Review – Edge of Light by Cynthia Justlin

Edge of Light Cover
Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

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.
This blurb came from the author’s website here.

As you saw earlier in our Debut Author Feature, today we are focusing on Ms Justlin and her recent release Edge of Light. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway there! I am not a huge romantic suspense reader like one of my fellow pushers, MinnChica, but this had a premise that I usually enjoy. So after reading the blurb I decided to go ahead and request this to review. Edge of Light had some parts I really enjoyed, like the suspense, but it had some other parts that fell a little flat for me and stretched beyond the suspension of my disbelief.

I really felt for poor Oliver Shaw. The anarchists were extremely smart and diabolical in their systemic destruction of his spirit. Initially when Oliver first appeared he had been extremely beaten down but still had some resistance left. Then I had my doubts as to how heroic a character he would become because that seemed to be his last gasp. However, as I kept reading and learned just like Jocelyn some of what had been done to him and with no hope of rescue, I could understand why he wasn’t resisting anymore. I could also understand why he tried to avoid feeling anything or even talking to Jocelyn. Watching his journey back towards a semblance of the man he used to be was interesting. It certainly didn’t happen overnight which added to his character and the overall tension. When Oliver did step up and start his journey to heroism that also didn’t just happen. He required a lot of inspiration and motivation from Jocelyn’s faith in him to not backslide.

Jocelyn on the other hand struck me as a rather inconsistent character. On one hand she was strong enough to finagle a way onto this particular mission knowing that it could have some serious personal impact. Then she was captured and completely fell apart. She seemed to expect Oliver to do what she couldn’t despite or maybe because of his years of captivity. Jocelyn did regain her sense of gumption once they escaped which was good to see.

The anarchists were seriously evil. It wasn’t just their actions towards Oliver and his dead teammates or even how they treated Jocelyn but the combination of that and their treatment of the rural Cambodians. The leader was a serious whack job and had done a relatively good job of both brainwashing and scaring his two associates into doing what he wanted. In some ways they struck me as being over the top; evil without any redeeming features. I am glad they didn’t escape to start over again.

Despite the intensity and tension in Edge of Light in some places it went beyond my willing suspension of disbelief. I didn’t buy their Happily Ever After. I could accept a Happy For Now based on celebrating life, their escape, and the closure they were able to obtain but I didn’t see enough for HEA. I also had an issue with Oliver and Jocelyn able to walk on the beach and make mad passionate love three days after their rescue with some pretty nasty wounds without a single grimace, limp or accommodation for their injuries.

All in all I found that Ms Justlin gave me a mostly satisfying read. I give Edge of Light a B-/C+

Links to Purchase:

Edge of Light

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