A spec-ops shifter heroine newly paired with a Special Forces hero for a hidden government agency who must learn to work together, trust each other and keep it strictly business just sounded like my kind of fun so I had to read it. This series opener really delivered too. Scenes just sparkled when these two main characters were present and I loved the action elements as much as the romance in this military-style paranormal.
The story opens with Ivy Halliwell losing her latest partner on a covert mission because he couldn’t accept what she was and wouldn’t work with her as a team. The scene changes to introduce Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan and his Special Forces team ready to take out one of the big baddies of terrorism. Without explanation he is pulled off his team and shipped out to DC to be transferred to a secret agency. He is given a new partner and a new job. The only thing he is told is that he is the back-up and it’s his job to take out his partner if the partner falls into the hands of the enemy. Landon isn’t wired that way and he really isn’t wired for what they ask him to do next which is to attack and take-down the woman he is introduced to as his partner.
Ivy is disappointed to discover that she has been assigned yet another he-man soldier who will be just like the rest and won’t treat her skills with respect because she’s a woman and be disgusted that she’s a shifter. Her assumptions are rocked from the moment they engage in training when Landon fights well, but not to overpower her with strength, he respects her as his partner, accepts her shifter gifts and her fighting skills, he won’t listen to gossip about her, and he seems to have her back. It is on their first mission that he proves that she really can trust him and that she has finally found her perfect partner.
Things may be coming together for Landon and Ivy as a team, but a bureaucrat assistant director who is working to get the shifter program scrapped, another angry shifter who hates human partners particularly Ivy’s and difficulty fighting their mutual attraction keep life interesting. Their time together finally leads them into each other’s arms and they figure out pretty quick that this is definitely something more. Before they can explore that, they get another assignment that involves the investigation of several world-wide disappearances of scientists that lead to a shocking discovery. This is the big challenge to see just how well they work as a team and getting each other out alive.
I really had a good time reading this book. The plot and pace, the tone, the character and romance development were all well written. There was a bit of everything in this one including a bit of suspense with a few surprise twists. The main story line wrapped up while the overarching series plot left things in a good place with enough secondary character lines and a continuing possibility of threat to leave me eager to surge ahead with the series.
As to Ivy and Landon, this couple was superb. I can’t tell you how well this author nailed the balance between conflict and resolve in their relationship. They work well together as a covert team and I loved that there were good sized scenes of them training and running missions and not just falling into bed together all the time. Not that there wasn’t any of that too- eventually. They were a passionate couple when they cut loose.
Ivy was defensive in the beginning, but rightly so after the shenanigans her last two partners pulled and that they alienated the other humans at the agency against her. She is skilled, but she is not arrogant. She even holds back on jumping Landon, but doesn’t play hard to get and act coy. I loved that she owned to her mistakes and that she was emotionally there for Landon when he needed her. Awesome heroine!
Landon puts many heroes to shame. He is a skilled soldier and confident leader, but he’s never a bully or arrogant jerk. This guy gets ripped away from his team and dropped into the middle of something and he just rolls with it. Nobody is easy on him including Ivy at first, but he doesn’t whine or lose it, he just weathers through it all just as one expects from a highly trained soldier used to tough spots to be in. I loved how he totally respected Ivy as a partner and even let her take point and use her skills. He is understanding and protective. He’s just perfect even if he sees himself as flawed. Like Ivy, he opens himself up to their growing relationship without any hang-ups.
In the end, I was happy to start this new series and look forward to what is to come. It was a wonderful blend of Paranormal Romance, Military, and Romantic Suspense elements. Those who love a romance between two covert partners and a challenging mission that keeps one guessing should try this book on.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Up for grabs is one paperback copy of Her Perfect Mate by Paige Tyler to one lucky commenter. To enter, comment below.
US/CAN only. Giveaway ends May 24, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.