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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Review: Wolf Unleashed by Paige Tyler

This is the second book to make me cry this year, I mean ugly cry. I fell in love with the SWAT guys all over again.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Sourcebook Casablanca
Release Date: December 6, 2016

Lacey Barton can't deny her crazy attraction to Alex Trevino, but that doesn't mean she has time for the gorgeous SWAT officer. She's hell-bent on discovering who's behind the brutal dogfights sending countless mauled animals to her veterinarian office. The trail leads Lacey to a ring of vicious drug dealers and suddenly she's in way over her head-right smack in the middle of a SWAT stakeout.

With Lacey in danger, Alex's wolf side is unleashed. But when she witnesses Alex shift, she's even more terrified... Now it's up to Alex to crack the case-and earn back Lacey's trust and, ultimately, her heart.

Veterinarian Lacey Barton is dedicated to her job and even though she’s attracted to SWAT officer Alex Trevino she has bigger problems, like finding out who is responsible for the dogfights that keep sending patients her way. While doing her own investigation she not only stumbles across an even bigger crime scene, she witnesses Alex shift into a wolf and that sends her into a panic. Meanwhile Alex is busy trying to keep Lacey out of harm’s way all while trying to convince her that he’s one of the good guys and that she can trust him with anything.

Since I loved and recently lost an amazing pit bull by the name of Mr. Pud and have now adopted the colorful Hayley, Wolf Unleashed was the most emotional book of the SWAT series for me because Paige Tyler took readers into the tragic, cruel, cowardly world of dog fighting.

To date, this has been the first romance I’ve read where dog fighting was featured and wasn’t glossed over. Alex and Lacey witnessed what happened to “loser dogs” and “bait dogs” when they’re no longer of use and through their eyes, the reader gets a cold dose of reality. Tyler also drives home that the dogs are the true victims in this horrible crime, and provided the sympathy for them that I wish was always present in the real world. This is a very personal cause for me and to see that it obviously is one for the author brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face because someone who writes happy endings for a living gets it and gave justice and a happy ending to what in the real world would have probably ended with no justice for the dogs.

Alex may not be the most flashy, loud, or noticeable of the entire SWAT team, but he held his own in Wolf Unleashed and for me he was one of the best because I just love a man who cares about animals and Alex definitely did that. His relationship with the SWAT team’s dog Tuffie was not only adorable but it was what had me sold. A man who has a heart for animals, especially a dog like Tuffie is totally my kryptonite. And bonus points for even having characters like Tuffie in the series. I do love it when part of the supporting cast happens to be furry.

So while some people might think Lacey was a bit TSTL for doing her own investigating I think it was admirable. Should she have taken better precautions? Of course, but when there isn’t a police division that is focused on dog fighting/animal abuse or it’s barely starting then you work with what you can and I admired Lacey for not simply reporting it to the police and then washing her hands of it all or even expecting big, strong Alex to solve her problems. I may not have agreed with her methods but I can’t fault her either when she was the one who had to see the results of nothing being done to help.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t have an issue with Lacey but that came from the way she treated Alex once she discovered his secret. She was irrational and that lead her to make some very reckless choices. Overall though, I can’t dislike someone like Lacey who made mistakes with the right goal in mind. I just can’t.
Up until now the members of the SWAT team have been living their lives as low key as they can but with recent events and now with the discovery of even more possible enemies, I feel like the series is headed into more paranormal waters which kind of makes me a little nervous. Part of the appeal of this series was that it’s been light on paranormal, almost like an afterthought but now with more than just Alpha wolves coming out who knows where the series will go. I’m going to trust Paige Tyler though because she has yet to lead me down a bad path with any of her books. Who knows, the new direction might be something incredible and fun.

Wolf Unleashed has plenty of twists and turns, some predictable, some not but I enjoyed the journey all the same. I was just as adamant that the villains be caught and dealt with as Alex and Lacey but I also enjoyed the more subdued moments where these two just spent time getting to know each other.

Final Verdict: Not gonna lie, I cried with Wolf Unleashed, it had elements that definitely struck the emotional strings with me but it was also fun, interesting and set up a lot of possible conflicts for future books in the series.

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