Series: Edge Security

Edge of Courage by Trish Loye

Edge of Courage by Trish LoyeEdge of Courage by Trish Loye
Series: Edge Security, #5
Published by Tough Girl Press on March 1st 2016
Pages: 248
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three-stars

E.D.G.E. Security is a covert international organization that handles jobs most governments won’t. The operators are the elite of the elite, soldiers and spies, chosen for their skills and secrecy, and their ability to go beyond the edge.
Ex-CIA operative Sarah ‘Ghost’ Ramirez likes to work alone. Life has taught her not to depend on anyone. So she has no problem when EDGE sends her to Iraq to infiltrate ISIS, the terrorist organization. But living undercover in a war-torn city overseen by brutal fanatics takes its toll on her. Sarah wants out, but can’t bring herself to leave the people who need her despite the personal cost to her spirit. Only her cherished memories of the man she left behind lets her endure the burden.

Dylan ‘Cowboy’ Richards is a hotshot helicopter pilot for EDGE. He’s been raised to protect others, even when they don’t want protecting. He’s on a rescue op in Mosul, Iraq when he finds out his contact is the woman who walked away from him five months ago without saying goodbye. He wants nothing more to do with Sarah Ramirez, but can’t stop his instinctive need to help her.

When the rescue goes wrong, Sarah puts her life on the line so Dylan’s team can escape. Dylan refuses to leave her behind and ends up caught in her dangerous mission that threatens not just their lives, but their hearts and will take them to the edge of their courage.

Deeply embedded in Syria for E.D.G.E, Sarah Ramirez’s latest assignment is also partially one where she gets to forget about a terrifying connection that she’d forged months before with Dylan Richards. But E.D.G.E’s retrieval of another operative brings both Sarah and Dylan back into each other’s spheres once more and Dylan’s staying behind tests Sarah’s resolve not to break under the promise of much more that he can offer – past this desolate, thankless life.

I found ‘Edge of Courage’ vividly immersing for its fictional account of undercover life in ISIS-controlled Syria, but much less so for a pairing where one side always seemed to be scaling an immovable mountain to get to the other – and failing. Agent Ice, or as Sarah is also known by, is a fitting name for her personality: one who freezes out everyone and is meagre with any outpouring of affection that goes beyond the physical. Seeing her push Dylan away time and again and her constant insistence that she wasn’t made for anything emotional eventually made me wonder if she was beyond redemption. By the time her change of heart came in the last chapter, it was difficult not to wonder if this was simply yet another impermanent realisation that would later turn tail on her supposed decision to be with Dylan.

Yet extremely frustrating characters aside – which I’m not always able to do -, ‘Edge of Courage’ is worth the read just for the action and for the very contemporary take on a woman’s effort in penetrating the brutal regime spreading in the Middle-East on her own terms.

three-stars

Edge of Reason by Trish Loye

Edge of Reason by Trish LoyeEdge of Reason by Trish Loye
Series: Edge Security #2
Published by Tough Girl Press on August 10th 2015
Pages: 316
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one-star

E.D.G.E. Security is a covert international organization that handles jobs most governments won’t. The operators are the elite of the elite, soldiers and spies, chosen for their skills and secrecy, and their ability to go beyond the edge.
Captain Cat ‘Valkyrie’ Richards knows it’s easier to be alone. As a special ops soldier she’s worked too hard to achieve what she has to jeopardize it by having a fling with a fellow soldier. Besides, she tried that once and the results almost shattered her. Now she’s stronger and focused on the mission at hand. Nothing will distract her.

As a Navy SEAL, Rhys ‘Lucky’ Lafayette knows how to achieve a mission no matter what the odds and when Rhys sees Cat he zeroes in on his target. She let him get close once before and he’s determined to make her see the benefits of it again.

But when E.D.G.E. sends the pair to recover a senator’s son kidnapped by the Boko Haram, the simple rescue turns into something much darker and deadlier. Will Cat and Rhys be able to forge themselves into the necessary fighting force able to accomplish the mission or will they be pushed to the edge of reason.

A disappointment for me personally because I had high hopes for how gender inequality in the military might be tackled here. Instead, there were so much posturing, overreactions and chips (or should I say boulders?) on the shoulder moments that just left me unable to enjoy Cat and Rhys together. Especially when mutual respect and understanding took a way long time to come.

If I thought Dani (the hr in the first book) was too strong to need anyone, Cat surpassed this particular benchmark by a hundred fold, which left me grimacing and wondering why she wasn’t simply given a whole infantry of enemy soldiers to take on by herself, which seems to be just the way she likes.

Maybe I’m just picky about the sort of kickass women I’d love to support in fiction, but I simply thought much of the exposition was spent defending Cat’s (sometimes unreasonable) behaviour and her uber-feminist perspective that it skewed quite a few of the other (male) supporting characters as narrow-minded misogynists, which I couldn’t entirely appreciate.

one-star