Sunday, May 22, 2016

Review: Unlawful Contact

Unlawful Contact

by Pamela Clare
Book 3 of I-Team series

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  5.0 Stars

Taken hostage by a convicted murderer while reporting at a prison, Sophie Alton has no idea that the man holding the gun to her head is the bad boy who was her first love in high school. Condemned to life without parole, Marc Hunter finds himself with no choice but to break out of prison after his younger sister disappears with her baby.

Though he regrets what he has to put Sophie through, he can’t let anything get in the way of his stopping the corrupt officials who are set on destroying what’s left of his family. But being near Sophie rekindles memories for both of them. As the passion between them heats up, so does the conspiracy to put both of them in their graves.

If I loved Kara McMillan and Tessa Novak, I absolutely adore Sophie Alton. To be totally honest, Sophie really hadn't been much of a presence in the previous two books (whereas Tessa's presence showed from Extreme Exposure), so I hadn't really had much expectation going into it. So imagine my delight when so much freshness was weaved into Sophie's story as we followed right alongside this intense, suspense filled, emotional thrill-ride of a crime-investigation mystery case. I have no doubt that Pamela Clare puts a lot of heart behind her creations and the fact that the I-Team world connects all the characters from one book to the next without taking away from the main story at hand is a wonderful experience that I'm glad I chose to continue following.

There comes a time in a series where you really can't think of anything else to say about the awesomeness of the next book or the next. You just know that it was an excellent read and that you loved it just as much as you love what's going on in the entire series, book after book after book. And you know that you can't wait to get your hands on the next book (which I have already done despite having tried to tell myself that I would try to wait it out and finish other books in my possession... so much for trying to disciplining my book binges...)

Character-wise, none of these books have ceased to make me love each and all the characters created, newly introduced and the like. Sophie was yet another strong, independent and kick-butt heroine, and just as Tessa had been shown in Hard Evidence, Sophie had her own unique character quirks and flaws (although she DID come dangerously close to being perfection as a strong heroine, but I give her leeway since she's so sweet and smart). Marc Hunter... well, he's pretty freakin' hot and it kills me how vulnerable he came out to be despite his strong, tough exterior. I love that Pamela Clare isn't afraid to paint her men and women with an equal brush -- that both genders have the same compulsions for emotional breakdowns just as well as standing strong.

My only nitpick with characters is that they're always so beautiful and well sculpted. But being that I enjoyed the romance, the story, and the character interactions (as well as the guiltily pleasurable sizzle) I've decided not to care that the women are petite and beautiful little things while the guys are sporting bodies of Greek gods. In fact, I think I will continue to enjoy these lovely fantasies, thank you very much.

As far as the story is concerned, I'll have to say that this one is by far the most emotional, stimulating one (of the three books I've read so far). I hadn't been expecting the books to get better and better each time, but having one of the main characters at the heart of the entire investigation, connected so deeply and personally, was a big heart-tugger for me. While I adored Sophie Alton and she stood on her own as the main heroine, Marc Hunter was really the star of the show and you could feel yourself feeling for him at every step from beginning until the satisfying and heartwarming (and I hope these books will always have them) end.

Of course, he's no Julian Darcangelo, and for reasons that maybe only I will ever understand, I'm kind of still in love with the half-Italian former agent, current vice commander. These two boys give a run for your money, but I'm still fawning over Julian enough to pick him as my favorite main hero of the I-Team storyboard so far, even if Unlawful Contact was the better of the two plots in this I-Team world. So I'm glad that Julian got to be his hot-ass awesome self in this book even if he was just a supporting character -- he still makes me squeal whenever he gets a scene.

And as much of a presence as Katherine James has been since Hard Evidence, I'm very ready to jump into Naked Edge and read through her turn at main heroine goodness now. So... so ready to be delighted for another couple hours.

This review was originally posted at Goodreads in May 2013.

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