Heart of the Shifter #1, first book of the USF spin-off. For fans of the Heart of the Wolf series( and the other spin-offs) we do see some familiar faces but this book centers around Valerie Chambers and Howard Armstrong. I didn't get into this one as much as the previous books, it just didn't catch my attention the same way. Jaguar shifters don't mate for life, they also can sleep with each other before deciding to mate, unlike wolf shifters. I liked the set up for the series and the characters well enough even though I really didn't feel the chemistry between Val and Howard and the story didn't grab me.
Val and Howard met in training for the Enforcers where they make a practice of putting the men against the woman so the women can find ways of subduing larger prey. Val so far has been the only who could pin Howard down. Couple years later Howard started working for the newly formed United Shifter Force, a co-op where shifters of all kind work with each other. Val is still an Enforcer, the Jaguars shifters execution squad for those who have killed humans and/or shifter. Val has been working just fine on her own but for some reason her parents, who are also both Enforcers, thought she would need back up on this next mission. They asked the USF to provide some for her; Howard and one of his wolf shifter partners Jillian get called in for the job. The job was suppose to be an easy one in Val's opinion the guy turned his wife and murdered her when he couldn't handle her and with irrefutable proof he did it all Val had to do was track him down and then put him down. Val didn't want the back up but when her guy makes a trip to Belize with his new girlfriend he's thankful for all the help she can get because once they get down there things get way more complicated especially when they discover the case Val's parents are on and hers are connected.
Overall, I enjoyed the characters more than the story. Terry Spear, much like Lynsay Sands, tends to be formulaic in her writing but it's still entertaining to read, the quirky characters make each book memorable. The story felt neverending, up into the last 90% of the book they were still trying to finish the mission and then the climax felt rushed. I am curious about what side characters in this book will continue on to the next book, I kinda want to see Rowdy get his HEA.