First things first, I have to thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing me an ARC of Hungry like a Wolf in return for an honest review. And HONESTLY, I frigging L-O-V-E-D it!!
Secondly, I have to thank Paige Tyler (and her hubby) for a really original story idea and story. The originality, the way the story unfolds and is seen from multiple points of view is awesome. The characters are truly original in all aspects. Its a breath of fresh air, really. I am not new to the Paige Tyler fanwagon but I will say, the more I read the more I love her work. Each book, each series gets better and better. Paranormal is hard to pull off at times and make it something we haven’t seen before. So to have come across this series, and Paige’s work in general is a wonderful adventure.
**small spoiler alert**
In Hungry like a Wolf we meet the Dallas SWAT team. Gage Dixon, the lead Sargent and fifteen hunky, testosterone filled, Greek gods that pack heat. (Dead.. I’m not into dudes and that is hot. Just Saying) We also Meet Mackenzie Stone, journalist for the Dallas Star. Mac, as she is called is an in depth, no holds bar kind of gal. Nothing frightens her away from a story. Good thing for the paper a bad thing for the Dallas SWAT team. Seems a source, a person taken down by the SWAT team during a hostage situation thinks they are juicing up. PED’s are bad news to anyone with a little muscle.They can make you jumpy and violent. So Mac sets out to see if steroids are their real weapon of choice.
Her asking for a ride along with SWAT was denied so she camps out at the main gate. Does that get her anywhere… no not really. But after some time at the gate she is able to follow the SWAT team out on a call. Its a turning point for her. It gets her to be face to face with Gage and the chemistry starts to churn. Even if she isn’t really aware of it. After witnessing what the SWAT team does, being in the face of danger so to speak she wants a better look. Gage and Mac strike a deal after a dinner out together. Each one planning to use the other to get what they want. Mac wants her story, Gage wants to keep her at bay and his team safe. And they all have a secret that would put them all in danger. They are not just a SWAT team, they are a pack of Alpha’s. As in werewolves. Hot right?
After being granted an ‘all access pass’ to the compound for the afternoon Mac tries to find out what they are hiding. Its obvious to her there is something. But what. The drug angle really isn’t sitting well with her but that journalist nose of hers has picked up something. Gage made sure to keep her in his sights at all times. giving her a four hour tour of the grounds. Let her meet the fellas as they came across them and had her eating out the palm of his hand. Or was it the other way around? The next couple of days had Mac and her best friend, camera man and ‘older brother’ busy with following the SWAT team around during their PT and training exercises. The more time passed the less her story was meaning to her. She knew there was no story with PED’s but they were still hiding something. The connection she had with Gage though was becoming her main priority.
There was a little tension in the ranks, some of the wolves like Mac and I guess trusted Gage to know if she was just here for a story and some just wanted her gone, thinking this was a bad idea. It wasn’t until the team was out for lunch with Mac and Zak in toe that they got to see the other side of their jobs. Seems people hold grudges. The team had killed a man during one of their rescue missions. His father, a big time mob man in Dallas was not too happy about this. He was out for blood and Gage’s head. So his men decided to confront the entire SWAT team at the restaurant. Uh, that was dumb. Because all he managed to do was get one of his men man handled by Gage and them all sent home with their tail between their legs.
This of course gave Mac something more to worry over. In return it gave Gage something else to worry over as they got closer. Now Mac could be targeted. As the days passed these two became closer and closer. Some of the team thought it was just a rouse. If she got him to fall for her she could get a good story but one day on a call -that Mac was riding along for- things went from good to downright deadly in a 10 second period. The team was called in for a Meth lab. Automatic weapons. You name it they were going to be the first line of defense. As Mac and some of the DPD officers watched from the street the team went in. Then radio silence. That silence was followed by a Boom and the house going up in a cloud of debris.
To say her world came crashing down around her would be putting it lightly. Mac ran for the house only to be stopped by the SWAT team’s sniper. He was going to help but he needed her out of the way. Finally after torturous moments (Hers and mine.. I was not breathing along with Mac) they had a panel in the floor opening and a bloody hand came up. Within moments the team was out. And all alive. They had made it into the basement just as it blew. This was no meth lab. It was a trap. A trap set for them. This SOB meant business. Damn mobsters.
This only reinforced Gage’s previous thoughts. He would do whatever he had to to keep Mac and his pack safe. So.. what does a pissed off Alpha male do when you try to kill him and his family? He breaks into your house, kicks your guards asses and puts you in a place of fear like no other. But threatening Hardy wasn’t enough. No, it only pissed him off more. So he does what mobsters do best. He puts a hit out on Gage and his ‘girlfriend’, meaning Mac. When Gage gets the call that heavy hitters are being brought into town he and Mac head for the compound. They are out of town at dinner but head back. Only to be ambushed. Things go from bad to worse to code red in no time.
With a choice to make Gage makes a decision that may cost him a lot. He and Mac are trapped in a burning building and the only way to possibly get out and save them is for him to shift and take on their attackers. So that is what he does. As he is taking down the last of them Mac catches what is going on on her camera and then… it all falls apart. Seeing Gage partially shifted Mac learns his secret. Her mind races and the only thing she can think of at this time, even after he tells her she can't tell anyone is that the public should now. SWAT is more than good guys they are heroes. Gage’s world falls apart. The one thing he was afraid of is coming true. She is simply going to use him for a story. His mean had been right. But she wasn’t just putting him in danger but his whole pack. He convinces her to give him 24 hours before she runs the story. She agrees.
Walking back into the command center and looking his guys in the eye is one of the hardest moments for him. There is no way to sugar coat it either. And no they do not take the news lightly. But while the men get ready to pack up and run Mac is having a hard time putting her feelings in order. Thankfully Zak gives her some advice and just tells her as it is. Mac’s doubting this story and worrying over hurting Gage because she loves him. That is not something she is willing to speak out loud, yet but she knows it. Even if its only been a few days she knows its true. Mac shows up at the compound just in time to stop them all from running. In front of his squad she tells him not to go that she loves him. Of course they all know she is telling the truth, they can sniff out a lie.
Once that dust is settled they all go back to focusing on Hardy. Warrants are issued and raids are set up. Between SWAT, DPD and other officials all of Hardy’s places will be hit at once. But as we should figure it is not all that simple. He is no where to be found… until it is too late. When Mac gets a call her world turns Topsy turvy and the chase is on. What happens next? Well you will have to read to find out.
This is a truly awesome story and I am very anxious for more of this series!