Edge of Disaster (Edge #1) by A.M. Hargrove
Adult Contemporary Romance--Not appropriate for younger readers.
Alexia Hammond, broken and destroyed by a tragedy she can’t seem to recover from, is on a downward spiral toward destruction. A life of partying, alcohol, drugs and men has brought her near the edge of disaster. That is until one night while at work as a waitress in an upscale restaurant, she falls under the spell of one of her customers, Pearce Middleton. Once she gazes into his smoky gray eyes, her life takes on new meaning. But can she put her past behind her and allow herself to fall for the exciting and gorgeous Pearce, or will her lewd behavior come back to haunt her and ruin her chances of happiness forever?
Edge of Disaster was just a disaster for me. I struggled reading it as it was just not good. I skimmed the last half just to get figure out what would happen with one small thing that ended up being not much. Note spoilers ahead! Do not read if you don't want to know what happens in this story!!
When I started reading this story it was just okay, and I was hoping it would get better as it went along. Alexia is hurting, blaming herself for something that happened in the past and sleeping with lots of random guys, using lots of drugs and alcohol. The story opens when she wakes up after a night sleeping with 2 guys! Two guys! She slept with two, TWO guys!! At the same time! Two guys! At once! This gets brought up all the freaking time. How she is so dirty and horrible because she slept with two guys at once (though she is the one who thinks this, not everyone else). It was annoying as if all parties are consenting why not? What's the big deal? But obviously to Alexia it was a very big deal. She slut shames herself all the time. All the time. Everyone else doesn't seem to think she is a horrible person for what she is doing, or has done, but she thinks she is the worst. And yet she doesn't/can't stop. Until she gets kidnapped then all of a sudden she just stops cold turkey. Um...okay. So you were abusing drugs and alcohol for three years and you just stop suddenly and nothing happens? I didn't think that is how that worked. No withdrawals?
Alexia also meets Pearce one night at the restaurant she works out. He is so hot and she is drawn to him, but someone like him, a doctor from a well known family in the area, would every be with someone like her. Only he must have her for some reason. She keeps pushing him away for his own good, and he keeps trying to break down her walls. Then she is kidnapped and he is really upset because she was stabbed and beat up pretty bad, and then afterwards she is really afraid of being out after dark. She has to be back in her house by the time the sun goes down. Only Pearce asks her out to dinner when she is in a good mood and says yes and she goes out with him presumably after dark with no issues. She did bring it up toward the end of the night like I don't want to talk about my problems. This is the first time I have been out after dark since my attack don't ruin it. Oh okay, so Pearce is the magical guy that makes everything better? Apparently. It was just odd that it wasn't even mentioned that she was doing this and overcoming her fears until it was just a side comment at the end of the night.
Things move very quickly then. Alexia decides she has to tell Pearce her past and then suddenly they are in love, he wants to marry her or at the very least have her move in with him and yeah. No clue why or how this happened as I didn't see it. That is probably in part due to the fact that this story is all tell not show. It told me they were in love, it didn't show me that. It was not good.
The conversations were also painful to read (and most of the story is conversations). They were so cheesy/awful/didn't read as true. At the beginning Alexia also used a lot of odd slang or something. Like sometimes I didn't understand what she was saying as I didn't know what it was. Maybe it was common in the area the book is set, but it kept drawing me out of the story as it was so...odd to me.
The other issue? Alexis is dumb as a box of nails. I swear that girl. I kept thinking how old is she? Like she comes off very young even though she is twenty eight. I just didn't understand it. Like Pearce is a doctor, a surgeon, and she sees a photo of someone he helped who had been in a car accident and then is just all omg! This is what you do?!? You save people! I am so in awe of you! I had no idea! "I thought you just sewed people up or something." Okay...so like what kind of things did you think he sewed up? Paper cuts? I don't understand how you don't know what a surgeon does. There were many more times when it was just like come on. How are you this naive/dumb/whatever? I had a hard time with it.
There was just a lot of the story, the writing, that didn't make sense to me. So many scenes that left me scratching my head like why is this a big deal? Like when Alexia's bff first meets Pearce and Alexia asks if she approves. Her reply? Of course! He is so hot! And apparently that is insulting or something. Also, Alexia is supposedly all messed up, but because this is a tell not show I never felt she really was. And she seemed suddenly all better once she was in love with Pearce, but then her sleeping with two guys would come up again and again at random times. It was really not good. And just so you know, if anyone else is like me, I kept reading to see what would happen with the kidnappers/person who left her a note and not much. He leaves her another note then a DVD of *her* having sex with the two guys so then the cops track the two guys down and apparently they were really bad guys and gave themselves up or something the end. Lame. No even big showdown or anything.
So there was a lot of this story that I didn't like. Almost everything to be honest. The characters, the writing, the slight religious undertones (God forgives you, God wouldn't want that, Maybe this is God's way of punishing me - no God is not like that, etc. I think that is why the sleeping with two people is such a big deal. At one point Pearce's brother is going down the same road Alexia went down, blaming himself for an accident, and she finds him in bed with two girls!!! TWO! At the same time! It is just as big a deal with a guy and two girls as it was for a girl and two guys...which I still don't get. But if the religious undertones are taken into account maybe that is why? I mean Alexia was only supposed to sleep with one guy her whole life but that didn't work out so...maybe? at least it would kind of make sense then, but it wasn't really obvious so...I don't know). There was one thing that I did actually like. One scene that I said good job, way to put that in there. Thank you. And that scene was one with Pearce and Alexia. She is down on herself for sleeping with so many guys, she is filthy and not a good person, etc and Pearce says you know I slept with a lot of girls before I met you. Her response was something like duh! Of course you did. I mean look at you. You are crazy hot and a doctor! You probably got all the ladies. She was just like it was not a big deal for him to sleep with lots of girls, he is not dirty because of it and whatnot so Pearce replies pointing out that discrepancy. Like why are you dirty for sleeping with a lot of guys, but it is fine that I slept with a lot of girls? That I liked. Because it should be true. If one gender can do something and not be looked down upon for doing it the other shouldn't either. So props to the author for that. There were a few other times where Pearce would call Alexia out on something, like judging his parents before she met them, that was alright. The author pointed out good things at times, I just wish the rest of the story would have been good to back it up.
Overall this was not the book for me. It was all tell not show, I didn't like the main character, there were a lot of scenes that didn't make sense, and it was not good. Not the book for me. Oh, one last thing. Pearce wasn't that good either. He kept saying he would wait until Alexia is ready to get married, yet he brings it up every two seconds and makes her feel bad about it. He definitely pressured her and it was not cool. That is not waiting, that is not being a good boyfriend, that is being a jerk. Not cool. So yeah, I really didn't enjoy this story.