Title: Against The Edge ( Raines of Wind Canyon, Book 8)
Author: Kat Martin
Expected Release Date: April 30 ,2013
ARC provided by NetGalley
A child he's never met. A danger he's never known.
Deep in the humid, rank heart of the Louisiana bayou, a survivalist group has something that belongs to former navy SEAL Ben Slocum: his son.
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 degenerate, 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. Because when their search takes them too close to Sam's abductor and his cohorts, the danger hits home-the son he's desperate to save, the woman he's desperate to love... Ben's got one chance to take back what's his, and in one gunshot he could lose it all.
Ben Slocum is a sexy playboy who loves 'em and leaves him. He lost his heart once and he refuses to go through that hell again. But when Claire Chastain shows up unexpectedly at his front door, the rules of the game change.
Claire explains that he has a son, Sam -- a fact he never knew--and that the little boy has gone missing. She is hoping that Ben can use his expert skills and help her. He is a seasoned ex-military (SEAL) man as well as a PI who is trained for danger.
Claire has her own reasons for looking for Ben's son. While working as a social worker in L.A., she met and became friend's with Ben's ex-fiance. The two women became close and when Laura dies, Claire had plans to adopt Sam. The courts ruled against her, and now he has disappeared. Sam's foster parents and the police believe he has run away, but Claire suspects the mother's ex-boyfriend played a role in kidnapping the boy to get back at Claire.
In Against The Edge, two strangers come together, piecing the clues together, to help locate Sam. Along the way, Ben and Claire's attraction for each other sizzles and both promise to keep things uncomplicated between them--no commitments, no promises.
But it becomes apparent that both Claire and Ben develop stronger feelings, the more they get to know one another. Only Ben's afraid to lose his heart once again and refuses to acknowledge his true feelings for Claire. And Claire wants a man who isn't afraid to commit to her and start a family.
Against The Edge is filled with fast-paced action as Claire and Ben travel to the bayou of Louisiana searching for Sam. There is a small element of unbelievable WTF-ery when not only one, but two, groups are out to kill Claire, but not enough to stop me from reading. It pushed the envelope enough for me though, to make a comment about it here in the review. I think eliminating one of the lesser of the groups involving Claire's ex-boyfriend would have been find to omit from the story and not take anything away from the result.
Overall, Against The Edge is a solid read with an engaging plot and a hero that will melt your heart. The bonus for me was that although it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.
Favorite quote from Against The Edge:
"If I take you tonight, it won't be easy. I'll be rough and hot."She looked up at him and couldn't breathe. Her heart was hammering, her body throbbing. "Yes...please."