They call it a keeper shelf for a reason. Sometimes I forget this, when I'm a new book glut, buying, reading quickly, finishing and on to the next. I'll wonder why I let the dusty paperbacks clog my shelves. But, the beautiful thing about e-readers is you don't have to look at cluttered shelves. The books just stay there, quietly waiting for that moment when my brain goes, oh yeah. And I simply must re-read. That instant. And I can. All without waking the baby I'm rocking or leaving my warm bed late at night.
I re-read when times are stressful. I read lots of great books. But there are the beloved ones that can suck me just like it's the first time all over again. Only better. Last week was a hard week, but re-reading Pamela Clare made it better. This is my review of Unlawful Contact from a year ago, and it all holds true, but what it doesn't capture is the brilliance of Clare's ability to milk emotion from her characters. I knew exactly how things worked out, yet I still got teary and choked up for them.
Some women have old movies they watch again and again and cry to. I have my keeper shelf. What's the one book that can make you cry again and again? Or movie?
Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
4.5 stars. Clare just keeps getting better. She takes on several tropes that I sometimes dislike--reunion story, felon/talker-ish hero, kidnapping, and lying to friends/family, but makes them work beautifully together in book so heartbreaking and compelling that I stayed up way, way, way too late not really able to see a way to a happy ending for these two--I *knew* they would get one of course, but the suspense was so real and Clare did an awesome job of making me believe that neither Hunt or Sophie believed that there would be a HEA. Clare's blistering hot love scenes continue to be among the most inventive I've read, especially in RS. However, VERY MINOR SPOILER, there is nothing sexy about road head to me--with so many traffic fatalities each year, I have a hard time buying into the sexy factor of playing around while Hero is driving. It would have totally worked for the plot and characters to have them pull over and finish rather than have us all grateful that hero didn't manage to take out a bus of senior citizens :P But, the other love scenes more than made up for this. I do indeed love a hero who has been abstinent for a long time (Tessa Dare's Twice Tempted by a Rogue has one of my very favorite abstinent-for-far-too-long heroes). I'm making peace with Clare's style of jumping from one POV to the other without warning--I've decided that like Julia Quinn, her voice is so strong and the story so compelling that I can just let go of this nit-pick. SPOILER: Because we spend 95% of the book absolutely convinced that hero and heroine can't be together, I found the ending veered a little too much to the opposite direction and was a bit too improbable and sticky-sweet, but it was very cute, and I loved these characters enough to totally have wanted things to work out like they did, but it was all a bit too convenient. I'm probably in the minority of readers, but I would have been okay with a HEA that included a little more reality and a sense that their HEA may be more challenging than others, but that they (and we the readers) can expect to triumph over those challenges. Overall, I absolutely loved this book, and I'm sitting on my hands, trying not to buy book 4 as my $ are fast running out.
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