by Pamela Clare
Book 2 of Colorado High Country
Let's be frank here: Pamela Clare is an auto-buy author for me. She's an auto-buy author as well as an auto-read author.
At least the contemporary stuff she's written so far has been quickly added to my library and devoured--I haven't exactly gone back over her historical back list yet. And while her books have the tendency to get a little overly cheesy and overly schmaltzy sometimes, Pamela Clare has sentimental value.
Her I-Team series was the very first set of Romantic Suspense series I truly fell in love with. And with that, it got me catapulted into the entire genre, finding myself a sweet little comfort zone for my reading life.
But that's not all. Pamela Clare books are auto-buy for me because I've always found I love the characters she creates and the suspenseful situations she creates.
Slow Burn doesn't prove too differently. Although Slow Burn also proves the power of a beloved author versus average presentation of a potentially fun and sexy contemporary romance.
Victoria Woodley is done with men. Fresh off a dating nightmare, she flies from her home in Chicago to Scarlet Springs to take part in her best friend’s wedding. Who picks her up at the airport? Eric Hawke. Of course. She made a fool of herself over him last time she was here. He’s cocky, charming, and sexy as sin. But the fact that she’s attracted to him is all the proof she needs that he’s bad news. She would ignore him if she could. But he’s the best man, and she’s the maid of honor. She can’t just tell him to jump in a lake—especially not when her lips are locked with his.
Eric isn’t looking for a relationship. Between running the firehouse and volunteering for the county’s search and rescue team, he has enough on his plate. He doesn’t need to get tangled up with a woman from the big city, especially one whose idea of roughing it is going without designer coffee. Yet from the moment he looks into Victoria’s big brown eyes, the attraction he feels is too strong to deny. Faster than he can imagine, the spark of desire that has smoldered between them since the first day they met will flare into full-blown passion.
But can Eric convince Victoria to set aside her doubts and trust him with her heart before their time together runs out?
Slow Burn is written well, easy to read, and fast-paced, as Pamela Clare is wont to present. The premise is a cute one with a lot of potential between Victoria who has a really bad incident occur in her life recently, and Eric who just naturally wants to take care of everyone in his life even if he won't admit it. It's a typical hero and damsel story, but with a modern twist and lots of sexy times involved.
And also, Victoria's a pretty cool Mary Sue of epic proportions... y'know, for a Mary Sue. Except for that little miscommunication and jumping to conclusions deal in the short first chapter back story of one year ago, Victoria's alright. She and Eric end up having an excellent, chemistry-laden relationship wherein they are extremely in lust with each other, but are both trying to hang on to that "we're just friends" lie.
I'm sure everyone--readers and our main couple--were both relieved when the two finally gave into their carnal desires and jumped each others' bones.
Anyway, as far as romances go, this wasn't the most unique story in the world, nor did I expect it to be. Victoria and Eric are both good people, and the little community of Scarlet Springs is a wonderful place for any small town love story to take place. So I liked it. It's a typical tried-and-true formula from a beloved author.
And sometimes that's enough for me.
To top it off, while a little outrageous, Lexi and Austin's "One Week of Pre-Wedding Festivities" sounded like a whole lot of fun. I don't know anyone in my life, personally, who'd be able to afford all of that fun, but I guess it would be akin to just having a vacation in one's own home considering there's so much to do around the area: white water rafting, mountain hiking, a night out on the town, a climbing gym in a bar, etc....
One of the little quibbles I had were the forced "extreme situations" that kind of happened near the end. I'm hesitant to say that Pamela manages better with her romantic suspenses, because I DO still enjoy these contemporary romances set in little Scarlet Springs, as there seems to be plenty of action going on a mountain town without needing to factor in a serial killer or terrorist attack. I don't know if we need to include these extreme situations, though I suppose stuff like getting shoved in front of a moving vehicle CAN happen in real life without the premise being specific to romantic suspense.
Peaceful is kind of nice, sometimes.
The schmaltz that is standard Pamela Clare, however, seems to have resurfaced after being kind of absent in the last three books publish of hers that I read. It's not in full force, but it's tell-tale signs are there.
"Firemen are my favorite color."
Yes, Victoria. They most certainly are. =-)
2016 Reading Challenges:
• Goodreads Reading Challenge
• BookLikes Reading Challenge