Such is the case with this one
Hard Evidence by Pamela Clare
It's no secret how much I adore her historicals. In fact Ride the Fire cracked my all time top 10 list and was my favourite book of 2005. I read her first Romantic Suspence and while I liked it, it didn't quite grab me the way her historicals do. So I wasn't sure what I would think of this one.
I LOVED IT!
From the back cover blurb:
After the murder of a teenage girl, a mysterious man in a black leather jacket was seen lurking near the crime scene. Investigative reporter Tessa Novak has him in her sights as the culprit...
That man was Julian Darcangelo, an undercover FBI agent working with the Denver Police. He's closing in on the trail of a human trafficker and killer. Tessa's accusations could blow his cover, and he wants her off the investigation.
But just as Tessa has made Julian a target of interest, she is now a target of the killer. And as they are forced to trust each other, their physical attraction escalates as intensely as the threat from a ruthless murderer who wants to see both of them dead...
So what is so appealing about this one? Number one would have to be the hero Julian Darcangelo. Wow - is he a great hero! A former FBI agent, he's now working on a contract basis trying to track down and find a sociopathic Russian mobster who deals in human trafficking. Julian had screwed up a few years earlier while on the trail of the same villian and has been suffering guilt because of it ever since. He tries to remain in the background but is spotted by the heroine Tessa Novak. Having come from a fractured and disfunctional background, he's still pretty rough around the edges, and deep inside he longs for a normal family but doesn't think he will ever get one. He makes one really really good hero.
And I also really liked Tessa Novak as the heroine. She too has come from a background of poverty and disfunction and really made something of herself as a top investigative reporter. She was standing right next to the young girl who was gunned down and feels a great deal of anguish that she wasn't able to do more. As a result she tries even harder to find out what really happened. She did one thing near the end that some readers might consider a TSTL kind of action, but I didn't see it that way. It was a dumb thing to do yes, but even as Tessa did it, she knew that it was and admitted it. To me a TSTL heroine is one who keeps making the same kind of stupid move over and over without even realizing what an idiot she is. For me, Ms. Clare has made me feel the devastation Tessa feels, the need to do something, anything, even if it involves doing something that might not be the brightest of ideas.
And the chemistry between Julian and Tessa! Wowzers is it hot! A recent review gave this a warm rating and I have to admit, that had me scratching my head as this has some very well written smokin' hot sex scenes.
And while I often buy books based on covers alone, in this case I would have bought the book because it was written by Pamela Clare, but even if it wasn't, I would have bought it on the cover alone. This cover is HAWT!
It's a rare author who can write books I love in such opposite genres but Pamela Clare is definetely one of them!
Grade: 4 1/2 out of 5
ETA - It's now November and *shaking head sadly* I do indeed have to be put up on AngieW's wall of shame.