Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Unlawful Contact is another example of Pamela's Clare's ability to write top notch romantic suspense that satisfies both the heavy-duty romance fan who wants a true love story and the analytical reader who looks for realism in her fiction. In this case, her story is about Sophie and Marc aka Hunt, who met in high school, parted for twelve years, and came back together in a very explosive fashion.
Incidentally, I couldn't help but think about Arrested Development as I read this, since that is a very hilarious recurring joke on the show since Bluth Sr. is in prison.
There's a scene near the end of the book where I laughed out loud because it was such a reminder of this.
Okay, back on point!
I can't say I'm a fan of underage sex, fuddy duddy that I am. However, I think that Pamela Clare made their teenage encounter very romantic, and I felt the lasting and powerful bond they formed and why it was so meaningful. I'm glad she did show this, because it makes their later interactions and relationship have an added depth.
Sophie is both a sweet, caring person, but also tough and incisive as a character. Clare shows the integrity that journalists have and seem to largely lack in the public image we get from the media. I am glad that I had friends who strongly recommended that I read Extreme Exposure despite my dislike of journalists and politicians because Clare has caused me to re-evaluate my negative closed-mindedness of journalists by showing what they do, how seriously they take it, and how many sacrifices and risks that are involved in making sure that the news is fairly reported. I can't say I view the news media favorably over all still, but I am sure there are plenty of true believers with integrity in the industry.
Certainly, I've not walked Sophie's life journey, but I felt like I grew to know her and love her with each page I read. I can see why Hunt never forgot her or got over her. I can understand her willingness to trust and believe in Marc, and her determination to help him, even though she was torn after he kidnapped her.
As for Hunt, Oh my!!! I loved him. He is very tortured and his life pretty much sucked. It's sad to say that the best years of his life were when he was a military sniper in Afghanistan, and the short night he spent with Sophie. The burden of guilt he carried made me want to cry for him. Even though he is shown in a violent way early in the book, I knew that wasn't truly who he was. I knew that while prison turns many people into the basic, most animalistic parts of their natures, Marc managed to maintain that core of dignity despite six hard, hellish years inside. I loved him for that. I am afraid of prison, let's be honest. (Only my sister is more afraid of prison, which is strange since we are fairly upstanding citizens). I can't imagine how horrible it would be to have a life sentence, especially as ex-law enforcement. The reveal near the end made my jaw drop, that Marc would be willing to do that! Of course, I already adored him, but my adoration quotient when up even more.
The storyline was intense and really disturbing that such an injustice would occur and would go on so long. I was freaking angry about it. I did a huge amount of yelling at the book near the end. My sister's cat was looking at me like I was crazy, in fact. I wanted blood. I could see why Marc was willing to take the risk to break out of jail. I couldn't blame him. Let me just say, a girl couldn't have a better older brother!
Ms. Clare captures the reality of the wrongs that are inherent in a man-made system of justice. It breaks my heart to know that women/girls can be abused in such a way by people in the system. I'm not much of an Old Testament justice kinda girl, but I really wanted to see these guys get sentenced to castration for what they did!
The love scenes were hot, hot, hot, and I do mean hot. I love that Clare can write such hot love scenes without going over the line into kinky/ick factor. You could see that poor Marc was 1)making up for lost time (since he was celibate 7 years), 2)taking the opportunity to get his true girl, 3)living a short amount of life he could before they put him back into the pen. The love scenes showed the intensity of the feelings between Marc and Sophie and cemented my feeling that they had loved each other for that long time apart, even if it was an embryonic sort of love. It touched my romantic soul. That's a good thing.
I read this book slowly and savored it. I have gotten into a bad habit of reading fast because of deadlines, and I appreciated the opportunity of allowing a book to sink in and to digest the words, allow the scenes in the book to play on the movie screen of my head. This was a great book to do that with.
Excellent from beginning to end. Each book in the I-Team series tops the preceding, which is something! I definitely recommend it to romantic suspense fans and fans of misunderstood/bad reputation but true blue heroes and heroines who are truly likable.
In preparation of the November release of Striking Distance, The Pamela Clare Fan Group will be hosting a group read of the series, starting with this book! If you haven't yet read Pamela Clare's I-Team series, you're missing out on some truly fantastic stories.
So what are you waiting for?? Grab a copy of this book and join us on June 25th! We'd LOVE to have you!! Extreme Exposure Group Read
If you're already a Pamela Clare fan, or interested in learning more about her and her books, be sure to stop by our Pamela Clare Fan Group here on Goodreads!
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