Series: #4 X-Ops
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on March 1, 2016
Ever since book one, this series has been one in which I anticipate each new release. I love the blend of paranormal, romantic suspense, and action. The heroes and heroines are courageous, smart, passionate, and engaging while the plot is a blend of twisty suspense and hard action. This latest was probably one of the moderate action ones, but it still had its fair share and I slipped easily and deeply into the story.
This series is one that works best in order. The stories build on each other and the characters are around from earlier books. This story in particular builds on others as Angelo has been around since book one and Minka had some side scenes in the last book to set up for this one. In fact, I’m going to recommend that the reader not skip the prequel novella, Her Secret Agent, which I believe is free. The very last scene will make no sense whatsoever without it.
So this book starts with much abused and confused new hybrid, Minka, escaping from the installation where she was tortured and experimented on by the scientists that Ivy and her friends are desperately trying to find. Minka tries to go home, but ends up in a bad situation that Special Forces soldier, Angelo, arrives just in time to save her molesters from Minka’s beast.
Angelo knows exactly what Minka is and sees that unlike other hybrid shifters, she has somehow retained a sense of self and is struggling to control her beast side. Minka latches on to him because something about having Angelo close keeps her calm and in control. Angelo is assigned to bring Minka to the headquarters for the government ops program that works with shifters. He is leery of leaving Minka with anyone other than his trusted friends Ivy and Landon particularly after seeing the way a few of the higher ups are eager to poke, prod, and pump Minka for the information on the place from which she escaped.
Ivy is devastated to see in Minka proof that her DNA is definitely being used to torture and change humans into hybrids. But the mission continues to gain evidence that someone from the oversight committee paid the scientists and ordered the making of all the hybrids even while manipulating their organization’s activities.
Minka must find a way to control her beast, but along the way she falls for the heroic Angelo. He lives for his work and she knows that he will eventually leave her and go back to the desert and his team. And while she has feelings for him, Angelo grows to care for Minka and is conflicted about returning to duty.
This book has its own main plot thread with Minka and Angelo. However, at the same time, there are a few other strong story threads happening including a host of narrators. There is a lot going on. I kept it all straight, but it definitely left me chasing down several paths at once. I felt like several stories are vying to be up next and there were a couple reveals tossed in to affect the overall story. Hopefully some of these threads will tie off soon or at the very least combine.
I know that sounds like I was dissatisfied with the story, but really I’m not. I enjoyed following along as Minka worked with the others and learned about her new nature and how to work with it and accept it. I loved the relationship between Angelo and Minka. And there are three other threads that intrigue me.
The story was less tense and almost meandered along, but there were spikes and hints that kept me waiting for the big moment which came near the end. The explosive, lethal big money scene was definitely a page-turner.
The romance starts out as Minka latching on to Angelo as her savior and Angelo feeling the need to protect. They are very drawn to each other and attracted- a fated mates feel to it, but it was not instalove. The romance is both passionate and sweet. Minka is so innocent of men, but Angelo is gentle and patient with her. They have the fear of their upcoming separation because Angelo must return to his unit that keeps them from opening up entirely, but it was easy to see that they belonged together and wanted to be together.
So all in all, while this was less high impact than previous ones, it kept me engaged and left me eager for the next installment. This book/series is for those who enjoy a blend of paranormal and romantic suspense.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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