Okay, so I thought my problem with the second boot in The Edge series was the shift in title characters, but after having read the third, that's not the case. I guess the case is the main couple didn't work for me - I never really felt their chemistry and there were no *real* obstacles standing in the way of them being together.
But this one? Oh man, did I feel the chemistry. It was genuinely a pleasure to read the way our hero and his potential partner in crime play off one another, flirtatious and outrageous but tempered by the very real problems that plague them both emotionally. At no point is a happily ever after a certainty, for so many reasons, and I love it.
In this book, Kaldar Mar (cousin of Cerise from book 2) is on a mission for The Mirror to bring back a powerful artifact that could upset the balance of power that the edge - and the barriers around it that separate the magical and mundane worlds - put in place by their nature. But he finds things getting more and more complicated as first two young men (necromancer George and shape-shifter Jack) stow away on his mission then one of the people (Audrey Callahan) he needs to talk to turns out to be a woman who's as attractive, as smart and as good at a con as he is.
It's something at first sight - not love, I don't think, but something more than lust too. But there's not really time to examine that, as she helped steal the artifact Kaldar's after, and other groups who want it back are willing to uproot everything up to and including her life to find it. So she joins the motley crew as they seek to win the race to this dangerous artifact.
Really, I can't say enough about how the romance in this is set up. Natural, believable, and (refreshingly) clearly mostly lust at the beginning with the love coming later. That made it seem so much more natural. Plus, with them both being basically cons who are trying - and somewhat failing - to go straight, there were some very real trust issues standing in between them. I love that the book didn't shy away from that, it forced the characters to admit to it and deal with it.
Also, unrelated, but I love that Audrey has a Sgt. Frog plushie in her apartment. That raises her a few more pegs in my estimation.
This was a fascinating book. I adored it. I think it's my favorite so far, and it featured a cast of people I pretty well liked all the time. I would adore more of these two!