Monday, March 11, 2013

Operation Reunion - Justine Davis (HRS #1745 - Mar 2013)

Series: Cutter's Code (Book 2)


What does the dog know? When Kayla meets Cutter, the big, brown Belgian, she's at a crossroads. She's certain she's about to clear her brother of her parents' murder. But Dane, her longtime love, is just as sure that she's wasting her life. One man needs her. The other, apparently, doesn't... Although it breaks her heart, the choice is made.

Only, Dane Burdette isn't going anywhere. As loyal as that dog, he still loves the beautiful girl next door, even if her life has been derailed. And when danger comes back to their small town, he knows she-and their love-is at risk. Kayla has made her quest her life. Neither Dane nor Cutter will let it take her life, too. 

Cutter, the dog from Operation Midnight, is back.  Now he has brought a new person needing help to the Foxworth Foundation.  Kayla's parents were murdered ten years ago, and her older brother was suspected of doing it.  He ran rather than sticking around, but periodically sends Kayla a note saying he didn't do it.  She has spent those ten years trying to find him and prove him innocent.  For all of those ten years she has been supported by the man she's loved since she was sixteen even though he thinks she's wrong.  When he has enough of coming in second to her search he breaks things off.

I loved both Kayla and Dane.  Kayla has always loved her brother, but has had a blind spot regarding his character.  She could never see when he was being manipulative.  Meanwhile Dane had a very good idea of what Chad was capable of.  Kayla was so obsessed with her search for Chad that she took Dane and his love for granted.  At the start of the book Dane had already pulled the plug on their relationship and Kayla was dealing with those feelings of loss.  I loved the way that Cutter brought her together with Quinn and Hayley and how their involvement gave Kayla the hope she needed.  Even though they aren't together anymore Kayla still loves Dane and nothing is going to change that.  She also begins to realize how unfair she has been to Dane and that perhaps she has really lost him for good.  It is especially hard for her when he stays around to help protect her but she sees that he has buried his emotions to the point of being impersonal with her.  There were several places where her pain brought me to tears.  The love she and Dane had was so strong that neither could really let go. 

Dane was so patient that it wasn't surprising he had lasted this long.  But even his love was having a hard time dealing with Kayla's obsession.  Dane knew very well what Chad was like but could never make Kayla see it.  Even though he had broken off his relationship with her, he couldn't stop looking out for her.  I loved the way he researched the Foxworth Foundation when he found out they were going to help Kayla.  He also couldn't stop himself from getting involved in her protection even though his brain told him to walk away.  I really felt bad for him with the way he had loved her for so long but still felt like it wasn't enough.  

The romance between Kayla and Dane was long standing but in trouble because of her brother.  While the passion between them was evident, it was the emotional torture that was the main part of the story between them. As a romance, you know there will be a happy ending, but the journey there was not an easy one.  As good as that aspect of the story was, the dog absolutely stole the show.  I loved the way everyone would wonder whether he was more than just a dog.  The were some really fun places when Cutter would definitely make his preferences known and the people involved would go along with him.  I also loved how he seemed to know who needed him most.  

The suspense part of the story was also good.  It moved along at a good pace.  The mental parts were great and the action gave enough danger to keep the heart rate up.  The resolution was well done.  I had started to suspect the truth by that time and was glad to see the way it worked out.

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