Her past is a secret—even to her.Discovering it will be the most dangerous move of her life.
TV reporter Laura Nilsson, known as the “Baghdad Babe,” spent eighteen months in an Al Qaeda compound after being kidnapped live on the air. Two years later, she’s still wondering why.
No rescue mission in Javier Corbray’s fourteen years as a Navy SEAL affected him the way Laura’s rescue did. No woman has stirred his protective instincts the way she has. And he wants her more than he’s ever wanted anyone.
As Laura and Javier’s passion ignites, so does Laura’s need to discover the mystery of her past. Especially when she learns that her abduction was not random—and that she’s still a target for a killer with an impenetrable motive. Now Javier will have to rely on his skills to keep the woman he loves from being struck down before she dares uncover the truth.
Pamela Clare is an author to behold in the romantic suspense genre. Utilizing her background as an investigative reporter and adding her experiences in her stories brings a gritty realism in each and every one of her books in this series. Her swoon worthy alpha male heroes and smart, sassy heroines combined with intricate, intense plotlines are what makes her books winners for me again and again. So only being able to give Striking Distance 3.5 stars cuts me because I love her characters, I love her writing, but several clichéd moments along with a weak romantic connection and mediocre suspense crippled this book for me.
Branded as the ‘Baghdad Babe,’ renown reporter Laura Nilsson was captured on air by terrorist forces and spent the next 18 months as a captive, repeatedly raped and brutalized. After being rescued by Navy SEALs and spending time recuperating and healing, she still doesn’t know why she was targeted.
Javier Corbray has seen and done things in his 14 years of being a Navy SEAL, but no operation or event has gutted him more than Laura’s capture and later, her rescue. Having spent a wild ‘no-strings-attached’ weekend together with Laura right before her capture, Javier’s harbored immense guilt for not being able to be there for her when she was taken, and unknown to Laura, was the masked SEAL who rescued her 18 months later.
Over two years has passed since the day she’s rescued and Javier’s on a brief leave from the SEALs visiting his old friend while Laura is a reporter on the top-notch I-team for the paper and their paths collide once again. As events fast-forward with a monumental trial and social media all dying to get a piece on the Baghdad Babe’s ordeal, unknown and belligerent forces are threatening Laura’s life and the only thing standing between her and death is Javier.
This book really did have all the ingredients for a 5 star read but somehow the combination fell flat. The most prominent of my complaints is the weak romantic connection between the two main characters: I just didn’t feel it. This may sound harsh or uncaring but one no-strings-attached weekend doesn’t constitute as relationship development and enough of a thread to connect these two characters. They had sex, both had terrible ordeals for the years in between, and with one chance encounter their connection is just rekindled? Not buying it.
The first half of the book I was a little bored and while there was some suspense it was nowhere at the level of the previous books and didn’t get my heart pounding. There were also a few out-of-character descriptions about Laura that really bothered me. Near the end there was an unexpected but welcomed heart-in-throat moment that really hit me in the feels but then that part was ruined by the unrealistic and rushed epilogue ending.
This book was definitely not a bad read by any means, and I’d say it’s actually much better than most romantic suspense books I have read; however, when compared to the other outstanding books in this series, it certainly falls flat, at least for me it did. I did enjoy catching up with the rest of the gang and revisiting my favorite couples and heroes though (shoutout to Marc Hunter and Gabe Rossiter).
Striking Distance is the 6th book in the I-team series. All of the books are interconnected standalones but I highly recommend reading them in order to get the full reading experience.
Rating: 3.5 stars!