Living On The Edge (#1 in Edge Series) by Shannon K. Butcher
March 1, 2011
Paperback, 368 Pages
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “I have you on speed dial but I don’t want you butting in. Go have your wild monkey sex…and leave me in peace.”
When Lucas Ramsey’s former commanding officer asks for a personal favor, Lucas cannot say no. His mission? Make sure Sloan Gideon never makes it to Columbia, South America.
Sloan Gideon is a personal bodyguard who’s best friend has been kidnapped and is being held in Columbia. When Lucas tries to stop Sloan he receives a rude awakening. Sloan isn’t your average female and either he’s with her or against her.
I am a huge fan of Ms. Butcher’s urban fantasy series-The Sentinel Wars– so when I saw she was writing a new series I jumped at the chance to read this one. Living On The Edge is the first in her Edge novels centering around a team of hardened mercenaries who all have one thing in common. They were part of an experimental program referred to as The List. An edgy romantic suspense; we are drawn into a dangerous and intriguing world of alpha males and females who all excel in the art of deception and combat. Realistic dialogue and scenes keeps this military based storyline interesting and fresh.
Lucas Ramsey is a Ranger who sustained a career ending injury. His former commanding officer (referred to as the Old Man) asks him to preform one last mission for him. Use any means necessary to keep Sloan Gideon from boarding a plan to Columbia. Lucas is an full blown alpha male who thinks this will be a piece of cake. One lone female stands no chance against him. But when Lucas tracks her down at a fundraiser and sees how she handles being shot at-he realizes that the the old man neglected to tell him a few things.
Sloan Gideon is a personal bodyguard for The Edge. Trained in all aspects of combat; she is intelligent, courageous, self assured and takes no crap from anyone. She does not appreciate nor understand Luca’s plans to detain her. In the beginning her refuses to explain anything beyond telling her these are his orders. Her actions towards him are completely realistic. She maneuvers and outwits Luca all through out the beginning using his own fallacies against him. I found myself smiling like a loon each time she took him down.
Even though the beginning starts out slow, I enjoyed the meeting and the subsequent battle of the wills between Lucas and Sloan. Lucas’s attitude was annoying in the beginning because he never questions why he is ordered to do this. He ruminates that he owns the old man and once he delivers he is and the old man are square. I found myself laughing as Sloan “spanks” him a few times and yet he still can’t understand why she doesn’t just do what he says.
Though Lucas and Sloan have some immediate chemistry, Sloan doesn’t give it a second thought. She doesn’t know him and jumping into the sack is out of the question. Nor does she begin to justify any romantic or physical feelings later on with the ever popular, “I like him so he must like me and now we will do it together.”
As we reach the middle, the story line introduces some sub plots and begins to pick up speed. There is quite a bit of mystery in here as we find out why the old man wants Sloan taken out of the equation and more information on Sloan’s kidnapped friend. Three separate storylines run parallel until towards the middle when they merge and a new storyline is the result. Plenty of action and suspense leads us on a merry chase as we follow Sloan and Lucas through the jungles of Columbia and into the heart of danger. At times I did get a little overwhelmed by the information given for the additional storylines; as we are flipped between them and it all stays in the present.
The secondary characters are all bold and stand in sharp outline to the story. Ms. Butcher reveals enough about each one to have me very interested in seeing future story lines concerning each of them. I did have a problem with the old man. Some things he did out of love were really wrong and frankly, I couldn’t understand why he would feel they were right.
I especially enjoyed the appearance of two villains in here. One revealed right away and one hidden in the shadows. Each villain is defiantly bad but there is a feeling that some of the overlaying “badness” is a direct result of things done by our good guys. Rather a case of things coming back to bite some folks in the arse.
The ending is a predictable but is written is an engaging and exciting manner. It wraps up the main conflict nicely but leaves some open ended questions to help us transition gracefully into the next installment of this series; to be announced.