X-Ops Exposed

Paige Tyler
X-Ops Exposed
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Publisher
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date
April 2018
ISBN
1492642436
Series
Book 8 of X-Ops
Genre
Contemporary Romance, Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery, Urban Fantasy, Vamps & Shifters Romance

SUMMARY
HE LEFT TO KEEP HER SAFE
Believing he's too dangerous to be among people, feline hybrid Tanner Howland retreats deep into the forests of Washington State―with no choice but to leave behind the woman who's captured his heart. What he doesn't know is that she followed him...

SHE WOULDN'T STAY BEHIND
Heartbroken and determined, Dr. Zarina Sokolov tracks Tanner into the wild. Her presence unleashes Tanner's protective instinct―big time. Locals have been disappearing and he is desperate for Zarina to leave. As the kidnappings escalate, Tanner must embrace the dangerous instincts he fears so much. But with Zarina at his side, he'll have to learn to control his animal impulses, or lose himself―and the woman he loves―to the beast within.

Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Mar 19, 2018   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
71 people found the following review helpful
Tanner's and Zarina's story has been a long time in coming, their ups and downs well catalogued through Paige Tyler's X-Ops series. And this starts on a down, so to speak, after Tanner has run off into the woods, tortured and determined to stay isolated because of his uncontrollable hybrid instincts. But Zarina is unwilling to give up on this man (?) who's seen enough torture for a lifetime and her stubbornness somehow pulls Tanner from the brink, though all isn't as it seems.

This far down the series, X-OPS EXPOSED is near-impossible as a standalone with a narrative arc that has already been flung wide open and many dangling loose ends held by a multitude of secondary characters. With a focus on a pairing (as well as potential ones) and a different plot-line in every book, X-OPS EXPOSED, like every other book in this series, rushes ahead to tell its bursting-to-the-seams story without looking back too much because there's just so much going on. The recap--and there is a bit of it--of previous events is understandably brief and Ms. Tyler pushes ahead with Tanner's backstory that adds on to an already complicated canon that involves super secret departments, shifters, hybrids and genetic experimentations. As the 8th book of the series, appreciating the pairing, let alone the ever-expanding storyline, could be difficult for those trying to wade into the series right here.

It's also probably worth noting that Zarina and Tanner's ongoing saga is just what makes up half of the story; the other half is a rather major sub-plot taking place across the country in Maine as the now-partnerless Tate Evers teams up with a potential new lead (but cool) character trying to solve more of the same problem. I'm admittedly not too fond of the part where Ms. Tyler introduces survivalists, but they do play a part in the larger narrative arc, even if the push-pull between Zarina and Tanner doesn't make much headway as the sub-plot gains in traction.

If I started out X-OPS EXPOSED thrilled about Zarina and Tanner--Ms. Tyler's action scenes are good and reading through them is akin to watching cool action-movie fight scenes--the structure of the plot was such that the pace faltered in parts, along with some cock-blocking moments to the point where picking up later doesn't quite have the same impact dimmed my enthusiasm somewhat. There is a vague notion of ticking clock that counted down to zero hours, a forward but somewhat muddied drive about how hybrids and their nefarious creators still cause trouble, but in the end I couldn't step back and say for certain that I knew where the book was headed.

Only towards the end does Ms. Tyler bring these threads together (somewhat) and I started enjoying the action again. But like every other book in the series, X-OPS EXPOSED closes some loops and opens others, upping the stakes in this political game as well. Frustrating as it can be, that's also what keeps me coming back, truth be told.
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