Ella is an empath nearing her 27th birthday. In this world empaths act as a gatekeeper for the Otherworld and will go crazy if they are not mated to their chosen partner by that fateful birthday. She's always known this and has decided she wants no part of government enforced mating so is living her life on her own terms. She's very distrustful of people since her own upbringing was less that perfect due to being taken from her family to the empath school when she was only 5 years old. Her family treats her like a ticking time bomb and while I think they do mean well they don't really understand her and make her feel like an outsider. She's drawn in to a case where other empaths are being murdered and their entire essence has been removed by an unknown intruder. As she investigates this case she ends up being drawn to a man who keeps most of what he is locked down behind shields and has an ability to push her buttons like no one else has ever gotten close to doing. Vadim is a mystery through most of this book and he isn't completely explained even at the end. He's not looking forward to having to work with another empath but sucks it up to do his job. He's very prickly and doesn't want to be around Ella but as he gets to spend more time with her he is drawn to her strength and also to the soft side he sees. He has his own secrets but when push comes to shove is willing to face some of his issues just to save her. He ends up finding his other half and while their ride is bumpy as hell it is fun. When he makes a decision he sticks with it even if it could backfire on him completely if she doesn't let her own walls down. He's such an Alpha when it comes to her but really does an amazing job keeping that under control even with her insane prodding.I have to say I enjoyed the world that was created in this and would love to see more stories about the SBLE. We have a world with shape shifters, Fae, trolls, and many other supernatural beings who are held in check by humans that happen to have a little extra something. I'd love to see more of the agency especially if it meant I got to see more of Ella and Vadim. I can only imagine them having kids and the insanity that would bring.Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.