Edge of Temptation (The Edge #2) by Megan Crane #mf #review @SMPRomance @megancrane


Edge of Temptation

USA Today bestselling author Megan Crane returns with the next book in her dark, forbiddenly sexy Edge series about a brotherhood of men–alpha, dominant, unforgiving warriors who keep what they take…

Gunnar is a ruined man in a desolate world. He might not believe in black magic, but if there’s the chance it might bring back his lost mate from her early death, he’ll try it. All he needs is to capture a virgin – a rare thing in his torn world – to make the doomed spell work. He does not expect the passion he feels for his beautiful captive to wreck him every time he looks at her. But sometimes temptation is just too much…

Maud was promised to the church a long time ago. Yet when she encounters brooding, ruthless Gunnar, the desire that flares between them obliterates any sense of duty. She’s managed to avoid surrender all these holy years—her very soul has depended on it. But Gunnar’s iron control makes her want nothing more than to bare her heart, and submit to him completely…addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16Angela_s PonderingsTAG

I am seriously loving this series! Most of the events in Edge of Temptation occur concurrently with those in the first book, Edge of Obsession, with the first half taking place prior to Gunnar being “retrieved” by Riordan. And I’ll take this moment to strongly recommend you read book one first so that you can fully understand the world they’re living in. Even though the second part of the novel occurs at the same time and place – the raiders’ island – there are only a couple of overlapping scenes, the main one being Gunnar and Maud’s entrance into the Lodge’s main room, where the king, the brothers, and the camp girls are all gathered for the evening’s festivities. Yet, seeing the events that led up to that scene and seeing it from Maud’s point of view makes it an entirely different experience – and the difference is astounding.

 

While book one introduced the reader to the post-apocalyptic world that the storms plunged back into darkness, where the church and a few self-appointed kings controlled the power (both figurative power and actual electricity), and where those who refused to kowtow to them bandied together to form the raider brotherhood, Edge of Temptation provides insight into the church and its activities. We discover rather quickly that the church is just another perversion of power that enables a group of men yet another way to lord over women, they just do it in the name of their god. Maud was only eleven when she was bought by the church and, when deemed an appropriate age, her instruction as a novice on how to properly serve god and the priests began. Her most important duties were learning to “pray,” learning to obey, and learning to accept punishment for her failures, and for Maud, there were many, many failures. When Maud makes the subconscious decision to escape the church, she ends up being “captured” by Gunnar, who was on his way to the convent in order to kidnap a virgin. On their journey from the convent to the raider island, we find out why Gunnar needs a virgin, why he has turned his back on the brotherhood in this quest, why he seems so unhinged and harbors so much anger for his blood brother, Wulf, and why a small slip of an innocent woman who appears to be made perfectly for him, may be exactly what he needs to find his place back into the world of the living.

 

In Edge of Obsession there was an obvious domination-submission theme to the relationship between the raiders and the women in their lives, and considering how alpha male the raiders are, this was not surprising. The relationship between Tyr and Helena was a power exchange, with none of the other components of BDSM. While Gunnar and Maud’s relationship might have begun as captor/captive, Maud’s natural submissive nature strengthened by the church’s teachings caused it to quickly morph into a master-slave style relationship because Maud trusted Gunnar to keep her safe and, in exchange, she endeavored to serve him in whatever way he demanded. I don’t really contribute Maud’s feelings for Gunnar to Stockholm Syndrome, but more a case of finally finding the person who could give her what she needed and enjoyed doing it, but not maliciously or to wield power over her. As you would expect in a BDSM relationship, as Gunnar gave Maud what she needed, it fed his own needs, which had been largely suppressed over the years. This, of course, made for some seriously hot scenes, especially once Gunnar tapped into Maud’s need for pain. As I hoped, the love a good woman healed the damaged man and saved both their lives – quite literally considering how Gunnar kept mouthing off at his king. Even though the Edge of Temptation didn’t actually advance the storyline past that of book one, it left the series headed in the right direction (in my opinion), with the raiders planning to rid the world of its darkness. Better still, events in this book have set the stage for book three, Edge of Control, in such a way that should prove even more interesting than the butting of Riordan and Eiryn’s alpha personalities and positions in the brotherhood alone had promised. I cannot wait!

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