Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ARC Review: PRIMAL FORCE By D.D. Ayers

Primal Force 
by D.D. Ayers

Passion is always worth fighting for…

Jori Garrison trains dogs for Warrior Wolf Pack, which provides service animals for disabled veterans. Four years ago, she was wrongly convicted of a crime—thanks to her no-good ex-fiancé. Now she just wants to live her life in peace with her beloved dogs. No men, no complications. But it’s hard to play it cool when a lethally hot male is on her tail—and the attraction is fierce, mutual, and dangerous…


Lauray "Law" Batisse is a Military Police veteran who was wounded in Afghanistan. Haunted by the loss of his K-9 partner in combat, he’s reluctant to accept a service dog named Samantha into his life. But once he meets her trainer—the gorgeous Jori Garrison—he can’t fight his primal instincts. And neither can Jori. This sexy alpha male might be the only man strong enough to unleash her desires. And when unseen enemies start hunting them down, he and his new K-9 partner might be her only hope… to survive.

Darkest in the series so far, this Primal Force features the story of a wounded warrior dealing with PTSD. He gets assigned a service dog and an attractive trainer. The trainer also happens to be an ex-con. She was wrongly accused but it ended up in prison and is recently released. There is a mystery woven into this narrative, but the heart of the story is about a closed, tightly wound soldier and a woman who draws him out with light and energy. 

Law is not always likable.  He is described as “insensitive, untrustworthy, possessed of a quick temper, and selfish. He’d enjoy the company of any willing woman. But he never let it get personal, or stand in his way.”  In other words, he is kind of a jerk. Law is not very nice to Jori through most of the book and I wonder why she keeps coming back for more abuse.  Let's just say there is a lot of groveling that needs to happen in order for him to redeem himself. I can’t say for sure if he begged enough, but he did have a substantial change of heart that showed commitment to her.   What saves Law is his recognition that she makes him want to be better.  “…[H]e wanted the truth about himself – that he was insensitive, untrustworthy, possessed a quick temper, and selfish – to be a lie.” In the end, I like that he is a complicated guy. 

Unlike her previous two books, Primal Force features a different kind of dog.  Samantha is a service dog, not a law enforcement K-9.  She is not trained to attack suspects or sniff out drugs, she is trained to provide service and assist her master.  Samantha can detect when her owner is having a PTSD attack; she can provide solace and comfort; and she is trained to find help if her alpha is in trouble. 

Curiously, the author decided to include the dog’s perspective.  We get to go inside the dog’s mind.  Admittedly, giving voice to what is going inside the dog’s head is a little strange. But I began to appreciate and enjoy this extra insight: “The sad man needed her to be his pack.  She’d picked that up the first day.  No Alpha, even the strongest, was healthy when he was without his pack.” 

D.D. Ayers has another winner in the K-9 Rescue series.  The author gives us a great balance of mystery and romance. We get a bonus perspective of a caring and heroic dog that will surely warm your heart.  This is good stuff. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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