Beowulf—a hulky, brindle-coated bullmastiff—is the only “boy” for Timbrel Hogan. And she has a history to remind her why. But when Timbrel, a handler at A Breed Apart, embarks on a mission to detect WMDs in Afghanistan, she reunites with Tony “Candyman” VanAllen and her no-other-man philosophy is challenged. While tension mounts between Timbrel and Tony, the team comes under fire after Beowulf gets a “hit.” When tragedy threatens Tony’s career and Timbrel’s courage, they must maneuver through an intricate plot and a mission like no other. . . .
The Mission: Intense. The action is fast-paced and gripping and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I was thoroughly engrossed in Tony’s and Timbrel’s mission. Probably less so in the bad guys. Tony and Timbrel were so engaging to me that I wanted to skip over anything that interrupted their story. I am in awe of the way Ms. Kendig creates these missions for the team and how it all seems to come full circle in its own way. It reads as very realistic and never once have I felt that her novels were phony (I say this with authority, does it matter where it comes from? lol)
The Romance: Frustrating (in both a good and bad way). I loved Tony. He made sense to me. Even when he had clear flaws, I only wanted to root for him. The way he chased after Timbrel almost had me swooning. Timbrel. Um…girlfriend was a bit crazy. She would do things, and I would wonder why. And then we would get an explanation for why she is the way she is. And then I would be like okay I understand. And then she would do something again that was abominably rude (I will admit that rudeness is my pet peeve, this may or may not have influenced my reactions to her) and I would be like I don’t know about you girl. And then! Then, there was a chance, I thought that she could totally redeem herself by treating Tony the way he treated her. And that didn’t work out quite the way I wanted. Yet, Timbrel never crossed the line where I plain didn’t like her. She may have been standing right on the line with a foot in the air, but she didn’t cross it. I said all this to say, that when you have a great man and a cantankerous woman, it makes for a romance that leaves me wondering if these people’s relationship would really last ten years from now. Things were resolved, but I felt like some issues still needed to be resolved.
The Spiritual Things: Awesome. To a certain degree, Tony is a stand in for Jesus in the way that he loves Timbrel in spite of her ways and chases her down when she clearly doesn’t want to be caught. When Timbrel is finally caught (by the Lord!), it’s a beautiful thing and a beautiful transition (even if a bit slow). There is also a theme of learning to trust God when plans have been changed.
Overall: Success! Captures you from the first page and you won’t stop thinking about the characters. If you’ve read the other books in this series, you must read this one (And if you haven’t started the series yet, you’re missing out!)
Romantic Scale: 8.7
**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**