by Tiffinie Helmer
Series: Romance on the Edge #1
Narrator: Mia Chiaromonte
Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups
He's lost his edge....Photojournalist Cache Calder lives to chase a great story. He's just returned from the Middle East after surviving a suicide bombing that left him injured and grief-stricken. The last thing he wants is to travel to the wilds of Alaska on a "Where Is She Now" Assignment. But when his editor informs him that his subject is former kidnapping victim, Amelia Bennett who jump-started his career 20 years earlier, he packs his bags.She lives on the Edge....Mel Bennett's carefully maintained control unravels the moment she meets Cache Calder. Attraction flares for the man who seems to really "know" her. No one at the Edge of Reason Lodge is aware she was the young teenager who'd survived one of the most publicized kidnappings in recent history, and she wants it to stay that way. But she starts to question her heart and her sanity when unexplained incidents begin to happen and a deadly threat returns to finish what he'd started so long ago.
Edge by Tiffinie Helmer is the first in the Romance on the Edge series offering up romantic suspense in the picturesque setting of Alaska. Edge offers suspense, romance and complex characters. It has a small-town feel with a backdrop that will have you drooling.
Espresso review: Suspense, humor and darkness with a side dish of romance and a breathtaking view
Caffeinated Breakdown of Edge
World: The story of Edge takes place at the Edge of Reason Lodge in picturesque Alaska near Homer. Here Mel Bennett and her motley crew of trusted staff entertain a limited amount of guests with whale watching, hiking, kayaking and wildlife. New guests are arriving along with her recently divorced and estranged sister, accompanied by her two teenage children. Life is about to get complicated for Mel and she does not handle complicated. Something else has come to her quiet little sanctuary and she will need to have her wits about her. The story is delivered in multiple perspectives and drew me right in.
Characters: Helmer provides us with a unique cast of characters from those you will adore to ones you will immediately loath. *cough*Tom *cough*. Mel’s real name is Amelia Bennett. As a child, a religious cult abducted her and carved out the woman she is today. Cache Calder is a renowned photojournalist recovering from serious injury and loss. Tom is his younger, obnoxious, “GQ” boss who travels with him to Edge. Nicole, Mel’s sister has let herself go after a bitterly unexpected divorce. Her son thinks everything about the Edge is cool and embraced the setting with youthful enthusiasm. Her young daughter however believes she is facing death, because, “OMG, There is nothing to do!” Sergei works at the Edge and his Russian accent and misunderstandings of American expressions made me giggle. Ramsay, oh lord the man was a hoot especially when dealing with the cook.
Plot: Tom tells Cache he has located Amelia Bennett the young girl who launched his career some twenty years ago and offers him a chance of a “where are they now” piece. It is just the thing to snap Cache out of his depression. In flight, Tom tells him he has booked them into the lodge undercover and that Amelia has no idea they are coming. *I smell trouble* Mel’s former kidnapper is dead, but strange sightings, biblical quotes and her own intuition tell her something is wrong. Could he be back from the dead? Nicole and her children need a change of scenery after Nicole discovered her husband when he decided to trade her in for a younger model. All of this takes place in one of the most beautiful and tranquil settings.
Romance: Anytime one party has a secret that could hurt the other you know things are going to get complicated before you get your HEA. As damaged, as Mel is it was not an easy romance. I enjoyed this couple and felt their feelings and actions were genuine. There is heat, but it is fade to black and perfect for a larger audience.
Suspenseful aspects: Helmer kept us on our toes with twists, fear and a few near death scenes. She allowed the tension to build, weaving in the scenery and background information on Mel’s prior kidnapping. The remote setting only ramped up the suspense.
The writing: Helmer paints a three-D picture not only with the beautiful lodge, ocean and woods but also with her characters. She gave them depth and I can close my eyes and bring forth an image of each of them. I can even smell Tom’s cologne. *cough* The tale hooks you from the onset as we travel back to Mel’s abduction. The author even weaved in facts about wildlife, fishing and nature in Alaska. I loved all of these little details.
The Narration: Mia Chiromonte made me a little nervous at first, but once we left the darker beginning, her voice as Mel kicked in strong and I connected. While I was not overly pleased with Cache’s voice. She nailed Tom’s preening beautifully and the Russian accent of Sergei. My issue with Cache is one I have with female narrator’s capturing the male voice. It sounded horse, but eventually grew on me.
Caffeinated Conclusion: Edge is the type of romantic suspense that stays with you and had more substance than your typical escape book placing it somewhere neared to a thriller or mystery novel.