Monday, February 13, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside, And That's Especially True in Alaska!! "Edge of Survival" by Toni Anderson

Dr. Cameran Young knew her assignment wouldn't be easy. As lead biologist on the Environment Impact Assessment team, her findings would determine the future of a large mining project in the northern Canadian bush. She expected rough conditions and hostile miners--but she didn't expect to find a dead body her first day on the job.

Former SAS Sergeant Daniel Fox forged a career as a helicopter pilot, working as far from the rest of the human race as possible. The thrill of flying makes his civilian life bearable, and he lives by his mantra: don't get involved. But when he's charged with transporting the biologist to her research vessel, he can't help but get involved in the murder investigation--and with Cameran, who awakens emotions he's desperate to suppress.

In the harsh and rugged wilderness, Daniel and Cameran must battle their intense and growing attraction while keeping ahead of a killer who will stop at nothing to silence her...

I really like stories set in the cold and stark wilderness of Alaska and its surrounding areas. Perhaps that is due to really loving sdome of Jack London's stories that we read during my school years. In any event, this story is stark in its background, unadorned living with only the bare necessities of human existence, and the kind of surroundings that insist that all who venture there be sure to make good decisions because there just may not be a second chance. This novel features the story of a young and attractive environmental scientist who is charged with judging the activities of the oil company employees so that they do not violate the environment or those animal species that are endangered. No doubt her efforts are not readily received and almost from the get-go her life is in danger. Bring in our hero--a man who is wounded in spirit and body, whose military career as a British Special Ops soldier was cut short by an unscrupulous officer and his own personal decision to leave the military as a way of protecting its honor and tradition and reputation. Now he is a charter pilot flying his helicopter as a way of making his existence bearable. Meeting up with Cameron Young threatens his carefully orchestrated life, boring though it may be. She's sexy and cute, sassy and forthright, but she doesn't want to get involved, until she realizes that she has sacrificed her personal life, her personal thoughts and needs, to her career. Now she wants to "seize the day" and Daniel seems to be her best option right now.

This is a complicated novel that is full of really different people with their personal idiosyncrasies, their strange habits, their own efforts to dodge the realities and responsibilities of mature living. There's a dead body and accusations flying through the air as to who might be the killer. There are law enforcement officers who bring their own take on life to the story, full of their own sets of personal problems and career snafus. There are a few native characters who have a very different viewpoint of their homeland and when all these characters with their individualities and personal quirks come together, the story gets interesting, suspense-filled, and its all spiced up with some hot loving.

I have really enjoyed this author's work in the past and was delighted to have the opportunity to read this novel. I've made no bones about the fact that some of my favorite romance novels have that added tension caused by a really good murder mystery. Ms Anderson has brought tension, twists and turns to this story, so much so that the ending really caught me off guard. That's not really easy to do. So I found this novel to be compelling and kept my interest from start to finish. I actually read it in one sitting. The excellent story and the really fine writing testify to this author's command of the writing task. And after all, when a serious romance reader encounters a story that just keeps the heat turned up, it's the best of all literary worlds. I hope you will seek this one out and enjoy it as much as I did. I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

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