The Edge of Midnight
Skilled historical romance author Beverly Jenkins has done it again, although this time she’s turned out an exciting novel of romantic suspense.
Sarita Grayson has a mission – to save the neighborhood community center she runs. The center is falling down around her and if she can’t raise $17,000 in a few days the city will sell the building. Feeling as if she has nowhere left to turn she makes a deal with the neighborhood drug lord to transport a package of conflict diamonds (diamonds used to fund actions taken by illegitimate groups against recognized governments in Africa). She knows she is breaking the law but her back is against the wall and it was only one time.
The well-laid pain hits a snag on the night Sarita picks up the diamonds. That snag comes in the person of Mykal Chandler, who runs the NIA, a secret organization whose mission it is to make the streets safe again. He tries to stop her when they meet, but she somehow gets the upper hand and takes off with the diamond and his gun – but not before shooting him. Mykal swears revenge and cannot wait to get his hands on the woman who shot him and stole his gun.
After her close escape, Sarita believes all will be well, until she learns from her foster brother, Saint, that the drug lord was killed. She’s got diamonds now, but not the money, and a rival drug lord’s minions are looking for her. Aware of her financial predicament, her foster brother offers a solution. His half-brother needs a woman to pose as his wife to keep the socialites away so he can run his architectural design business in peace. The wealthy architect’s other brother is the city’s major, which makes him a target for marriage-minded mamas. If for one year she’ll pose as his wife, her building will be safe and she’ll receive a generous settlement in addition. Sarita agrees to meet the man and that’s when trouble begins. The architect is none other than Mykal.
When Sarita and Mykal meet the second time sparks fly. He demands to know what she’s doing with the diamonds. She needs to know who he is and who he works for. Mykal realizes both she’s in danger and that she poses danger to his organization. So he does the only thing he knows to protect her – he marries her. She agrees – for her own safety and to protect the center.
An attraction between the two builds slowly as they begin to know one another. But as they explore their feelings danger lurks in the background. The rival drug lord wants his diamonds back and Sarita’s life is in jeopardy.
Jenkins’ first contemporary is well-written, with an interesting plot and fully-realized characters. The story moves quickly from page one. There’s lots of action but the romance between Sarita and Mykal remains center stage throughout. The secondary characters intrigue as well; I’m particularly interested in learning more about Saint and Ninja and hope Jenkins will write again about the men of the NIA.
Romantic suspense lovers will find The Edge of Midnight an excellent read. I enjoyed it a great deal, but as someone who prefers straight romance it was not a true keeper. That said, I look forward to Jenkins’ next release enthusiastically.