I had a very hard time waffling between four and five stars for "Standoff". This is book five of Lauren Dane's 'Cascadia Wolves' series and the hero, Cade, has been a favorite of mine since he first appeared in earlier books. The heroine for him that I had imagined in my mind turned out to be NOTHING like the one Ms. Dane wrote for him; but once I got over myself <grin> I enjoyed the story and was disappointed there weren't more pages.
Cade is the Alpha of the second largest pack in America. As such, his life has been dedicated to the safety, happiness, and general well-being of his wolves. He's recently decided that as soon as this crazy war is over, he's going to begin seriously searching for his mate. The good news is: he just found his mate! The bad news is: she's the sister of the wacko that started this war. Now Cade will have to fight the enemy, his own pack, and sometimes even his own Alpha nature to keep her safe and within his paws...I mean arms; ok, both!
Grace is nothing like her insane brother. Although she spent many years packless because of his actions, as soon as she realized exactly what he was trying to do, she began quietly investigating...putting her own life in danger to do so. When time runs short, she decides to take what she has to the allied packs in an effort to help them defeat her brother. She knew she would be distrusted, she knew she would face hostility, but she never dreamed she would find her mate.
This whole series in on my keeper shelf and "Standoff" has already made its way to its own spot, next to its series-mates. The story of the relationship between Cade and Grace was sexy and touching, but for me, the storyline relating to the war was rather anticlimactic. That's really my only beef with the book...the ending. Instead of flowing, it seemed sudden and sharp to me. But hey, that's just me and my opinion.
The rest of the book was bang on. The cast of characters were all familiar as stars of past books appeared and advanced the storyline. The sex scenes were stellar (as usual) and I did fan myself once or twice. And the pace of the book and growth of the relationship between the main characters was about as good as it gets. So I finally had to give it all five stars in spite of my heroine bias and whine about the ending. I'll read this series again, and maybe next time I'll get over myself sooner!