Convinced to take up writing by her famous husband Jim Butcher, Shannon K. Butcher has found her own success with her wildly popular Sentinel Wars paranormal romance series. Shannon has also recently launched an extremely spicy romantic suspense series called the Edge. Today, Whitney and Morgan take on Razor’s Edge, the third outing of the covert ops from the Edge security agency.
Morgan: I love that Razor’s Edge opens with a girl-fight. In the first few pages, security expert Roxanne Haught, aka Razor, faces down an angry woman who is determined to steal corporate secrets from an important client. This is no polite disagreement, but an all out knife fight.
Whitney: I give the author props, this is a really well written fight. And the incident is not just fun to read; it also shows that Razor is seriously able to take care of anything.
Morgan: Except her ex-boyfriend who is hassling her.
Whitney: Who wouldn’t be upset if they were trailed by goons sent by a jealous ex?
Morgan: Razor is so distracted by these guys that she messes up her assignment. Not noticing that the lady with the knife has a partner, Razor is unable to apprehend both thieves.
Whitney: Regardless, I still say Razor is perfect for her job at the Edge.
Morgan: Agreed, she is a valuable part of the company’s stealth protection unit. It is interesting to see how Razor’s specialty works within the larger security agency.
Whitney: Butcher definitely does a good job of showing how a woman can slip in and out of situations more inconspicuously than a muscle-bound guy can.
Morgan: And whether it is a discreet bodyguard job, or a case of corporate espionage, Razor is very pragmatic about how she goes about catching bad guys. She even mentions that a lot of the time her job is more about legwork than hand-to-hand combat.
“Most of the time I catch people at the photocopier or by searching email records.”
Whitney: So don’t think these agents are like La Femme Nikita; they are almost more like straight-laced cops.
Morgan: Well, not too straight-laced, but Edge employees are not vigilantes. If someone is in trouble the police will be called (along with an ambulance). Also if an Edge employee finds evidence it doesn’t get destroyed. They stay within the rules, mainly.
Whitney: Unless their mission gets personal like when Razor finds out that her childhood friend, Jake Staite, is in trouble. Then, all bets are off!
Morgan: When Razor realizes Jake needs her, her botched job assignment and smarmy ex-boyfriend take a back seat.
Whitney: A back seat? I’m pretty sure that these worries aren’t even in the car anymore.
Morgan: Well, Jake’s more like a brother to her than anything else so it is understandable she Razor's so concerned.
Whitney: And the note he sends her is very freaky. I mean, what would you do if you found something from your BFF that simply said, “Burn everything. They’re coming.”?
Morgan: I’d definitely be confused (which she is) and also be worried (which she is). But I probably wouldn’t have a very good plan on what to do next. Thankfully, Razor is well trained and knows exactly what to do.
Whitney: That is until she reads Jake’s journal and realizes what he has gotten himself into. It seems he is in the middle of a giant medical experiment where military men are held against their will and given experimental drugs.
Morgan: Who can she turn to? This thing could go all the way to the top of the government.
Whitney: Thankfully, Razor is not alone. Usually she’s a one-woman team on her missions, but since the minor, baby, itty-bitty slip up after the girl-fight that starts the story, she has been assigned a babysitter — the Edge’s newest recruit Tanner O’Connell.
Morgan: And even though Razor is a loner and dead set on getting her friend home safe, Tanner and Razor's attraction is undeniable.
Whitney: Of course, they both refuse to acknowledge their feelings towards each other, but even after they leave for a small southwestern town to free Jake, the heat between them spikes.
Morgan: Which is no easy thing considering all they have to deal with — getting stonewalled by townsfolk, saving two almost-dead people from an intruder and discovering a dirty cop. Unfortunately, there’s still no Jake.
Whitney: But Razor and Tanner do find out that he is being held in a heavily guarded compound at the mercy of the (cue some creepy music, please) evil Dr. Norma Stynger who runs the Threshold Project.
Morgan: I have a feeling that I would have gotten this part better if I would have read the other books in the Edge series. If I’m not mistaken, the company’s operatives have run into this Threshold Project before. In fact, many of the Edge employees have actually been subjects of the project when they were kids.
Whitney: But as her experiments with children didn’t work, it seems Dr. Norma Stynger has moved onto adults that she feeds drugs to and then brainwashes trying to turn good soldiers into killing machines.
Morgan: I’m still a little unclear about this whole thing, but there are a lot of people that work at the Edge that have been affected by the project. Especially Tanner and Razor’s co-worker, Clay, who is experiences blackouts and rages.
Whitney: We also learn that the Edge’s head Bella Bayne was involved in Threshold along with the company’s computer genius Mira Sage.
Morgan: But even as we learn about these characters’ baggage, this book definitely stays Roxanne and Tanner’s story. And both of them have issues galore. Not only is Roxanne trying to find her best friend, but she’s also still traumatized by her messed up childhood.
Whitney: Anyone would be scarred by what Razor went through. As a child she was kidnapped and hurt. But what takes this to the next level of awfulness is that her uber-rich father refused to pay the ransom. Instead, he tried to negotiate with the kidnappers — which did not end well for Razor. But it did instill her desire for justice, which led to her job at the Edge.
Morgan: And even though Razor goes on missions, overall, she is a loner. Her experiences with the kidnappers — and her father’s betrayal — taught her that she could never count on anyone.
Whitney: So she puts up defensive roadblocks when Tanner comes into the picture. Because even though they have this physical attraction, she’s terrified about forming an emotional connection with him because she’s learned (too well, IMHO) not to need anyone.
Morgan: However, her fear is no match for what Tanner brings to the table: genuinely being nice guy. Tanner is the real deal. He has retired from the force in order to help out his family. He has recently lost his bother and father in an accident so he returns to help his mother and sister-in-law emotionally and financially.
Whitney: And poor Tanner, all this time he’s thinking that he has let everyone down, that he’s not doing enough for his family. But the truth is he has gone above and beyond what most people would do.
Morgan: So justifiably, Roxanne thinks he is amazing. Really one of the good guys. And they both think they are out of each other’s league.
Whitney: Lucky for us, we know they are in a romantic suspense novel and love will prevail!
We hope you enjoyed Morgan and Whitney’s take on Shannon K. Butcher’s newest release. They will be off for a week Morgan’s on vacation, but expect the Dish back on November 23rd when they will dig into a contemporary tale!