Kendra decides that she needs to get out of the office and into the field experiencing what all the other operatives do so she doesn’t feel like the kid left behind and the guy out of the loop, but even she never anticipated the wild, dangerous adventure that she gets when her boss says yes to her request.
This third installment of the X-Ops series builds on the stories that came before it and keeps all the previously introduced characters front an foremost sharing in this latest brand of adrenaline rush featuring Kendra the Office Girl Friday and big, quiet bear shifter, Declan.
This is a series that must be read in order and, after reading this one, I would also recommend getting the free novella, Her Secret Agent, read before this one so a few things work better and one scene in the end makes a lot more sense.
Anyways, this one jumps in with Kendra being sent down to Costa Rica with Declan’s team for a routine training in the jungle while Ivy and Landon continue to search down the scientists who stole Ivy’s DNA to make hybrids. The training is no sooner underway than all hell breaks loose. The training group is attacked by a group of hybrids and Declan and Kendra are separated from the others and must make their way through miles of hostile jungle teeming with deadly hybrids to get back to the safety of their base.
Kendra realizes just how much she messed up in her personal life when she sees the big bear shifter in action and gets to know him better now that they are teamed up for their very lives. For seven years, Declan tried to get her attention while she blew him off to drool over Clayne who picked someone else. Then Declan gave up on her right about the time she noticed what was right under her nose all along. His heroic qualities, sweet nature, and tender feelings make him the perfect package, but he has walls up that she’s going to have to work hard to bring down if she wants a chance. All the while, they work through attacks and just try to survive.
Declan was convinced that he was over Kendra until he is forced to accept her on their team and then must go on the run through the jungle with her. Kendra gets under his skin and burrows into his past so that she knows more about him than anyone including himself. She knows about his ex-fianceé who ran from him like he was a monster and she knows that he suppresses his shifter nature as a result. Only, if they are to survive against the lethal hybrids, he must embrace it all and let his inner bear out and if he wants a renewed chance with Kendra then he must open himself up once again and trust that she won’t act like his ex.
The story is mostly Kendra and Declan’s story told alternative points of view, but there are also scenes away from them narrated by a member of the rescue group including their friends and other familiar faces. Like the previous stories, there are a few story arcs in the works: the romance, the long arc about the corruption of their organization, the hunt for the scientists and work to stop their creation of the hybrids, and character development pieces. It’s a lot, but not confusing.
The pace is that of a thriller and I love that about these. They are exciting and breathtaking with enough twists to wow me at times. The romance fits well into this scope of things. There are barriers of course, but these are mature adults and they act like it for the most part- so refreshing- and make it through the conflict with no stupid going on.
The romance sizzles. The pairing makes sense. I like how each book has a different type of couple and that affects the way the romance is written. This romance is a result of an unrequited love getting a second look-see, but its more than that. Declan has hang-ups because of his past relationship and Kendra let a crush on another guy make her blind to the perfect man in front of her so this is like a reset.
They know each other as workers in the same organization, but they really get to know each other as they work together to stay alive. I enjoyed that Declan was surprised by Kendra’s skills, but he was accepting as soon as he realized she could take care of herself. As the more experienced and better trained, he is in charge, but he defers too. Kendra realizes the situation and doesn’t make things more difficult. They were a good team and their gradual attraction and lust lead them to the much anticipated hot, scorching moment, but also to the beginning of a relationship.
In the end, I was sad to see the last page come and started sniffing around to discover the next release date. These are for those who enjoy action-packed spicy paranormal romantic suspense.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Link for Her Secret Agent Freebie: http://www.amazon.com/Her-Secret-Agent-Novella-X-Ops-ebook/dp/B00OHTEY7K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431486883&sr=8-1&keywords=her+secret+agent
Romance Roundabout #185 PNR
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