Title: Her Rogue Alpha
Author: Paige Tyler
Series: X-Ops #5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Available: 6th Sept
HE’LL DO ANYTHING FOR HER
Former Special Forces Lieutenant Jayson Harmon can’t believe that his war scars don’t matter to beautiful feline shifter Layla Halliwell. Why would she saddle herself with a broken man?
But Layla knows that Jayson is a hero to the core, and that only she can heal his wounded soul. So when Jayson is deployed on another deadly mission, no way is Layla staying behind…
Source: ARC from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley
I’m not sure why, but I struggled to maintain my focus (and interest) while reading this. It’s probably more to do with my head than the book itself, but I didn’t find Jayson and Layla’s romance particularly compelling. Plenty happens in this book, there is action and adventure and all that good stuff, but as I said, I struggled a little with this.
Part of that is because Jayson is not in a good place at the start of this book. He has a serious back injury that invalided him out of the military and has completely transformed his life, even though he’s not in a wheelchair. Not only is he dealing with constant pain, he’s also struggling with his own view of himself and his worth. I got that and understood it, even if some of his decisions made me shake my head.
What I didn’t get so much was Layla’s response. Everything she has ever been before this book is essentially thrown out of the window. Instead of being a professional trained to understand and help someone in Jayson’s mental state, she seems pretty clueless. Sure, she’s far closer to him than any of her patients, and has been patient with him, but her lack of understanding about why he is in the place he is kind of baffled me. Not that it really matters, because that old Layla isn’t here anymore, instead she’s out in the field, saving the world and getting along just fine.
Their romance has a lot of issues to deal with at the start – and yet, for me, none of them are actually tackled. Jayson’s depression and lack of self-esteem is dealt with by him doing something reckless and apparently improving, while Layla chases after him, keeps secrets and it’s all love and rainbows and aren’t we a great partnership? Meh, not so much, with all the lying and the shady deals behind Jayson’s back. Even though they do work well together, the romance didn’t really have any impact for me.
On top of what’s going on with these two – at home and in Ukraine – chunks of the story are given over to part of the overarching series plot with Thomas Thorn and what Ivy and Landon are up to. Which is distracting, partly because Ivy’s (pretty poor) view of Layla irritates me and her failure to fulfill her promise to her sister never comes up. More than this, though, the storyline with the thief was actually a lot more interesting than Layla and Jayson, which didn’t help my attention span when it came to them.
This isn’t a bad book, and if you’re a fan of the series and reading them in order, you will find stuff to enjoy here. As a romantic pairing that’s been building for sometime, it wasn’t quite all I’d hoped for, but there’s still plenty of action and interesting stuff going down. The Thorn plot continues to advance, and things with the thief are definitely intriguing, making me curious about the next book. As far as this one goes, though, it just didn’t quite grab me that way I expected.
Her Rogue Alpha is out September 6th.
Visit Paige Tyler for more details.