Butcher’s latest entry in the Edge series (Living on the Edge, 2010, etc.) features dangerous, dark Clay and the young woman who brings out both the best and worst in him.
Clay Marshall awakens covered with blood, and that scares him: Not because Clay’s afraid of violence—he’s a violent man in a violent profession—but because the blood isn’t his, and he doesn’t remember anything about the night before. This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. As an employee of a high-level private security firm, the Edge, Clay is a top-notch professional. He’s smart, capable and hardened to the jobs he’s called upon to do. But he can’t explain the frightening blackouts he’s been having, and he's worried that they might put his friend and fellow employee, Mira, in danger. When he contacts Mira with questions about dead bodies and murders from the previous night, she’s immediately suspicious and notifies Payton, a man used to handling these kinds of situations. Payton brings in Leigh, a beautiful red-haired doctor whose own two brothers have suffered fates similar to Clay’s, and the two are sent to a secluded home where they are instantly drawn to one another. However, their growing attraction isn’t the only thing that’s happening; the people responsible for Clay’s blackouts are close on his trail, and they don’t need Leigh around. Butcher’s story, which revolves around a mind-control scheme and science gone askew, covers little if any new ground, and the plot seems to serve only as a vehicle to bring Clay’s throbbing manhood and Leigh’s heaving bosom into close proximity. The characters, from the two protagonists to the evil scientists, fail to register much in the way of complexity, while the romance angle is strictly by-the-numbers, featuring lots of street slang for the naughty bits and sex that reads like a 14-year-old boy’s wildest daydreams.
Melodramatic situations and clichéd characters populate this standard erotic romance, which will probably please Butcher’s die-hard fans but will make casual readers want to tell Clay and Leigh to “get a room.”