Told primarily through the point of view of a hero who suffers with severe PTSD, The Edge of Courage is gripping and sexy romance suspense. If you like a damaged and tortured hero, and enjoy the fast pace of a military romance suspense, this is a must read. And for .99 cents, it’s a great bargain, too!
Rocco Silas returned to the US after spending seven years in deep cover in Afghanistan as an operative for the Army’s elite Red Team program of trained assassins. A cover so deep, he began to believe it himself. The village he lived in was destroyed by explosives, and his memory of the events are not clear. Nightmares haunt him of dead loved ones, and now he is struggling to find ‘normal’ once again in hopes of being healthy enough to return to Afghanistan and find what his soul is calling out for: his son.
Wow, Rocco’s story was truly the best part of this book. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the romance and the action too, but his story took me by the throat. And I loved that the story was told through his POV! I don’t know much about PTSD, but his story felt so real and heart breaking. The author doesn’t sugar coat his disorder either, we see him break down on several occasions. In the early part of the book, his PTSD consumes him. But it is also what made Mandy such a great heroine for him, as she had the patience, understanding and fortitude to deal with his ghosts.
The suspense part of this story centers around Mandy and a string of odd accidents plaguing her construction project on her ranch. Her brother Kit, also a military member of the elite and secret Red Team, recommends she hire Rocco to help around the ranch and keep his eye out for any threats. We soon learn they were not mere accidents, but a terrorist revenge plot on her brother Kit. What unfolds brings all five members of the newly formed Tremaine Industries, a security firm that employees many ex-military guys with special skills. If Rocco joins them, there will be six.
The threats continue to escalate all the way til the end, even after you believe some threats have been neutralized. There are unsolved areas as well, so you know we will see more of some bad guys in future books. The author really puts her characters through the ringer, too! What happens to Mandy near the end was something I did NOT see coming.
The romance aspect of this story wasn’t as convincing for me, at least in the beginning, but by the end I totally bought it. Mandy is instantly attracted to Rocco, but at first I had a hard time understanding why. I don’t doubt she felt something for him, but initially he wasn’t nice and he clearly came with a boat load of baggage. I also had a hard time picturing this man as ‘tall, dark and handsome’ (as Mandy describes him) when we know he spent the last many months in a hospital on some strong meds, plus he still doesn’t eat or sleep, so I pictured him more of a sickly gaunt person based on his past. (Oh well, this is fiction so just roll with it, right?!)
The sex scenes were hot and plentiful too, although I felt they came surprisingly early as they barely knew anything about each other. Some of the sex scenes came at odd times too, but I have learned to expect that when reading sexy romance suspense books. As their relationship developed and intertwined with the suspense, I started to believe in these two and could see their attraction. By the end, I was convinced these two had what it takes for an HEA.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one! As sexy military romance suspense books go, this was a good one. Maybe not as good as many by Suzanne Brockmann, but a still a fun and exciting read.
Lastly, I can tell this is going to be one of those series where you HAVE TO READ IT IN ORDER. The start of several other stories are already forming, including Kit and Ivy. And then there is Ty’s story, who is still dealing with the demons of his dead and abusive father. His story arc is left as a cliff hanger too! We meet many of the town folks as well, and I imagine many will figure more prominently in future books.
(((Thanks for the recommendation Anne and Buggy!!)))