by Kat Martin
Series: Raines of Wind Canyon #8
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Romantic Suspense
A child he's never met. A danger he's never known. Deep in the humid, rank heart of the Louisiana bayou, a survivalist group has something that belongs to former navy SEAL Ben Slocum: his son. That he's a father is news Ben Slocum was not expecting. But once the initial shock wears off for the confirmed bachelor, he takes in the rest of what social worker Claire Chastain tells him: that Sam is in the custody of an abusive degenerate, that they've disappeared...and that Ben is now the child's only hope. As Ben and Claire band together to track the two down, their concern for the boy draws them closer, each fighting feelings there's no time to explore. Because when their search takes them too close to Sam's abductor and his cohorts, the danger hits home-the son he's desperate to save, the woman he's desperate to love... Ben's got one chance to take back what's his, and in one gunshot he could lose it all.
Each book in the Raines of Wind Canyon features an ex-military alpha-male who is perfect in every way but slightly flawed in the commitment department. They work in security or as private investigators and ultimately fall for a strong, independent woman. Kat Martin dishes up great suspense virtually guaranteeing me an engaging read with swoon-worthy characters. She mixes in some romance, a little heat and a few giggles. She raised the bar with Against the Edge, this was intense, sweet and kept me on edge. I literally consumed this as I slipped into the world she created and I was thoroughly entertained.
Ben Slocum is a former Navy SEAL, lives in Houston and works with his former buddies at a security firm. When he returns home from his friend’s wedding he is surprised to find a pretty woman standing on his porch and so not in the mood to deal with whatever it is. He wants a shower and coffee, lots of coffee. Claire Chastain is a social worker from LA and she takes one look at Ben in his wrinkled tux, smelling of woman’s perfume and things she knows exactly who Ben Slocum is. Over a cup of coffee Ben’s life is about to change and in a big way. He learns his ex-fiancé Laura has passed away and he is a father of a nine-year-old boy named Sam. As if this isn’t enough to absorb, his son is missing and Claire believes he was kidnapped by Laura’s ex’s boyfriend. The tale that unfolds is suspenseful and has Ben and Claire crossing state lines to find his son and maybe a little something more.
I adored Ben with his piercing blue eyes and smexy dark features. His former navy buddies nicknamed him the “Icepick” and I found it quite fitting. He is this sweet combination of naughty and nice that was just delicious. He totally has commitment issues, but can he own it? Heck no, instead he does one nighter stands and then claims he likes it that way. Men! Claire made a promise to take care of her friend’s son and she is determined to find him. She is smart, witty and is not afraid to admit she is wrong. The woman in Martin’s books are strong, independent and never needy which I really appreciate. Beloved characters and couples from the security firm make an appearance in this book and it was nice getting updates. I love all the wives and how they look out for couple. I found them to be delightfully meddlesome. There were many conversations that made me laugh between Ben and Claire and the other characters as well. Martin makes the entire cast of characters feel unique from who they are and how they act. I’d love to have friends who had my back like this group. We meet Ty Brodie the hero in our next book and he was smexy, smart and brave. Sam was adorable with his dog, and of course he stole my heart. The villains and other characters were memorable and added to the overall suspense.
The hunt to find Sam was action packed, with plenty of twists to keep me entertained. Martin takes us from Houston, to LA to Louisiana and I enjoyed the chase. The investigation and the way this couple interacted had me completely engaged. As connections and clues unfolded the relationship began to develop and it felt natural. Claire and Ben had this chemistry from the start and I loved the slow build, the fall back and the steamy scenes. We see growth in both characters and I just loved when Ben finally got the big picture. I was fascinated with the criminals and extremist they encountered. I am not sure if it was the interaction between the couple or the chase to find Ben’s son but I completely slipped into this book and before I knew it I was over half done and could not put it down.
Fans of romantic suspense and swoon-worthy heroes will enjoy Against the Edge. Fans of Lori Foster and her Love Uncover Series, will find Martin’s series delightful. Against the Mark the next book in the Raines of Wind Canyon will be released August 27, 2013. This series is an auto-buy for me and I cannot wait.
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