To the Edge
Grade : C+

I love a good bodyguard novel. There's something about all that forced togetherness that just racks up sexual tension. To The Edge is a bodyguard novel that begins very slowly, but picks up about the middle of the story and ended as a better than average read.

Jillian Kincaid's family are very prominent in Palm Beach society. To her mother's displeasure, Jillian refused to get involved with the Ladies Who Lunch, and instead carved out a career as a reporter. She's co-anchor at a television station, has won a Peabody award and seems be poised to go national. But someone doesn't like her. While Jillian mostly ignores mail and phone threats, her family is worried. Over her protests, Jillian's father hires her a bodyguard.

Nolan Garrett, like all the men in his family, is ex-military. He was a Ranger, and a good one, but when one of the men in his outfit snapped, tried to kill his wife, then committed suicide, Nolan blamed himself. He quit the military and tried to crawl inside a bottle, but his brothers would have none of that. They confronted him, kicked his butt and then dragged him into their business, E.D.E.N. Security. Guarding Jillian is his first job.

Jillian and Nolan are like a pair of hissing cats around each other. He's blue-collar working class, at home in a casual bar, and she is rich and social, accustomed to partying with Donald Trump. They are inclined to think the worst of each other until the threats escalate from messages on the answering machine to attacks on Jillian's home and then attacks on her.

Jillian begins as quite an icy character. She acts this way, not to be hateful, but out of resentfulness toward her father for having hired Nolan. Jillian's father is strong and powerful and for most of her life, he's tried to run things for her. Jillian loves her father but she is as strong-willed as he is and wants to make her life her own. Having her father hire protection for her grates against all the independence that Jillian fought so hard to establish, and for a while she projects her anger on to Nolan. But she's not stupid and finally realizes she needs him.

Nolan begins with a chip on his shoulder the size of a log. He really doesn't want to be where he is, and his reaction to Jillian is to resent her wealth and lust after her hot ex-gymnast body. Nolan is mostly professional, although he does do one really stupid thing. The first day he is on the job, he gets a call from a Ranger buddy who is in trouble at a biker bar. So he goes to rescue the guy, dragging Jillian (scantily clad) with him. Not smart. Nolan spends most of the first half of the book in a state of sullen tumescence. But he and Jillian eventually strike sparks and the story takes off.

This book feels a little like a series romance writ large. There's a lot of mental lusting by Jillian and Nolan, lots of party descriptions, and lots of character introductions. For a while I wondered when it was going to get started. But once it did, it took off and moved at a nice clip. The villain came out of nowhere and surprised me, but once I thought about it, I could see the clues earlier.

All in all this isn't at all bad, but one quirk that almost drove me nuts. Nolan has a habit of pseudo-swearing by saying "Geezus". Now how do you pronounce that? Every time I saw this unpronounceable word I thought, "Oh come on - let the man cuss. I'm a grown up. I can take it."

To The Edge isn't the best romantic suspense novel in the world, but it's a decent book that kept me entertained for an afternoon. Nolan has several brothers and a sister who will have their own stories, and given my fondness for bodyguard novels, I'll probably check them out.

Reviewed by Ellen Micheletti
Grade : C+

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : April 17, 2005

Publication Date: 2005/05

Review Tags: bodyguard

Recent Comments …

  1. What kept me reading was the sheer unpredictability of the storyline. I knew David’s and Chelsea’s paths would cross again…

Ellen Micheletti

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