The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



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Extreme Exposure by Pamela Clare

Extreme Exposure - Pamela Clare

A whistleblower has contacted investigative reporter Kara McMillan about his employer’s dubious disposal of hazardous material, and as she slowly investigates the case, it soon becomes apparent she has a scoop of epic and devastating proportions on her hands. Because someone is obviously willing to do anything in their power to stop her from snooping, from writing her story and exposing the scandal that looks to reach to the state Senate as well.

But the whistleblower, the investigation and death threats against her and her young son aren’t the only problems Kara is facing. She’s also caught  the eye of Reece Sheridan, a state senator who, even though he doesn’t appear to be involved in the cover-up she’s investigating, is still a major threat to Kara and her heart.

This. This is what I call awesome romantic suspense. This perfect mix and blend of romance and suspense without either intruding on the other.

A well-written and well-developed plot (Ms Clare’s background as an investigative reporter was obvious and a major asset to the story) with great, realistic characters, wonderful (and scorching hot) romance, intriguing mystery, and gripping, edge-of-the-seat suspense.

At first read six years ago, the book left me speechless, and I must admit, I’m no more eloquent after this re-read. It’s not seldom you get to read a romantic suspense without either or both main protagonists being part of law enforcement. This particular book is a great example of how to write a good, solid suspense with great, responsible and knowing-their-limits characters and not having them being cops or (former) military.
The heroine is an investigative reporter and the hero a senator, yet they became embroiled in a dangerous investigation, bullets starts flying, people are gunning for them, and they end up falling in love in the process. Because, what’s a better incentive for forming strong and lasting bonds than fighting for your life?

And although the investigation proved to be quite deadly, neither Kara nor Reece went off-script. They remained a reporter and a senator, never going all PI or getting into trouble because they overestimated their abilities or capabilities. They knew their limits, and although they stretched them sometimes, both characters remained in the boundaries of those limitations (both physical and juridical).
That’s one of the things I loved about this story, and what worked to its advantage, what kept me turning the pages after pulling me in and grabbing me into its clutches from page one. I wanted to read about their struggles, I wanted to read more about what the investigation would uncover next, I wanted to know who the bad guy was, and how Kara and Reece would bring him to justice and her story to light.

I was invested in these two characters from the get-go, I got to know them throughout the story and watched them grow and change, persevering despite all the difficulties, stubbornly refusing to let go of each other no matter what.
I understood Kara’s reservations, I loved Reece’s patience, and their romance was a real gem to read. It might’ve come across as rushed, come to think of it, the entire story happens in the span of a few weeks, but thanks to the character development Ms Clare started with, and their evolution through the story, there was no feel of haste in any of it. The budding relationship and their romance felt realistic and organic, the character growth and evolution, making it feel like much more time has passed.
It was intense, engaging, and yes, hot, hot, hot. Boy, was it hot.

And then there was the suspense, seamlessly blending into everything that was happening, hyping up the intensity and thrills. It was a gripping tale all in itself, but combined with the above-mentioned fact, of me being invested in the characters and their story, it was that much more intense reading how it all unfolded, hoping for the best…

Every single element of this story worked, by itself or combined with the rest; the characters, the relationships and interactions, the romance (oh, the romance), the suspense, the drama, the writing, plot, pacing...Everything had its purpose, everything had its place, it all clicked perfectly together, creating one hell of a story.