ARC Review of Deadly Intent

Deadly Intent by Pamela Clare
I-Team Book 8
Published 21 February 2018

Secrets buried in the sand…

Former US Army Captain Mia Starr has built a new life for herself in Denver, far away from camel spiders and sand—and the terrible secrets of her first deployment to Iraq. She isn’t looking for a relationship, especially not with an intrusive photojournalist. Joaquin Ramirez might be sexy, but in her experience, photojournalists only want to make a buck off other people’s suffering. Still, the universe must have a sick sense of humor because it keeps throwing her together with Joaquin, making the desire she feels for him harder and harder to resist.

An undeniable attraction…

As a Pulitzer Prize-winning news photographer, Joaquin has everything a single straight guy could want—except the right woman. When he meets Mia while shooting a crime scene, he immediately sees beyond her cold exterior to the vulnerable woman beneath. Though the police consider her a suspect, he’s sure she’s innocent. Someone is killing soldiers—and trying to pin the blame on her. Unable to resist the pull between them, Joaquin stands by her only to find himself snared in the killer’s net as well. 

A twisted soul hungry for revenge…

Mia can’t help it when the heat between her and Joaquin melts away her preconceptions. As their passion explodes, danger draws ever closer. When it becomes clear that Mia is the killer’s true target, she must trust Joaquin with a secret that could ruin her … or risk losing the love of a lifetime.

I received an advanced copy of Deadly Intent from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The following review contains my opinions and mine alone.
Joaquín Cristián Delgado Ramírez. If you’re looking for a hot latinx lover who burns up the dance floor, takes prize-winning photos, and is prepared to defend himself and others, look no further. Joaquín meets Mia at a crime scene of a former co-worker and is instantly captivated by her. And despite everybody believing Mia’s a murderer, Joaquín is steadfast in his belief that the former Army Captain is not only innocent but a target of the real killer. Joaquín goes out of his way to help Mia Starr out, to the point where he becomes a secondary target in the killer’s quest for ‘revenge’. What I love most about Joaquín is that he’s loyal, even risking his job and his reputation as a photojournalist to keep his promise to Mia.
Mia is a complex woman when you really look at her. Joaquín must work overtime to make her see herself how he’s seen her from the moment they met, beautiful. It all stems from harassment from her superior officer and the rest of the men in her company after she refused and reported her commanding officer’s advances. At the same time, she’s a strong independent woman who put in the hard work to get her degree and now works at her dream job at the Botanical Gardens. One of my favourite things about Mia is that she sees that Joaquín’s family is bilingual and tends to use Spanish more than English and instead of asking everybody to just speak English, she takes the time to start teaching herself Spanish so that she can communicate with his family who’s basically adopted her after learning she trained Joaquín’s younger cousin in the Army.
I really enjoyed reading Deadly Intent because Ms Clare created characters that felt welcoming from the get-go. I immediately trusted Julian and Marc and now I really want to get my hands on their stories. And let’s not get started on the Wests, I felt like they wouldn’t mind if I came over and hung out for a weekend with my camera. The way the other characters from the previous books just easily popped up in the book made me want to know more about them as well since they were so varied in nature.
I was a teensy bit confused at one period in the beginning – mostly because this was my first book of the series. It was quickly made clear to me that I just wasn’t understanding things. You can read this as a standalone, but I do recommend you check out the earlier books to understand what all is going on and who’s who.
I was glad to see that Ms Clare tackles not only non-combat PTSD but also sexual assault and harassment in the military. She tastefully works Sophie’s problems into the story without making things a spectacle. It’s great that, even in a book centred around a veteran, the author makes a point to say you don’t have to have served to develop PTSD. I’m also glad that Mia’s assault and harassment wasn’t just a storybuilder, it had a story of its own throughout the book – and it gets a satisfactory ending.

To finish things off, I’m going to give Deadly Intent 4 out of 5 stars and 2 spicy flames. It actually takes a while before sexy times begin and even then, they’re not majorly in-depth or story-killing. I’m already planning on going back and reading the rest of the I-Team series and I hope y’all give Deadly Intent (and its seriesmates) a chance.

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 (SurrenderDefiant) 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.

That's all for now, duckies! I totally recommend y'all check out Deadly Intent and, as always, if you have the ability and are of the mind to donate, consider Protect Our Defenders, the only nationwide foundation that is dedicated to helping victims, regardless of their gender, who've experienced military sexual assault or rape. Military sexual assault and rape are harder to combat and to see this organisation coming forward and not only fighting for the female victims but also the male victims is uplifting.

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