Name: Kendra Carlsen
Rank: Trainer, Dept. of Covert Ops
Objective: Get out of the office and into the field
Name: Declan MacBride
Rank: Munitions Expert, Dept. of Covert Ops
Status: Bear Shifter
Objective: Protect Kendra at all costs
The steamy Costa Rican jungle brings out the bear in Declan MacBride when he and new operative Kendra Carlsen are ambushed. In the midst of relying on each other to survive, and fighting his explosive attraction to Kendra, this shifter is about to lose control...
Themes: shifters, paranormal
Rating: 3.5 stars
Paige Tyler’s X-Ops series continues with the newest story of a woman that has finally gotten her wish to go into the field as a true agent and the sexy bear-shifter that is charged with keeping her safe and alive. If you’ve been following the series to this point you will recall that Kendra has been begging to be allowed to go into the field for a long time, even going behind her boss’s back on unsanctioned missions to prove to herself that she can handle anything. When she is finally given the chance to go on a real mission, even one as trivial as a research/recon mission, she jumps at the chance, even if she will be forced into close confines with Declan. Declan has been in lust with Kendra since he first met her, but her obvious disregard for him and obsession with another agent has left him angry and grumpy whenever they are in the same room. But when the mission goes entirely wrong leaving Kendra and Declan with only each other to rely on against a large number of deadly enemies it fast becomes obvious that they are both hiding the true depth of their feelings.
I really enjoyed getting to know more about Kendra and of course seeing the sexy Declan in action was beyond awesome. Kendra is the kind of woman that is determined that nothing will get in her way, even dangerous enemies and a man that she has lusted after a long time. Even though Declan keeps pushing her away Kendra knows there is something between them so she works hard to bring him around, finally getting him to admit his feelings. I think Kendra was a true heroine, willing to sacrifice herself for others, especially the man she loves. Declan too was an intense and sensual characters with a deep core of honor and the ability to make just about anyone of the female persuasion swoon. He is big and strong but, under all that, totally a sweetie and willing to give and give for those he cares about. However anyone that threatens those he loves is another story entirely and trust me when I say that you have never seen a real killing machine until you’ve seen an 8 foot tall bear shifter in full rampage to protect the woman he loves.
Overall this story was very intense and interesting as these two navigated their way through the dense South American jungle running from a dangerous pack of enemies. There were some lighter moments as they found a way through all that danger to find moments of sweetness and passion, but there were also moments of deadly fear and sadness. Declan was a good guy and I enjoyed learning more about him, he is truly a hero, but there were also a few moments where I wanted to kick him in the ass for something stupid he said or did, but I guess that little flaw is forgivable in the grand scheme of his character. Kendra too had a few moments where she drove me crazy, but seeing her standup to her fears and find a way to keep herself AND Declan safe shows that even through fear a person can find their true inner heroism. The passion between these two, whether in the form of fighting or making love was palpable in every scene and even when they were resisting one another you could tell there was no way that would last very long. I find myself enjoying this series more and more and I look forward to whatever comes next for these X-Ops agents and the shifters they are paired with.
*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.