Former SEAL sniper Cody Roberts has returned from Afghanistan with too many demons and a simple wish: to be left alone. Working for K2 Special Services, caring for the war dogs he rescued, playing his guitar—that’s all he wants to do.
But Cody is as protective as his nickname, “Dog,” suggests. A man like that can’t sit back when he realizes the beautiful veterinarian next door is being targeted by an unknown enemy.
Riley Austin is desperate to find out who’s poisoning her animal patients, and she’s stunned by her mysterious neighbor’s suggestion that it’s personal. But Cody makes her feel something else, too: a powerful attraction. He insists he’s no good for her, but those haunted eyes and that chiseled body tell Riley that surrendering to their mutual lust is worth the risk. And despite his conditions—no falling for each other, no regrets once it’s over—she’ll fight to love him just as fiercely as he’ll fight to save her.
First I would like to point out a side note, that it was unbeknownst to me, that I had scheduled to read two stories of SEAL snipers right after each other. Each very different in style yet made a quite an impact.
This poignant, heartbreaking, touching story took my breath away. It was so beautifully written, the story so enticing, I couldn't put it away, until the end. I don't know how this series got past me, and I didn't find out about it until the last book came out, but the fact that it was the series finale, and I hadn't read any of the stories published before, didn't make a difference to how I enjoyed the tale.
Cody and Riley stole my heart. Their brokenness, the shattered souls they both had, the overwhelming sadness from their past experiences could have made them be a completely different kind of people. Yet they thrived to do their best, to hold on to life, to keep on trying, to be honest, loyal, and open, and to try so hard to find peace, happiness, and balance in their lives. Their love for their furry friends was endearing, the way they cared for each other, stood up for each other and were willing to go great lengths to help each other touched my heart. It felt like I was holding my breath through half of the story, just hoping that they could make it, cheering them on, and wishing the best for them.
Because it is not an easy road they are on, the obstacles are humongous, the only way to remove them takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. And if it were just the inner demons they are fighting against for, but the outside forces seem to be against them as well, and aiming for a kill.
The effects of a war on a human soul are expressed vividly. The brotherhood of the team, always there for each other, taking care of their own, was like a beam of light through the tale.
And it wasn't all sadness and inner turmoil, that fueled the story, there was humor, laughs, loving and passion as well. There were moments of bliss and glee, tenderness and joy, fear and danger, utter devastation and silver light of hope.
The character development in the story is so well done, the steps they have to take, the goals they need to achieve, reached with utter determination. I fell for Cody and Riley as they were introduced and just kept falling for them even deeper, as their story advanced. I felt the hope they had for their future and the depth of their feelings for each other.
This is one of those stories that will stay with you for a very long time. I cherished every moment as I was reading it, I adored the characters and felt their anguish and elation, the story flew out of the pages so smoothly, and I didn't want it to end. What an amazing, touching story this is. Highly recommended!
~ Five Spoons!