Review: Barely Breathing by Pamela Clare

barely-breathingBarely Breathing by Pamela Clare
Series: Colorado High Country #1

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 7, 2016

Lexi Jewell left Scarlet Springs twelve years ago, vowing never to return to the small Colorado mountain town where she grew up. Now, here she is—over thirty, out of a job and with little choice but to move back in with her eccentric father. Lexi knows it’s just a matter of time before she runs into Austin Taylor, her first boyfriend and her first heartbreak. She’s determined to show him she’s over him—until he steps out of a pickup truck and back into her life, looking sexy as hell in his mountain ranger uniform.

As far as Austin is concerned, Lexi can turn her snazzy little convertible around and drive back to Chicago. After all, she ripped his teenage heart to pieces and turned her back on the town he loves. But from the moment he sees her again, he can’t get her out of his mind. Even her smile messes with his head.

When an evening of conversation turns into something else, Lexi and Austin agree to be friends—with benefits. But as Lexi starts making plans to return to the big city, Austin realizes he’ll lose her a second time unless he can show her that what she’s searching for has been right here all along.

D.G.’s Rating: 3 stars = B-

Barely Breathing is the first book in Pamela Clare’s new “Colorado High Country” series. It was a good solid story but it was missing the usual excitement that I’m used to from Ms. Clare books. There was a bit of action but it was a definite secondary plot that came in too late.

Lexi and Austin used to date in high school until something went wrong and they both ended up heartbroken. 12 years later, the prodigal daughter returns and runs into Austin pretty much the second she arrives in town. He’s not happy to see her and acts very cold towards her which surprises and hurts Lexi.

The description makes it seem as if Lexi and Austin don’t get along but this is not the case. Austin acts a bit like a spoiled brat at the beginning but after a few people point it out, he makes nice with her. Pretty soon after, they’re rolling around in bed. Even though they say they are friends with benefits, they act like a committed couple. They hold hands, make plans to see each other almost every day, sleep together almost daily, etc. That was the weirdest “friends with benefits” relationship I’ve seen.

Because there was no tension in their relationship, the conflict felt manufactured. There were grumbles about her returning to Chicago but there was no doubt in my mind that she would stay. She fit so well in Scarlet that you wonder why it took her so long to come back.

A good beginning to a series but let’s hope the next book has more in the way of conflict.

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