© 2012 Paige Tyler
Book Five in the X-OPS Series

Former Special Forces Lieutenant Jayson Harmon can't believe that his war scars don't matter to beautiful feline shifter Layla Halliwell. Why would she
saddle herself with a broken man?

But Layla knows that Jayson is a hero to the core, and that only she can heal his wounded soul. So when Jayson is deployed on another deadly mission, no
way is Layla staying behind...
"There was heat, humor, and heart in it which is so important for a romance. Another solid foray into
adventure!" - I Smell Sheep

“This is the fifth installment in Tyler’s X-Ops series, and it’s just as fresh and fun as the first.” – Booklist

“It’s a treat when a book that’s part of a series lives up to the quality that has been established. In the
fifth X-Ops novel, the couple dynamic between Layla and Jayson is heartbreakingly sweet. Their
empathy for each other is what makes this story work so well.”
- RT Reviews

"One of my favorites! Ms. Tyler has created two REAL heroes, not for their military achievements, but
for the strength of their hearts and willingness to do anything for each other. A wonderful, sensual
romance about life, love and the meaning of being a hero against the odds of survival."
- Tome Tender Book Blog

"If you have not started this series, I suggest you do so.  You will not be disappointed in anything
written by Paige Tyler!"
- The Reading Cafe

"If you’re in the mood for a really good paranormal, romantic suspense, this is the series for you!"
- Rabid Reads

"Action-packed scenes and a fast moving plot." - All About Romance
Excerpt                                                                                                                                                                                                              © Paige Tyler, 2016

“And since we’re on the topic of me telling you things that I should have said a long time ago,” he continued, “I also need to tell you I know how incredibly lucky
I am to have you in my life, even if I haven’t always shown it. I’m sorry about that. But I want you to know that you’re the most important thing in the world to me.”

“You don’t have anything to apologize for, Jayson,” she said softly. “Not after everything you’ve had to go through.”

Jayson smiled wryly. “That’s where you’re wrong, Layla. Last year may have been total shit, and there were times when the pain became so unbearable and
the future so hopeless that I thought about giving up and just ending it, but I still had no right to treat you the way I did. I was hurting and couldn’t see my world
ever getting better, so I lashed out at the only person who cared enough about me to put up with it. I need you to know how incredibly sorry I am for putting
you through all that.”

Tears filled Layla’s eyes. Suddenly, she had a hard time breathing. Part of her had always known that suicide was something Jayson had considered. Still, it
was hard for her to hear him say it out loud. But having him apologize for things he had said and done when he’d been in that deep, dark place was tough too.
Worse, it was scaring her. It was like he was trying to get stuff off his chest before they went on this rescue mission, like he thought he might not have a
chance to say it later.

“Why are you telling me this all of a sudden?” she asked. “You’re not going to do anything stupid are you?”

He frowned in confusion, but apparently figured it out because he shook his head again. “No, I’m not going to do anything stupid. If I scared you, I’m sorry
about that too. All I’m trying to say is that I was in a bad place for a long time, and I did some things then that I’m not very proud of. But I’m not in that bad place
now, and it’s all because of you.”

Her heart squeezed. “I didn’t do anything.”

“Yes, you did,” he said firmly. “You had no way of knowing this, but when I first met you at Landon and Ivy’s wedding, I was at my lowest point. The Army
Medical Review Board had just told me that my request to be allowed back on active duty had been denied. I’d known it was a long shot, but I’d still invested a
lot of hope in that chance, and I was seriously down. I almost didn’t go to the wedding, but I figured Landon would harass the hell out of me if I didn’t. I planned
to show up and say congrats, then bail. But I met you and everything changed.”

Layla smiled, remembering the first time she’d seen Jayson. He’d looked so handsome in his suit, though she could tell he’d been in pain even back then. She
barely remembered any of the reception because she’d spent the whole evening with him.

“From the moment we met, there was something about you— a spark,” he said. “While we were hanging out together at the reception, I forgot I was a wounded
warrior. I was just a guy attracted to a beautiful woman.”

“The attraction was mutual,” she assured him, leaning in for a kiss. “I can assure you of that.”

It was just a short, playful tangling of the tongues, but it was enough to make her body start to heat up again. When Jayson pulled back, the serious
expression was still there.

“But that evening was just the beginning,” he continued. “When you started coming to see me at Walter Reed, I found myself getting out of bed a little earlier in
the morning on the chance you might show up. And when I was transitioned to outpatient status, you were the one who helped me find a place to live.”

Now she was getting seriously embarrassed from all the praise and adoration. “Anyone could have done that.”

“Anyone could have, but you were the one who did it. You were the one who put up with the grouchy, medically chaptered army guy.”

“You weren’t grouchy,” she protested.

He lifted a brow.

Layla laughed. “Okay, maybe you were a little bit grouchy.”

“I was way more than that,” he corrected. “I was a total ass on more than one occasion, but you hung in there and never walked away, no matter how much I

She caressed his stubble-covered jaw. “There was nothing you could ever do that would make me walk away. My only fear was that you would be the one to
leave without ever giving me a say in the matter.”

He caught her hand and pressed his lips to her palm, his breath warm on her skin. “Thank God I was never stupid enough to do that. If I had been, I wouldn’t
be where I am right now.”

She laughed and kissed him. “You mean in a bombed- out library in Donetsk?”

“No,” he whispered. “I mean lying in the arms of the most beautiful woman in the world, telling her how important she is to me and how much I love her.”
"Paige Tyler has done a brilliant job with this series. Her Rogue Alpha is a story of passion, danger and a exciting plot to curl your toes!"
- Addicted to Romance

"Exciting and intense." - Delighted Reader

"A fantastic combination of explosive action and tender romance."  - Fresh Fiction

"X-Ops action continues and gets even better." - Fresh Fiction

"I haven’t read a bad book in the series yet!" - Rabid Reads

"A well-told story with some serious adventure." - The Good, The Bad and The Unread