Her Lone Wolf (X-Ops #2)
by Paige Tyler
It took everything she had for FBI Special Agent Danica Beckett to walk away from the man she loved. But if she wants to save his life, she has to keep her distance. Now, with a killer on the loose and the stakes higher than ever before, the Department of Covert Ops is forcing these former lovers into an uneasy alliance…whether they like it or not.
Seeing her again is even worse
The last thing Clayne Buchanan wants is to be shackled to the woman who broke his heart. She gets under his skin in a way no one ever has and makes him want things he has no right to anymore. All he has to do is suffer through this case and he can be free of her for good. But when Clayne finds out why Danica left in the first place, everything he’s tried to bury comes roaring back—and there’s no way this wolf shifter is going to take no for an answer this time.
Themes: paranormal, shifters, mercenaries
Rating: 4 stars
Returning to the shadowy world of espionage and national protection, Her Lone Wolf brings two former lovers back into each other’s lives and brings out the truth of the organization they once swore their lives to. For being only the second story in the series and the second by Paige I have ever read, I will say I enjoyed the story very much, though I wasn't quite as intrigued in this as the first one until the very end. With a bit of a slow start on the relationship front, Danica and Clayne's story was a lot of looking back and regretting past choices. Once they both decided to admit the feelings they have for each other and find a way to reunite, I began to love both the characters and the story itself. I am looking forward to where the story might be headed and wonder just how deep the treachery goes in this organization. Tyler's X-op series is a twist of a couple of other series I have read, but she writes so well and her imagination so fluid that I know I will love this series right until the very end.
Danica and Clayne haven’t seen in other in years, since she left their partnership and relationship, leaving Clayne broken-hearted, but they are suddenly thrust into a search for a serial killer that only they can catch. Clayne thought he'd moved past his love for Danica when she broke his heart and left him behind, but seeing her and working with her again brings his true feelings out. Danica can't believe she has to work with Clayne, dealing with his horrible attitude, when her own heart is breaking. Because though she was the one that left it was all for him, to keep him safe and free, but she can never tell him the truth. As they, work together to find the psychotic shifter that is terrorizing California, Danica is no longer able to hide her feelings and decides that maybe if he understands what's at stake he can find a way to forgive her and be happy. Clayne can't believe what he is hearing when the only woman he's ever loved admits why she left, but even knowing there is danger in it, he cannot resist bringing her back into his life and his bed. But when the killer is caught will they be able to be together, or will the dark truth still keep them apart?
I loved Danica, though I wanted her to slap Clayne several times just for his own stubbornness and inability to see between the lines. It's obvious to me that she is hurt by seeing him again, but he doesn’t see, to be able to pick up that fact himself, until her walls begin to crumble under his onslaught and the truth is forced out into the open. She has always loved him and being a strong woman, forfeited her life and love so she could keep him safe and free, but he refuses to understand her motivations. I liked seeing her investigating, she is obviously a sharp woman and her thinking processes are unique enough that I would want someone like her on the trail of a true maniac because she could catch and kick their butts. When she decides she’s hidden the truth from Clayne enough, admitting that she made a mistake leaves her wondering how she will ever find her center again, but determined to try to have a relationship with her love again.
Clayne is quite frankly an asshole through the first third of the book--but then I guess he does have his reasons. Unable to understand that his love might have been one-sided he's never truly been able to move on, probably because she was truly his match and mate, even if he didn’t realize it at the time. I enjoyed when she finally admitted the truth and he understood that the woman he loves--and loves him--spent the last several years struggling with her emotions trying to protect him. Though his innate alpha tendencies hate the truth, thankfully his human side begins to understand and forgive almost immediately. Bringing Danica back into his life is his most important goal--well once he catches a serial killing shifter that has focused on him as his adversary. Clayne’s strength and cunning mark him as a true alpha wolf and show that even the biggest asses can turn out to be real heroes.
Tyler’s fascinating and in-depth view of a world that exists alongside our own is enough to keep me coming back for more, but ultimately the relationships between these shifters and their mates are what really hooked me. The overall action and plot is truly what allows the relationships to develop and find a way for the couples to trust and love one another in an otherwise terrifying existence for shifters. Danica is the type of woman that sacrifices to protect those she loves, giving up her own happiness and life to allow her love to live his life. Clayne is a smartass to be sure, but clever, witty and ultimately a man that will protect what is his with his last breath, and in the end I couldn’t help but fall in love with him a little bit. Even when they are acting like they hate one another, the sparks and intensity between these two former (and future lovers) is irresistible and I just hope I find a love so deep one day. The villain in this story was ingeniously done, and not something, I was able to guess right up until the end. I will say that I wish I was a wolf myself so I could tear out the heart of the guy in their organization that is messing with their lives. I am hoping that he gets his ass handed to him soon in the upcoming stories, but ultimately I know it will happen. Tyler keeps me interested in the story from start to finish, even if the relationship was a bit lacking in the beginning for me. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.