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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Book Review: Close To The Edge by Dawn Ryder

Dare Servant is a member of the Shadow Ops task force. Fiercely dedicated, he has no intention of letting emotion cloud his judgement. When innocent Jenna Henson stumbles into the middle of his op, though, all his plans go up in smoke.

I wanted to like this book, I really did. Romantic suspense is probably my favourite of all the many genres I read, and a tall, dark and handsome Special Forces agent is definitely my favourite kind of hero. The problem is that Dare Servant is a complete and total d**k. Jenna actually calls him out on it, more than once, and he never fails to carry on still being a d**k. Why she actually decided she was interested in him beyond a basic physical attraction was utterly beyond me. He appeared to have no qualities one might want in a romantic partner at all beyond his physical attributes.

It wasn’t the only thing wrong with the book. Jenna is a ‘combustion expert’ which is a fancy name for someone who blows things up for a living. This is made much of in the first couple of chapters, so I expected it to be a Chekov’s Gun plot device; at some point Jenna and Dare would be in a situation where Jenna uses her skills to build a bomb from some kitchen-sink chemicals. But no. It was just… forgotten about and never mentioned again. Seriously, why give your heroine a cool skill like that and not let her use it?

The worst part for me, though, and the most unbelievable, was when Kagan, the Shadow Ops leader, deliberately put Jenna back in play without actually telling Dare or anyone else about it. Dare wasted hours of valuable time concentrating on her, convinced she was working with the bad guy (despite having already witnessed the bad guy attempting to kill her). Kagan’s reasoning for doing all this? He wanted Dare to get in touch with his emotions. That really isn’t what I’d expect of the leader of a covert action group dedicated to bringing down bad guys. In fact, it's kind of the opposite.

I basically noped out and coasted to the end of the book after that. Not having read any of the others in this series, there was a heck of a lot going on I had no clue about, too; this is definitely not a standalone. If you’re a devoted fan of the series, you might enjoy it, but if you’re not, definitely don’t start here. Frankly, I wouldn’t start at all. One star.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.

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