A life debt…
Derek Tower has spent his life at war, first as a Green Beret and then as the owner of a private military company, Cobra International Security. When a high-ranking US senator asks Cobra to protect his daughter, a midwife volunteering in Afghanistan, Derek’s gut tells him to turn the senator down. The last thing he wants to do is babysit an aid worker. But Jenna isn’t just another assignment. She’s also the younger sister of his best friend, the man who died taking bullets meant for him. There’s no way Derek can refuse.
An inescapable attraction…
Jenna Hamilton doesn’t need a bodyguard, especially not one hired by her intrusive and controlling father. She knew the risks when she signed on to work in rural Afghanistan, and the hospital already has armed security. She also doesn’t need the distraction of a big, brooding operative skulking about, even if he is her late brother’s best friend—and sexy as hell. As far as she’s concerned, he can pack up his Humvee and drive into the sunset. And, no, nothing her hormones have to say about him will change her mind.
A merciless enemy…
From the moment his boots hit the ground in Afghanistan, Derek does his best to win Jenna over, posing as her brother so the two of them can spend time alone. Except that what he feels for her is anything but brotherly. Stolen moments lead to secret kisses—and an undeniable sexual attraction that shakes them both to the core. But events have been set into motion that they cannot escape. When a ruthless warlord sets his sights on Jenna, Derek will do whatever it takes to keep her safe, even if it costs him his heart—or his life.
4.25 stars-engaging and edgy
4.25 stars--HARD TARGET is the first instalment in Pamela Clare’s contemporary, adult COBRA ELITE romantic, military suspense series focusing on the men and women who work for the Black Ops Company known as Cobra International Security. This is Cobra owner and Green Beret Derek Tower, and thirty-year old, nurse/midwife Jenna Hamilton’s story line. COBRA ELITE is a spin-off from the author’s I-Team Series. Several characters cross-over for familiarity and back story including Holly and Nick, and Javier’“Cobra’ and Laura.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Derek and Jenna) HARD TARGET followed Cobra International Security owner Derek Tower as he is hired to retrieve US Senator Hamilton’s daughter from a compound in Afghanistan. Jenna Hamilton is a midwife who is contracted to work with, and help the women struggling in the Balkh Province of Afghanistan, which is currently under the protection of a warlord turned politician. What ensue is the battle to protect Jenna from an unknown enemy, and the building relationship between Derek and our story line heroine.
Years earlier Green Beret James Hamilton lost his life protecting our story line hero Derek Tower, now it was his turn to pay back the family by rescuing the woman with whom he would fall in love. Things go from bad to worse when Jenna refuses Derek’s offer to return back to the States, as she struggles with the religious beliefs of a country not known for protecting their own. Several attempts to kidnap our will eventually be successful but in doing so Derek’s man will risk their lives for the woman he loves.
The relationship between Derek and Jenna begins as a forbidden romance in a country where women are treated like trash. As Derek goes undercover as Jenna’s brother, their secret will come to the forefront threatening everyone including our story line couple. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense, without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.
There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including numerous men and women who work for Cobra International Security; several midwives in training in the Afghanistan compound, along with the security and soldiers; as well as Jenna’s father Senator Hamilton. The requisite evil has many faces.
HARD TARGET is a fast paced story line with a copious amount of technical detail and military jargon, researched geographical locations and destinations, as well as the threats against the women living and working in the Middle East. The premise is intriguing, engaging and edgy; the romance is seductive and captivating; the characters are energetic and inspiring. HARD TARGET is an action packed story that pays homage to the women who suffer to protect the lives of others.
Excellent storyline. Loved it.
Hard Target, Cobra Elite, Book 1, by Pamela Clare
My expectations were very, very high…and Ms. Clare met those expectations magnificently.
Ms. Clare returns to Romantic Suspense with this first book in her Cobra Elite series. This series is a spin-off from her captivating I-Team series, without doubt the best Romantic Suspense series I have read. Pamela is a must-buy for me and she never disappoints. Both her historical and her contemporary romance series are excellent. So, yes, my expectations were very high, and yes, those expectations were fully met. In a nutshell, she knocked this one out of the ball park.
Ms Clare tackles an extremely sensitive topic with her usual insight, understanding, and caring.
Derek Tower is co-owner, along with Javier Cobray, of Cobra Elite security. They and their operatives put their lives at risk to save the lives of others. Jenna is a midwife working in Afghanistan with pregnant women, and training local women as midwives. When Derek is asked by Jenna’s father, Senator Hamilton to go to Afghanistan to persuade his daughter to return home, by any means, fair or foul, Derek is forced to reluctantly agree.
Ms Clare’s research is, and has always been, meticulous. In Hard Target, she uses that research and her excellent writing skills, to take the reader into the reality of life in Afghanistan, particularly that of women and children, This book also highlights the dangers for those who, like Jenna, put their own lives at risk to offer help.
At times the story is heart-breaking, at times full of tension and danger as the plot unfolds. And, of course, there is humour, which Pamela does so well, to help lighten the tension for her readers and her characters alike.
Pamela shows us the camaraderie that builds and is so essential among teams that operate under danger. We see the trust and love that builds between those who go into horrific situations to offer help and those they are there to help. We are taken through plot twists and turns, betrayals, corruption, lots of action, and some very sexy scenes. And, we get to watch as Derek and Jenna learn to overcome past hurts and to trust and love each other. This is, after all, a Romantic Suspense story.
Those who have read the I-Team series already know Derek and several other characters in Hard Target. If you have not read the I-Team series, you really should.
This book is very hard to put down once started. It is a top-notch read. I have no hesitation in recommending Hard Target to any lover of romantic suspense.