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Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Off the Edge by Carolyn Crane


Title: Off the Edge
Author: Carolyn Crane
Series: The Associates, book 2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Carolyn Crane
Source: Review copy from author
Format: E-book
“SHE MAY BE HIS WORST ENEMY… For deadly secret agent Peter Macmillan, language is a weapon—one he uses to hunt criminals, destroy plots, and charm enemies. Seducing information out of a beautiful singer in Bangkok hotel should be easy…except this particular singer has the power to destroy his cool façade, and with it, his last defense against a dark past.

HE MAY BE HER ONLY HOPE… He tricked her. He helped himself to her body and her secrets. He has enemies everywhere. Laney Lancaster should hate Peter, but when she discovers him shirtless, sweaty, and chained up in the hotel’s dungeon, all she can think about is freeing him. Because she knows what it’s like to be trapped and alone. And she could use a dangerous friend.

They may be wrong for each other, but the instant they join forces, Laney and Peter are plunged into an odyssey of hot sex and dark danger. To survive, they must trust each other with their lives—and their hearts.”
Off the Edge is the second book in The Associates series by Carolyn Crane.

Laney Lancaster knew that sending her shady husband to jail was the right thing to do and it was going to cost her. What Laney wasn’t expecting was the long reach Rolly will still have from jail. From the last two years she has been in hiding and working as a singer in a friend’s hotel in Thailand, but she knows her days of feeling relatively safe are coming to an end. Her instincts are telling her to take flight, even though her friends are telling her they will keep her safe.
Peter Macmillan is on assignment in Thailand. The Associates knows the arms dealer, Jazzman, will held an auction there to sell a very dangerous weapon. The only problem is that nobody knows who the Jazzman is or how does he look. Here comes Macmillan linguistic specialty in play. He’s one of the few people in the world who can identify a person for the way they talk. After studying voice recordings of the Jazzman for months, Macmillan is just waiting to hear his voice to identify him. Macmillan wasn’t counting to have the distraction of the singer of the hotel where the auction is going to be held, but as soon as he hears her sing he knows she’s hiding from something, he’s also sure she might be able to help him get closer to the Jazzman.
Laney can’t help but feel a connection with Macmillan, she can recognize in him a kindred soul, but learning he was using her might be the end to something that could have been really good for both of them.

I really liked Macmillan; he’s smart, witty, sexy and a perfectly tortured hero. He lost everything he cared about in a train bombing. Since then, without caring for his wellbeing, he has dedicated his life to catch bad people. Ten years of this has him close to burnout, but he knows he’s the only one that can do what he does, so he pushes forward and does what needs to be done.
Mrs. Crane did an outstanding job with this character, the amount of research she put behind him was pretty obvious and I can say her work payoff. Macmillan is unique and unforgettable in a very good way.

I had some conflicts about Laney. I liked her, I didn’t like her and then I liked her again. My problem with her was that she felt a bit too naïve for a woman that not only had been married to a character like Rolly for years, but also has been in the run and hiding. I would have expected her to be more wary of her surroundings and less trustful. It was almost as if she didn’t want to see what was right in front of her.
Another problem I had with her was her bad timing. She was thinking about connecting with Macmillan while going through a dire situation. That just didn’t feel very realistic, I think I would be thinking about surviving instead of connecting with another soul if my life was on the line.

We meet other members of The Associates, they are all very different and with very intriguing pasts. Mrs. Crane gives us enough information about them to catch our interest, but leaves us wanting to know more. Very well played Mrs. Crane, very well played.

There are other characters in play here, Laney’s friends and protectors in Thailand, her ex-husband, Rolly, and other unsavory characters that made of Off the Edge an even more interesting read.

Off the Edge is a very intense book, with the perfect balance of suspense and action to keep you on the edge of your seat. Mrs. Crane’s writing is very realistic and she doesn’t take shortcuts. She gives us vivid scenes with strong images difficult to digest but relevant to the story, making of Off the Edge a very addictive book difficult to put down.

Carolyn Crane is a master of smart writing and she proves it once more with Off the Edge. She takes something as unusual as linguistics and makes it almost as a superpower. I really never thought knowing about the different quirks of language could be so interesting.

If it weren’t because I had trouble with Laney I would have given this book a perfect score. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, far from that, I loved Off the Edge and can’t wait to read more books in the series. I’m looking forward to see what Mrs. Crane and her smart and unique thinking brain have planned for the other members of The Associates. 

If you like romantic suspense Off the Edge is a book you need to read. Even though Off the Edge is the second book in the series it can be easily read as a stand-alone.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Against the Dark
Off the Edge

Other reviews Goodreads

5 comments:

  1. I really liked this one as well. I felt the balance of suspense, action and romance was perfect. And I agree that Ms. Crane's work on developing MacMillian was perfectly marvelous! I can't wait to see where she takes this series.

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  2. This sounds good, like the exotic locale Thailand. Haven't read a suspense in a while with a setting outside of the USA unless military. New to me series, I love finding series with a back-list already, so if I love it I do not have to wait lol.

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  3. I'm not familiar with this series although I am waiting for the sequel to Mr. Real!

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  4. Great review! I can't believe I missed that this came out! Going to add it to my list.

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