviously dedicated to her job and very good at what she did. She was a wonderful mother in spite of sometimes not feeling like she was. Even though I'm a stay-at-home mom, I could still relate to her worries about balancing work and motherhood. I think most moms have days where they feel inadequate. I admired her for her journalistic ethics, and for how she stood up to her boss for being a jerk and to the bad guys when they started coming after her. I can't say that I always agreed with her choice of actions (a couple leaned toward the TSTL side), but I guess they at least made some sense. I sympathized with her being a little leery of trusting men, but I think the author could have presented that aspect in a bit more subtle way instead of it being in the reader's face right from the start. Even Reece instantaneously knew she had issues after only going on one date with her. I just have a preference for these types of past hurts to come out more slowly, because I feel it adds to the intimacy of the relationship when the couple gradually share with one another. At the same time, I felt like Kara needed a little more depth in this area, because she did occasionally irritate me with how long it took her to give into her feelings for him, as well as with her suspicions about Reece's motives for dating her and again later with his involvement in the investigation. Reece was just such a great guy I thought he deserved better than that, but at least she wasn't as bad as some romance heroines I've read.Extreme Exposure has a plethora of secondary characters, some who have only bit parts and some whose roles are a little meatier, but they all contributed to the story in their own way. Two of the supporting characters we meet in this story, Kara's friends and fellow I-Team members, Tessa and Sophie, become the heroines of the next two books in the series, Hard Evidence and Unlawful Contact respectively. The overall premise for the series, that of a group of investigative reporters digging into various crimes is a new and unique idea for romantic suspense which I like. I can say that Ms. Clare's background in this field certainly shows through in her portrayal of the heroine's profession and descriptions of the newspaper business, even though the technical aspects of the newsroom weren't my favorite parts. Extreme Exposure is the first story in the I-Team series which currently has five books. I may have had a few issues with Ms. Clare's writing style, but I liked the characters and plot well enough that I'm certainly willing to keep going with the series.Stacia (out of inspiration)
You know...some days I think I nitpick everything, and other days I feel like I'm way too lenient with books. Considering the fact that I actually did enjoy the book, it makes me feel a little guilty for how much I'm about to pick apart the male lead.Reece was just too perfect for my tastes. I can handle perfect men in fantasy and pnr themed books because there is often a magical or race related reason for the perfection. When it comes to realistic and contemporary fiction, I crave flaws. People can still be attractive with flaws. This man just didn't seem to have one thing wrong with him. Let's see if you can spot the flaw :Good looking and well-dressedRipped body and packing heatExcellent lover (go go multiple O's with barely a touch)Has an abundant amount of sensitivity from his previous teaching job and the status from his current senator positionMoney is not an object for him as witnessed in his cars and vacation cabins He can build with his own two hands ladies! Look, he even built the bed they're sleeping on - a big HAHA to that oneIs wanted by obscene amounts of women, but can't seem to find the right one Thinks the female lead is adorable, even though he met her while she was drunkenly rambling Willing to overlook the woman's single parent status and is enthused to be a part of her son's life Willing to come to her rescue and kick ass when she's being stalked So where is the flaw? Is perfectionism a flaw? Complaints aside, I actually did have a fun time reading Extreme Exposure. The book was a group read for the romance group I mod, so I got a chance to pick up a book I might not have otherwise tried. This was a new venture into contemp suspense, which is not usually the type of book I would gravitate toward, but there was enough of a mix of humor, mystery, steam, etc. that I appreciated the read because of the variety. The author knows her stuff because she did the job previously, and knew the area because it's where she lives, so the story itself did not feel forced, and I was not bored while reading it.Ingela
4 Stars - a good one...Quite a few weeks later, 18th September 2013.There was certainly never any review written then i August. That's what happens when a book is read on a white beach on the Mediterranean in the middle of the summer. ... Either way, this was a really good and enjoyable romance with pretty much suspense elements. Here we have a very goodlooking hero, the Senator Reece Sheridan and a strong and tough beautiful woman, Kara McMillan, a single mother and a successful hard-boiled journalist. They are two people who invest time and effort in their careers and jobs; She examines a possible environmental scandal. He fights with all kinds of political battles every day. They don't know each other, but of course they both know who the other one is and even more admire each other's skills, etc. So, by pure coincidence they encounter each other in a bar one evening. Kara is a bit drunk after several of the drinks her friend tricked her and the fancy senator begins flirting.The gorgeous Senator Sheridan is a sought-after bachelor but Kara has already been let down (hard) once and doesn't intend to take the chance to get maybe get hurt again. Mostly, Kara must focus all her energy on her young son after a day with her usually very demanding job for a big neews paper (which she loves). ~ But an assertive senator will not give up so easily....The opening scene in the bar, when they meet for the first time, was a real treat. I laughed - a perfect opening for a romance. It caught me as a reader and I was stuck in the story. 'Bit 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.'The bottom line; for me, this was a well done lovely tale about two adults (which I always prefer) who were so worthy of finding the big, eternal love and a HEA, as they did. I really liked this two main characters and the fancy Senator??...; Oh Yes, he is a true full-point catch!! Recommended! - I will definitely continue reading this series.I LIKE - a yummy very nice read!Julie (jjmachshev)
I burned through Pamela Clare's "Extreme Exposure" like a chocoholic after a year's drought. I'm torn as to whether I liked this one even more than "Hard Evidence" which is book two of the 'I-Team' series, but the one I read first! I love the fact that these books are gripping romantic suspense, yet still believable. The characters are wonderfully flawed and the relationships are complex and seriously HOT.It's been longer than reporter Kara wants to think about since she's had sexual contact with anything other than plastic. But when her friend drags her to a local bar and Kara runs into local congressman Reece, her curiosity combined with a bit too much alcohol, sets off an interview of the more personal sort with the handsome state Senator. She knows it's a bad idea for an investigative reporter to get involved with a state senator, but Reece won't give up and Kara can't seem to say no to him. When their careers collide in scandal, Kara will have to be brave enough to fight for her man...or they could both end up dead.Once again, I can't say enough great things about this author. She just needs to write faster! I'm stuck now waiting for the third novel in this series to arrive in the mail and then I'll be tapping my toes in anticipation of "Naked Edge" which has been pushed back to a November 2009 release...bummer!