Her Perfect Mate (X-Ops #1)
by Paige Tyler
Their attraction is more dangerous than any weapon of mass destruction
When Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan is chosen for an assignment with the Department of Covert Operations, he's stunned to find his new partner is a beautiful woman who looks like she couldn't hurt a fly, much less take down a terrorist.
Ivy Halliwell isn't your average covert op. Her feline DNA means she can literally bring out the claws when things get dicey. She isn't thrilled to be paired with yet another military grunt, but Landon is different. He doesn't think she's a freak-and he's smokin' hot. Soon they're facing a threat even greater than anyone imagines... and an animal magnetism impossible to ignore.
Themes: shifters, covert ops
Rating: 3.25 stars
As a frequent reader, I love trying new authors and new series, and getting to share my feelings and thoughts about these books is one of my biggest joys when it comes to reading. I have read just about every permutation out there of shifters, mercenaries, covert ops and any combination thereof, but this was an interesting take on all of the above. I have no experience with this author’s writing, but I enjoyed this story well enough to give a second book a try and see if she might be worth adding to my favorite authors list. This story has quite a few twists and turns in the plot, lots of heat, and just enough sweetness to keep the story from being too intense or becoming dry. If you are a fan of Cherry Adair, Lora Leigh, and Katie Reus will find yourself enjoying this new series very much.
Landon Donovan is a man determined to do right by his Special Forces team, after a mission cost one of his good friends his career and almost his life. When he is pulled from the field and given new orders he never imagined just how much his reality was about to change. His new partner is a sexy and irresistible woman that has more than a few secrets and is one of the few who could match him in the field—or the bedroom. Ivy is a shifter, with feline grace and abilities that make her the ultimate predator in their world. When she is forced to take Landon as a partner, she never imagined just how well matched they would be, in all portions of their lives they just seem to fit. Soon they are find themselves caught up in a dangerous plot, hatched by a madman, and with the goal of starting the next world war. Only by trusting each other completely will they stand a chance of stopping the plot and staying alive, but will the feelings they bring out in each other make them stronger as a team or prove their ultimate weakness.
I love Ivy; she is a sexy badass with trust issues, but under it all just a woman looking for a man to love her for her and be someone she can lean and count on through the good and the bad. Seeing her kick butt and take names was fun, but I loved even more when she jumped in to save Landon from his own arrogance even more. She is obviously the type of woman that protects those she loves with everything in her, and there is just enough extra in her to do it well. So let’s discuss now the special feline portion of Ivy and how much I didn’t think that was written to its full potential. In the story there is a brief, almost vague, explanation of what makes her a shifter and what it means. Can I just say this is the first “shifter” story I’ve ever read where the “shifter” doesn’t “shift” into anything. While her feline DNA (and other shifters personal DNA type) allows her to tap into the special abilities inherent in her shifter species, the only part of her that actually shifts is her eyes, fangs and claws. I think it would have been even better had she and her counterpoints actually fully shifted into their animals, but maybe that’s just me. But overlooking that little pet-peeve, Ivy is still a great character and a woman I would love to have on my side in any fight.
Landon is one sexy beast, even if he’s completely human. While he is willing to do his job to the best of his ability, only when he begins to connect with Ivy do his real abilities come out. His protective instincts, linked to his passion for her, come to the fore even more prominently once he gives into the desire for her as a woman. He is obviously the type of man that gives his all in his work and also in his relationships, whether with his woman or his friends. He’s sweet but intense, strong but vulnerable, and willing and able to do whatever it takes to keep Ivy safe and make her his. His past was brushed on briefly and was more than a little sad, but instead of it making him into a bitter bastard, it instead makes him more determined to make something of himself and find his place in the world. Overall I would say that Landon is just the type of man I look forward to finding to settle down with, which is the highest praise I can think of.
While I enjoyed Her Perfect Mate, I will say that I can’t imagine myself coming back and rereading it again and again like some similar books I have read. There were just moments I found my attention wavering and while I can say I liked both characters a lot and the overall plot was good, there were a few parts that just bugged me. There were some serious issues with the organization that employed Ivy and Landon, the issues with Shifters than can’t shift, and the lack of depth for strong supporting characters was just enough to keep me from hedging into love with this story. Ivy is a wonderful character, a strong, no-nonsense warrior, who maintains her femininity and desire for love, while still using her unique feline abilities to keep her and her friends and loved-ones safe. Landon is a man after my own heart; sexy, alpha without being obnoxious about it, strong, deadly and unwilling to let any danger go unanswered. But at the same time he’s sweet, compassionate, caring, and gentle when it comes to Ivy and that balance and depth is what makes him the perfect guy. The passion that Ivy and Landon both feel, and both try to deny, is so strong I could feel myself heating up right alongside them. The villains’ evil plot was well thought out and developed, even if I figured it out long before Landon and Ivy did. In the end I will say that I liked this book well enough to keep it on my shelf and give the second book in the series the chance to make me a believer, so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for these teams.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.