Edge of Light by Cynthia Justlin

Posted April 26, 2012 by Lucy D in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Edge of Light

ORDER A COPY: Edge of Light

Publisher: Carina Press
Publishing Date: May 14, 2012
Paperback: 348 pages

Rating: 4 stars

Taken prisoner by a ruthless group of anarchists deep in the Cambodian jungle, anthropologist Jocelyn Hewitt is isolated in a dark prison cell. Without chance of rescue. Or hope. Until the man in the next cell reaches out to let her know she’s not as alone as she thinks.

CIA agent Oliver Shaw has been held prisoner for over two years. Forced to witness the brutal torture and slow murder of his entire team, his spirit is not just broken, it’s crushed. He no longer believes in hope. Until he hears Jocelyn through the wall, and suddenly feels like a glimpse of light is trying to reach in…

Jocelyn’s heart aches for the tortured man whose presence and voice give her the courage to risk their escape. But first she’ll have to remind Oliver who he once was, what he once loved, and bring him back to life. Only then will they have a chance for freedom—and the kind of love neither ever thought possible.

CIA Oliver Shaw has had the life beaten out of him after two years in a Cambodian prison. He has had to watch all of the members of his team be tortured and killed. He has given up on living and survives in this hell out of habit. When they put a new prisoner in the cell next to him after almost a year, he doesn’t know if he has it in him to comfort her when he knows there is no hope of ever leaving their cells.

Josie doesn’t work for the government, she is simply an anthropologist. She is looking for the remains of her father whose plane crashed in the jungle when she was just a child. When her friends are killed and she is thrown into a tiny cell and beaten severely, she can’t image why she was singled out until she is shown her father’s journal. They want her to decipher her father’s secrets but she hasn’t seen her father since she was eight. How would she know what her father was hiding?

Josie knows if she doesn’t try to escape she is dead and there is no way she will leave without Oliver. She just needs him to see past his years of torture and fears that he is worthy of saving and the only way they can survive the jungle is together.

Wow! Sometimes you pick up a book from a new author and you don’t know what to expect and you a pleasantly surprised how intriguing the story truly is.

This book was pretty dark since the beatings were to the point of brutal and the deaths sustained by Oliver’s co-workers were pretty gruesome, and even the antagonist’s stealing of children and using them to death in his sapphire mines was awful.

My pet peeve of breaking up the story with too many points of view was challenged in this story. We did spend time jumping from hero and heroine, and also the antagonist, his two cohorts, and one of his servants, but in this case it was important so that we understood from the beginning that there was dissention among the ranks which leads to certain members turning on the boss and helping our hero and heroine escape their imprisonment.

This was a really good story and a fast read with well written characters that you truly felt for their suffering.

Received ARC from netgalley.com courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.

Favorite Scene:

“I’m afraid for you.” She said. “I…I don’t think I could bear to lose you.”

His heart beat wildly against his ribs for an unguarded moment. A band clamped around him, squeezing him, constricting his lungs and his throat. Invisible walls close in on him like impenetrable prison bars.

Jocelyn stared at him, waiting for a response. He wanted to give her one—the right one—but he couldn’t find the words.

She dropped her hands and straightened. “It’s not a crime to care about someone, you know.”

Her whisper was full of pain, one he couldn’t ease. To do so would admit he cared. Confessing something so raw and real would lock him in a place with far greater potential to hurt him. More than every beating and every punishment he’d endured over the last two years.

He swallowed every desire, every craving for her that didn’t want to be denied, and found his voice. “Not a crime. Just another form of prison.”

Her eyes widened. “You don’t believe that.”

He wished he didn’t. If he stayed with her long enough would she have the power to change his mind? Afraid that she would, he turned to leave. Before he’d taken more than a few steps, Jocelyn’s voice halted him.

“It’s a lonely world out there. Haven’t you ever wanted to share it with someone?”

More than his next breath. But wanted and deserving were two very different things.

“What I want,” he said, turning to catch her bleak stare and her slightly downturned mouth, “is for you to say here while I go for a radio.”

“Why?” She crossed her arms in front of her “Why does it matter so much?”

“It just does.” He wouldn’t examine the urgency any further than that.

He should’ve ended it right there, but he couldn’t seem to walk away from her even when he wanted to. In fact, his feet moved closer of their own accord. He fingered a lock of her brown hair, pushing it behind her ear, then took a moment to memorize the way her eyes darkened as she looked up at him. He lightly touched a knuckle to the elegant curve of her jaw, moving up to sweep a thumb across her cheekbone so he wouldn’t forget the way her skin felt.

He nudged her chin up and took her lips in another kiss, losing his breath and somehow finding his hope.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can.” His voice shook, unsettling him. “Please, stay here.”

He spun on his heel and left the hut.

Jocelyn pressed her back against the wall and squeezed her eyes shut so she wouldn’t be able to watch Oliver leave. Rejection stung, and she let it, hoping to burn some sense into her.

Oliver was right. She wasn’t fit to travel. Her feet were starting to throb again and chills coursed through her body. She would slow him down, possibly endanger his life, yet even knowing all that, she still wanted to fling herself after him and insist he not leave her behind.

What if he didn’t make it back?

She had never expected to find someone like him on the other side of a cell, someone so broken and scarred he shouldn’t have an ounce of gentleness left in hm. But it was there, buried beneath the cracked surface. He was a man with goodness and strength, a man who had forgotten how to believe in himself. And she was so afraid he’d rather get captured or killed than take a chance with her because he didn’t believe he deserved more.

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