Series: The Arsenal Book #1
Stand Alone Title: yes
Author: Cara Carnes
Genre: Romance, Suspense
Blurb: Mary “The Edge” Reynolds is the most sought-after back office operative around-the creative genius pulling the ultimate bad-asses out of impossible situations. She’s never failed on a mission, and she’s not about to fail on the most important mission ever-keeping her newly designed security system safe. Relying on others isn’t in her nature, but the newly formed Arsenal is her only hope for escape when she’s kidnapped.
She is the Edge.
The Edge never breaks.
Dylan Mason and his brothers have put everything on the line to form The Arsenal. When the paramilitary arena is rocked by Edge’s capture, he’ll do whatever it takes to get the fearless operative back, but his wary heart isn’t ready to handle the vulnerable woman buried beneath the hardened shell. Getting her back was simple. Keeping her and her “security system” HERA out of enemy hands is another story.
Together they must hunt down the faction behind her capture and subsequent torture to keep HERA from becoming an unstoppable terroristic threat. What they uncover could destroy them both.
Favorite quotes: “We need to overhaul our security if four GI Jane wannabes kicked our asses.”
“All penetrations should make you sweat.”
“Yeah, I’ll just saddle up my unicorn, shimmy over the rainbow, and get right on that.”
Thoughts: I was completely new to Cara Carnes, but wow! What a way to open a series! As a reader you are dived right in to the action and slammed into the torture and rape of Mary A.K.A The Edge. Nothing is to graphic, but the author manages to make things emphatically clear at the same time. You respect Mary and her strength, and I loved her inventiveness when it comes to getting agents out of danger. I also loved the fact that she never gives up. Period. Dylan catches your attention immediately as well, and I loved how he had Mary’s back from the start.
While it was pretty obvious from the beginning that it’s meant to be a series and throws rather a lot of characters our way – not to mention a few clues to future storyline arcs – it was still easy to read as a stand alone title. I also struggled a little bit with the two extremes in Mary’s character – strong, capable agent and weak, vulnerable, victim. I get them both, particularly in light of what she’s been through, but for me the extremes were a little too much and didn’t seem viable or believable. The author never really came to a good balance there for me. Mary is the biggest, baddest spy – one that even the great spies of the world long to work with, yet she becomes a somewhat timid, breakable girl who is always hard on herself and doesn’t believe any guy would look her way. She immediately needs and becomes dependent on Dylan. You still couldn’t help falling in love with the book though – and this is one of the authors that you finish a book and start hunting down more of her titles to read!
This was a title I couldn’t put down and kept me grabbing it up and devouring as much as I could of it. Wonderful romantic suspense!