Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Guardian Angelinos, Book 1
Hero: Zaccaria Angelino (Zach)
Heroine: Samantha Fairchild (Sam)
Date of Publication: November 1, 2010
Started On: November 1, 2010
Finished On: November 5, 2010
I can’t exactly pinpoint the reason why, but I struggled to get through my second book by Roxanne St. Claire. Having read the 1st book in the Bullet Catchers series Kill Me Twice sometime in November last year, I haven’t tried much to read through any other stories by Ms. St. Claire until I found out about the release of Edge of Sight on Twitter. As I read through the book blurbs and various raving reviews that were posted long before the release date I found myself thinking that this would be a book worth a shot. But somehow whatever that I expected from the story never seemed to materialize though in the end it wasn’t a bad story. So onto my review!
The Hero: When I first encountered Zaccaria Angelino (Zach) in the story, I found myself saying “Well, hello there Zaccaria”. Zach an ex-army ranger who enlisted soon after the 2001 attacks on US soil comes back home injured and half the man he had been before. Losing one eye and with a hideous scar running down his cheek, Zach has a tormented soul that I guess many readers would sympathize with. Zach and his twin sister Vivi Angelino are orphaned at a very tender age and had been moved to America to live with their American cousins. Zach had never tried to fit in, always angry at the fates for taking his beloved mother away who had doted on him in a way that only mothers can. The only place he had felt at home apart from when he had been serving the army had been in Sammi’s arms, the woman who Zach hurts so deeply whom he had left behind in the cold with no contact whatsoever for the past 3 years.
The Heroine: Samantha Fairchild (Sam) or Sammi as Zach calls her is 30 years old and on her way to Harvard Law School to attain her degree. Sam had just been 16 years old when she had witnessed some guy kill a clerk and it had been her testimony that had put the wrong man in jail until the actual killer had been caught in some unrelated crime and confessed. Sam had been a pretty much carefree career woman when her conscience had taken a deep hit by the error of her testimony which had deeply dented her self-confidence. Sam had dropped everything she was doing and had worked hard with a pro bono attorney to undo what she had caused and in turn opened up a case of negligence at the police department which had lost 2 cops their jobs. Sam’s deep friendship with Vivi Angelino takes a hit when her hot and heavy affair with Vivi’s twin brother ends up with Zach walking away from her and never looking back.
Storyline: Sam witnesses a murder in the wine cellar of the restaurant which she works at, ending up once again as the only one who saw a killer who so ruthlessly murders a man Sam has come to know as more than just a passing acquaintance. The one thing that does put her in the spotlight is the camera which captures her shock and horror as she witnessed the killing, the fact which puts a bunch of ruthless killers after her, all wanting to end her life. Not knowing where or whom to turn to as the police doesn’t really count her being a witness a highlight in their case, Sam contacts the only person who would be able to help her and runs smack-dab into Zach, the one person she has tried to forget unsuccessfully for the past 3 years of her life, who appears to be unaffected by the terror in her eyes, but inevitably ends up being her bodyguard albeit a bit reluctantly at first.
The First Encounter: Reading about Zach and Sam’s first encounter with one another brought a smile to my face. Sam had at that time being sharing an apartment with Vivi and Vivi had thrown a party to welcome her big bad ass army ranger brother. From the first moment, sparks had flown between the two and the heated kiss they share in the bathroom which ultimately leads to the hottest sex of both their lives for 3 short weeks through which the affair lasted was one of the best parts about the story.
Time period: This story has a contemporary setting and takes place in Boston, New York.
Awareness between the hero and heroine: Even when Zach tries to ignore his body’s wants and desires and though Sam knows better than to put herself in a position vulnerable enough to let Zach break her heart the second time around, the attraction and awareness between them is always a constant that refuses to just leave them no matter how much they both try to ignore the feelings and unresolved issues between them.
The turning point: When Sam runs into Zach whilst looking for Vivi at her apartment with sheer terror lurking in the depth of her indigo eyes, Zach tries to ignore the protective instincts that come into play. Furthermore, when Vivi comes up with her harebrained scheme of starting up a security firm of their own named The Guardian Angelinos, with Sam as their first customer and Zach acting as her bodyguard, Zach is reluctant to take the job as he doesn’t trust his abilities to keep anyone safe, much less the woman who is the center of his universe. But then the heart always wants what it wants, regardless of what you might try telling yourself otherwise, and the constant proximity between Zach and Sam proves to be Zach’s undoing in front of the woman he loves.
Ending: I have got to say that Ms. Claire took me totally unawares with her villain in the end. Before the end is through, the story unfolds revealing just how Sam had been manipulated to become an “unreliable” witness to a murder for a bunch of people who are ruthless enough to kill anyone who stands in their way of attaining what they want.
Likes: There were a few things that I liked about this book as the story unfolded. I liked Sam, which is sort of a first for me since I always come out saying I loved the hero in the story. I loved Sam because of her unwavering courage, how much she tries to put to right what she had wronged and her wonderful loving personality. I liked Vivi (oh boy, something surely has to be wrong since I am talking about all the female leads in the story). Her personality is quite the polar opposite to what I envisioned an investigative journalist like her would be. Vivi has a strong personality which draws a reader in and gets her own story in the 3rd book of the series, Face of Danger which is to come out on May 2011 which I am slightly interested in reading. I just had an inkling that she would be paired off with the FBI agent that was introduced into the story towards the end and I bet if Ms. Claire gets it right, Vivi’s story could be quite entertaining and explosive.
Dislikes: Umm.. let’s see, I guess the reason I didn’t take to this story as much as I hoped I would was because of the way Zach treats Sam at the beginning of the story. I can understand refusing to come out and say how you feel about the woman who scares the bejesus out of your most guarded emotions but walking out on her, never contacting her for 3 whole years and telling himself to keep away and only when he is damn ready to take her in his arms does Zach do it. I can understand a tortured hero but I also want the hero to be unable to keep his hands off the heroine in question regardless of all the crappy advice he might give himself or regardless of how honorable his intentions maybe. I guess what turned me off was the fact that the first detailed encounter between Zach and Sam in the story was sort of a solo act on Sam’s part which just didn’t sit that well with me. And for a man who left her hanging 3 years back without a word, Zach sure does expect a lot from Sam when he asks her to stop doubting him and second guessing him. Duh! As if Zach has given Sam any reason to really instill any sort of trust in him. All in all, I failed to connect with the version of tortured bad boy hero in this story which was what surprised me most in the end. One more thing that disappointed me was the hints throughout the books to the hot and heavy affair that had taken place 3 years back, which never materialized for me from the 2 or 3 encounters between Sam and Zach in the book. Sigh!! I just don’t like disliking so many things about a book -_-‘.
Recommended for: Those who love books by Roxanne St. Claire.
“Let me go, Zach.” She jerked again, more angry than scared now.
“Not yet.” He buried his cheek deeper into her hair, almost groaning at the mix of pleasure and comfort and soothing, sweet softness. …
Without making a sound he put his lips against her hair and kissed it so softly she could never have felt it. Just once, to remember. Then never again.
He counted the beats, listened to her breath, and waited until her body relaxed into sleep. When he was sure, he unlatched their hands and reached up to slide off his protective patch.
Finally, the moment of pure heaven. He laid his face against her hair and let the softness soothe his burning scar, the ecstasy of it almost making him want to cry out. It felt so good. So, so sweet and comforting and good.
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Great review. Did you see the free short story prequel on the author’s website? It shows how Zach and Sam first hooked up and when he had to leave her. I was told to read that first so I wouldn’t hate the hero.
Mmm.. No I didn’t come across that freebie. Maybe I should read that so that I can love Zach as much as everyone else does. ;)
Mmm.. I just checked the freebie out. It does shed light onto a better side of Zach. Maybe I would have loved Zach more if I had read it earlier, but I think not.