Unlawful Contact is my favorite of the I-Team series so far, and when I heard Pamela Clare was writing a novella featuring Megan, the sister of Unlawful Contact's hero Marc Hunter, I definitely wanted to read it. (Marc Hunter...*swoons*) It's sometimes difficult to understand why a character would throw his life away sacrificing himself for a loved one, but when I heard Megan's traumatic past, I totally got Marc's sacrifice. Sexual abuse can destroy one's soul.
It's now four years after the conclusion of Unlawful Contact
, and Megan is a single mother who works full time and somehow manages also to volunteer at a community kitchen. There she meets Nate West, a former Marine turned rancher who donates beef from his family's ranch to the kitchen. An explosion in Afghanistan left Marine Nate with severe burns on half his body. His disfigured appearance led to the dissolution of his marriage and his spirit. It's appropriate I read this story on Memorial Day--a time to acknowledge the plentiful sacrifices of our military.
Megan and Nate...talk about people with trust issues! But one way to bond together is to face a common foe, and they find him in Donny--a meth-head who's the father of Megan's child. Donny tries to get money from Megan in any way possible, but Nate is determined to stop him from hurting her.
As they get to know each other, Nate soon realizes the sadness in Megan's eyes:Her hands stilled, and she looked at him through green eyes full of shadows--too many shadows for a woman in her twenties.
And Nate is amazed his scars don't bother Megan. Au contraire, she thinks his tall, muscular body is hawt
(and so do I!) Pamela Clare does a masterful job of writing men full of integrity, and Nate's another good one.
Megan's four-year-old daughter Emily is ADORABLE, and I love how Megan calls her "sweet pea".Emily's eyes opened, and she looked up at him from beneath heavy eyelids. She reached with one tiny hand, touched the scarred side of his face. Little blond brows furrowed, Emily's sleepy eyes filling with a child's sympathy. "Owie."
Blindsided by the child's simple gesture, her innocent compassion, Nate's throat went tight, a hitch behind his breastbone where his heart was supposed to be.
Get a grip, marine.
Nate is one wise man, as evidenced by these quotes:"It's not so much that the world won't forgive you, Megan, honey. It seems to me that you won't forgive yourself."
Later, when Nate is giving Megan a ride on his horse: "Relax, honey. Just because he's big and aggressive doesn't mean he's going to hurt you."
And Megan understood that Nate wasn't just talking about the horse.
This novella is a sweet and satisfying romance, featuring two individuals whose caring and tenderness begin to heal each others' wounds.
The list of other Pamela Clare titles caught my eye because I noticed there's another I-Team novella titled Heaven Can't Wait
. Has anyone read this one?
The bonus story about the boys making a beer run was pure fun. Your fans thank you for the luv, Pamela Clare!