Edge of Truth by Brynn Kelly

Rotting in an African dungeon is the last place journalist Tess Newell expected to find herself. Held hostage by the terrorist group she’s investigating, Tess’s salvation—and temptation—arrives in the form of another prisoner. A French Foreign Legionnaire with a sinful smile and too many secrets to be anything but dangerous. Yet she knows he’s her only hope of surviving.

The Legion is the only family Flynn has. His sanctuary and his purgatory, after years spent in hell. When a mission goes south and Flynn is captured, it’s not the enemy that worries him, but the brazen, alluring reporter whose prying questions threaten to bring down his world—and the walls he’s built around his heart.

Yet after a daring escape, Flynn must risk it all and go on the run with Tess to retrieve the evidence she needs. The chemistry between them threatens to detonate but, with the enemy fast closing in, time is running out to unravel the truth from the lies in this deadly conspiracy…

Edge of Truth by Brynn Kelly

It took me a while to read this book, not because it was bad or boring, but because I liked it so much and was enjoying the characters and all the research so much, I wanted to make the most of it.

Edge of Truth is *everything* I’ve been asking for in romantic suspense for years, all there in one book. I think some of the mixed reaction to it has been because it IS about the suspense, and the setting is everything; no random “terrorist-riddled non-American country” cliché here. The research is fantastic, the author’s obvious local knowledge of Africa makes all the difference, and it’s not all about some hot-guy-romance.

However, the romance IS very strong. Hero and heroine are thrown together right from the outset, and are together more or less without a break for the entire book. Both are captured by a terror group, and both have good reasons for their involvement in the unfolding drama.

Television journalist Tess has been digging into US political connections to the terror group and the war they are trying to provoke. She has world-changing information to get out to the public, but she is trapped, imprisoned.

French Foreign Legion soldier Flynn is hiding some major secrets of his own, but he can’t bring himself to walk away from Tess when he helps her escape her captors.

I’ve been saying I wanted real-world issues in my books, and I always, always appreciate an author who knows her setting inside out. This book created a sense of place more than almost anything I’ve ever read, and that is one of the reasons I’m going to remember it long after more generic suspense books.

Everything about Edge of Truth comes across as relevant to right now, to the corruption and double-sided dealings of many powerful people in world (and especially US) politics.

However, this would all be nothing without the great characters. The Kiwi author manages to create a totally realistic Australian hero and an American heroine. Their relationship is built on desperate situations and a lot of clever conversation. The dialogue is natural and believable.

The story unfolds over only a few days, and yet I bought into the relationship. Perhaps there was a time or two where the focus on the growing attraction between the two might have seemed slightly out of place, but as the book unfolded I realised I was fine with it.

Africa isn’t the most popular setting for Western stories, romances or otherwise, but I strongly encourage readers to bury their fears of the foreign and give this one a go.

I just knew from the first time I read the blurb that this was going to be a book I’d love, and I was correct.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

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