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Search tags: short-story-novella
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review 2017-07-23 07:50
Stone Cold by Andrea Kane
Stone Cold - Andrea Kane

Lindsey Hall has known who her father is for a long time, while her father's two children have only recently found out about her...At the reading of his will. A will that stipulates she's to receive a hefty sum, and an old mansion. Determined to refuse the house, and maybe even the money, Lindsay visit the old, abandoned, vacation home, and falls instantly in love, already thinking of way to restore it, and make it a home for her mother. To make the decision to keep the house even stronger, is Nicholas Warner, a real-estate developer wanting to buy the house only to demolish it, and build condos on the land...No way in hell, Lindsay will allow that.

But while Nicholas seems to accept her decision, there's someone else who's determined to make Lindsay change her mind about accepting her inheritance. By all means necessary, it seems. But who is this shady figure? Is it one of her step-siblings, determined to protect the family name, both of them? Or is it Nicholas himself, the very man who's seduced his way into Lindsay's heart?

Ooh, this was one heck of a story. Pity, it was so short, since the romance didn't really have time to evolve properly. As it was, it felt a bit rushed, and very whirlwind without much character development involved. It felt more like it came out of the left field, while, by the time it was finished, the two would've worked better as very close friends on their way to being something more.

But maybe that's just me.

Let's face it, the romance didn't have much time and space to take off, because most of that time and space was occupied by the mystery (yes, this was mostly mystery with a very suspenseful final part). And the mystery, let me tell you, was masterfully done. Although I suspected who the baddie was from quite early on, I don't know what gave that particular character away, there were still enough misinformation, red herrings, and sinister clues to make me suspect everybody. I even had my doubts about the hero (his seemingly about-face also came as a surprise without much intro, info, or buildup—it felt hasty and awkward), which is saying a lot.

I liked the characters, as much as I got to know them, I liked the pacing (spot-on and perfectly balanced between the calm and the storm), and I loved the mystery. The romance could've used some working on, or a few extra pages, though.

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review 2017-07-13 16:09
Dead by Midnight by Pamela Clare
Dead By Midnight: An I-Team Christmas (I-Team After Hours) - Pamela Clare

Kara and Reece Sheridan, Sophie and Marc Hunter, and Kat and Gabe Rossiter find themselves attending different Christmas parties at the same hotel, alongside the employees of Denver Independent. But what starts as a pleasant night out among friends, soon turns into a nightmare when members of a Colombian drug cartel seize the hotel and take more than 300 people hostage.

Now, it’s up to those inside and those frantically trying to help them from the outside to keep one step ahead of the terrorists and make it out of the hotel alive.

I’m so glad this series went off with a bang instead of a splutter. This is what I expect from a I-Team story. A good dose of romance (multiple in this case), a heaping pile of action and suspense, with just the right amount of drama, danger, and angst.

It was lovely seeing the gang (more or less) together again. The relationships and friendships that have developed between the characters were always tangible and realistic, but the extremely dangerous situation in this story brought them even more to the fore. These people are not only friends, they’re family, and they’re willing to do anything in their power to keep their family from getting hurt.
It was especially heartwarming seeing the bond between Julian and Marc, knowing how it had grown throughout the books, until they finally acknowledged it in words not only in action and exchange of good-natured insults.

The action was gripping, intense, and edge-of-your-seat, the danger more than real, a few situations rather dire, making me think it was all over...But it ended as it was supposed to. With a happily ever after not only for each individual couple, but for their large family as well.

Loved it.

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review 2017-07-12 06:37
Soul Deep by Pamela Clare
Soul Deep: An I-Team After Hours Novella (Volume 2) - Pamela Clare

When Janet Killeen slides off the icy road, and spends the night freezing in her car, the last person she wants to rescue her is Jack West, the asshole rancher who’d thrown her off his ranch the year before when she was protecting Laura Nilsson.

But it is Jack who rescues her, offering his home for the week, hoping to make up for his brusque manner the last time he met the beautiful FBI agent and soon Janet stirs more than Jack’s protective and nurturing instincts...

What a perfect little story this was. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me happy.

I loved the MCs were an older couple, because let’s face it, older people are in love, too, feel attraction, and have sex. And Jack and Janet were such a lovely couple to read about. Both adult, mature, in tune with their feelings, nature and disposition. They actually communicated, and they were equals.

Their romance might’ve been rather quick, their feelings instantaneous, but as Jack said, at that age, there’s no point beating around the bush. It was quick, but their maturity and age helped with the realism of it, if I might use that word.
They knew their own minds and their characters, they knew what they were looking for, they knew what they needed, and when they actually found it, they embraced it. Individually, they were strong characters that slowly turned into a power couple. And their courtship was romantic, sweet, sexy, and, yeah, very hot.

The suspense was interesting, maybe not really serving to propel the story and/or the romance forward, but provided a nice little mystery.
The last part of the story was a bit sappy, true, but it brought a stupid grin on my face, so I’m happy.

The entire story brought a stupid grin to my face. I’ve loved Jack West since he appeared in his son’s book and I’m glad he found his second happily ever after, and they were absolutely adorable together...And that last surprise. Yeah, I’m grinning again.

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review 2017-07-09 06:26
First Strike by Pamela Clare
First Strike - Pamela Clare

Laura Nilsson and Javier Corbray meet in a Dubai restaurant, and spend the next three nights together. But what’s started as a no-string-no-future affair quickly changes, and each makes a personal resolution to seek out the other next time they’re stateside...But fate has other plans.

This was short, hot, and sexy, but, knowing what will happen in the epilogue and the next book in this series, incredibly bittersweet.

Two people determined to simply share their bodies for a short period of time end up with this strange connection to one another, and wanting more, much more.
The sex scenes were hot, the scenes where they acted like tourists in Dubai sweet, that last kiss on the beach, and their last night together intense with that promise of something more, with a promise of a possible future.

Then the epilogue strikes, and although you know about the next book, the kidnapping scene is scary, and that last scene of grief in the shower, the promise of retribution chilling.

I can’t wait to read about what happens next and about why things happened the way they did.

Also, it was a nice surprise meeting Nate West before he met Megan.

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review 2017-07-09 06:25
Skin Deep by Pamela Clare
Skin Deep - Pamela Clare

Megan Hunter has been through hell and back. She’s finally safe, clean, able to raise her little daughter by herself. When a ghost from her past strikes, she thinks it’s all over once more, but a guardian angel, with a scarred face and body, and heart of a hero intervenes...And changes her life forever.

This was Marc Hunter’s sister’s story. If you’ve read his book, you know what happened to her, how difficult and dark her life had been, but she got through it, yet not entirely.

This story was as much about absolution and redemption as it was of self-forgiveness. Megan needed to forgive herself to finally be able to really live and embrace any sort of happiness life threw at her.
And there was no hero more perfect than Nate to show her how life and everything in it could and should be. I loved his patience, his strength, and his unfailing faith in Megan, and I loved how she in turn, showed him that the scars he carried were merely badges of honor, part of him, and not who he was.

This was a beautiful short romance with just a dash of suspense to tie up any loose ends.

The book also contains a bonus short detailing a men-only adventure in which Marc, Julian, Zach, Gabe, Nate, and Reece go off on a beer run (and errand run for their wives) and prevent a robbery at a liquor store.

It was short, quick, exciting, and showed the true nature of the friendship that’s developed between these men.
And it was also funny. From bickering about not wanting to be on Team Beta, sensei Julian, to this scene:

West stepped cautiously inside, weapon drawn.

“Sorry, West, but you guys missed all the action.”

“Nope. Not all of it.” He opened the door once more, stepping aside to make room for Rossiter and Sheridan, who were supporting Trance’s weight between them, the kid’s face screwed up in pain, his skin pale, beads of sweat on his forehead.

“What happened to him?” Marc didn’t hit him that hard.

Sheridan grinned. “West told him to stop, and when the kid refused, Gabe tried to trip him, but ended up kicking him in the balls.”

Marc winced. Ouch! “With which foot?”

Rossiter shrugged. “The titanium alloy one.”

Every man in the liquor store groaned.
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