Monday, October 19, 2015

ARC Review and Giveaway: SEDUCTION GAME by Pamela Clare

Seduction Game 
by Pamela Clare

CIA officer Nick Andris wants revenge. His last mission failed after a Georgian arms smuggler killed his lover. He’s been tailing a woman for three weeks hoping she will lead him to his target. But there’s a problem with the intel. Holly Elise Bradshaw is nothing more than an entertainment writer with a love for sex and designer clothes. Clearly someone at Langley made a mistake . . .

When Holly finds herself in trouble, the only weapons at her disposal are her brains and her body. But they won’t be enough to handle the man who’s following her. He’s going to turn her world upside-down.

Nick Andris
Holly Elise Bradshaw

Seduction Game is the best I-Teams book yet.  It is the epitome of my favorite kind of romantic suspense with smart characters, snappy dialogue, dangerous adventure, heart-breaking emotions and panty-melting romance.

Holly Elise Bradshaw is the entertainment reporter of the Denver Independent.  Of all her friends on the paper, she is the most free-spirited.  She is a little vain, a fan of high fashion, and a lover of shoes.  Her collection would give other Bradshaw (Carrie) shoe envy.  She is also sexually free and adventurous. We first meet Holly in the first scene in Extreme Exposure, book one of the I-Team series, in which she imparts these very wise words to her friend, Kara: “’Make it clear you want to get laid, and you’ll find yourself on your back in no time.” Holly has a reputation and she makes no apologies.  I’ve always liked that about her.

Nick Andris is a CIA agent from the Special Activities Division.  He is still reeling from an operation gone bad in which his fiancé is murdered two years before and now he is assigned to investigate and gather intelligence on this entertainment reporter who has ties to a criminal kingpin.  His job is to get close to her.  Luckily, he has what she likes: “Hard [body]. Jeans. A badass vibe.” As much as he might like this assignment, this is outside of his norm: “They [the CIA] had to have better men for this job, men whose Agency experience included using their cocks for counterintelligence.”  Despite his lack of training, Nick pursues his assignment.

After a series of misunderstandings and misdirection, Nick and Holly are on the run.  They are not quite sure who their allies and enemies are.  They only have each other to solve the conspiracy targeting their lives.

Why I Love the I-Team Series:

1. All the I-Team books are suspenseful.  Building anxious uncertainty is a hallmark of Ms. Clare’s writing.  She is at the top of her game with this story.  Each page made me antsier than the last.  I could not put this book down.  I read it all in one sitting.

2. I-Team is about friends and we get to see most everyone from past books in this one – Reece, Kara, Julian, Tessa, Marc, Sophie, Gabe, Kat, Zack, Natalie, Javier, and Laura all make appearances.  But most importantly, they all show up when Holly is in trouble.  I love how the boys “circle the wagons” to ensure that they are a part of the investigation.  I love how protective they are of Holly when they first meet Nick.  Although Holly is an ancillary character is previous books, the affection she has with her friends are front and center with this story.

What Makes This a Unique I-Teams Book:

No one writes alphas like Pamela Clare.  They are strong, skilled, protective, and they are so attractively vulnerable.  The heroines in the stories are infinitely likeable and smart. They are the kind of people you want as your best girlfriend, but they are not necessarily physically aggressive.

Holly is not to be underestimated.  I had no idea what the author was going to do with the über sexy Holly, but this is perfection.  Holly really shines. She is the perfect counterpart to Nick. Ms. Clare delicately balances the two personalities, complimenting their strengths and weaknesses.  Holly is the yin to Nick’s yang. Dang, that girl can kick-ass!

Why This is the Sexiest I-Team Book Yet:

Nick unlocks Holly.  He opens her up in such a way that she cannot go back:
“She lived so much of her life in boxes. . . . Now it seemed all those boxes had come open, their contents strewn about for Nick to see. She just didn’t know how to put it all away again.”

Their bedroom scenes are incendiary.  No surprise that Holly finds him irresistible: “He was a five-alarm-fire sexual fantasy of a man.” I haven’t seen an ice cube scene this sexy since the movie, 9½ Weeks.  Pamela Clare has amped up the hotness quota through the roof.  This is absolutely in line with Holly’s character and anything less would be inauthentic.

This book is a little bittersweet. Bitter because it is the end of the full-length I-Team books (although Ms. Clare assures us that there will be at least an I-Team holiday novella) and sweet because this, for me, is the best in the series and a perfect ending to the beloved I-Team.

I also want to thank Pamela Clare for her fortitude and strength in finishing this book. After reading her Acknowledgements and following her story on Facebook, I feel exceedingly grateful that Ms. Clare gave us this gift.  Thank you, Pamela!

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

USA Today best-selling author Pamela Clare began her writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor-in-chief of two different newspapers. Along the way, she and her team won numerous state and national honors, including the First Amendment Award and the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, she was honored by the Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists with their Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for her work. A single mother with two grown sons and two cats, she writes historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense within view of Colorado’s beautiful Rocky Mountains. She is a two-time RITA finalist (Surrender, Defiant) and a three-time Daphne du Maurier finalist (I-Team series). She loves history, having studied archaeology in college, and has traveled extensively, living for almost three years in Denmark, which feels like home to her. She attributes her love of historical romance with the years she spent visiting ruins and castles in Europe.

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  1. Great review Sunny. I've only read the first book but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm looking forward to reading more in the series.

    1. As good as Extreme Exposure is, the rest are even better. I'm excited for you, Christina!

  2. I need to get back to this series, definitely in 2016! Great review.

    1. Given how many great series you've recommended to me, I'm please that I can encourage you continue with this one. I know you will love them...and then we can debate who is the best alpha!

  3. Wonderful review, Sunny. It is bittersweet to know that the series has come to an end.

    1. Thanks, Lauren. I hate to think of it as an ending. I'm really looking forward to some of her next work.

  4. Wonderful review Sunny! Sounds like a great read!

    1. Thanks, Amber. I think you will really enjoy this series!

  5. Great Review. I have read a few books in this series. I really should get back to them.