by Pamela Britton

February 2005
ISBN: 0-373-77035-9
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Mass Market Paperback

In Pamela Britton’s first Romantic Suspense, Dangerous Curves, her legion of fans will be genuinely pleased with this humorous “page-turner.” This reviewer did not find the story of Cece, a FBI agent, and Blaine the owner of a professional NASCAR team, a tried-and-true suspenseful tale; however, it was thoroughly . . .and delightfully romantic.

When Agent Cecilia Blackwell is approached by her superior to investigate the murder of a pro-race car driver’s suspicious death, she adamantly refuses the assignment. Cece is tough. She is a “take no prisoners” type of gal. Furthermore, facing Blaine Sanders, “the celebrity", and the source of her teenage crush and ultimate humiliation, was the last thing she wanted to do. She was very happy, thank you very much, working at her current assignment as an undercover prostitute. Why, she would quit her job—yes, that is exactly what she would do before she would be at the mercy of Blaine’s contempt ever again. As for Blaine, he wanted Cece Blackwell to work the case and no one else. He had heard she was the best and he never forgot the kooky, pimpled-faced girl who doggedly followed, and openly worshipped him in high school. And, there was the little incident of her ‘souping-up’ that Camaro of hers that had easily beat his Nova, back in the day. Yeah, he still had a little score to settle.

What neither of them expects is the instant attraction and the love that blossoms between them, from almost the first moment they meet eye-to-eye in a hilarious, yet momentous reunion. Love and respect, that transcends childhood illusions and expectations. Soon, yesterday and the embarrassing memories of their youth will melt away and only unfulfilled passion and pent-up yearning will be left in its place.

I must admit (and I am not quite certain if it was a good or bad way to view the book) I felt Ms. Britton delivered Dangerous Curves as if it were a screenplay where only actors could express the depth of emotion. Ms. Britton failed (ouch) to convey emotions to the reader. I personally know of only a handful of authors from the romance genre, who can truly move me to tears, where I can feel and experience the emotions expressed through the written word. Some of those exceptional authors are . . . Lorraine Heath, Kathryn Lynn Davis, Theresa Weir, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Their timing and prose are the exception, rather than the rule. Bouncing through, or quickly covering the more emotional aspects of the story was perhaps Ms. Britton’s one mistake. It minimized or compartmentalized this reader’s insight and boxed me in. I was unable to grab hold of an important moment and analyze or acknowledge its depth. Consequently, those important moments seemed trivialized. I sincerely believe an author should “leave-it-out” if they do not intend to explore and linger through the poignant undertones.

The labeled “suspense” part of the story was negligible, a tad unrealistic and silly; I was never engaged. It too, lay buried beneath the budding romance of the protagonists, who you truly come to care about. I know—I know, I’m pontificating too much and after all, it was just a simple romantic suspense, and not the great American novel. But, I felt Ms. Britton had something really special going on, and she almost lost it somewhere along the way to the finish line. In addition, not only the protagonists will thrill you, but also an unforgettable group of secondary characters (in particular, Lance Cooper) who are just outstanding.

Now, with all this said, how could I not give Dangerous Curves a 5 Rose rating? Well, I cannot. Especially, when I couldn’t put the darn book down without thinking about it every minute I was away. In my own convoluted fashion, what I am actually trying to say is . . . I felt a little cheated. I wanted and hoped for so much more, and I know unequivocally that Pamela Britton has the talent to deliver it.

Reviewed in January 2005 by Janice.

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