X-Ops #8, Tanner and Zarina FINALLY!!!!!! Even though Tanner and Zarina are established characters and have been part of the series for a while now because this is the start of a new story arc this one can be read as a stand alone. Most of their backstory is explained. Tanner and Zarina story has been one I've been waiting for, Tanner was the first hybrid DCO came across that could control his animal but in the last book he lost control and almost killed one of the good guys. Scared that he would lose control again and maybe this time hurt Zarina he leaves DCO and goes back to where it all started Washington State and goes off grid to live in the woods. Zarina not having any of that, she gives him some time but as soon as she is able she takes a leave of absence and goes after him and after a scary encounter with a bear she finds him. She makes it pretty clear to him that she is not leaving without him especially since she finally developed a hybrid reversal that would revert his DNA back to what it was before, but for his own reasons Tanner refuses the cure. As much as Tanner loves her he can't stand the thought of ever hurting her and Zarina keeps arguing that he would never hurt her. Before Tanner could make her do anything some friends of his who live off grid in a self sustaining preppers camp keep getting attacked by unknown assailants who are taking people. Tanner promises to get to the bottom of it. But in doing so bring him back into contact with his family. Throughout all this Tanner begins to realize who he is now and finally starts to accept his past is the past and Zarina is his future but before they can have their HEA they must get down to the bottom of who has been kidnapping the preppers who live in the woods.
The side story is Tate trying to track down the evil sadistic Dr. Mashood before the people he was working for find him first and deal with the still rogue coyote shifter, Ashley, daughter of the congresswoman now in charge of DCO, Rebecca Brannon, the same woman who let Dr. Mashood experiment on her own daughter. Tate is forced to work with a local cop who quickly becomes involved in the whole mess and is brought into the fold. Working together they not only manage to track down Mashood but they discover a whole lot of information about Rebecca.
Overall, I loved it. The attraction for Tanner and Zarina has been pretty apparent before now but in this we get to see them build the relationship and really get to know one another; the love is there but this just solidifies the connection between the two of them. I love Tyler's writing she is so great with being able to engulf you in the entire story, if given the opportunity I pretty sure I could have read this in one sitting. I kind of guessed where it was going so that wasn't a surprise for me, but still the story was so good. Enough heartache and stubborn males to balance out the romance and plenty of action to go around. I was white knuckling my tablet at the end it was pretty intense.