Review: Edge of Light by Cynthia Justlin

14 May

Edge of Light by Cynthia Justlin
Carina Press (May 14, 2012)
ebook: $5.99
ISBN: 9781426893766

Favorite Lines: “He braced himself for her touch, and when her fingers met his skin he clenched his eyes shut. He couldn’t get used to it. Didn’t remember what to do. Would he eventually remember how to react, or was he forever doomed to straddle the line between pleasure and agony?” (p. 135-136, e-galley)

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.

Edge of Light is a romantic suspense and my first introduction to Cynthia Justlin’s writing. The story started with a bang. The reader is introduced to one man’s psychological battle with the mad man holding him captive. Oliver has been in captivity for over two years and he has given up. Until a new inhabitant in the cell next to his slowly begins to change things.

Jocelyn’s friends and co-workers were murdered and she was taken captive. The reason behind the horrific even was unbelievable. As she sits in a cell day after day she begins to reach out to the man in the cell next to hers, determined to understand why he refuses to speak to her or fight the people holding them.

Edge of Light is heavy on the suspense and light on the romance.I say this because the romance takes the back burner to the characters surviving. Basically it’s a book about a man rebuilding himself with the support of a good woman. Their coming together as a couple never becomes a priority. Both are trying to come to terms with the past and their present situation. It’s an “in the moment” type of relationship that never made me believe they could find happily ever after together. If I take this book as a thriller or suspense, I’m satisfied. Tag it with romance, and my satisfaction begins to dwindle.

Justlin does an excellent job portraying evil. She types a story that unfolds at a steady (but quick) pace. She also managed to build the unfurl two major story aspects by simply putting the hero and the heroine in cells bordering each other. One, it forces the characters to get to know each other without privilege of appearance being involved. It also stretches the suspense because neither knows exactly what is happening in the other’s cell. They can hear, but that increases the psychological terror as neither can see the damage imparted on the other.

I was immediately sucked into the story, but there were a few things that bothered me in addition to the light romance. I felt like the Justlin disposed of two major players a bit too easily. You’ll have to read the book to know who I’m talking about. I expected more of a battle or a more violent end to come and it was a disappointment. But the absolute crappiest thing was the heroine’s comments to the hero after they are out of danger. I couldn’t believe Jocelyn and felt like she was insensitive and unworthy of Oliver.

I’d like to know what you think of the book if you’ve read it. What did you like or dislike about the story? Would you recommend it to others?




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