FIRST STRIKE is the erotic prequel to STRIKING DISTANCE. Pamela Clare writes a long author’s note at the beginning of the book that explains the origin of this story. As she was writing Striking Distance, a lot of Javier and Laura’s backstory was cut from the original manuscript, but she still liked it enough to play around with it and make it a lead-up to the next book in the I-Team series. I’m glad she put that author’s note in there because without it, I think readers would definitely go in expecting something else.
As some of you may know, I’m a die-hard I-Team fangirl so waiting all these years for this new book to come out has been pure agony for me. When FIRST STRIKE came out, I read it immediately and to be honest here, it doesn’t have the full I-Team experience. There’s a taste of it, yes, but readers who are trying this series out with this novella first, be aware that this isn’t how the whole series is. This is an erotic novella and there is definitely a huge emphasis on the sexy side.
Now onto my thoughts about the story….I loved the very beginning and set up of the story and also the epilogue. Those were the parts that really held the true I-Team spirit I was most looking forward to.
Javier and Laura have great chemistry but I think it was just way too short for readers to really sink into the passion. Javier says it straight and asks if it would be awkward if he said he wanted to fuck her. At this, I perked up because whoa, that was sexy! However, as I flipped the page, I realized there was no response from Laura but a cut to another scene where they are already going up to the hotel room. What happened there? Where was the build up? The spark? We never got to see that. The cuts in the scenes felt too choppy for me. I just wanted to see more of that build up.
As you can expect, they get straight to the sex. Clare definitely kicks up the heat in a big way but a lot of it felt too rushed and too extreme. There was light spanking and a little mirror action and although in the moment it’s sexy, it’s done in such a quick way that it felt fleeting.
The cliffhanger at the end is wonderful and makes me excited to read Striking Distance. Having read First Strike first, I actually think reading Striking Distance BEFORE First Strike will make for a more rounded out experience. Reading First Strike first may leave readers unsatisfied and wanting more like I was.
FIRST STRIKE is a nice treat for die-hard fans who will gobble anything I-Team related to tide us over. Hopefully the wait for the next full length won’t be as long!