Review: Extreme Exposure by Pamela ClareWednesday, July 9, 2008 13:00
I think I’m lying to myself. I say I don’t like romantic suspense, and don’t read it… but some of my favorite authors are grouped into this category. That, and this is my favorite book I’ve read in a while. The story is great, the plot is interesting, characters well developed, there’s a lot of good things to say about this book.
The opening of the book really draws the reader in – it’s unexpected, funny, realistic, and rather outrageous. The heroine gets tipsy at a club, and says suggestive things to a state senator. This could be cliché, but isn’t, as the scenes serve to develop both the heroine, Kara McMillan, and the hero, Reece Sheridan. Kara’s out of character behavior provide humor, and gives Reece an in for future encounters. It also shows him to be the gentleman he is.
Kara is an intelligent, hard working woman – a single mom who manages to juggle investigative reporting and motherhood. I thought Kara was extremely real, and an enjoyable character. She has her flaws and doubts, but she’s an extremely strong woman who isn’t afraid to put herself in harm’s way for the sake of the truth, and her job. I know Ms. Clare is herself a reporter, which is nice because there were a lot of “inside” or “behind the scenes” scenes in the book, describing Kara at the office, and the inner workings of a newspaper. It gave Extreme Exposure that much more credibility.
For his part, Reece is almost unreal. He’s the ideal politician (and yes, I do mean to add the “l” at the end of that word). In fact, he might be the ideal man. Smart, caring, idealistic, driven, charming, and not only ready, but able to save the world. He’s someone you have to respect whether or not you like him, and like him I did. I also enjoyed that he knew he and Kara had something real from the start. It’s always nice to have a hero who actually wants to be in a committed relationship.
The story itself read like a headlining newspaper article, but better, because all the background was there, and the reader knew all the facts, and how the events played out from start to finish. Ms. Clare’s attention to detail, from the investigations, secondary characters and subsequent consequences are impressive, and weave a compelling story that draws the reader in. I found the content fascinating. I don’t know if it’s just something I personally enjoy anyway, but the glimpses of the State Congress were fun and lifelike.
Not only that, but the romance was there, it was well written, and strong. The reader follows Kara and Reece’s relationship from its inception. I like how there’s a give and take, and the fact that their interaction is believable. Their chemistry is hot and there are quite a few sexy scenes. The romance also kept the plot from being too heavy, and provided a nice counterbalance to the “running for their lives” aspects of the story.
I also appreciated that Ms. Clare didn’t use broad sweeping stereotypes. There were good and bad politicians, and so forth. The characters made mistakes, and said the wrong thing. However, there are a few minor issues I take with the book. First, there was a lobbyist, who had little redeeming qualities. While this may often be the case, there was no counterpart for her. Also, another character – the attorney. Some of it may be because of who he is – Galen Prentice is the father of Kara’s child, but he abandoned them. Still, when Ms. Clare had so many other things right (laws, statutes, codes, procedures, and so on) – the fact that she ignored the Rules of Professional Responsibility annoyed me a little. Near the climax of the book, I felt that Kara also got a bit melodramatic. Yes, it was a tense situation, but she just took it a tad too far.
However, those were all minor issues, and I very much enjoyed reading this book. I look forward to reading Ms. Clare’s other books, and am actually glad I didn’t “discover” until now because she has two more books out, Hard Evidence, and Unlawful Contact, so I don’t have to wait for new material. I can definitely recommend this book to any and all readers.
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…
Read an excerpt here.