June's "New to Me" Author is Elaine Levine. I got Elaine's book, The Edge of Courage, back in 2012 at the Lori Foster Reader/Author Get-together. I was drawn to the book because it had a military flavour and I wanted to try a suspenseful romance again. I also follow Elaine Levine on Twitter.
Rocco Silas and Mandy Fielding's book
The Edge of Courage (Red Team book 1)
By Elaine Levine
Book Blurb:Haunted by memories he cannot reach, stalked by an enemy bent on revenge . . .
Rocco Silas has come home to Wyoming after long years as a Red Team operative in Afghanistan. It isn't easy returning to civilian life, especially burdened as he is with a staggering case of PTSD or hunted as he is by an enemy determined to seek an eye-for-eye--neither of which can he battle until he confronts the truth of what happened one fateful day in the high mountain ranges of the Hindu Kush.
. . . She alone holds the key to his sanity.
Mandy Fielding's dream of opening a therapeutic riding center on her family's ranch is almost within her grasp--until she hires Rocco Silas, a dangerous ex-Spec Ops friend of her brother's. His haunted eyes and passionate touch promise a love she never dared believe possible. Can they confront the truth of his past and build a future together or will the enemy stalking him destroy them both?
I had to create a new blog graphic for "Suspense" because I didn't have one. I didn't really need one before because I usually shy away from "Romantic Suspense". I have tried and tried to read the genre but more times than not I ended up rating the books low. Sensing I wasn't really connecting with the storylines I tend to avoid them. Well that is until I finally picked up Elaine Levine's The Edge of Courage book. I am officially WOW'd! This book is an absolute steal at .99 on Amazon right now. Go now. Go get it!
2013 has been a year that I have read some pretty amazing series books and this Red Team series can be added to that impressive list. One thing I will warn you about is the misleading cover. Although the man is really good looking, the male protagonist, Rocco, is not a cowboy nor does that cover model visually represent how Rocco is described.
Rocco was able to pass as an Afghani while he was deep under cover for numerous years. He posses the gift of a linguist which aided in his deception to gain entry into the immersed dark world of terrorism. The Edge of Courage will break your heart numerous times and leave you pinning for a bright moment to light up Rocco's life. Rocco is suffering from what many military soldiers face after war time, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If ever I wanted to reach into a book and hug a hero it was with The Edge or Courage.
The Edge or Courage is edgy and unputdownable. I was awake until the wee hours of the morning flipping the pages. Elaine Levine does not gloss over PTSD and does not have Rocco magically healed in a chapter. The book is thought provoking and brings to light on how the war can seriously mess with a solider's mind. Particularly in Rocco's case because he was previously living his life in a terrorist's family. Rocco was far removed from American culture for so long that he was even having a hard time adapting at seeing Mandy in summer shorts and wanting her to cover up her bare legs. No small continuity item was left out.
Mandy was an angel. A do-gooder. I swear flowers should bloom beneath her feet as she walks. She was working tirelessly to build a therapeutic horse riding center to help people with disabilities. She helps heal abused horses, she takes in mangy, hungry, stray dogs and now she will do everything possible to help Rocco. I loved that Mandy was trying what she could to help Rocco by just being herself. She wasn't professionally trained on how to treat PTSD so she made mistakes along the way. I felt the story was more authentic this way. Mandy and Rocco's love story progressed at a perfect pace and their intimate scenes were tastefully hot.
Rocco's undercover life comes back to haunt him as the terrorists seek him out and the villains plot to destroy his life and the lives of his army brothers. The story was suspenseful and the amount of research that went into this book is completely evident. The author, Elaine Levine slowly introduces more characters as the story gets more involved and then perfectly sets up her future books. In fact, right after The Edge of Courage, I went directly to Amazon to find book 2. The story does not end on a cliff hanger; I just was desperate to read more about the characters. I devoured book two faster than this one. That review is next to come.
Teasers: dinner for two, shower love, burnt hot dogs, lost son