Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Club: Edge of Sight by Roxanne St. Claire



By Mary Grzesik

The first time a Roxanne St. Claire book crossed my path, it was Hunt Her Down facing out in Chapters. I was curious but she was an unknown (I know, where have I been LOL).   Fast forward to the end of 2010.  Edge Of Sight (EOS) appears on the shelves & I finally decide to check out this author’s web-site. I found Taken to the Edge, the free prequel to EOS.

This intro to Samantha & Zach was so incredible. Sam, a law student, and Vivi are friends & neighbors. One night, Vivi convinces Sam to party at her place. Sam almost begs off but Vivi won’t take no for an answer. Vivi’s twin brother Zach, an Army Ranger on leave from Kuwait, ushers Sam into the party and that was it for both of them. The chemistry between them was palpable and their banter was so fun & refreshing. No one but Zach could get away with being so alpha, irreverent and charming at the same time.
Zach to the men at the party: “Put your tongues away. She’s taken.”  When Sam calls him on it, Zach says with a smile, “You heard me.”  It was like they were screaming the word at each other, so loud everything in the room silenced while they connected with one simple thought. Sex.

Vivi admitted to Zach that she knew they would spark. Sam & Zach spent three idyllic weeks together, getting to know each other in & out of bed, both of them counting down the days until Zach shipped out again. During their last few hours together, Zach is awake watching the clock count down to his departure time. He dreads letting go of Sam’s hand that he’s holding to his chest. At this point, I’m in meltdown. It’s so poignant and romantic at the same time. While starting his shower, Zach hears Sam crying and admitting her love for him. He doesn’t want to return the words to her in case he doesn’t come home and pretends he doesn’t hear her. To tell her that he loves her is a “contract” and he doesn’t want her to be lonely. Zach thinks to himself that he will make it right when he gets back. If he gets back.

I know I’m using up some of my post for the prequel. While Edge of Sight will stand on its own, the prequel adds such a rich layer to the book.

EOS picks up 3 years later. Zach did not keep in touch with Sam. Sam is bound for Harvard Law School. At her waitressing job, she witnesses a murder in the wine cellar & goes on the run. She hits her place for her laptop, phone and a wig. Though they grew apart after Zach left, Sam texts Vivi for help. Vivi texts back, telling Sam to go to her place.  Zach shows up in the dark to meet her instead. Zach comes up behind her and says, “I’d recognize that ass anywhere.” Sam says, “I guess this means you’re not dead.” Just like that they slip into the banter again.

Sam turns to look at Zach and is surprised by his scarred cheek & eye patch. She assumes that’s the reason he didn’t keep in touch.  Zach & Vivi, who is starting her own security company, protect Sam until the murderer is caught. Their days on the run are harrowing. I know this is a romantic suspense book and Roxanne writes suspense so well but what got to me was the bond between Zach & Sam.


CHAPTER 15 really shows this. I realized that even if you took away the great sex, I loved what they said & what they felt. Here are a few passages that illustrate this. You’ll have to read the book for the “good” stuff.

“You deserve better.”  And that, he knew, was the real reason he couldn’t write that fucking post card.  Even when he was whole.

 “Zach.”  She cupped his face like she had in her apartment, her warm, dry palm closing over his scar.  “I don’t want better.”

He just looked at her. 

“I want you,” she said.  “Just like you are.  You.”  She grazed the scar, threatening to slide her finger under the patch.  He tried not to flinch.  “I want that man who left me crying.  The man who talked all night and made me laugh and drove me crazy.  I want that man, no matter how he looks.  Because that man, that man you used to be and that man I know you still are, that man looks…” She lifted the patch, inched it over his forehead, slid it off his head.  “Exactly the way he’s supposed to look.”

AND:


She looked up at him, the playfulness in her eyes gone .  “I haven’t been with anyone since you left.”
His fingers stilled.  “No one?”
She shook her head. 
“What were you waiting for?”
“I was waiting for you. Even though you didn't want me to, I waited and worried and wondered.”  


AND:


He kissed her as gently as he could, trying to use his mouth against hers to say all the words she deserved to hear.  Appreciation.  Adoration.  Affection.  Love.

AND:

He fell on her, strangled for air, dripping with sweat, helpless and shameless and lost.
His face smashed against hers, his scars pressed against her creamy complexion, their joining skin soaked.

There are only a handful of books that stay in my head, my heart and still on my desk (because I can't bear to put them away). Edge of Sight is one of them. Roxanne will be visiting with us today and giving away a full set of the Guardian Angelinos trilogy - Edge of Sight, Shiver of Fear and Face of Danger. 

Here is one of Roxanne’s fave recipes:

Uncle Nino’s Comforting Chicken Cacciatore
“It’ll cure a heartache.” 
- Vivi Angelino, FACE OF DANGER, p. 372

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour for coating
1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 or 4  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
14 oz can of Italian peeled tomatoes or equivalent amount of fresh ripe Roma tomatoes.
4 or 5 Fresh Thyme sprigs with leaves stripped off
Pinch of dried oregano
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups fresh white or Crimini mushrooms, thickly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
Cut chicken into 8 pieces. Salt and pepper chicken pieces and dredge in flour and sauté in well heated olive oil. (Nino says dredge immediately before sautéing... one piece at a time)  
When chicken is well browned remove from pan and set aside.
Add onions (sprinkle of salt) and a couple of minutes later add the garlic.

Sauté for a few minutes, then add pepper, tomatoes and chicken pieces, wine, thyme leaves, and oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes and add mushrooms. Cook another 10 minutes or so and serve over pasta or with crusty bread.



52 comments:

Mary G said...

Can you tell how much I love this book? I know I just glossed over the suspense which is stellar by the way. This is a book of the heart and that stays with me.

I dare you to read the prequel & not get hooked on this series.

krisgils33 said...

Oh, Mary, great write-up and I'm right there with you. I loved this book soooo much. Now, I'm a die-hard Rocki fan...I LOVE the Bullet Catchers. But, I could not wait for the Guardian Angelino's. I had the prequel all ready to go and then I FORGOT to read it first!!! In a way, I'm glad I did. The book is wonderful, suspenseful, and heart-wrenching without it. BUT, even after reading it afterward, holy moley, it just adds soooo much more...to an already amazing story!! How a prequel can do that, I have no idea! This book has all the right elements of a romantic suspense and balances it amazingly well, but it just has that certain something that pushes it to the next level of awesomeness. I'm a SOOOO grateful for all of Rocki's books!

Mary G said...

Exactly Kris. You said that better than I did.

I didn't want to make my post too long but I really marvelled at the chapter I mentioned. If you read just the sex or just what they said or just their thoughts, they would all stand on their own. When you combine all the elements it's overwhelming but in a good way. Technically, as a piece of writing, it's amazing.

Robin Kaye said...

Rocki is one of my favorites and has been since...well, her first book. It's been a while. What a great review and it hit the nail on the head. I had started it, but then I was in deadline hell and knew I'd never finish my book if I kept reading hers. I can't wait to get back to it.

Mary G said...

Robin! Hi bella. Hope all is well and you can get back to leisure reading soon.

I do have one complaint about the book. Though I'm Italain descent, I've never dated an Italian or any "natural" guy Like Zach. Roxanne made be very curious lol.

Mary G said...

I can spell Italian - really.

ShellyE said...

Awesome write up Mary! I love Roxanne St Claire!! I have all of her books, and have loved every one of them!! Bulet Catchers -- yummy!! I am just starting Edge of Sight, but you're right the prequel was fabulous and I'm sure this book will be no different!

roxanne said...

Mary, Marie, Aly and the gang! THANK YOU so much for this warm welcome, this humbling review, and this forum to discuss hot Italian food, er, men. I love both! (Do I really comment on the "natural" guy...because everything stays on the internet forever and, whoa, I do have some secrets on the subject!!)

I will tell you that the "emotion" that Mary loves in this book was the hardest thing I'd ever written. (I hadn't written FACE OF DANGER, yet, which is Vivi's book - that one ripped me to shreds.) I never, ever dreamed I'd write a scarred hero - I like 'em perfect. Then Zach showed up and I was so mad at him for only having one eye and a big ol' scar on his face!

I wrote the prequel long after I finished the book. I knew in my heart and head what had happened, but I am really glad I waited until I finished the book to write it. I don't know why, but it felt right. Many readers have asked why it isn't included in the book - I don't have an answer except that EDGE is romantic SUSPENSE and generally, we start those out with the scary stuff.

Did Mary give you a link to the prequel? It's on my site: www.roxannestclaire.com under "Free Reads."

Ask me anything - I'll pop in all day! xoxo

Alison said...

Great write up Mary!

I LOVE this book! I didn’t realize there was a prequel to Edge of Sight until after I finished it and…WOW! Did it ever add another amazing layer to Zach and Sam’s relationship! And when Zach would lay his scars on Sam’s hair ~sigh~

Do I really have to work today? I think I need to go home and re-visit Sam and Zach.

Crystal Trent Dotson said...

Sounds Great , havent read any of them , but I would love to and I'm sure I'd be addicted !!! The recipe looks Delicious !! Will be making it !!!
Crystal Trent Dotson
cfcbc@netzero.com

shellbelle said...

I love the complete series.... can't wait for more!

Hope said...

Great write up Mary. Welcome Rocki, it is great to have you here.

I loved this series....I know that Vivi's book tends to be a lot of people's favorite, but I really loved Sam and Zach and they will remain my favorite....so far. I loved the banter and the chemistry. One of my favorite secondary characters is Uncle Nino. He is a take no crap, must-feed-you-to-keep-you-living Italian and I love him.

I haven't read the Bullet Catchers series yet, although I have bought a few of the first ones and heard great things about that series too.

Rocki...Do you know how many books will be in this series?

Chrisbails said...

I was the same way. I found the prequel on Roxanne's site, loved it and read it. I then went out and got Edge of Sight, and then just recently got it on my nook. I love this book. I have not been able to get the rest of the series yet, but have picked up some of Roxanne's other series and have enjoyed them a lot. I need to finish the rest of the series. My bday is on Oct 15th and asking for a book gift card from somewhere and going to get a few of the other books. Roxanne is a great writer that keeps you stuck in the book. I love that about a writer, if I can't put it down or will stay up all hours of the night to finish, you know it is good.
christinebails@yahoo.com

Mary G said...

Alison did that not break your heart? When Zach scars hurt him and he could only find relief pressing his face against Sam. Sigh is right!

Mary G said...

Roxanne
LOL on the "natural" details. If we ever meet, I'm going to ply you with wine until you spill!

oklanannie said...

Good morning to all, fabulous write-up MaryG, and WELCOME to the very talented Rocki!

Romantic suspense and Roxanne St. Claire just go hand-in-hand for me. From "Tropical Getaway" through the "Bullet Catchers" and now those wonderful "Guardian Angelinos," I've been captured and amazed at her storylines and fantastic characters. "Edge of Sight" tore down the walls (so to speak) and layed it out there. What a powerful beginning to her new series! Just when you think it can't get any better . . . well, it always does. I love the family ties and their unwavering support of each other in these stories. Such a great group of characters who steal your heart.

Zach -- just wow! Italian - natural - what the hey? He can visit me any old time. The prequel was such an added pleasure and probably one of the very best I've ever read. The emotions exposed in "Edge of Sight" were off-the-charts.

Whatever's up next next from Roxanne St. Claire, I'm ready for it!

Mary G said...

It looks like the book affected us all in the same way.

Roxanne
I know you've written contemps too and I find even those have a bit of suspense in terms of what's going to happen next (not in a scary way). Just part of your writing voice?

Mary G said...

Hey Anne!
Thanks for checking in. I can't wait to read the Bullet Catchers. I'm going to collect them all first. 3 down, 5 to go.

Alison said...

Wine? LOL Mary...you have tough interogation tools :)

Roxanne - when you're not busy writing amazing books for us, what kind of books do you read?

Anonymous said...

Hadn't stumbled upon this series yet, but will be in my TBR pile now! Thanks for the insight. Can't wait.

pennsdog@yahoo.com

oklanannie said...

Mary G - you'll love those guys in Bullet Catchers!! And if there's anyone who hasn't tried "Tropical Getaway" and "French Twist" and "Killer Curves" and . . . well, you get my drift: YOU SHOULD!!

Rocki - I noticed on your website that there will be three new full-length books next year, as well as 2 novellas (one that includes a Bullet Catcher) BUT that none will be an "Angelinos" book. Care to share any details on who or what these books will be about?

Kristen Painter said...

I love Rocki's books - for me they're the perfect combination of romance and adventure without the gruesome/scary stuff some other thrillers have.

Now if I could just get Uncle Nino here to make that chicken for my lunch...

roxanne said...

Wow, guys, thanks so much for all this love! I'm so touched by your comments.

What's next is a LOT of good stuff, but no Guardian Angelinos . I have a new contemp series launching in May, 2012 - The Barefoot Bay Series - the first book is BAREFOOT IN THE SAND. I'm so excited about this slight change of direction - it was a challenge and thrill. I hope readers find the books as emotional, sexy, and fun as my suspenses...just no dead bodies or secret villains.

And next summer, my first Young Adult novel is being released - truly a book of my heart. Called DON'T YOU WISH, this one is about a super average, not so cool, lower middle class teenager who gets transported to an parallel universe where she is gorgeous, popular and richer than God. But...well, you can imagine. Be careful what you wish for, right? Speaking of wishes, the book has been optioned for film!!! I've read the screenplay and it is awesome, so fingers crossed for that winning lottery ticket.

Also, I am going to have my first foray into self-publishing (inspired by Marie!!) and will announce that "officially" very soon, as I'm still finalizing the title and cover. And, I have a short story coming out in an anthology called SEAL OF MY DREAMS - sharing page space with some INCREDIBLE romance writers for a charity.

Finally -- there is another Bullet Catcher coming! I have a short story in anthology edited by Sandra Brown called LOVE IS MURDER. My story is "Diamond Drop" and it's FUN! That book is out in summer, 2012, also.

I think that's it...but I'm tired just imagining how much I've written, LOL!!

xoxo
Rocki

Louisa Edwards said...

Mary, what a FABULOUS post! You really captured the spirit of the book and the characters, and pinpointed a lot of what makes them so wonderful and memorable. I especially agree with how much emphasis you placed on the prequel--for me, that little snippet of their past history just added so much to the book.

krisgils33 said...

Rocki,
Can we talk shoes?? I'm pretty sure we share an obsessive love of footwear, and I've been on a spending hiatus, so I have not purchased anything new in far too long! Do you treat yourself with anything special when you finish a book (a new pair of shoes, perhaps)??? :-)

leisa said...

I just loved this series...When you read them you just need to know about the whole family..I need to know what happens to JP and the Rossi sisters...I waited until I got all three books and had a reading fest one week-end..loved them..Thank you!!!!

ShellyE said...

I loved Tropical Getaway! I also have French Twist and Hit Reply (which was really hard to get my hands on). I'm sure your new series will be as awesome as all your other books! Bullet Catchers? Love me some Dan!! yum yum!! That was a great book! (especially loved the shed scene!!)

Marie Force said...

Great write-up, Mary! I have this one on my TBR and looking forward to it! Thanks for being here, Roxanne!

roxanne said...

Oh, krisgills, you know I love me some shoes. Preferably pink, high heeled, and sexxai. But, let's be honest. I work in bare feet...which is kind of one reason I love my job!

xoxo
Rocki

Raonaid Luckwell said...

Bullet Catchers was my first introduction to Roxie, and I fell instantly in love with the books. I have yet to move into this trilogy yet. I have too.

Raonaid (at) gmail dot com

Jolene and Family said...

Great write up Mary!! I have the first two books and was looking forward to reading it for bookclub, but it's going to take an extra day of going through boxes in the garage to find it. Stupid moving! Hubbs said no unpacking books since we are in the process of looking for a house to buy. Sorry Ronlyn, I can't deal with the yellow counter tops and can't swing a country feel to them :) lol I actually didn't know there is a prequel, I'm on it!!!!

roxanne said...

LOL Shelly! A bottle of wine to the first person who mentioned The Shed Scene! A fan favorite every time.

I loved Dan Gallagher, too. He was based on a real guy...who sat next to me in third grade, named Jim Gallagher. His best friend was Mark Roper, and I based Max Roper on him.

Yeah, some dreams die hard. Even ones we have in third grade, LOL.

xoxo
Rocki

Mary G said...

I ordered & loved Killer Curves as well. Going to order the others.

Mary G said...

Kristen & Louisa
Thanks for dropping by & your kind words. I'm honored.

Roxanne
I'm so glad there's lots more to come, even if we have to wait for 2012.

Marie
I know you'll enjoy it since you're a great rom. susp. writer too.

Ronlyn said...

I'm late to the party today (darn adult responsibilities!) but want to swing in and give a giant wave. *waving madly*
This book was my intro to Rocki and I'm hooked on these Angelinos.

Jolene, I'm LMAO! Who can blame you?? You and your crew need to come to my house for dinner sometime. No yellow countertops there. ;-)

Marie Force said...

Read the prologue at lunch time. Awesome stuff, Rocki! Can't wait to read the book.

theokun said...

I'm enjoying reading your review/story and will come back later.

thanks
list of xbox 360 games

Di said...

I love a series & these look great - for some reason I love the fall for reading suspense - maybe because it get's dark earlier. And that recipe will be great for these cool fall nights - Thanks!

sallans d at yahoo dot com

roxanne said...

Hey guys - I've been writing like crazy all day (4,000 words today!) and missed a few questions. Hope I can get them all:

What do I read? Everything! I love contemporary romance (current fave Louisa Edwards - have you read TOO HOT TO TOUCH - aMAZing!) and urban fantasy (my darling Kristen Painter has a brand new book out this week, BLOOD RIGHTS, which will absolutely take your breath away) and paranormal - I've got a weakness for Kresley Cole's sexorlicious heroes. I love to read, of course - what writer doesn't? I recently downloaded several of Marie's books and am ready to go on a binge!!

Someone asked how many books will be in the Guardian Angelino series. Right now, there are three (we're giving them away to someone today!) but I certainly hope there will be more. I want to write Gabe's book (he's my FAVORITE character) but I haven't contracted to do so yet.

Did I miss other questions? Will post and check back!!

xoxo
Rocki

Brenda Sparks said...

I fell in love with these characters when I read the prequel on Rocki's site after meeting her. When I came across her book a week later I had to buy it. And boy am I glad I did! It took me on a roller coaster ride that was both thrilling and emotional with lots of twists and turns. I couldn't put it down.

Mary G said...

Oh no! I forgot to mention that Edge Of Sight was nominated for the RITA award - the writing Oscars for 2010. (shh - shoulda won too)

ShellyE said...

I really hope there will be more Guardian Angelinos!! Would you self publish them if they don't get contracted?

Mary G said...

I vote for that Shelly - good idea!

Judy F said...

Great Review. I loved this book. Zack has a special place in my heart.

Loved Dan Gallagher too. Oh heck loved all the characters.

Judy said...

Hi, Rocki! It's just before supper and I'm starving but still thought the excerpts from the book were yummier than anything else. Of course, that chicken recipe is a keeper, too! Congrats on all your successes...

Lara Santiago said...

Excellent review highlighting the way Rocki can wring every drop of emotion out of her characters.
Not to mention that her heroes are all to die for. Sigh. :)
Now I want to go back and read everything you've ever written.
Hugs,
L

Maria Geraci said...

Loved the book! Now I have to try the recipe :)

Monikarw said...

omg! those little sneek peaks! just wow! i want to read this!=)
thank u so much for sharing!:)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on Al Th e books whoo food looks good thanks
Minh

roxanne said...

Just one last comment to say THANK YOU to Marie, who so generously offers up her cyberspace to other authors, and to Mary, who loved my book enough to make *me* cry when i read this review. All of you guys have been awesome, so thank you!!

I think I answered all the questions, except Mary buried one in there about having "suspense" in your voice when writing non-suspense. What a great question!

I think the trick is to create a big "story question" at the beginning of a book and then carry that through as a hook that snags the reader at the end of every scene and every chapter. A book with no villains or murder can still be suspenseful...will they or won't they...can he or can't he?? The story questions are the driver, I think.

Again, thanks for the amazing turnout and wonderful comments. I know I've made some new readers and hope I've kept the loyal ones. If anyone has a question about my books, about writing, about life...feel free to contact me directly. My email is roxannestc@cfl.rr.com and I answer EVERYTHING. (If I'm on deadline, it might take a few days.)

Thanks and love,
xoxo
Rocki

Mary G said...

Hey Roxanne
I owed you that because your book made me cry. You started it lol.

Thanks for visiting & your generous prize.

Roxanne has picked a winner and it's

Di

Di, please email Roxanne (see her comment above) with your info and congrats.

Melissa B said...

Hi Marie!

I love, love, love those Cantrell brothers, not to mention Georgie, Cat and Tess! Congratulations and thank you for another successful novel!

Melissa Blubaugh
Mygolden2@yahoo.com

"I have Writer's Block--
my imaginary friends aren't speaking to me" ;)