Scheme doesn't know that her death warrant has been signed, by her father no less, but the Bengal Breed Tanner does and he intends to save her. Scheme Tallant was aptly named by her parents. The daughter of Cyrus Tallant, a higher-up in the Genetics Council, Scheme was raised to be manipulative, observing, and a master of deceit. Unfortunately these tactics were also employed against her by Cyrus as a means of training and control of his only child. Scheme's mother was killed when she was still a young girl, but Scheme has always worried that it was her own father that did it. Ever since that day she has been suspicious and watchful of her father, playing the good daughter, until she meets Chaz. An assassin for the Council, Chaz seduces Scheme and accidentally impregnates her. In love with Chaz and worried for their safety she informs him of her pregnancy and he in turn informs Cyrus. Unwilling to let his prize assassin be tied down to his daughter, and horrified by the thought of her being and unwed mother, Cyrus forces a chemical abortion on his unknowing daughter, while making her aware that he had paid Chaz to seduce and spy on her; the assassin did not really love her.
Tanner is a Bengal Breed, forged like so many of his brethren in the cruel Council laboratories that had remained secret for years until a decade ago. After their escape he and many of kind had hid in plain sight among the humans. After their leader Callan mated the reporter Merinus, the truth had to come out and the Feline Breeds went public with their creation, torture, and subsequent escape. Since then they have worked to ensure public favor while fortifying themselves against the constant attacks from the remaining Council members and their followers. The Breeds all do their jobs well and Tanner's is that of public relations. For years he has been portrayed as a playboy, happy and cheerful, well-mannered, with a string of females at his disposal that often play with him and his Bengal brother Cabal at the same time. Even with all of the dalliances and females, Tanner has only had eyes for one woman: Scheme.
For years he has watched her. The Breeds have been keeping surveillance of her home for almost a decade, learning what they could from her interactions and company. For years Tanner has been obsessed with watching her and he is finally at his wit's end. He makes a plan to kidnap her, convincing himself it is to finally get information they desperately need about a Council attack. At a party he throws he meets up with her in person and makes his intention to have her sexually clear. She rebuffs him, though she is attracted to him, and returns to a hotel rather than her house, feeling uneasy. When she gets out of the shower she is surprised to find Tanner in the room. He makes his intentions clear again and asks why she didn't go home when there is a knock at the door. He hides in the bathroom with a gun while Scheme answers to door to find Chaz there. He enters the room and informs her that her father knows she has been betraying him to the Breeds and that Chaz has been sent there to kill her. Before he can, an enraged Tanner flies out of the bathroom and shoots in the head. Tanner injects Scheme with a sedative and knocks her out.
Scheme wakes up to find herself in an underground cave that has been transformed into a kind of home. Tanner makes it clear he kidnapped her and why, and she remembers that Chaz had tried to kill her but refuses to tell Tanner why. Scheme knows there has been a spy planted by her father within the Breed compound for years, and because the profile she has put together fits Tanner's personality and training, she doesn't trust that he is not her father's spy. Scheme has been working with the head of the newest branch of Breed security, Jonas Wyatt, for years feeding him information that has enabled countless rescues and changing records internally allowed for escapes, stays of execution and more. What she doesn't tell Tanner is that she has paid for those instances of aid with beatings, being buried alive, killed and brought back to life and other horrors she refuses to think about.
Tanner find himself caring for Scheme the more he is around her. He has always suspected she was his mate due to his obsession, but has yet to feel the swelling of the hormonal glands all Breeds have when they encounter their mate in person. Even once Tanner and Scheme come together in a heated session he doesn't encounter the signs that others experience and is confused. He finds himself worried that the rumors that he and his twin brother Cabal are so alike that they could end up mated to the same person may be true, or worse that Scheme is actually Cabal's mate. He spends several days holding Scheme hostage attempting to ask her questions, gain her trust and enjoying bouts of intense passion, but is frustrated when she still won't confide in him and knows his time is running out before he will have to take her back to the Breed compound.
Scheme finds herself falling in love with Tanner and wanting to finally trust someone again, but the urge to stay safe and get the newest information she has to Jonas about the impending kidnapping of Callan's son Davis, pushes her to once again look for the escape out of the caves. She trails Tanner's tracks when he leaves her alone again and climbs her way out and up. When she arrives she begins to traverse the forest and find her way out but is quickly found by one of the Council's Coyote Breeds, Dog. He talks as though he is thinking of bringing her back or killing her, but he only stalls until Tanner arrives and takes her back inside. As she leaves he speaks to Dog and you realize that the Coyote has been working for the good guys all along.
Scheme loses all apprehension where Tanner is concerned after her encounter with Dog, and the next morning she attempts to spill her guts, but he quiets her and waits for Cabal to enter the room. Tanner leaves her with Cabal after informing his brother of his suspicions, that she is mated to Cabal not Tanner, and wants to give his brother a chance to prove his theory. Cabal knows Scheme is not his, but he plays along in order to get Tanner to realize it as well. When he approaches Scheme and kisses her Tanner becomes enraged and sends Cabal out. Tanner marks Scheme and the rest of the symptoms he had been waiting for appear. He takes her back to Sanctuary, but they all incorporate the guise that both Tanner and Cabal are possibly mated to Scheme to make sure that any who would try to harm her felt both men were distracted. This way Cabal could watch their backs.
As they try to find ways to get to the spy they know is inside their ranks they host a party. There are hundreds of attendees and after hours of introductions for the sake of sniffing out the spy, Scheme decides she needs air. She heads out to the balcony where she has a brief conversation with a young Breed woman who had been accused already of possibly being the spy. Their dialogue ends abruptly when the Jolian is suddenly killed and Scheme gets knocked unconscious. When she comes to she realizes the spy was a female Breed named Tamber that worked exclusively in communications. Unfortunately when Scheme feels small hands working at the bindings on her hands, she realizes that Tamber has also been successful at kidnapping Callan's nine-year-old son David. When she enrages Tamber in effort to distract the woman, Tamber backhands her and David flies at the woman enraged. As he attacks her the car goes out of control and eventually crashes throwing Scheme and David free of the car. Scheme is hurt and exhausted and tells David to go on without her and get help but he refuses to leave her.
They attempt to escape but Tamber eventually catches up to them. Scheme bargains for his freedom with information about the first Leo and his mate, and David runs off to find help. He doesn't run far before he hits Tanner, Callan and the rest of the Breed enforcers hunting them down. David tells them where Scheme is and they race to save her but as they come over the hill they realize they will be too late. A shot comes out of nowhere and kills Tamber immediately, saving Scheme in the process. Tanner gets her and David back to the compound and the doctors where they can be worked on, and the rest of the enforcers attack the Council helicopter that is nearby. Scheme heals and she and Tanner are able to be together. They come clean about Cabal and the fact that he is not mated to Scheme, and Scheme's interview with the reporter at the party airs disclosing her father's part in the Council and many of the evils he was a part of. He was subsequently arrested, and Tanner reveals that the order for Cyrus's execution has been enacted by the Council to keep him quiet.
Best part of story, including ending:
I loved this story because of Tanner's obsession with Scheme. He had watched her so closely for so long that he was able to tell her what she needed, even before she knew it herself. Once she was able to blossom with him, she becomes an even stronger character that you have to respect.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is when Scheme and Davis are kidnapped but have gotten free of the wreck and left Tamber behind. David's inquisitiveness, intelligence and sarcasm as he tries to get Scheme to come with him and push on, make the scene and his character hard not to love.
Opinion about the main character:
I loved the fact that even though Tanner is your typical alpha male Breed, he didn't let his anger and hurt at Scheme's lack of trust, or the fact that she had thought him to be the spy, change how he treated her or damage his feelings for her. He recovered quicker than most and got back to what was important.