Desert Isle Keeper
The Edge of Night
When I first opened this book I expected just another run of the mill, romantic suspense novel with a cop hero and his bad girl heroine. What I got instead were believable characters, a unique setting that presented realistic problems, and writing that pulled it all together to create a story I didn’t want to end.
Noah Young, an officer within the gang unit in border city Chula Vista, California, wants to eventually work his way up to the homicide division. When he discovers a murdered woman’s body in a gang ridden area, he knows it may be his chance to impress his would-be supervisor if he were to advance within the force. Once he’s given the chance to do some leg work in the investigation, he grabs it and gets a lucky break when waitress April Ortiz, the victim’s co-worker, secretly gives him a name. While the tip is helpful, Officer Young can’t get the distraction of Miss Ortiz off his mind.
April is a survivor who is struggling to provide her daughter with some security in an area plagued by gang violence. The single mom works full time, goes to school, and manages the best she can What she doesn’t need is bringing unwanted attention to herself by helping the cops, although she knows she must in order to keep others from being hurt too. However, she doesn’t count on being attracted to Noah, the first man she’s really felt anything for since her abusive ex-boyfriend went to prison, and the attraction terrifies her.
As another murder occurs and the circumstances appear to be gang related, people they care about become involved and both Noah and April face problems that could threaten the burgeoning relationship. When ethics and family loyalties present problems, they have to figure out if it’s worth it or not.
For me, the setting of the story was unique as well as thought provoking. I don’t think I’ve read another book where gang activities were basically a character in its own right. The politics of the gang culture portrayed within the book were fascinating, but made me feel almost a sense of hopelessness for the lifestyle. Also, April is Hispanic American and I found the blending of cultures a refreshing break from what I normally find in the way of review books.
What really sets the story apart from others is the characterizations – and not just those of the primary couple. Refreshingly, there’s not one billionaire, alpha male with a vengeance, or glamorous high-powered executive in sight. Noah is a young cop who knows he has much to learn and makes mistakes. He’s also a brother who can’t solve his sister’s problems, but is willing to help her as much as he can. Most importantly, he wants to work on a relationship he’s knows will be difficult. April, on the other hand, wants to put her disastrous past behind her and raise her daughter, who she consistently puts first within the story. She’s also realistically insecure, which makes her more believable.
Within the story, there is a secondary romance that develops between Noah’s sister Meghan and Eric, a gang member connected to April. I almost hate to admit it but I enjoyed their scenes more than those of the primary couple. I felt I got to know them better and that there was a deeper connection between the characters. They were sweetly romantic and my heart ached for both of them. I so hope Ms. Sorenson plans to revisit them in the very near future.
Though the fast pacing of the story and the characterizations provided a rich reading experience, I wanted more interaction between the primary couple. The absence of the relationship building phase, where you experience the couple falling in love, was the biggest drawback for me. It was there, but I needed more for it to be fully convincing.
The Edge of Night has put Ms. Sorenson on my reading radar and I can’t wait for her next book. Believable characters and unique storytelling will pull me in every time and that’s certainly the case here. Just please, more Meghan and Eric.