Series: #2 X-Ops
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on November 4, 2014
After reading the first book in the series, there was no way I wasn’t reading this one. I was thrilled that this was Clayne’s story as he was such an interesting character in the first book. And like the first one, this one was full of action, suspense, and not just engaging, passionate characters.
I thought it would jump in right where the other one left off and it did chronologically, but it pushed the big suspense story arc to the side and brought in another one letting the series story arc move to an on going piece in the background. I was going to say that this leaves some wiggle room for the person who grabs them out of order, but I’m going to say that reading out of order isn’t a good idea. Even though this one has a new main story line and the main characters and their romance don’t build from the last book, the world building, bits of the secondary story running through the book, and several of the side characters are presented in a way that assumes the reader already read the first book.
The story opens with FBI agent, Danika Beckett, and her partner getting called in on a new case. She gets a close look at the latest killing by their serial killer and realizes that they’re not dealing with a regular human killer. It forces her to make a call to a secret agency that she never thought she would have contact with ever again. It has been two years since she walked away from the agency and now she must set aside her own qualms for the sake of catching the killer.
Clayne Buchanan is a restless and touchy operative who prefers to go his own way. He doesn’t have a partner and gets called in on assignments that suit his particular skills these days. Then he gets sent out to Sacramento to be put on a task force involving local law enforcement and the FBI to catch a serial killer. The sight of his ex-partner and former lover, Danika, who coldly told him that she couldn’t be with someone who was half animal before walking out his door and all the way out of his life and her job is a gut-punch. Worse, he has to work with her to catch the shifter who has taken to treating humans like they are prey for the hunter.
In the meantime, Ivy and Landon continue to pursue every lead to tracking down the scientists hoping to stop them before they successfully use her DNA to create stronger hybrid shifters as part of their plot. They can never seem to draw close and then Landon makes a discovery that ups the ante and proves to a few trusted members of the X-Ops group that someone might be working against them from within their own organization leaving them not sure who they can trust.
Wow! So much good stuff went on in the book. The serial killer angle was exciting and had some really good twists that definitely appealed to the suspense lover in me. The ongoing story arc stuff both the tracking of the scientists and those secrets coming out about their own organization are building up to something big and I look forward to where it’s all going.
But the main event was definitely the unfinished business between Clayne and Danika now that they have their second chance. She broke off their love affair and quit the agency in an abrupt cold way. I was actually a bit nervous because this sort of plot is a gamble with me. I can go with the ‘I did it to save you’ line so long as I’m convinced that it’s a powerful enough reason. Clayne is a shifter and they’re both black ops trained, it was going to have to be a humdinger of a reason. I’m not going to give it away b/c wondering about it is one of the things that kept me reading like mad, but I will acknowledge that I bought it particularly when the details came out. I think the real reason I let it fly was because of the way they both handled what led up to her telling him the truth and just the marvel that she did cough up the truth when asked without the dog and pony show that some books make. Do you know how refreshing it is to come across a smart pair of characters who handle life’s issues in a mature, sensible manner? I think I sat there with this huge smile of gratitude on my face. These are black ops specialists and they behave as such. It makes this series just a notch above many others in that respect.
I really loved following along as these two worked together as partners, but their passion was good stuff too. They didn’t jump into bed together right off the bat because there was a lot of stuff that had to be dealt with first, but once they did. *wolf whistles*
They totally fit together perfectly and the author gave several scenes showing them in action as they brought out the best in each other whether it was studying the evidence and clues or out in the field on the killers trail. Or just trusting each other without grappling for the lead- they shared. So neat!
I’ll leave off with a teaser quote: Then again, if he couldn’t smell anything, neither could MacDermott, and Clayne had no problem using that to his advantage. And he’d take any advantage he could get- since he realized about five minutes ago that his Colt was sitting on the night stand next to his bed. But that’s what happens when a serial killer grabs the woman you love. You stop thinking about slowing down to get your man made weapon and bring the ones God and nature had given you. p. 302 Clayne from Her Lone Wolf
Another abso-fab installment in the series that keeps coming on strong with plot, characters, and steamy passionate paranormal romantic suspense. I cannot wait for the next book and I hope it’s Kendra’s story. She was good stuff as a secondary character in this one.
My thanks to Sourcebooks for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.