Veena’s review of Against the Edge (The Raines of Wind Canyon, Book Eight) by Kat Martin
Romantic Suspense published by Harlequin Mira 30 Apr 13
This is a wonderful series that started off with the Raines of Wind Canyon and then morphed into the Atlas Security Alpha operatives series with each ex-military gorgeous operative from Alpha Security getting his own story. The author does a great job of introducing and tantalizing us with the hero of her next book in each current story so that the adrenaline is flowing and excitement is rife when that next book is announced.
We met Ben Slocum as he played second chair to Alex Justice in Against the Odds as Alex wooed and won Sabrina Eckhardt. It’s now Ben’s turn and his story starts off with a bang when he learns not only is he a father of a teenage son he never knew about, but also that the boy is missing and potentially in extreme danger. Ben’s skills and training will be tested to the edge and beyond as he strives to find his son and hold on to the romance that has unexpectedly landed at his door.
Claire Chastain is a social worker in Los Angeles. She’s been a surrogate mother to Sam, her best friend Laura’s son. Laura used to be Ben’s fiancee until she broke his heart and inoculated him against love and long-term lasting relationships. Now Claire is here to tell him that not only does he have a son with Laura that he never knew anything about but also that said son was sent into the Los Angeles foster care system after his mother’s death and has now disappeared from his foster parents’ home. What a series of shocks for poor Ben as he returns after a night in the bed of his latest flirt.
But to give Ben credit, he recovers quickly and the playboy is replaced by the the professional soldier and private investigator as he heads to Los Angeles with Claire to check in with the police and to investigate the disappearance. The police are not very helpful, simply putting Sam down as another runaway from foster care, but Claire knows better. She loves Sam and suspects foul play on the part of Laura’s ex-boyfriend who swore revenge on her and Laura after her friend had broken up with him.
As Ben leverages his Atlas Security and personal connections to find clues as to who might have Sam and where to find him, Claire is determined to help in the search and rescue not only because she made a promise to a dying friend, but also because she loves Sam like a son and make sure he’s safe once again. As Ben and Claire work in close quarters driving through the western United States following Sam’s trail, the attraction between them becomes a conflagration. Ben is not into long-term relationships, but when he has a hard time resisting Claire, they take it one day at a time as they become intimate partners.
Ben is a top-notch investigator and he has the professional connections to assure his success. He is able to locate Sam with the help of Claire and a new friend who he found in Los Angeles. Rescuing his son allows him to become a true parent. Claire, in the meantime, moves to Houston to remain close to Sam and perhaps to Sam’s new dad. Claire’s journalist ex-boyfriend, who is working on a dangerous expose, also makes an appearance, bringing an unexpected danger into her life, so she once again needs Ben’s professional help.
The story takes interesting twists and turns as Ben, Claire, and Sam try to find their new place in each other’s lives. There will be yet more danger and excitement before the story drives to its conclusion. I really enjoyed the pace and evolution of the story. There is enough suspense in the how and when that kept me engaged. We also have an interesting introduction into the para-military element in the US who live a hard life close to nature and yet thrive on danger and violence. Of course, we met Tyler Brodie, hero of the author’s next book, who helps Ben locate and rescue his son.
A child he’s never met.
A danger he’s never known.
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 criminal, 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. Ben’s got one chance to take back what’s his, and in one gunshot he could lose it all . . .
Read an excerpt.