Leslie Rhoads may have grown up in a small town, but is on the verge of becoming a supermodel in the Big Apple, when the 24-year-old is chosen to grace the cover of Style magazine and star in the controversial Passion Nights’ perfume ads. But before she can step into the spotlight, Leslie is assaulted by a drug gang and disfigured with a broken scotch bottle. Without her perfect face, she is lost and no amount of surgery can ever make her what she once was. Now trying to hide her face from the world, Leslie encounters more trouble as she seeks to rebuild her life: unrequited love, thoughts of suicide, and her assailant out to finish the job. Little does she know that a young girl named Angel will turn it all around, showing Leslie the joy and potential in life and the fact that love truly is blind.
I loved the only other Ace Collins book I’ve read, The Christmas Star, but I’ve found that Christmas novels can often be different from an author’s regular style of work. Having now read the most recent release by Ace Collins, I can say that’s definitely the case here. The Christmas Star and The Cutting Edge have little in common besides the author. The former is a nostalgic look at the Christmas season, while this book’s narrative is stark and often violent. The pages describing Leslie’s assault are particularly harrowing. I wanted to skip over them, but forced myself to at least get the gist of what happened.
Leslie has everything going for her, but has never had much control over her life. Her mother and her agent have determined its course, and now an unidentified gang of men have turned it upside down. Even as she recovers, Leslie’s agent seeks to keep her hold on the young woman’s image and profit from her misfortune. Her mother sees Leslie only in terms of her looks, thus undermining any hope for psychological recovery. Leslie can either listen to her mother or an encouraging friend. One will lead to despondency, the other to a new life. In the meantime, is Leslie’s attacker still stalking her?
The Cutting Edge is a contemporary thriller about a battle between good and evil, and morality versus power. While the timeline seems somewhat unrealistic, there are twists and turns that give a new perspective to what’s come before. There was one twist I certainly didn’t expect. The characters vary in their relationships both before and after the attack. The agent’s true regard for Leslie is soon revealed, but Leslie’s cousin, Meg, is a major factor in her recovery. Meg is the encouraging Christian at Leslie’s side, but she isn’t a one-dimensional, always patient, always smiling caricature. Naturally, there’s the expected positive ending, but it’s a book I nevertheless enjoyed.
Thank you to Abingdon for my free Advance Reader Copy of The Cutting Edge, which I received in exchange for an honest review to be written and posted by me within a certain timeframe.
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 15 October 2013
Page Count: 336