Monday, May 14, 2012

Edge of Light by Cynthia Justlin

Title:  Edge of Light
Author: Cynthia Justlin
My Rating: A-

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: -
Main Characters: Oliver and Jocelyn
Release Date: May 2012
ISBN: e-book
Publisher: Carina
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Story Overview:
Taken prisoner by a ruthless group of anarchists deep in the Cambodian jungle, anthropologist Jocelyn Hewitt is isolated in a dark prison cell. Without chance of rescue. Or hope. Until the man in the next cell reaches out to let her know she’s not as alone as she thinks.

CIA agent Oliver Shaw has been held prisoner for over two years. Forced to witness the brutal torture and slow murder of his entire team, his spirit is not just broken, it’s crushed. He no longer believes in hope. Until he hears Jocelyn through the wall, and suddenly feels like a glimpse of light is trying to reach in…

Jocelyn’s heart aches for the tortured man whose presence and voice give her the courage to risk their escape. But first she’ll have to remind Oliver who he once was, what he once loved, and bring him back to life. Only then will they have a chance for freedom—and the kind of love neither ever thought possible.

My Review:
Look at that cover up there. This is NOT a light-hearted, floofy romance. This book is gritty and it's harsh, but I thought it was so incredibly good. Half this book is spent with the Hero and heroine in captivity. They never even see each other face to face until right before their escape, so this is not a book about romance and flowers. Their surroundings are minimal. The beatings are harsh. The torture is truly inhumane. This book doesn't spare anything, so be prepared.

Oliver is a CIA agent who has been a captive for two years.  Not only has he been tortured and beaten, but he's had to watch all of his teammates slowly die. The only reason he's been kept alive is that he's also an artist. One of the Trinity (the lead baddie in this group of three baddies) uses his paintings as his catharsis. That doesn't mean that Oliver is spared anything besides the very basis of his life. Right now, he's doing nothing but surviving. This is a broken man with no hope left...until Jocelyn arrives. 

Jocelyn is part of a government team who comes in and excavates human remains so that they can be returned to their loved ones. This trip to Cambodia is especially important (to the point where she lied her way onto the team) because they are there to excavate her father's remains. This quickly goes astray and we learn the team was brought there on false pretenses so that the Trinity could get hold of Jocelyn. She's the key to translating her father's treasure maps even though she was 8 yo when he disappeared/died.

Like I said this book is really pretty harsh, but it was an interesting read about the human spirit. Jocelyn is a strong, positive person and she refuses to let Oliver give up, although he is  already way past that point. In his eyes, every person during his captivity has died because he wasn't strong enough to save them. He's terrified of getting attached to Josie because he knows that will seal her death penalty. It's heartbreaking to see how torn down he truly is, but I loved Jocelyn's spirit and belief in him. She knows he's a good person and refuses to allow him to blame himself for all those deaths. Through her, he starts to find redemption and the man he used to be. It was a slow transformation and almost painful to read, but it was so worth it in the end. This is just really a good book.

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