• BLURB •
My parents moved our family to a new town when I sixteen years old. The first person I met was local bad boy, Calvin Montgomery. His father was president of the local MC, but despite his reputation, Calvin had a heart of gold. We were a perfect match until one violent night destroyed the future we’d envisioned together.
I lost Ellison and the dream for our future when I locked up for a decade. An act of violence I will never forget. It’s been ten years without her, but a day hasn’t gone by where I haven’t thought about her. But Ellison isn’t the same girl I left behind. They say time heals all wounds, but nothing cuts as deep as your first true love.
• MY REVIEW •
I was expecting a dark, suspenseful romance story and was surprised to find a sweet contemporary, coming of age story instead between two next-door neighbours. 😊
“We were on the razor’s edge and that’s where our love lived.”
Mila Crawford is a new-to-me author and this was my introduction to her writing. I can’t make any comparisons, so I don’t know if her writing style in this particular story differentiates with her other books, but this one definitely had a mixture of different romance sub-genres in one. Whilst the overall setting is contemporary, it had elements (albeit more in the background) of both MC romance (Motorcycle Club) and Mafia romance. The majority of the book is also set in a high school/ NA narrative.
It has a steady enough pacing, and whilst it was detailed in certain areas, in my opinion the aspects that required in-depth detail were the parts that actually lacked it. I also found the story to be choppy at times for my liking. For example, it would start out with a gradual development of an event just for it to end abruptly. Next thing you know, time has passed and the next event in their lives takes place. The flow has a start-and-stop feel to it that I was finding it difficult to really settle into the story because it doesn’t quite give you enough time to absorb events before it moves onto another development.
Whilst I thought Calvin’s and Ellison’s adorable meet cute and the sweet developments in their relationship throughout their teen years interesting to see play out, once the story hits the pivotal turn of events and time has fast-forwarded to their adulthood, there was a visible atmosphere shift. It was hard to keep the connection with these protagonists (especially Ellison) as it felt like I was reading a brand new story. The past may have altered both their futures but Ellison’s character development headed in a direction that had me a little taken aback to be honest.
The vibe is almost a separate one from the first 2/3 of the story. I think the main reason as to why their past and present, and the overall story ending up coming together is because one particular secondary character ended up playing a bigger role than expected. Not only was he the link to both Calvin and Ellison in both timelines, but he was the bridge in merging (or should I say re-merging) their lives together again.
The synopsis initially had me intrigued and after having read it I thought it was a nice storyline overall, but I did think there was some repetitiveness. Plot twists and additional plotlines were also either too vague or lacked further development after it was first mentioned, which I’m not going to lie frustrated me because those points could so easily have added extra dimension into the story but unfortunately was never elaborated on and leaves you with unanswered questions.
Despite it all, there’s plenty of heartwarming moments between the two which lightens the overall sombre mood of the book.
Calvin is a unique character with an eclectic range of traits from caring and protective, to cocky and hot-headed. I liked the fact that he knew what he wanted from the very beginning and his mindset never wavered. His loyalty and willingness to break away from a toxic lifestyle had me rooting for him.
Mila created a diverse and complex heroine in Ellison and because of that had me curious in knowing her personal story. What she ended up divulging added realism and relatability within the overall storyline as it raises sensitive subject matters that people don’t necessarily or easily discuss openly but are topics that one may relate to.
This book may be triggering for some readers as it contains matters such as domestic violence/ abuse, kidnapping, sexual assault, attempted suicide, and mental health. It’s intended for readers 18+ only.
Although I have mixed feelings about certain things, I did enjoy reading this book as a whole. The highlights are definitely from their teen years as most of the story development and the growth of their relationship takes place during that time. Calvin and Ellison are both likable characters but I must admit Calvin’s brother Fox won me over right from the very beginning. 😍😍 There’s a range of secondary characters who all added complexity as they played predominant roles in both Calvin’s and Ellison’s lives. I thought Mila brilliantly created characters that evoke strong emotions out of you and you’ll find yourself truly sympathizing for both Calvin’s and Ellison’s personal struggles.
I think Razor’s Edge is a great book for romance readers who are transitioning from reading contemporary to more darker romance stories, as it has a blend of both worlds. It’s heavy on the contemporary setting but also has dark elements in between to give the story a bit of bite. The romance between the protagonists is insta-love but nevertheless sweet, full of heart, and just how you would imagine first loves to be. It’s a story of second chances with underlying lessons in not taking anything for granted and learning from one’s mistakes.
**This book is a standalone in the Underworld Kings author collaboration series.
Thank you Mila Crawford, the entire Underworld Kings team, and Ardent PRose for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜
🔔 Interested in reading Razor’s Edge? Grab your copy here: Universal Link
💀 More on the Underworld Kings! 👑
✨ Website: Underworld Kings
Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo