Monday, March 22, 2010

Review: Naked Edge by Pamela Clare

What do you do when desire drives you to the very brink?

The day Navajo journalist Katherine James met Gabriel Rossiter, the earth literally moved beneath her feet. Nearly killed in a rockslide while hiking, she found her life in the tall park ranger's hands. Although she can't forget him she thinks she'll never see him again. She is crushed when she recognizes her rescuer among the law enforcement officers raiding a sweat lodge ceremony one night, throwing her and her friends off Mesa Butte, land they consider sacred.

Gabe long ago swore he would never again lose himself to a woman not even one with long dark hair and big eyes that seem to see right through him. But from the moment he first sees Kat, the attraction he feels is undeniable. Appalled by what he has been ordered to do, he's determined to get to the bottom of recent events at Mesa Butte and to keep Kat safe.

But asking questions can be dangerous almost as dangerous as risking one's heart. And soon Kat and Gabe's passion for the truth and each other makes them targets for those who would do anything, even kill, to keep Native Americans off their sacred land.
The Naked Edge by Pamela Clare is a contemporary romance/suspense I've been looking forward to reading for a while now. I enjoyed some aspects of it, however not as many as I'd hoped. The above blurb summarizes the plot accurately.

In this book Pamela Clare addresses the fight Native Americans are waging against private owners and the government to keep their sacred land and to maintain their traditions. Clare uses Gabriel, a park ranger, and Kat, a journalist and I-Team member, to develop this part of the story. She also uses her ability to integrate the suspense and romance successfully -- this is something I find Clare does quite well.

As a man, Gabriel was deeply hurt and in the process damaged badly. From the beginning, he knew what he wanted from Kat as a woman and marriage was not it. I enjoyed his internal dialogue in this book where he upbraided himself for his base feelings and emotional cowardice -- if nothing else, he was honest with himself. I appreciated his growth in his relationship with Kat and liked the way his feelings moved from lust to love. The reader goes through the whole process with Gabriel. However, I did question his judgment when it came to his role as a protector in the suspense part of the story.

Kat is a character we met in previous books and one that turned out to be an absolute surprise -- at least to me. Kat is not the strong, confident woman I expected. Instead, she turns out to be a shy, vulnerable virgin -- or as Gabriel refers to her "extra virgin" (as in olive oil) -- for personal reasons, she has decided to wait until she marries to have sexual relations with a man. This sets up the conflict between Gabriel and Kat.

Kat is half Navajo and half white and as a result of some heavy traumatic childhood experiences, she lacks confidence both as a woman and as an overall person. However, that's not the reason I say she's not strong, my problem comes with the fact that Gabriel spends most of the story rescuing Kat (I lost count), or you find Kat crying for one reason or another. After a while, the fact that she keeps putting herself in dangerous situations, the constant rescuing, and the crying almost did me in.

I also question Kat's qualifications as an investigative reporter. This is not a new problem when it comes to this series, I had this problem with another book. In my opinion, Kat is a poor investigative reporter indeed. She puts everything together at the end, but her methods are appalling and her abilities to work things out are next to non-existent.

The rest of the I-Team make appearances in this book as expected. Both Julian and Hunter played a part in the investigation and I really enjoyed both their banter and their contribution to the story. Clare works with both the expected and unexpected when it comes to the villains in this installment.

The suspense part of Naked Edge has an awfully dramatic ending that requires the reader to temporarily suspend desbelief. The romance between Gabriel and Kat although slow to develop has both erotic and tender moments. However, I must say that the end to the romance, like the suspense, was a bit over the top for my personal tastes.

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Series: I-Team Series (Book 4)
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Grade : C-

Visit Pamela Clare here.

8 comments:

  1. Hmm, I don't like my H/H to be reporters... however, this kind of surprises me, because one trait that I associate with reporters is toughness and self-confidence and it seems Kat lacks those traits. I don't know, a vulnerable and shy reporter could even be worst than a regular reporter LOL.

    Awww, sorry this wasn't as strong as you hoped. I know you were anticipating this book a lot.

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  2. The crying, could Kat have cried anymore?! *rolls eyes*

    I also thought Gabe's reason for not trusting Kat was BS. She was nothing like his last love.

    I haven't written my review yet but had a number of the same problems you did.

    I did like seeing Julian and Hunter again. Julian's my favorite hero of the series. :)

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  3. I was really looking forward to this 4th installment of the series but I couldn't continue reading after a few chapters. Kat just doesn't appeal to me.

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  4. Nath, yeah... this was a disappointment. :( Kat was not the tough woman I expected her to be. Lots of TSTL moments, yes. She was one shaking mass of tears until the end and by then I didn't believe in her.

    Leslie, bucketfulls, she cried bucketfulls! That's what it felt like to me, anyway. I hung in there till the end to find out what "girlfriend" had done to Gabe and I agree w/you -- no comparison w/Kat. I didn't buy his happy-happy, joy-joy attitude after that uber-dramatic tragedy at the end either... who reacts like that after that type of loss? Anyway, looking forward to reading YOUR thoughts, lol!

    Tabz, me too! I can see why you DNF'd... I had to finish it. Oh, well... that's 50/50 in this series for me. :)

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  5. Oh, bummer! I'd been really interested in this one, but tstl is one of my big turn offs. Also, I don't mind a little crying, but bucketfuls?

    Well, it's not like I don't have tons of books already on the tbr. lol

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  6. Renee, I like the way Clare integrates and balances the romance & suspense in her books, including this one. She doesn't keep them separate in a way that you miss the romance while you're following the suspense. Her focus on the Native American side of the story as the background for the suspense was also quite interesting -- those are the things that kept me reading. The characters (mainly Kat, although Gabe had his moments) in this particular book & some of the plot devices used just didn't do it for me. :(

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  7. It looks like I'm definetely not going to continue with this series. After struggling with Hard Evidence I can't see myself signing up for another book with much of the same problems.

    Thanks for the review Hilcia you have saved me a few $ :)

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  8. Danielle, I remember you had a problem with Hard Evidence. You and I agree there. I did love the hero in that novel (Juian), but yes, some of the same issues there... So far, the 1st and 3rd books in this series worked for me. :)

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