Showing posts with label Psy/Changeling Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Psy/Changeling Series. Show all posts

Sunday, June 22, 2014

… On Shield of Winter (Psy/Changeling #13) by Nalini Singh

Shield of Winter is a transitional book in this long series by Nalini Singh. A much needed one with many threads to follow. First we have the overall story arc which drives all the other sub-plots, including the romance.

Overall Story Arc Summary: Silence has fallen and the Psy world in the midst of chaos. Kaleb Krychek has his hands full trying to avoid total destruction as the dark virus in the PsyNet spreads and threatens the world with violent psychotic breaks from the Psy and ultimately mass death for his people. Many are relieved that Silence is gone, but Krychek also has to deal with those who still want Silence or don't know what to do without it.

Kaleb can't afford to sit on his hands. He knows the Net is in danger of collapsing and that designation E Psys may make the saving difference. He entrusts his Arrows with a list of mature empaths that with some quick training may be able to help. He brings in the Changelings as allies by asking them for safe training ground in their territory. Krycheck goes further by investigating other possibilities and bringing in other allies, including the Forgotten, as well as Nikita and Anthony. It's all very political but surprisingly humane as Krycheck, Arrows, empaths, and allies take desperate measures to contain what could become a disaster of massive proportions.

Empaths: Singh brings in a new group of Psy characters who either have been hiding their empathic abilities their whole lives or were not aware of them. Their mission is to explore and expand abilities they hardly understand to fight darkness, corruption and madness on a psychic level as quickly as possible. Singh begins to further explore designation E and gives depth to her characters by making them individuals, introducing background stories and going as far as sub-dividing psychic abilities within the designation. I believe that a deeper exploration of empaths, one where they finally come into their own, will come along with Alice's story.

Arrows: The mysterious world of Arrows as trained assassins and soldiers is also fully explored. The Arrows are assigned to guard Es with their lives on a one-on-one basis. Their collective coldness and personal isolation serves as a big contrast to the colorful and emotional world of the empaths. Singh deeply explores the brutal, violent, inhumane training, as well as the Arrows' history of survival after fighting those who used their abilities to gain power, through Vasic and Aden's characters. There's a thought provoking quality to this sub-plot that comes from the soldier at war perspective that I believe Singh may continue to explore through other story lines with Arrows as main characters, i.e., Aden, but that I believe was truly well done in Shield of Winter.

Zie Zen, Aiden, and Secondary Characters: Through the Zie Zen character/thread, Singh brings into the open the history and magnitude of the Psy rebellion, and through Aden, the immensity of the Arrows's loyalty to one another. These two characters, although different in the way they show love, provide some of the most touching, emotionally connected moments in this installment. Judd and Sascha are also quite influential -- Judd with his care and loyalty for the Arrows, and Sascha with hers for the empaths. And who can resist Ivy's dog Rabbit?

The Romance: I need to make this point first. Vasic and Ivy are not carbon copies of Judd (Arrow in Caressed by Ice) and Sascha(Empath in Slave to Sensation). Singh doesn't repeat herself and I am very happy that she didn't do that with Vasic and Ivy. Who wants to read about the same characters with the same conflicts over and over again? I don't! In that respect, I am not disappointed.

Ivy doesn't know she's an empath and has been through a form of rehabilitation to fix her. But she's not broken, instead Ivy is a joyful, hopeful woman who has benefitted from being loved by her parents throughout her life. Vasic's coldness and emotional isolation call to her empathic senses and it doesn't take long before she's longing to warm up the Arrow assigned as her personal guard. Vasic cant feel anything. He's on the edge and almost broken from guilt and despair. Ivy gets under his skin. He has never met anyone like her and doesn't know what to do when Ivy begins to push his boundaries. As the two battle the Net and the madness affecting the Psy, Vasic's cold walls begin to crumble in the face of Ivy's loving warmth. But can she walk with him in his personal darkness? Will she understand his past actions? Will she survive the onslaught of the Net's Dark Mind?

This romance is woven into the overall story arc and Vasic and Ivy spend a lot of their time in danger, battling and working on strategies to defeat the darkness. Their intimate time together is beautiful, and I like that as individuals they don't play games about how they feel about each other. I think that is because neither is capable of hiding. But those beautiful times are limited, and other, more significant sub-plots and characters, take the focus away from Vasic and Ivy. So in the end, although I love what there is of Vasic and Ivy together, the romance becomes another sub-plot in this installment, albeit, one where the two characters are an integral part of that all-important overall story arc.

Epilogue: Epilogues can be great or they can damage a great read. In this case I loved it. The Psys are evolving and the whole world will have to evolve with them. There have been changes in Singh's Psy/Changeling world and there are more changes to come -- dangerous enemies, chaos and instability to overcome, but there's hope and love too. Now we wait for the next book. :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review: Heart of Obsidian (Psy/Changeling #12) by Nalini Singh

Heart of Obsidian may well be Nalini Singh's best Psy/Changeling book yet. It was quite unexpected, but I actually fell in love with a sociopath.
"[. . .]the ugly irony of Silence: in creating a society that rewards lack of emotion, the Psy have created fertile ground for the rise of psychopathic personalities to the leadership of their race.

An individual who feels nothing is, after all, the perfect graduate of Silence.

Ruthless. Cold-blooded. Without mercy. . . without conscience."
Traditionally, Singh writes a brief prologue or introduction to each one of her stories. The above quote is from that prologue, titled "Darkest Part of Night," and as always it gets to the heart of the story that follows.

The Net mind is split and getting darker by the day, the PsyNet is corrupted and dying, the Psy Council has been disbanded, and the Psy as a people are about to engage in a civil war between those who want absolute Silence, the Pure Psy, and those who believe it is time for change. Caught in the middle, are the rest of the people who just want to be, including changelings and humans. Someone has to take charge, but is that someone trustworthy?

Well, no. Not really. The male protagonist in Heart of Obsidian is a sociopath getting ready to go full-blown psycho. His obsession with saving a woman has driven him throughout the years, and he is ready to end it all (and I'm not talking about his life, I'm talking about the world) if he cannot save her. This man has perpetrated horrible acts in his past. He is Silent, cold, and as it turns out, he's one of those "ruthless, cold-blooded Psys without mercy and conscience" that Singh refers to in the quote above. So of course I was flabbergasted at the beginning of the story that this was our "hero." Soon, however, Singh changed my mind as I found myself going along with the heroine and falling in love with this man. How did Singh do it? By peeling back the layers of his past which allowed me to feel empathy for a man who initially feels none for anyone except for his woman -- an impressive feat. Indeed.
"You have it." All his secrets, anything she wanted. Even his scarred, maimed heart. "I love you."

Eyes of deep, deep blue locking with his, a single tear rolling down her face. "I know," (She) said, her heart breaking that he's said the words for her. Hurt and brutalized beyond belief, shown not even an ounce of love until they met, it wouldn't have surprised her if he'd believed himself incapable of the emotion.
As always, that feat has a lot to do with the heroine of the piece. She is also Psy but not Silent, and the contrast of her emotions to his coldness and repression help carry this romance. She is the one whose warmth, love, and relentless belief redeem this man. By balancing the protagonists, (cold/warmth, protectiveness/trust, obsession/love, possessiveness/possessiveness), Singh makes this romance work in a deeply emotional and passionate way that I did not expect, particularly from two Psy protagonists! Additionally, the all-important balance of power between this couple is pretty well matched. Why? His Psy powers are immense, but hers are unique and tailor-made to counteract his. This is a key aspect to the relationship between this man and this woman. Again, balance.

Singh wraps up the Psy civil war with exciting action and minute care to detail. This section of the book is satisfying and then some. The Ghost's identity is finally revealed, and although it did not come as a real surprise, it more than makes sense. Popular secondary characters, both changelings and Psy, make appearances and contribute to the overall story arc, however, the focus is firmly kept on the romance as Singh builds her story around the main couple.

So yes, the male protagonist in Heart of Obsidian is a sociopath with psychopath tendencies. He falls in love and those tendencies are tamed, and yes, by the end I fell in love with him too. The happy ever after for our couple ended up being heartwarming, passionate, earth-shattering, and world-changing. This is an excellent SFF/R installment in Singh's Psy/Changeling series, people! If you don't know yet, read the book to find out the names of the main characters and the identity of the Ghost!

Category: Science Fiction Fantasy/Romance (or PNR)
Series: Psy/Changeling
Publisher/Release Date: Berkley/June 4, 2013
Grade: A

Visit Nalini Singh here.

My reviews of Psy/Changeling series:
Mine to Possess, Book 4
Branded by Fire, Book 6
Bonds of Justice, Book 8
Kiss of Snow, Book 10
Tangle of Need, Book 11

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Tangle of Need (Psy/Changeling #11) by Nalini Singh

Adria, wolf changeling and resilient soldier, has made a break with the past--one as unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a new territory, and a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer lieutenant already sworn to a desperate woman who belongs to another.

For Riaz, the primal attraction he feels for Adria is a staggering betrayal. For Adria, his dangerous lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It consumes her. It terrifies her. It threatens to undermine everything she has built of her new life. But fighting their wild compulsion toward one another proves a losing battle.

Their coming together is an inferno...and a melding of two wounded souls who promise each other no commitment, no ties, no bonds. Only pleasure. Too late, they realize that they have more to lose than they ever imagined. Drawn into a cataclysmic Psy war that may alter the fate of the world itself, they must make a decision that might just break them both.
Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh is the eleventh book of the Psy/Changling series. In this installment Ms. Singh includes the expected romance, tightens up her world building, and begins the slow process of closing open threads in preparation for the end of the series.

Riaz found his mate in a married human woman who can never belong to him because she is deeply in love with her husband. For a wolf who is supposed to mate for life, this is a soul-breaking experience and he returns to the pack hoping the warmth of the den will help him heal, even if no one knows his truth or agony. Although Riaz is a lone wolf and needs touch to survive, he cannot abide to be touched by females other than his intended mate, until he touches Adria and passion consumes him.

Adria can't even smell Riaz's scent without wanting him. After a long-term relationship with a non-dominant wolf for whom she subsumed her dominant side, an experience that almost broke her, she is not ready to give of herself again. Particularly to a dominant male who seems to dislike her even as he wants her. But Riaz and Adria desire each other too much and give in to a burning passion that quickly turns into deep friendship, seductive play and finally a soul searing love. As Riaz relentlessly fights for his soul and a future by trying to make Adria his own, for Adria it is torture knowing that Riaz can never be truly hers.

Initially, I was not invested in Riaz and Adria's romance. I think this has something to do with the fact that the focus was not entirely on them throughout the beginning of the story. However as the story moved along, I became involved with both characters and hoped that they would find a good resolution to their angsty, passionate relationship.

This romance goes against everything that has been established as to the changelings' mating culture: deep abiding love vs. the changeling's mating bond. Changelings mating for life has been the mantra so far, and once that mate is found, they can't have another. Nalini challenges her own world building by introducing the possibility that the love felt by the human side of a changeling can somehow be accepted by the changeling's animal side. She makes it work.

There are many secondary characters from the SnowDancer pack alone vying for attention and taking the focus away from the main romance in this installment. Hawke and Sienna take a lot of page time (not that I don't love them), with some of their appearances key to the story while others seem extraneous or unnecessary. They even have their own mating ceremony! Riley and Mercy also have a very special moment in this story, and there were appearances by other secondary characters. For a while there it seemed to me as if everyone who had a romance would make an appearance and take the focus away from Adria and Riaz.

Besides the romance, many events are happening at once and we see the beginning of what will ultimately be the Psy civil war. SnowDancer is in the center of the it all as they make new alliances with other changelings, and strengthen their bonds with the Human Alliance, the Psy, and old friends.

The Pure Psy organization is still limping along and causing problems, and the cracks and corruption in the PsyNet are growing. Political jockeying within the Psy is as deadly as ever, and although there are no huge battles, there are some great discoveries here. The Arrows' agenda is highlighted through Vasic and Aden's characters. Kaleb is very much in the forefront in this installment and by the end of the book turns out to be more fascinating and intriguing than ever. It seems as if he's ready to finally come out and play. Bowen of the Human Alliance plays a small key role, and both Nikita and Anthony make interesting and history-making choices.

Tangle of Need has the overall feel of a transitional book in this series -- the calm after the battle and before the war. For a change, there are some beautiful, playful, and tranquil moments to enjoy in this romance. I'm fascinated how, even when the romance is not a favorite for me personally, Singh continually manages to keep me on tether hooks waiting for the next book in this long series. Her world building has not faltered throughout, and I love the way Singh challenges her own world building with authority and makes it work. As she begins to close threads, for readers, it will become a matter of paying close attention to detail. I have a feeling we are all in for some great surprises!

Category: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy/Changeling
Publisher/Release Date: Berkley/May 29, 2012 - Kindle Ed.
Grade: B

Visit Nalini Singh here:

My reviews of Psy/Changeling series:
Mine to Possess, Book 4
Branded by Fire, Book 6
Bonds of Justice, Book 8
Kiss of Snow, Book 10

Saturday, May 21, 2011

ARC Review: Kiss of Snow (Psy/Changeling, Book 10) by Nalini Singh

Kiss of Snow is one of my most anticipated books of 2011! I would like to thank KMont for indulging me and my love of this series by forward her ARC, just so that I could devour this book early. As you'll see below, I loved it!

ARC review with no spoilers

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would've been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.

Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other's secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna's darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…
Ohhh, Hawke and Sienna! What can I say about their story? For me, it was most definitely worth the wait. Hawke is as delicious an alpha as I expected him to be and Sienna turns out to be a great match for him. I loved this pairing much more than I expected to, but perhaps I should have known better by now. After all, this is Nalini Singh and she knows how to write an excellent paranormal romance. In Kiss of Snow you'll find tension, lots and lots of sexual tension, plus the romance and more than a few of those hot, sizzling moments that Singh is known for.

We all know by now that Hawke has been trying to avoid Sienna like the plague for years. Hawke thinks he's too old for her, and well... he kind of is! Sienna makes him feel things he doesn't want to feel, and since his mate died at a young age, Hawke believes he can't bond with Sienna. Sienna on the other hand has been fascinated and emotionally affected by Hawke from the moment she joined the SnowDancer pack with her family. These two have been pushing each other's buttons for years, but now that Sienna is 19 years old and back at SnowDancer full time the tension between them is off the charts. Hawke decides to find a female to soothe his wolf, and Sienna decides it is time to get her man.

This is a May-December relationship and the story must be well crafted to make the connection between the characters believable. In Kiss of Snow, Singh uses a fine touch while further developing Sienna's character and her relationship with Hawke. Sienna's character growth can be measured from beginning to end by her actions and reactions, as well as in Hawke's reactions to Sienna.

Sienna is a 19 year old young woman, and toward the beginning of the story that shows both in her uncertainty and actions, but from a young age she also suffered torture at the hands of the Psy and in many ways is older than her years. This aspect of Sienna's character is believable and that for me turned out to be key in making this relationship believable. I love the way that Sienna just blooms once she decides to take control and goes after her man. This is where her incremental growth and self-confidence can be measured as the courtship progresses. It's lovely and very well done.

Sienna is both vulnerable and strong, but Hawke is a delicious alpha and acts accordingly. He's stubborn, possessive, protective, bossy and more... but as always what makes him and his alpha attitude acceptable in this situation is the fact that Sienna calls him out on it and, young or not, takes a stand. I love that Hawke doesn't necessarily back off either, but instead modifies his approach. Smart wolf!

There's a secondary romance between Walker Lauren and Lara, the SnowDancer healer. I loved this romance! Walker was ohhhh so tender and unexpectedly hot! Go, Walker! The segments that told their story did not take the focus away from the main couple's romance, but instead served to break up some of the tension at key moments, plus it was wonderful to get to know this quiet character.

And yes... I loved all the action within the overall story arc. The overall story line moved along, and although in the end it seemed almost like a slow move, many small details are revealed along the way that make an impact. In Play of Passion we saw the Psy Council split, with Anthony and Nikita teaming up to protect their territory against the Scots. In Kiss of Snow, the story arc continues as we see Henry and the Pure Psy make their move against the San Francisco territory and more specifically, SnowDancer. Sienna's powers are revealed in all their agony and glory in these segments which are quite cleverly weaved into the romance.

The whole pack is involved in the action and characters from previous stories are highlighted with key contributions. I particularly loved Judd in this story as he continues to grow in depth and breath as a character. The cats from the DarkRiver pack also play key roles in the romance and battle. There's a lovely thread involving the kitties that I won't spoil, but look for it! It is lovely.

I enjoyed the last few books of this series and remember loving Play of Passion. However for me, Kiss of Snow ranks up there with my very favorites of this series Slave to Sensation, Caressed by Ice and Branded by Fire. I love the way Singh extends the courtship between Hawke and Sienna throughout the story to make it a believable one, the sexual tension is off the charts and the payoff is worth it! The Psy/Changeling series is ten books long and for me it's still going strong. I'm still in love with the Psy and the Changeling characters in this series and can't wait to read that next book.

Category: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy/Changeling, Book 10
Publisher/Release Date: Berkley, May 31, 2011
Source: ARC received from KMont Lurv a la Mode
Grade: A

Visit Nalini Singh here.

My Psy/Changeling series reviews:
Mine to Possess, Book 4
Branded by Fire, Book 6
Bonds of Justice, Book 8

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review: Bonds of Justice (Psy/Changeling Series) by Nalini Singh

It is no secret that the Psy/Changeling series by Nalini Singh is one of my favorite paranormal romance series. As with all the installments so far, I was anxious to get my hands on this book, so I would like to thank KMont from Lurv a la Mode for being a absolute sweetheart and sending me her ARC copy. Thanks Kenda!

In Bonds of Justice, Nalini Singh highlights Max Shannon, a human Enforcement detective she first introduced in Mine to Possess, and the best detective New York Enforcement has to offer. Born with natural mental shields that protect him against mental invasion from even the most powerful of Psys, Max is able to work his cases with a clear conscience. When Psy Council member Nikita Duncan's advisers begin dropping like flies, Max's mind and his status as an outsider make him the perfect man to investigate the murders. Unexpectedly, Max finds himself working for the deadly Nikita, but not on his own.

Nikita assigns Max an intriguing Psy partner, Sophia Russo a J-Psy whom Max previously met while working his last case. As a J-Psy, Sophia's job is to shed light on the guilt or innocence of those accused of the most heinous crimes. As a telepath, she can both retrieve memories from criminals and then project them to others. However, the job and all those dark memories have taken a toll and Sophia's time is almost up -- her shields are severely fractured and complete rehabilitation is around the corner.

I was so surprised by Max Shannon! For some reason I didn't expect to like this human cop as much as I did. Max is attracted to Sophie when he first meets her but not just for her beauty. He appreciates the whole person, understands her abilities and sees through the Psy coldness she attempts to project. I love the way Singh develops this relationship, there is an instant deep attraction but it doesn't translate into "insta-lurv" for humans. Max is hot, hot, hot... but because he cares for Sophie and takes the time to understand her, he's not just passionate, but unselfish and tender as a lover from beginning to end. The man won me over.

I really liked Sophie too. We get to know her when her shields are already severely fractured and she has broken Silence. A damaged and desperate woman with little time left, Sophie is direct with Max when it comes to wants and needs. Max is a direct man himself so there's no game playing in this romance, making Max and Sophie a great couple. Singh uses Sophie's circumstances to build up the sexual tension between the two to a fever pitch, making even a simple touch an erotic experience. Have I mentioned before that I love the way Nalini Singh writes this type of romance? I do.

As in all the Psy/Changeling books, the storylines in Bonds of Justice are multi-layered. As Max and Sophie investigate the murders of Nikita Duncan's advisers, they're also simultaneously following up on the case of a human sociopath, Gerard Bonner. A serial killer already behind bars, Bonner is still quite dangerous. As a character, he is chilling, cold and evil seems to ooze from his pores every time he appears on the page, making him an excellent villain. This is a device previously used by Singh and a bit repetitious, however this time the sociopath is human instead of Psy. I ultimately liked the way this particular thread was dealt with -- Bonner's humanity didn't make him less of a monster or a danger to Max and Sophie.

Secondary characters are well used, as always. Kaleb Krychek is highlighted in this installment and plays an important role. More information about him is disclosed making this character even more intriguing than before. The Psy Council continues to jockey for control and power, and the PsyNet continues to deteriorate and split affecting the Psy as a whole. Changelings play a secondary role with Sascha taking central stage and Faith making key appearances.

The resolution to Sophie's dilemma is interesting, if not surprising, and I do wonder how Singh will use it in the future. There's an underlying theme of bad/good motherhood and hope in this book that I found quite interesting. Not surprising, Singh maintains her tight worldbuilding and introduces some great changes for future installments -- I can't wait to read more about them! Bonds of Justice was a winner for me and keeps the Psy/Changeling series at the top of my paranormal romance list.

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy/Changeling Series, Book 8
Release Date: July 6, 2010
Source: ARC copy received from KMont - Lurv a la Mode
Grade: B+

Visit Nalini Singh here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Review: Mine to Possess (Psy/Changeling) by Nalini Singh

I chose Mine to Possess as my re-read this month in preparation for the new release in Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series, Bonds of Justice. This is the book where Max Shannon is introduced and I wanted to refresh my memory.

I remember thinking what an interesting couple Clay and Tally made the first time I read this book. Clay seems like your typical DarkRiver changeling sentinel, possessive and protective, but there's more to him. Clay is half human and grew up as a human, depriving him of a healthy changeling environment, and except for Talin's, he did not have the touch and affection so necessary to changelings throughout his childhood. He killed to defend Tally and lost her with that one act of violence. His experiences during those formative years were traumatic and shaped him into a man with dark spaces, a loner in danger of going rogue.

Talin was abused and terrorized as a child and although she has come a long way and is now a determined woman with some strengths, it is clear that she's still traumatized by her past. She is a fragile and damaged woman, both physically and emotionally. Talin is a social worker with the Shine Foundation and as her children begin to disappear, twenty years after their separation she decides to approach Clay, the one man she feels is strong enough to help her. A man she both fears and loves, a man she lied to.

I must admit that Clay was always one of those changelings I found intriguing. His love for Tally from the beginning, his tenderness, passion, possessiveness, protectiveness and what he is willing to do for her had me at hello. On the other hand, it took me a while to like Tally. She rationalized her reasons for lying, fearing and rejecting Clay, and it seemed as if in every other chapter Tally changed her mind as to those reasons or came to a new realization. This was used to build up the sexual tension, but for me it became frustrating after a while. However, there is character growth for Talin and eventually she did grow on me.

I thought that as a couple they were both hot like new lovers can be, and sweet and comfortable like friends who have known each other forever. I loved that they were so jealous and protective of that friendship and wanted to keep it intact.

Mine to Possess is where Nalini Singh introduces the history of the Forgotten and the Shine Foundation with its director Devlin. I loved this part of the story and how Singh continued to expand the history of the Psy to include those who did not accept Silence, something that made absolute sense. Devlin had a small part in the book, but one that made an impact. Max Shannon, the human Enforcement detective with the impenetrable mind shield who is helping Talin track the missing children is also introduced and plays a smaller part. Ashaya, the M-Psy who is running Protocol One experiments for the Psy Council and her assistant Ekaterina play key roles in the outcome of the story.

This is a solid installment to the Psy/Changeling series that focuses on the romance while addressing the overall storyarc. Quite a few key characters are introduced in Mine to Possess, as Singh expands her worldbuilding to include the Forgotten and the human race as an important part of that world.

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy/Changeling, Book 4
Released: February 5, 2008
Grade: Solid B

Nath's 2010 Re-Read Challenge

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mini-Review: Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh

The Psy Changeling Series

When a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped, DarkRiver sentinel Mercy, a cat, and SnowDancer lieutenant Riley, a wolf, must work together to track the young man - before his shadowy captors decide he's no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it'll leave them both branded by fire.
Many wonderful reviews have been posted for Branded by Fire -- Lurv A la Mode , The Book Smugglers, Book Binge, to name a few -- I figured I would just post a short, mini-review outlining my final thoughts.

Nalini Singh continues to deliver with her latest installment in the Psy/Changeling series. In Branded by Fire, the romance was the center of the story and it was one of the most sizzling romances in this series so far. Mercy and Riley set the pages on fire.

The pairing of these two dominant changelings turned out to be both hot and tender. I loved the way Ms. Singh consistently maintained Mercy's alpha characteristics throughout the story. Mercy gave of herself without ultimately losing herself. Her dominant female characteristics and self-assurance were not lessened to give Riley, another alpha hero, the spotlight. Reiley as an alpha hero was also a winner. The give and take between these two characters made for a balanced and well done romance, gifting us with a strong and passionate pair.

Ms. Singh also delivers on the world building front. The overall arc in the Psy/Changling world stays tight and the story moves forward without sacrificing the romance. This world keeps getting better and it absolutely has my attention. I'm looking forward to learning more about Kaleb, the Ghost, the Net and of course, the Forgotten. Blaze of Memory should give us more on that front and I can't wait.

As you can see, I loved Branded by Fire. Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series maintains its place at the top of my Paranormal Romance list. Maintaining the romance focus without losing the tight world building, this installment gets a Hot A

Visit Nalini Singh here. Read an excerpt here.

Originally posted at Musings of a Bibliophile July 17, 2009