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Saturday, April 9, 2011

REVIEW: Hard Evidence (#2, I-Team) by Pamela Clare

 5 of 5 Stars



There has been a recent spate of 5-Star reviews of Pamela Clare’s I-Team series at Goodreads.com. As a result, an investigation was launched into the allegations of how amazing this series is.

My initial investigation into the engrossing and thought-provoking Extreme Exposure has made this investigator think that there is indeed some validity to these claims. In an attempt to obtain corroborative evidence and ensure a more thorough analysis, I jumped right into Hard Evidence.

There have been also been claims about a gorgeous to-die-for tortured hero, who goes by the name of Julian Darcangelo. This investigator takes claims of “to-die-for”-ness very seriously and was especially keen to go... deep... on this.


Tessa Novak a.k.a “The Heroine”

Tessa Novak is described as having long, curly blonde hair, creamy skin, big blue eyes with long sooty lashes, and has a Southern accent. She is an investigative crime reporter with The Denver Independent and is known for being tenacious, though this sometimes leads her to take some foolish risks.

She recently witnessed a drive-by shooting at a gas-station, while in desperate search of coffee. She is a caffeine addict. As a result of seeing a teenage girl gunned down in front of her, Tessa became personally invested in finding justice for the victim. Her investigations led her into extremely dangerous …including dangerously sizzling and sexy …situations.

Julian Darcangelo a.k.a “The Hero”

Julian Darcangelo is described as having dark hair, usually pulled back in a shoulder-length ponytail. He has olive skin, mesmerising blue eyes and a devastating mouth. He is usually seen in a jeans and a black leather jacket. The air of menace about him is magnetically attractive for any “bad-boy” aficionado.

Julian is an undercover FBI agent who has been hot on the trail of a heinous human trafficker and killer, and is close to getting his man. The Heroine’s own investigations, however, threaten to jeopardise all that Julian has worked for. This leads to some very…heated…scenes between the Hero and Heroine. It is a good thing these scenes were successfully documented by Ms. Clare.


Facial Composites of The Heroine:

Tessa Novak (A striking resemblance to Emily Procter)

Facial Composites of The Hero:

(Physical Composites of the torso have also been included. This is essential in homage to Pamela Clare’s delicious “Man-Titty Monday" (MTM) Blogs, which make Mondays so much better.)

Julian Darcangelo (A striking resemblance to Raffaello Balzo)

 Composite of Julian’s Leather Jacket:



I had my doubts, at first, about the claims of Julian Darcangelo’s “to-die-for” status amongst readers. Initial impressions of Darcangelo’s hard-ass, cold and distant attitude towards Tessa caused me to question whether I could truly connect with him, on a deep level.

However, a raw and intense “breakthrough” scene between Julian and Tessa changed this. Julian’s barriers were not merely stripped, but ripped, bare during this scene. It was a deeply emotional scene that had this investigator in tears, feeling heart-wrenched and longing to wrap my arms around Julian. This was a pivotal moment not only for Tessa and Julian, which sealed their connection to each other soul-to-soul, but resulted in a piece of this investigator’s heart being stolen by this tortured hero. This investigator is in awe of Ms. Clare’s writing in this edgy and powerful scene, though while controversial for some, in my opinion was pivotal and made this book a 5-Star!!! read.

A second investigation of this book had me realising my initial connection problems to Julian were a result of having somehow overlooked vital information provided earlier in the story. Thus, without this information enabling me to view Julian’s behaviour through the lenses of how his tragic past and the darkness of his undercover work had shaped him, only his “current” cold behaviour had been in sharp focus, creating a distorted image of Julian.

Though, Hard Evidence isn’t just a sizzling romance. The portrayal by Ms. Clare of the horrific nature of human trafficking and the sex trade is a sad reminder that this horror is a reality for the victims (the women, children and their families) of this crime.

This investigator is particularly appreciative of Ms. Clare for penning the SQUEEE!!!-inducing scene in the Epilogue. Gee-suz! Seriously awesome scene! *wide grin*

CONCLUSION: Clearly, the reviews and claims about this book, Julian Darcangelo, and the I-Team series are highly justified.


1. If someone matching the visual likeness of Julian Darcangelo is located, contact Detective Lady Jayne IMMEDIATELY. A strip search will be necessary. ^_^

2. If one hasn’t read the I-Team series by Pamela Clare yet, that dire situation should be rectified as a matter of urgency.

Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Ms. Pamela Clare for the images of Raffaello Balzo in the water and the Leather Jacket hottie on her blog, that were utilised in this "report".
Pamela Clare's blog site: http://pamelaclare.blogspot.com 

(Read October 2010)

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