A Perfect 10
Against Series
ISBN: 978-0-778-31443-1
May 2013
Romantic Suspense

Texas, California, and Louisiana – Present Day

Investigator Ben Slocum is content with his life, protecting the world from bad guys and his heart from commitment, but one day his world is forever changed when he learns he's a father. Social worker Claire Chastain informs him that his now motherless son, Sam, is missing, and she thinks he's in the hands of an unsavory man by the name of Troy Bridger. Ben never knew his ex-fiancée had given birth to his son, and while he could discount Claire's claims, something tells him that Sam is his. Ben would prefer to find Sam on his own, but Claire informs him that he needs her along—not only would his son not recognize Ben, but she has important information that could help in the investigation. Ben agrees, but wonders if his attraction to Claire will get in the way.

Claire's heart aches for the little boy who lost his mother to cancer and thought his world had crashed around him. The bad guy, Troy Bridger, once dated Sam's mother, but the little boy doesn't know Troy is abusive. Instead, he thinks Troy is his savior who plans to make Sam part of his family. But Troy's family is a survivalist group living in an isolated swamp in Louisiana, and they plan to make Sam work hard to prove he's a man—never mind that the little boy is only nine.  Claire and Ben haven't a clue where to find Sam, but with Ben's employers' stealth resources, they soon are on the road, aware that their journey may prove to be dangerous. Troy and his family don't want to be found, and if their compound is located, then they'll fight to the death anyone who invades.

Kat Martin has penned another outstanding suspense revolving around the men of her Against series. Ben is serious and work motivated, with a few one night stands with women to pass the time. Claire happens to show up just as he's returning home early the next day after one of his “one-nighters” and she's determined that Ben listen to her. He doesn't believe her at first, but a picture of Sam—with Ben's distinctive blue eyes—has him on a mission to find his son. Claire's feelings for Sam also run deep—she first became friends with Sam's mother, Laura, and helped her through her illness, and now feels as if she has betrayed him because he was remanded to foster care when she really wanted to raise him herself. But once she sees how Ben is growing to care for a child he didn't know existed, she wonders how she can walk away from both once Sam is found.

Ben's investigative and military skills come in handy in AGAINST THE EDGE. Guns and being alert are mandatory while on the search for Sam. Ben is surprised at Claire's resilience in the face of hours on the road and searching for clues. As the hours—and days—pass, Ben and Claire grow closer. Both are aware that getting involved sexually while engrossed in the search for Sam is risky, yet neither can resist the other. What will happen when Sam is found? Can they wrestle him away from Troy, physically and mentally unscathed? Can Sam connect with the father he thought was dead and now is very much alive?

Readers who enjoy a spine tingling adventure will love the adrenaline AGAINST THE EDGE will provide. While this tale is part of a series and we see characters from prior books, it can be read alone and you'll not be lost. Ms. Martin captured my interest in AGAINST THE EDGE right from the first pages where Claire is on Ben's doorstep and the sexual chemistry between them sizzles. While Ben initially thought Claire should step away and let him handle things, he soon realizes that her passion for finding Sam equals his—as does their passion in bed.

A smoking hot suspense story with a fiery romance that will grip your reading interest as much as it did mine, AGAINST THE EDGE is a book I highly recommend and well deserves a Perfect 10 from Romance Reviews Today.

Patti Fischer