by Jessica Hall

February 2003
ISBN: 0-451-20796-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

An intelligent, strong, street smart, capable, and caring heroine, a mysterious, seductive, and dangerous hero, a clash of cultures and a passion, love and loyalty worth dying and killing for are part of this thrilling tale.

Valence St. Charles, a New Orleans native, art curator, and researcher of old Asian weapons travels all the way to Paris when word gets out of a large collection of not previously shown swords. Her career and research depend on the ownerís approval to lend them to her museum.

Tíang Jian-Shan, the owner of the collection, broke away from his fatherís global crime organization to save his wife and daughter. When his wife commits suicide soon after their daughterís birth he decides to bring down his fatherís organization and enters a deadly battle of revenge.

While trying to get close to the reclusive Jian, Valence takes an assassinís knife meant for him and his little daughter, and saves their lives. His honor and his eastern beliefs compel him to offer his protection, a protection she doesn't care for. Given no choice, she stays. Winning over his daughter, his staff, and...his heart.

Once Jessica Hall (also known as Gena Hale and as S. L. Vieh) refrains from teaching her readers Ė guidebook information to Paris - and concentrates on entertaining them, the story gets irresistible. Itís fast paced, gripping, exotic, and sexy. There was no way that Iíd put down the book before I finished reading the last page.

Here is a writer comfortable in creating unique characters and giving them all distinct voices. Ms Hall is not afraid to wander between cultures and the differences she portrays beautifully and with love for the subject are fascinating. Some of it might come across as slightly stereotyped. Still, it never failed to intrigue me and I was happy to immerse myself in a world of closed societies and their rules and traditions.

The Deepest Edge is a welcome change to the usual fare of romantic suspense stories and I do hope that the two following parts of this trilogy will be just as original. Ms. Hall already introduced the characters and they do look very promising. Donít miss it!

Reviewed in March 2003 by Kris Alice.

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