10 April 2009

Review: Pamela Clare - Extreme Exposure

~Click on cover to buy a copy~
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 2, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425206335
ISBN-13: 978-0425206331

Summary:
It's been years since her child's father dumped her, and since then investigative reporter Kara McMillan has kept men at bay—although every day she aches more for a lover's touch. But to get that, the hard-boiled journalist must become vulnerable—a feeling she vowed never to have again.

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

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

My Review: I sometimes read about the importance of a first chapter in a novel to capture the reader’s interest and I can tell you, while pondering between three novels to read, I opened Extreme Exposure and was drawn in from page one. The choice was made when I read the scene where Kara is in a bar with a friend. She is described as a woman with stretch marks on her belly from her pregnancy, she never got boobs bigger than a b-cup and she personally thought her best features were her hair and perhaps her eyes. Sitting in the bar she still has her friend’s advice ringing in her ears:

Quote Holly:Just go up to a guy who turns you on and start talking.

Easier said than done and I immediately found Kara McMillan likable and her thoughts at certain moments hilarious. I mean, some sex-talk with one of your best friends and a margarita or two, three to accompany it can give you a situation where model gorgeous Senator Reece Sheridan walks up to your table and mingles in the conversation at hand. I smiled and laughed as the scene unfolded before my eyes and I could only give Pamela Clare two thumbs up for a first chapter that inevitably invited me to read on.

Kara is juggling with her professional life as an investigating reporter at the Denver Independent and being a single mom with a non-existing sex life. She has humor, she has a profound love for her four year old son, she has an eccentric mother and a passion for her job that takes time away from her son more often than she wants. I think Kara is the kind of female lead character who is very recognizable for so many women and easy to relate to. While there are definite humorous tones in Extreme Exposure the suspense got up to speed in the next few chapters, right alongside with the romance as Reece and Kara have a dynamite chemistry together!

Senator Reece Sheridan is at first sight a well-dressed, handsome and smooth politician, and since he is a politician you first think he is there to double cross you. Nothing is further from the truth, he is the real deal with incredible ideals and a man who is willing to work hard for his voters. While he is all business in the Capitol in his scarce free time he is the kind of man you want around the house. He cooks divine, is spontaneous with children and creates a heat between the sheets that almost scorches the pages. He sounds almost too good to be true and though I usually go for the dark natured bad boy I couldn’t help myself and I just fell for him.

As Reece and Kara created a heated tension that rocketed from the pages they both had troublesome events going on at work. Now Pamela Clare worked the plot like a pro, where separately Reece and Kara discovered and worked on environmental issues it was all interconnected. The discoveries which were gradually revealed and the suspicion cast on various characters, the plot compelled me to find out the how, why and most important who was behind some if these atrocious actions. Because the whodunit factor was hard to ignore!

As the danger increases a notch I was going back from Capitol Hill to the newsroom at Denver Independent and the home of Kara where most of the personal moments took place. The romance story heightened the suspense and vice versa with a well represented account of how a story is being researched and investigated. In entering the newsroom for the first time I got to meet the I-Team: Tom Trent, editor in chief and a blunt jerk at times. Joaquin Ramirez, the photographer, I didn’t get to see him much but he seems to have a good sense of humor and excited to do his job. Syd Wilson, managing editor seems a very grounded person and then there are Sophie Alton and Tessa Novak, both like Kara investigating reporters who are competent and have a passion for their specialism. I got to get more of a feel for Tessa and Sophie in an off-duty girl’s moment with Kara and they triggered my interest almost immediately.

Extreme Exposure also has the sharks in suits and some very dangerous minds bent on more power, more money and they want to gorge in it with no regard for the consequences. If the plot taught me one thing it is that everyone is suspect and I was caught off guard by the ending, I just did not see it all coming and I thoroughly enjoy such a revelation for shock value. It makes me wonder where the daylights that came from, why didn’t I pick up on it sooner and it increases the suspense factor nearing the ending. I just had to find out how it all ended, nothing could keep me from it, so lunch got skipped and I got myself a juice with the book in my hands.

Weeks ago I ordered a historical and romantic suspense from the hand of Pamela Clare and I was absolutely taken by her historical and with Extreme Exposure she has proven to be an author who can tackle multiple sub-genres within the romance genre. She hits all the right notes, this novel is rife with the emotions of a romance and the intensity of a suspense plot keeping me bound to the pages. Clare has become an auto-buy with her I-Team series and her MacKinnon trilogy!

Quote Kara:
“Tantra for singles? What is that – masturbation for Buddhist?”

Quote Reece:
Caves. Neanderthal sex. Babies. That’s what he wanted.

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