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Released: May 10th 2016
Series: Colorado High Country #1
“I really like Clare’s brand of heroes. They’re a bit macho, very sporty and well, REALLY hot.”
~ Under the Covers
BARELY BREATHING is the first book in the new Contemporary Romance series by Pamela Clare. First off, let me start by saying that the cover of this book is just gorgeous. I’m in love with Lexi’s red hair and the purple background.
Okay, onto the book! This is the first straight Contemporary book Clare has written but let’s be honest here, she hasn’t stripped the suspense from her writing completely. There’s a subtle thread that underlines this book and I think it’s a nice touch. Paired with the family drama that the heroine, Lexi is experiencing, I think it’s nice to have something that Austin and his friends can talk about.
But as far as the Contemporary aspect of this book…well, it’s VERY Contemporary. What I mean by that is Clare takes the typical template of almost every small-town romance novel and utilizes it here. Lexi has just resigned from her job due to sexual harassment and now that she is back in Scarlet Springs, she is trying to corral her alcoholic father. Just as her family drives her nuts, there is also the fact that she’s come face to face with Austin Taylor, her high school sweetheart and lover. Seeing him again throws Lexi into an emotional tailspin as things ended badly for Austin and Lexi years ago, and although both still remember their young days vividly, they are also both extremely bitter about the entire situation. Their first encounter doesn’t exactly inspire love songs, and now Lexi must deal with that as well.
I liked both Lexi and Austin. Their second chance romance blooms in a way that is fun yet believable. I realize that I really like Clare’s brand of heroes. They’re a bit macho, very sporty and well, REALLY hot. I also like the fact that they don’t really take themselves too seriously.
However, I did have some issues with this book. In terms of this book being a Contemporary Romance, it does have a lot of detail in it. You’ll see a lot of readers who appreciate these sorts of highly detailed descriptions, but there are also times when it becomes too much.
I definitely think the author packed too much detail about the climbing stuff. I was a little worried when I first opened the book and saw a glossary for all the terms used. That’s concerning for me because it’s meant to be a Contemporary Romance; that means living in the real world. It’s not like with PNRs, for example, where readers need a list of made up terms by the author or a list of characters. If you can’t appropriately include those details in the main bulk of the book, then it most likely is unnecessary details to the reader. To be honest, I skimmed all those parts, because while it can enrich the reading experience to a point, it can also act as a double-edged sword and affect the pacing of the book as well. I took half a star off because of that.
And secondly, since this is the first book of the series, Clare is building her world and setting up her characters and their backgrounds. There ended up being quite a large cast of characters. Some are more spotlighted than others, but I didn’t think it was necessary to show everyone in the first book.
Fans of Jill Shalvis’ Wilder series would absolutely love this book. If you’re in the mood for a small town love story featuring hunks, then I bet you’ll really enjoy this book.
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