Shadow’s Edge by J. T. Geissinger
(Night Prowler #1)
Montlake Romance (June 2012)
Paperback, 359 pages
I came across Shadow’s Edge completely by accident after trawling through some recommendations on my Amazon Kindle. Normally, these can be more miss than hit but this time I was pleasantly surprised. The plot centres on the heroine, Jenna Moore, who grew up on the run with her parents. Jenna was irrevocably marked by the sudden disappearance of her father when she was ten and the subsequent breakdown and early death of her mother. She is very much a loner and finds it difficult to trust or make a connection with anyone until she meets the rich and handsome, Leander McLoughlin with whom she feels immediately drawn to. She agrees to join Leander in England to learn more about the Ikati – her father’s people – and to discover why he disappeared from her life. Jenna’s life takes a sudden change following this fateful meeting, learning about her heritage, her powers and more importantly, what happened to her father.
Leander has an ulterior motive for wanting Jenna to join him as he believes she is his mate and very powerful despite only being a ‘halfling’. He wants to prove to her that she belongs with him and his pack in Sommerley. Leander is certain he can convince Jenna to learn to love him, and the Ikati, given time. Jenna has other plans and is resistant to falling for Leander as she intends to return to the States once she finds the answers to what happened to her father. However, nothing ever goes to plan and the answers Jenna is looking for lead her on a path she wasn’t expecting.
While the plot is not original with the beautiful, young woman discovering a hidden past, super powers and of course, a handsome mate, it is surprisingly readable. Geissinger creates a strong female character who is willing to take risks to learn the truth about where she comes from, and to learn why her father disappeared. Geissinger also doesn’t shy away from having bad things happen to nice people (her characters) but doesn’t fall into the trap that most urban fantasy writers do, where their female leads are constantly being attacked and beaten up. Geissinger manages to create a love story within a love story by opening the book with a letter from Jenna’s father to her mother telling her how much he loves her and apologising for having to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep Jenna from harm. Leander, however, is your fairly typical paranormal hero - extremely wealthy, powerful and an alpha of the Ikati. Despite him believing Jenna is his mate he doesn’t candy coat life for her and is even a tiny bit mean.
My main criticism of the plot however, is the lack of development of the secondary characters, Morgan and Christian. You learn very little about either character other than Morgan is a clothes horse and Christian is Leander’s brother. They are both under utilized but at the same time intrinsically involved in the plot. Their relationship with Jenna was superficial yet they were key in both Jenna and Leander’s relationship and in the main plot twist towards the end of the novel. It almost seemed that chapters were missing that would give this detail but I suspect that they will feature in future books of the series.
I enjoyed Shadow’s Edge even though the plot was very similar to other books I have read. I liked the fact that Jenna wasn’t a push over and stood up for herself. Geissinger kept the plot moving forward without drowning it too heavily in the romance scenes between the two lead characters. There was the right balance between romance and suspense to make it suitable for people who like pure romance and those who like a little murder mystery to spice things up. Shadow’s Edge was a good start to the series and I am looking forward to Edge of Oblivion, which is due to be released later this year.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Shadow’s Edge
- Edge of Oblivion
- Edge of Surrender
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