Edge of Sanity

Shannon K. Butcher
December 2012, Romantic Suspense
Signet, $7.99, 368 pages, Amazon ASIN 0451238818
Part of a series

Grade: C
Sensuality: Warm

It is rare that I read a 300-plus page book and ask myself what just happened but that was the case with Edge of Sanity. By the time it was finished I wasn’t sure just how I had managed to spend hours reading what felt like a short – and extremely unbelievable – episode of Mission Impossible

Dr. Leigh Vaughn has been skirting the wrong side of the law for years. She has treated – and not reported – various injuries for the mercenary group known as The Edge. In exchange, they’ve helped protect her brother, a man whose own mind has been turned against him. When The Edge comes calling once more, Leigh is fiercely determined to help them. While the assignment sounds scary, she knows it will bring her one step closer to a cure for what ails her sibling.

As an agent for the Edge, Clay Marshall has had his share of bumps and bruises, but when he wakes up with blood on his hands he knows something has changed. Especially since he can’t remember a thing from the previous evening. His boss sends him to a secure house with a babysitter – a super sexy doctor who explains she has seen these symptoms before. As she tries to help him sort through what is happening their secure hideaway is attacked and they find themselves on the run. Just who can they trust on this road trip to save their lives? And can they afford to fall for each other?

This book is so patently unrealistic that engaging your mind while reading it would put you at a serious disadvantage. Several parts of the book have geniuses making decisions twelve year olds would avoid. Even though they are running for their lives the characters never seem in the least concerned that something bad will happen to them. Miracle drugs and currently impossible medical procedures abound. It definitely felt like a B movie plot, high on clichés and low on reality.

A novel like that can actually work in romance if the relationship is strong enough to distract us from what is going on around it. In this case, it wasn’t. Leigh and Clay fall into almost instantaneous lust. They find the time to act on said lust even as they are being chased by villains. Their love is based on the few days they spend together but we never see them really sharing things with each other besides their bodies. Clay is a protector; Leigh really admires that about him. Leigh is a caregiver and Clay admires that about her. Beyond that we don’t really know what they have in common. Basically the story goes like this: They save each other from the villains and fall in love while doing it. You’ve probably read this before and there was really nothing here to make this instance stand out.

If mind control plots, eeevvviiill mad scientists, and mercenaries are your thing then this novel might work for you. If you like a dose of reality with your suspense or want real relationship building, I would give it a pass.

-- Maggie Boyd

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