This is the fourth in the I-Team series by Pamela Clare. I've differed from most of my friends in that I've been less than wow'd by this series. I'm a huge fan of PC's historicals (Untamed is my favorite), but, although the heroes are amazingly, fantastically, sexily awesome, I'm not feelin' the I-Team.
Enter "Naked Edge". Definitely the best story of all of the I-Team series. Straight forward, extremely plausible, but not a cliche. Action oriented, with a lot of extremely evocative writing that pulled me in so deeply there were passages where I forgot to breathe. The climax of this book is one of the best, and most thrilling I've read.
The romance is pretty nice. It takes a bit too long to find out what Gabe's problem is, but he's still a very intriguing guy. I was worried I wouldn't like Kat, though. She's pretty standoffish and judgmental at the beginning of the story, but she warms up quickly. She's very intuitive, even if she's incredibly innocent in areas of romance and sex. They make an excellent couple.
Gabe is a hero for the ages. Seriously. He rocketed to the top of my list of favorites. But as much as I love him, I do recommend reading the other three books first because there are recurring characters (particularly the heroes) and their dynamic evolves over time. That might not be enjoyed to its fullest if you jump in here in the fourth.
I have a few complaints. First, there's a writing 'tick' that softens statements too much, making certain moments wishy-washy. Paraphrase: "He felt warmed somehow
by their acceptance." "Something
in her chest tightened." It's okay to use these ... I'm not sure what to call them -- not really 'qualifiers' but they have a similar effect ... from time to time, but they're used in abundance here, making every statement somehow
My other complaint is with the epilogue. It felt like an info-dump of cultural research and, after that amazing climax and denoument (sp?), it had the effect of eroding the excitement and satisfaction I'd felt at the end of the last chapter. Not that an epilogue wasn't necessary. The first part of it was crucial. It just meandered on for too long, IMO, and I'd also rather it focus on another aspect of their future rather than the quickie wrap-up that happened (no I'm not going to be specific, because it would be a major spoiler -- read it your own darn self!).
But except for those two (three?) complaints, I really enjoyed this reading experience. Very hard to put it down, so make sure you've got a time cushion when you get started.
PS: I might have missed it, but the event that first introduced Kat and Gabe to each other didn't seem to be included. After PC's blog post detailing her harrowing experience, I know what was supposed to have happened, but I don't recall it being described in the book. Am I right or is it my brain playing tricks again? ETA
: An e-book glitch causes my device to skip the prologue where this event happens. I was able to back up using the 'previous page' button, but the device just opens this book at Chapter 1, skipping the prologue altogether. FYI in case it happens to you.
Anyway -- thumbs up for this one!
PSS: My DH saw a coyote walking down our street today ... I hope it doesn't mean anything ...