Kathy's Reviews > Ultimate Weapon

Ultimate Weapon by Shannon McKenna
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Jan 04, 2012

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bookshelves: action, special-forces, sensuous
Read from January 18 to 19, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Two damaged people...

Tamara Steele, the tough, caustic, isolated, paranoid, independent/lonely, criminal, forced prostitution led to chosen prostitution, 'Deadly Beauty: Wearable Weaponry' - beautiful jewelry with hidden weapons (blade, poison, explosive), powerful in weapons, martial arts, planning, etc. She has been a presence in the McCloud relationships - sometimes in there working with the women, sometimes them coming to her fortress of a house for protection, rich...

Val Janos - Ukranian, no father, mother a prostitute and drug addict & died when he was 11, her pimp - Novak - forced him into prostitution and when saw his smarts moved him up the ranks of money / drug running, etc in his mafia... When 12, came under the tutelage of Imre Daroczy, who fed him, educated him, cared for him (though he could not save him from Novak) & encouraged him to leave Novak when old enought and big enough to defend himself - he joined the PSS - a mercenary, international group - where he used charm, sex, and muscle to the highest bidder... but he won't hurt children, and is under PSS scrutiny... has accumulated a lot of money...

And Val is assigned the kidnapping of Steele, by Novak's 2nd in command.

Steele had a short relationship with Novak's son that led to his death & his 2nd in command, Georg's imprisonment. Novak thought Tamara was dead. and Steele is bored, so she participated in breaking up an organ harvesting operation, rescuing children that were being kept in a basement - one being 3-year old Rachel, who latched onto Steele... and Steele has started proceedings to adopt her, and is currently fostering her... Rachel is a handful, with night terrors, temper tantrums, medical problems... Tamara takes her to play at the park, to the doctor every week, mommy & me classes, swim classes... Rachel has made a place for herself in Tamara's closed heart... and Georg is out of jail, and he wants Tamara to be his woman & to take Novak's business... so he hires PSS (and therefore Val) to kidnap her.

Val has located her, and has been watching and filming her for 2 weeks - and he is fascinated by her... When his boss, hegel, pushes him for action, Val starts to back off (no children, and he doesn't want to hurt Tamara)... but then Imre is beaten up - someone has found his weakness...

So finally Val meets Tamara - and tamara sees him for the threat he is... and though attracted to him, she attempts to run with Rachel... Novak's bad guys intercept her at the airport - Val rescues her... and bit by bit they get together.

and Val and Tamara are very alike - damaged, independent/lonely, powerful, isolated, rich, needful, doing what needs to be done...Val is honest with her, Val reads her intimately, Val worms his way into her heart... Tamara is confronting feelings she never had before, is vulnerable ... and Val sees that she needs him to be strong, and is waiting for the day when he can take her gently...

Val manipulates Tamara as he tries to buy more time for Imre (held by Novak)... and he only manages to get her volunteer agreement when he digs & locates ex-General Stengl - the man who murdered her father & brother, caused her mother and sister's death in the camp, forced her to be his mistress (at 15) & handed her off when he was done with her - where she finally took some control, and chose her own next 'lovers'... using sex.

And Val videos their sex - Novak's deal to not hurt Imre as he brings Tamara to him... even sending him a copy of their sex where he fully realizes he loves her... and she handcuffs him, drugs him, and leaves him so that she can confront Stengl herself - (leaving the handcuff key & car key so that when he awakens in 15 minutes, he can be mobile)... both do what needs to be done... and when confronting Stengl, who does recognize her, she realizes he is dying, she doesn't need the stain of his death, she is ready to move on - and her heart belongs to Val...

so, Hegel has a tracking device in Val (why he can find him); Hegel gets him, while Georg gets Tamara... Val gets away from Hegel (car accident, he in hospital) and rescues Tamara from Georg... Novak kidnaps Rachel (whom Tamara had left with the McClouds)... Novak kidnaps Tamara... Val figures out about the tracking device, cuts it out... and heads to Novak to rescue Tamara... Val contacts McClouds and tells him he left tracking devices in Rachel's jacket/blanket, and they are on their way...Tamara is trussed up, naked, broken arm, arms tied to hook on ceiling... Georg shows up, kills Novak... Georg convinced Tamara wants him, goes to her to kiss her - she has a stud in her mouth with a poison capsule - in the kiss she poisons Georg, and barely breaks the antidote in time for herself - Val bursts in, scares off or kills the rest of the bad guys... cuts Tamara down, who sends him to find Rachel... he has been shot, is bleeding, finds Rachel, who is screaming... he manages to kill the one who has Rachel without hurting Rachel - just as the McClouds show up...

6 weeks later - Tamara and Val have not communicated - both have been healing... both are afraid of rejection... and Val decides he's going to her - and he's staying - either with love or if she kills him... Tamara is in her workshop, vascillating in if and how to contact Val - and working on two rings, his and her rings, without a weapon incorporated into it... and he walks in, and waits for her to notice, and tells her he isn't going... ahhhhhh
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