Title: Operation Saving Daniel
Author: Nina Croft
Genre: contemporary paranormal romance
Publisher: Entangled Covet
Release Date: 11/25/2013
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.
At eighteen, Melissa seduced her best friend Julia’s brother only to run away shortly after. While Daniel was her fairytale prince, Lissa didn’t believe in happy ever afters.
Ten years and a near death experience later, Lissa is ready for a husband and family. But a cry for help from Julia puts that dream on hold. Daniel is acting weird and he’s about to marry his long term girlfriend—AKA The Evil One. Someone needs to save him.
Daniel has never stopped loving Lissa. Ten years ago when he gave her a little freedom, he always intended that one day they would be together. Right up until the moment he was bitten by a werewolf. Now, Daniel has to hide what he is. He won’t risk anyone else, especially the woman he loves.
But Lissa is back. Their attraction is stronger than ever and Lissa is nothing if not tenacious.
I haven’t sought out many paranormal romance novels in the past few years, mostly due to the glut of sparkly vampire books written for the same readers who made the Twilight series such a big success. But I’ve been trying to expand my reading comfort zone to include more paranormal books, and have been rewarded with some wonderful reads. I’m pleased to say that Nina Croft’s Operation Saving Daniel is one of those rewarding stories, and one I wholeheartedly recommend.
Lissa has always loved Daniel, but as the brother of her best friend Julia, he was strictly off limits. It’s only when she’s about to leave for a job overseas that Lissa dares to take what she’s denied herself for so long. Her memory of the night she presented herself to Daniel for unwrapping is one she holds tight during the decade they spend apart, but it doesn’t stop her from believing that she could never settle down and truly love Daniel or anyone else. It takes a life changing experience for Lissa to reconsider marriage. But it takes a plea from Julia for Lissa to reconsider Daniel.
Daniel had never realized that Lissa had been crushing on him ever since they were kids, so he was thrown for a loop when she appeared at his door for a night of unforgettable passion, only to find himself alone the next morning. He thought she just needed some time to think things through, yet as years passed without a word between them, he was never able to make the next move to bring her back. When Lissa finally returns to Daniel, it’s his own recent life changing experience that could make their reunion dangerous for both of them and Daniel’s entire family. But this new Daniel has a heightened desire for Lissa more powerful than the supernatural threat they will soon face together.
What I especially loved about this book was how it started out seeming like one kind of romance and then suddenly transformed into something I did not expect in a way I found surprising and enjoyable. Lissa’s feelings for Daniel have always been superseded by her determination not to commit herself emotionally to another person, but Julia’s plea to save Daniel from his beastly girlfriend arrives exactly the right time in Lissa’s life for her to take action. The initial scenes where Lissa and Daniel reconnect after a decade apart are exactly what we might expect to read, and they set up the assumptions for what should follow. Those assumptions are blown away when we find out what happened to Daniel while Lissa was away, and how The Evil One is a more apt description of Daniel’s current companion than anyone might have ever imagined. It’s a startling change of direction that helps feed the sense of foreboding and concern that everything might not turn out okay, and it kept me riveted all the way to the end of the story.
But none of the thrills and excitement would work half as well if we didn’t believe in the romance between its hero and heroine. Their romance is what anchors Operation Saving Daniel, keeping the the story from devolving into just another story about nice people in danger from occult forces intent on destruction. Daniel and Lissa been separated by geographic and emotional distance, denying their true feelings and letting external forces keep them apart, until they finally accept the force of their attraction and do everything they can to defeat their enemies and save their loved ones and themselves. Operation Saving Daniel has both laughs and thrills to spare, but it’s the love between Daniel and Lissa that made it a book to be savored. And now I need to go find more Nina Croft books to read! 4 stars