Her Perfect Mate (X-Ops Series #1)

Her Perfect Mate (X-Ops Series #1)

by Paige Tyler

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"Absolutely perfect. One of the best books I've read in years. I definitely want more of Paige Tyler's shifters."-Kate Douglas, bestselling author of the Wolf Tales series

He's a High-Octane Special Ops Pro
When Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan is pulled from an op in Afghanistan, he is surprised to discover he's been hand-picked for a special assignment with the Department of Covert Operations (DCO), a secret division he's never heard of. Terrorists are kidnapping biologists and he and his partner have to stop them. But his new partner is a beautiful, sexy woman who looks like she couldn't hurt a fly-never mind take down a terrorist.

She's Not Your Average Covert Operative
Ivy Halliwell is no kitten. She's a feline shifter, and more dangerous than she looks. She's worked with a string of hotheaded military guys who've underestimated her special skills in the past. But when she's partnered with special agent Donovan, a man sexy enough to make any girl purr, things begin to heat up...

X-Ops Series
Her Perfect Mate (Book 1)
Her Lone Wolf (Book 2)
Her Secret Agent (novella)
Her Wild Hero (Book 3)
Her Fierce Warrior (Book 4)
Her Rogue Alpha (Book 5)
Her True Match (coming March 2017)

More praise for Her Perfect Mate:
"A wild, hot, and sexy ride. I loved it!"-Terry Spear, USA Today bestselling author of A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing
"Her Perfect Mate...is one hell of an adventure."-Night Owl Reviews, 5 Stars, Reviewer Top Pick!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402292101
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Series: X-Ops Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 123,297
File size: 974 KB

About the Author

Paige Tyler is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction, including the X-Ops series, the SEALs of Coronado Series, and the Alaskan Werewolves Series. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their dog. Visit www.paigetylertheauthor.com.

Read an Excerpt


Grozny, Chechen Republic

Ivy Halliwell studied the dilapidated warehouses across the street, her eyes narrowing in the darkness. Casualties of a decades-long war, the buildings were mere burned-out husks of their former glory. Not to mention the perfect setting for an ambush. She scanned the broken windows and overgrown landscape. There wasn't anyone in sight, but that didn't mean someone wasn't hiding somewhere. She sniffed the air, trying to pick up a scent, but all she could smell was the sickening exhaust from the crappy rental car's idling engine.

She glanced at her partner. "I know you don't care what I think, but something's off about this."

Dave snorted. "Why? Because your Spidey senses are tingling again?"

Her feline intuition-the one that told her danger was lurking in those warehouses-wasn't one of her recognized skills, so Dave didn't put much stock in it. No, check that. Dave didn't put much stock in her, period. He didn't like working with her kind.

God, she was so sick of his attitude.

"I'm not asking you to trust my instincts because I know you won't. Going in there without checking the place out first is beyond stupid. It's dangerous."

He pulled into an alley between two abandoned buildings, put the small car in park, and opened the door. "That's your professional opinion, based on years of field experience, right?"

She got out and followed him to the back of the car. "It's a good idea to be a little cautious on this one, okay?"

Dave checked the magazine in his .40-caliber automatic, then shoved the weapon back in its holster. "If I want an opinion on what kind of cat food to buy for my ex-wife's tabby, I'll ask a freak like you. Until then, do us both a favor and keep your mouth shut."

Ivy clenched her jaw to keep from growling. Literally. She was so close to losing her cool and ripping her partner a new one. But a rat-infested street in the middle of a dangerous crime-ridden, war-torn country wasn't the place to do it, no matter how much Dave might be asking for it. When they got stateside, though, she was done with this sham of a partnership. She was going to her boss and requesting a new partner because this one sure as hell wasn't working out. Teaming her up with a chauvinistic former jarhead like Dave Graner had been a disaster from the start.

But first, they had to make it out of Grozny alive. A couple hours ago, that didn't seem like it was going to be a problem. Now, Ivy wasn't so sure. Something was not right about this op.

Dave opened the trunk and grabbed a pair of night vision goggles-NVGs-as well as a communication headset. "Stay with the car."

"Don't be ridiculous. I'm coming with you."

He gave her a hard look as he hooked the headset over his ear and adjusted the mic. "Stay here. That's an order."

Damn him! She was his partner, not his subordinate.

She stood and watched Dave jog toward the warehouses, then grabbed the other communication headset, hooked it over her ear, and turned it on.

"Dave, the plan was to watch the guy from a distance, then pick up the bag after he makes the drop."

She heard him swear under his breath. "If the Russian can change the plan, so can I."

Typical Dave. Always trying to prove he was in charge. "Let me at least come in and cover you."

"Stay with the damn car like I told you to."

Ivy bit her tongue. The moron was going to get himself killed. She shouldn't care what happened to him, but she didn't want him getting hurt. And every instinct told her that would happen if she didn't stop him from going in those warehouses alone.

How the hell was she supposed to do that?

"Dave, please-"

"Dammit, just shut the hell up. I'm too busy right now to listen to your shit. I have eyes on our guy and the package. I'm moving toward the drop point now."


Ivy's stomach twisted in the same gut-wrenching knot it always did when she attempted to ignore her body's internal alarm system. The hell with standing around. Let Dave report her for insubordination when they got back to DC if he wanted to. She wasn't going to be the one to let that jerk get killed. Pulling the 9mm from the holster on her hip, she ran toward the dilapidated warehouses.

The place was a pitch-black maze with twists and turns and dead ends left behind from when the building had collapsed at some point in the past. The darkness wasn't a problem for Ivy. Her eyesight automatically adjusted to the lack of light. Within seconds, the dark corners and shadows disappeared as if someone had flicked on a lamp, except without all the distortion and depth-perception problems that came with night vision goggles. Maybe part of the reason Dave disliked her so much was because she never needed NVGs. He hated the damn things.

She didn't use her heightened night vision to track Dave, though. She used his scent. It was strong on the air, too. Adrenaline mixed with fear did that.

"I'll be at your location in less than thirty seconds. Don't do anything stupid until I get there."

"Do me a favor. Go. Fuck. Yourself," he ground out. The radio clicked off.

"Dammit!" Ivy let out a growl and ran faster.

In front of her, she heard the pop, pop, pop of a small-caliber gun.

"Dave!" she shouted into her headset. "Dave, answer me!"

No reply.

Buildings blurred as she ran past them. She should slow down, check corners and alleys. She could be running right into an ambush.

But she didn't slow. She couldn't.

The scent of blood hit her hard as she rounded the corner of a large stone building, and she immediately froze. Less than ten feet away, Dave and another man-probably the Russian-were lying on the ground, bleeding from gunshot wounds.

She started toward them but stopped when she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. Three men-she could tell they were men from their scent-were nonchalantly walking away from the bodies. One of them had a briefcase in his hand. Another held Dave's NVGs. She darted after them, 9mm aimed and ready to fire, but all three of them spun around at the same time and raised their weapons.

There was nowhere to take cover, and Ivy was moving too fast to even try. Instead, she opted for surprise, leaping into the air as she swiftly closed the distance between her and the men. Their eyes widened as she went airborne. Their first salvo of rounds passed harmlessly underneath her, and while she was still in the air, she took out the most dangerous target first-the guy with the MP5 submachine gun. Two shots to the chest silenced his weapon and dropped him where he stood, leaving her free to turn her gun on a second target-the man with the .45. She put two rounds in him and he flew backward.

Taking out those men left her exposed to the last shooter-the one with the small-caliber pistol. He didn't waste any time firing at her. She hit the ground and rolled, bullets zipping past her head.

The man redirected his aim to shoot her in the head. She knocked the pistol out of his grip with her free hand and leveled her gun at him. Before she could shoot, the bastard caught her weapon hand in both of his, trying to wrestle the pistol away from her.

Ivy set the animal inside free, letting out the growl that had been building low in her throat ever since she found her partner lying on the floor in a pool of blood. She didn't know for sure if this was the bastard who had shot Dave, and right now, she didn't care.

Releasing her hold on the gun, she let her fingernails extend until they became long, sharp, curved claws. The man stared at her, his eyes wide. With a hiss, she darted her right hand up and sliced open his throat.

He hit the floor, the gun falling from his useless hands.

Ivy rose from her crouch, her breathing ragged. All told, the fight had lasted less than fifteen seconds. If things had gone the way they were supposed to, she and Dave would have been in and out in that same amount of time.

Taking a deep breath, she retracted her claws, then turned and ran to Dave's side.

She carefully rolled him onto his back. He'd been shot multiple times in the chest, then another in the head. He'd never even gotten his gun out of his holster. Whatever first aid she could have offered was too late.

She sighed. "Dammit, Dave. Why didn't you just listen to me?"

She gently closed Dave's eyes, then got to her feet to check on the Russian. He was dead, too, shot once in the head.

Ivy's gaze went to Dave again and against her will, she found herself reliving the last few moments of her partner's life. Could she have done something to prevent his death?

She shook her head. Now wasn't the time-and this definitely wasn't the place-to have this conversation with herself. Even in a blown out shithole like this one, someone was bound to come snooping around to see what all the shooting had been about. In her experience, people who snooped around shootouts were not the kind of people she wanted to deal with.

She walked over to the second man she'd shot and ripped open the briefcase still clutched in his hand. Grabbing the manila folder inside, she shoved it in her coat pocket, then took out her iPhone and snapped pictures of all three gunmen as well as Dave and the Russian. She wanted to have something to back up her story if there was an investigation.

When she was done, she retrieved her 9mm, then grabbed Dave's NVGs. She didn't intend to leave anything behind that might identify them. That included Dave. Bending down, she slid her arms under his body, then lifted.

"Come on, Dave. Let's get you home."

Dave was more than twice her weight and she grunted with the effort as she hooked one of his arms over her shoulder and dragged him to the car. It was slow going, but she didn't care. Crappy partner or not, she wasn't going to leave him behind.

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