Early Featured Book Review: Striking Distance (I-Team #6) by Pamela Clare
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Half Puerto Rican, with a violent history as an adolescent, Javier Corbray has more reason than most to be stronger, faster, and smarter until he can prove to himself that he’s worth someone’s love. He lives for his work with “the teams”, his fellow Navy SEAL special operators; combat is what he does for a living and killing is what he’s best at. Well, that and seduction, because he’s damn good at that too. Slow, fast, hard, tender, with a thousand different ways to make a woman feel special. He definitely needs all of that skill when he meets back up with Laura, the woman he never quite got over…
Laura Nilsson has been subjected to the very worst of humanity, treated like a slave, beaten, raped, brainwashed until her sense of reality is so warped she barely remembers her own name. Her path of recovery is slow and tenuous and her tall SEAL savior plays a pivotal role in that. The relationship between Laura and Javier practically shimmers off the pages, it’s so intense. They are both exceptionally strong and determined people with fragile weaknesses, and each supports the other exactly how they need it most. The pacing of the romance is perfect; anything too fast would have felt false due to Laura’s traumatic past, and taking it much slower would have dragged the plot down. It’s also smoking hot. The things Javier can do with his hands and mouth… and Laura is no slouch once she hits her stride again too. I loved his accent (which came through very clearly) and Spanish curses, and her Swedish words interspersed with English phrases. The pacing of the plot itself felt a tad slow around the middle, but once it picked up, it really took off, and the ending is one of the most emotional and fulfilling I’ve read in a long time. This story has a true Happily Ever After in more ways than one!
Sometimes it takes something awful to bring two people together…
He’d flown back to the US hoping they could get together again.
Two months later, she’d been gone.
Her last broadcast had come from a women’s safe house in Islamabad where she’d been reporting on the ongoing epidemic of fatal burnings in Pakistan – hundreds of young women burned alive every year by husbands and in-laws, their excruciating deaths blamed on “stove accidents” and never investigated. One moment she’d been interviewing a young burn victim, and the next the room around her had exploded with AK fire. Her security detail, her cameraman, and the safehouse director had all been killed. She’d been dragged fighting and screaming from the building while the abandoned camera continued to broadcast from its tripod.
A thousand ways, and he’ll work for every one of them…
Javier tossed his jacket onto the chair and drew her into his arms. “Come here. I think it’s bedtime.”
“She glanced at the clock, and saw it was nine. “It’s too early for me to go to sleep.”
He lowered his voice. “Oh, bella, who said anything about sleep? Now, where did we leave off?”
All it took was one look from him, and her blood began to heat. “I think we were at twelve,”
“That’s right. A dirty dozen. Now for lucky thirteen.” He grinned, planted a kiss on her mouth. “Follow me.”
Who could hear this and not *swoon*?!
Laura looked up at the man she loved. “I couldn’t have gotten through any of this without you. Through all of it, you’ve been my support, my anchor. I don’t know how one man’s shoulders can possibly be so strong.”
He kissed her hair. “What is it your mother likes to say?”
“Karleken gor oss starka. Love makes us strong.”
He tilted her face up to his. “With the love I feel for you, bella, I could lift up the world.”
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If you’re a fan of Pamela Clare’s I-Team, you also enjoy Joan Swan’s Phoenix Rising series. Unlike Clare’s series, it has a paranormal element, but similarly revolves around a team of highly capable and talented ex-firefighers, all having moved into other branches of service. The romance is red hot and the action is real enough to put you right in the moment. Start off the series with Fever and get to know this addicting cast of characters.
You may also enjoy Tonya Burrows’ HORNET series, starting with SEAL of Honor. The first book takes place deep in the jungle in hostile territory and the pacing is swift, the romance steamy. One of the great things about the HORNET series is that Ms. Burrows is writing and releasing it alternately with her Wilde Security series, and the main characters of each series make appearances between the two sets of story arcs.
Striking Distance is…