Monday, February 29, 2016

Audiobook Review: Edge by Tiffinie Helmer

He's lost his edge...


Photojournalist Cache Calder lives to chase a great story. He's just returned from the Middle East after surviving a suicide bombing that left him injured and grief-stricken. The last thing he wants is to travel to the wilds of Alaska on a "Where Is She Now" Assignment. But when his editor informs him that his subject is former kidnapping victim, Amelia Bennett who jump-started his career twenty years earlier, he packs his bags.


She lives on the Edge...


Mel Bennett's carefully maintained control unravels the moment she meets Cache Calder. Attraction flares for the man who seems to really "know" her. No one at the Edge of Reason Lodge is aware she was the young teenager who'd survived one of the most publicized kidnappings in recent history, and she wants it to stay that way. But she starts to question her heart and her sanity when unexplained incidents begin to happen and a deadly threat returns to finish what he'd started so long ago.


Series: Romance on the Edge #1 | Narrator:  Mia Chiaromonte | Publisher: Audible Studios| Genre: Romantic Suspense |Length: 11 hours and 8 minutes | Source: Publisher| Rating: 4 Cups

Challenges Read For: Blogger Shame Review Challenge
After surviving a suicide bombing in the Middle East that left him injured and mourning, Cache Calder is content to stay tucked away in his apartment until his friend and colleague, Tom, brings him the assignment of a lifetime: a ‘Where Is She Now’ featuring Amelia Bennett, the kidnapping victim that started his award-winning career. With his bags packed and his camera at the ready, Cache and Tom head to Alaska. Although things aren’t exactly how Tom said they would be. Amelia Bennett doesn’t know they are coming to do a story on her and now Cache must hide his identity as he finds himself growing closer to the subject of his article.


Mel Bennett came to Alaska for a reason: to escape her past and start clean. Here no one knows her as the young girl a religious cult kidnapped or the troubled teen she became, yet when her sister and her two children arrive at the Edge, Mel starts to feel her past catching up with her. And things start to become even more complicated when Cache arrives and Mel starts developing an attraction to him. When strange events begin occurring to Mel, she soon realizes her past isn’t that far behind and if she refuses to let people in, she very well may end up losing her life.


Okay, when you start this one, give it some time to grow on you because the first few chapters are a little rough but I promise you it’s worth the read. Also, this book is a bit intense and deals with subject matter (religious cults, kidnapping, and such) that some readers may be uncomfortable with. While I found this book very engaging, I found I had to limit my listening time to allow myself to recharge.


Mel isn’t an easy character to like and throughout the book I found myself struggling with her. She’s rude, uncaring, selfish, likes to keep things bottled up, and prone to making stupid decisions. She’s very unforgiving and never lets anything go. While she had a legitimate reason for feeling this way, she was still highly unlikable. Given all she’s been through, I felt a tad bit guilty for not liking her but that’s what happened.


Characters that are journalist are always a bit tricky for me to like, they often come off as skeevy and untrustworthy and to make things more complicated, Cache started off by deceiving Mel. While it wasn’t his decision to pretend to be someone else, and he struggled with it, he also went along with it. So, I was really surprised with how much I liked Cache. He’s a journalist with morals and he’s not willing to compromise them just to sell a few photos. His stay at the Edge is more than just a story, it’s also about his healing and recovery. He’s been through a lot that this allows him to understand what Mel’s going through.


So, the romance has to be the weakest of the plotlines and, honestly, that had to do with Mel. She doesn’t allow Cache to get close to her and, when he starts to, she pushes him away. She’s so focused on herself that she can’t see how much he cares about her and I found myself wanting to smack some sense into her. And it annoyed me that she held what Tom did against Cache. Although their romance wasn’t easy—and at times I wondered if she was actually going to give Cache a break—it was worth the struggle. And I really enjoyed how Cache knew exactly what Mel needed and patiently waited for her to accept it.


The suspense aspect, while it took a backseat to the characters’ stories, was engaging. Throughout the book, incidents keep occurring that had Mel believing that the leader of the Ascension—the religious cult that kidnapped her—had returned. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat and I found myself paying close attention the men surrounding Mel to see if any of them could be the cult leader.


Edge really focused on the characters and I loved that. I loved getting to know the secondary characters because they all had their own issues to work out. While each character’s story felt well rounded and complete, I would have liked more about Nicole, Mel’s sister.


The setting of Alaska truly acts as another character and the isolation of the Edge of Reason Lodge lends a thriller vibe to the book.


Mia Chiaromonte’s narration of the book, while engaging, took some getting used to. I struggled with her narration of Cache, because rather than sounding masculine, it came off as hoarse and slightly annoying until I grew accustomed to it. Although she excelled at bringing the characters to life and keeping my attention until the very end.


Overall, I can’t believe that I waited so long to give this a listen. It was intense, dark, occasionally funny, character-driven, and engaging.


Romance On The Edge Series




4-Death Cache

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