Review: Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookhostagetopleasure
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #5
Publisher: Berkley Sensations
Hero: Dorian Christensen
Heroine: Ashaya Aleine
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: September 2, 2008
Started On: July 23, 2013
Finished On: July 25, 2013

“And the Psy do not allow the flawed to live.”

Dorian Christensen is one of the sentinels of the powerful DarkRiver leopard pack in San Francisco. Vengeance is something Dorian is all too familiar with, his hatred for anything and everything to do with Psy a visceral burn that never really leaves him. Born latent and unable to shift into his leopard form, Dorian is equipped with the classic good looks of a beach bum, both of which makes Dorian try that much harder to hone his fighting skills and abilities and come out at the top.

26 year old Ashaya Aleine is a 9.9 Gradient M-Psy with the ability to work in the science of genetics which makes her one of the most valuable commodities for the Psy with their plan on completely controlling the thought processes of the Psy population as per the Council’s desires. But Ashaya is a woman who has something to live for; to safeguard her son Keenan for whom she would lay down her very life without a second’s hesitation.

Dorian might not like the fact that his inner leopard seems to be all sorts of interested in Ashaya ever since that fateful night 2 months back when he had had her in the scope view of his sniper’s rifle. Vivid dreams of them turning to each other in need and heat torments him, the fact that he could feel all that for a Psy making him want to crawl out of his skin with the guilt he feels once the dreams subside. When Ashaya crosses his path again, this time around Dorian is willing to put on the charm to get Ashaya out of his system. But what neither Ashaya nor Dorian fail to comprehend is the connection and attraction that leaps to life between them and grows stronger as Ashaya tries to safeguard the sort of secrets that could in fact break the fragile bond & connection between them.

Hostage to Pleasure is the 5th book in the Psy-Changeling series and is told in 3rd person from mostly Ashaya and Dorian’s points of view.

Hostage to Pleasure is a beautiful and wondrous story, the fact that I couldn’t get enough of both Dorian and Ashaya one of the reasons that I loved the book. The fact that Dorian cannot shift is one of the most unique aspects of the story that unfolds, the constant pain he is subjected to because of the fact and especially with Ashaya tempting the inner leopard to come out and play which drives the pain to levels Dorian had previously learned to ignore. Through the haze of the need for vengeance and revenge on the Psy, Ashaya’s at times matter of fact and the other times the actions that reveal the vulnerable and emotional cracks beneath the deep conditioning on her mind as per the Psy mandate, Dorian learns to accept the fact that Ashaya is his mate and that is how it is going to be no matter how much his rational mind might want to reject that sort of deep emotional intimacy with a Psy.

Ashaya’s character was just beautiful. No two ways about it. I think since Sascha in the 1st book in the series, Ashaya is my second favorite heroine in the series! Her need to protect her son is one that knows no bounds, be it even faking her own death to escape the clutches of the Psy that holds her under lock and key to get what they want from her. To think of the amount of years Ashaya must have kept up the pretense that her Psy conditioning is perfect, well lets just say that kind of strength is what makes or breaks a person. Ashaya’s innocence when it comes to pleasures of the flesh and the refreshing way in which she reacts to both the playful and the raw and animal side of Dorian was what made me fall in love with her character.

Nalini Singh knows how to perfectly balance the suspense, romance, intrigue and the paranormal aspects of the story, all the while forging deep ahead into the fascinating world building she continues to do throughout every book in the series. It takes an author of immense talent to be able to write this many books and still have something fresh and exciting to offer with each new installment & truth be told I am just in utter awe of Nalini’s ability to spin tales that leaves me wanting to become an actual part of the Psy-Changeling world.

The intimacy that Nalini weaves into the story is what makes her stories stand out, the way she brings forth characters from previous novels and appeases the reader’s hunger to know more about them what makes these books unbeatable. Loved, loved, loved the epilogue and I couldn’t have asked for a more fitting end to the story.

Highly recommended for fans of romances! If you haven’t read the Psy-Changeling, you haven’t been reading romance that MUST be read!

Final Verdict: Laid siege on my heart & set it afire with pleasure from beginning to the end.

Favorite Quotes

His taste was inside her mouth, a dark and richly masculine thing at odds with the sheer beauty of him. Protected by the strange, twisting, chaotic shield that blocked Amara, she broke every rule and savored the experience. When his tongue swept against hers, she felt her throat lock. He did it again. Shuddering, she dared explore him in return. His growl poured into her mouth, making her nerve endings sizzle.

She tasted so good, he licked at her with quick catlike flicks that made her pulse turn to thunder. When she couldn’t seem to gasp in enough breath to ask him about the warning, he smiled. “I wasn’t kidding about having you in my bed. Get ready to dance with me.”

He bit her shoulder again, harder this time. She felt her body coat his with another layer of hot dampness even as lights started sparking behind her eyes. “Let go,” he said in a voice touched with a rough tenderness that undid her. “I’ll hold you safe.”
Yes, he would, she thought. So she rode the wave of pleasure, let him ride her through it, and when the next wave crested, she buried her face in his neck, licking at the salt of his skin.
Something very close to a purr rumbled through his chest. And at last, he began to move faster, the hard heat of him a pounding beat inside of her. She held on, was held safe . . . even as she held him safe.

Slipping into her bed, he cradled her against his chest. “You’re wrong. You would’ve pulled yourself together for Keenan, for Amara. That’s who you are.”
“He didn’t understand, she thought. “But I wouldn’t have survived.” She put her hand on his chest, wanting to feel the pulse of his life. “Pieces of my heart, Dorian. You’re in so many pieces of my heart.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber SEAL: OUTSTANDING READ!

Review: Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: George Edward Arthur Granville Fitzhugh (Fitz)
Heroine: Millicent Graves
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: July 3, 2012
Started On: July 20, 2012
Finished On: July 22, 2012

I have been meaning to get this review written for quite sometime now. Well, ever since I finished the book a couple of days back. I wanted to write the review when the essence of the story was fresh on my mind, when the feelings that coursed through me as I read through every single page of the book still lingered deep inside of me so that I could do the book the justice that it so deserves. But alas, life and its various blunders happened and here I am penning the review a few days later and yet, the remnants of a story that made me cry god honest real tears still lingers on and I wonder whether I would be able to read a story that even remotely compares to this one anytime soon.

I should have actually being prepared when I took on this book on a recommendation from Brie at Romance Around the Corner. That girl has an uncanny ability of recommending books that speaks to this twisted needy heart of mine and Ravishing the Heiress certainly did that and more. And I say I should have been prepared because my one encounter with Sherry Thomas and the way she writes came right after when I first started reviewing and stumbled across her book Not Quite a Husband. And man, was that a story that had my gut churning and my insides doing cartwheels all around. 

Ravishing the Heiress is the second book in the Fitzhugh Trilogy of which the first book I have not read. But I am definitely looking forward to the 3rd and final book in the series which is to come out on October this year. Sherry certainly leaves us with tantalizing glimpses into the story of Helena and Viscount Hastings not to feel otherwise and I for one cannot wait!

Its the year 1888 and Millicent Graves (Millie) is getting ready for the final phase of Operation Marry Well for which she has been preparing for all her life. Discipline, control and self-denial has always been part of her upbringing, love never a part of the equation for which she has been practicing for up till now. Millie has always been the obedient sort, the one who never makes any untoward waves, does as expected and retreats when need it be. And when at the tender age of 16 years she encounters the new Earl of Fitzhugh, her heart takes that undeniable leap and tumbles headlong into that unknown abyss called love which we all clamor for.

Earl Fitzhugh is 19 when he becomes an earl which hadn’t seemed that terrible at all at first. But when he knows of the situation which would require him to marry well in order to put the state of the affairs of his estate and financial woes of the family to rest, attaining earldom suddenly doesn’t seem like the best thing to happen, especially when it means giving up on the woman he has vowed that he would love for the rest of his life. Though Fitz knows its by no fault of Millie that she has to marry him, he can’t help but feel the deep throes of despair overtake him even at the mere thought of marrying her and living with a woman he doesn’t love for the rest of his life. But Millie offers him a way out, a reprieve that would give him a period of 8 years until the marriage would be consummated and that’s the only thought that gives him the slightest room to breathe as he prepares himself for an ordeal that seems like it would never ever end.

What Sherry Thomas takes us on is a journey filled with so many beautiful and poignant moments that I couldn’t help but have this huge huge lump in my throat at all times. There was a time or two when I thought that I was going to end up with a serious medical condition if it didn’t let up; but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. There is a beauty in the way Sherry writes her stories and brings her characters to life, a dreamlike quality to the love and emotions that she invokes in her readers and I for one was glad to be a part of it as I let myself be catapulted right along with Millie and Fitz in their journey towards happily ever after.

First comes along the friendship, borne out of the need to have a semblance of normalcy in their marriage. A bond forged out of Millie’s need to see the man she love shake the grief that weighs down on him from day one of their marriage. Their quest to put their estate to rights, to move ahead in their business affairs and day to day mundane activities brings them closer, Fitz coming to rely more on Millie than he would have ever envisioned. And then the 8 year milestone comes up and along with it comes the woman who has never been far from Fitz’s mind, the woman he has made a promise to himself and her that he would love for all eternity.

What Fitz takes on as completing his end of the deal or the bargain that they shook on 8 years back turns out to be the most anticipated event of his life, the feelings that course through him when he thinks of leaving Millie and what they have together giving him that odd ache in his heart which he doesn’t know how to identify as. It would take a whole box of tissues to get through the scene during which the final act takes place, all that pent up longing on Millie’s part acting as a sheer aphrodisiac for the reader, that iron-clad control of hers completely breaking apart under the tender assault of Fitz’s brand of seduction. As the scene progresses, the seducer in turn becomes the seduced and I would have to say that that would be one scene that would forever be permanently etched on my mind.

One would think that Fitz being the total clueless fool he is when it comes to Millie and the fact that he is forced to marry a woman he doesn’t love would make him an ogre, a man that would earn the disapproving frowns from the feminists all around. But nothing could be further from the truth as Fitz is a man who demands nothing lesser than the complete and utter love of the reader even though I would have loved to paint an arrow in bold red color and point it towards Millie a time or two. But his utter clueless nature when it comes to his wife whose heart remains a mystery to him is what makes the story so, so good, the angst so well delivered that I couldn’t have asked for more.

The only thing I found disappointing as the other readers is the fact that the ending seemed a trifle bit too rushed, the resolving of the main issue that had been holding back Fritz just a tad too ‘easy’ for my tastes. I wanted the best and only the best for both Fitz and Millie and especially Millie who earned my undying love throughout the story for her patience, perseverance and unselfish nature  though she is no doormat heroine.

If you are a fan of historical romances, if you want a story that would take you away on a breathtaking journey, if you want to be swept away by the sheer magic of words alone, pick this up and never look back. I guarantee you an amazing read that would make you cry buckets before you are through! Kudos to Sherry Thomas for another story that amazes and awes in equal doses. Some authors create magic – and Sherry is one of them.

Favorite Quotes

“Was unhappiness really so invisible? Or did people simply prefer to turn away, as if from lepers?”

“Rain came down in sheets. It had been a miserable spring. Already he despaired of ever again walking under an unclouded sky.”

“Perhaps unrequited love was like a specter in the house, a presence that brushed at the edge of senses, a heat in the dark, a shadow under the sun.”

He was summertime itself, young, luminous, lit from within by rekindled hopes and reawakened dreams. And every beggar along his path—herself included—could expect redoubled generosity and kindness.

It was the beginning of the end.
Or perhaps, it was only the end of something that was never meant to begin.

Even now her body yearned to be closer to him. She wanted to press her nose into his skin and inhale hungrily—he always smelled as if he’d just taken a walk across a sunny meadow. She wanted to rub her palm against his jaw to feel the beginning of stubbles. She wanted to slide her hands underneath his shirt and learn every single shape and texture, with the fierce dedication she’d once put into mastering the Grandes Études.

Some hopes were weeds, easy to eradicate with a yank and a pull. Some, however, were vines, fast growing, tenacious, and impossible to clear. As she played the music box again, alone in the drawing room, she began to realize that hers were of the latter kind.
She would never stop hoping.

But tonight, after the carriages left, there would be Millie, her scent like a breeze from their lavender field at the height of summer, her skin as smooth as the finest velvet.
Their eyes met. She flushed. Desire tumbled through him.

He kissed her on her ear, a kiss with the barest hint of moisture to it. She could not breath for the electricity of it, a violent spark of pleasure that shook and scarred. His fingers caressed her shoulders. His lips pressed into her exposed nape. Dark, hot sensations spiked into her.

Make no sounds. Do not, under any circumstances, make any sounds.
She faltered. A whimper of unutterable pleasure escaped her tightly clenched teeth.
Deep inside her, a dam that had been ceaselessly reinforced crumbled. Years upon years of pent-up desires flooded her. Suddenly she couldn’t care less that she must remain quiet and pliant.
She wanted. She wanted. She wanted.
She gripped him by the lapel and yanked him to her.

His climax began gathering again, rising toward a point of no return. He didn’t know if he could restrain himself this time: He was too close, too near to being overwhelmed.
She cried out, trembling exclamations.
He lost all control, his release hot, violent, and endless.

Then he made love to her not only as if he had never experienced lovemaking before, but no one had.

And in the depth of her eyes were all these years—seasons they’d known, paths they’d trod.
Slowly he entered her again. Everything reflected in her gaze: shyness, yearning, ripples of pleasure.
The pleasure turned fierce, then ferocious. He labored to draw breath. In the wash of her climax, she closed her eyes. He closed his own eyes and yielded to the moment.

Love without friendship is like a kite, aloft only when the winds are favorable. Friendship is what gives love its wings.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BoB | Kobo

 [xrr rating=4.5/5]

Caliber Seal: AMAZING READ!

Review: The Departed by Shiloh Walker

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: The Missing, #2
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Taylor Jones
Heroine: Desiree Lincoln
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 3, 2012
Started On: January 5, 2012
Finished On: January 6, 2012

The Departed by Shiloh Walker is apparently the book that she never thought she would write. However, questions from fans of book 1 which happens to be The Missing finally managed to convince her to dig deeper to find the story that Taylor obviously had to tell. And what a story it was that woke me up last night half way through my midnight slumber and refused to let me succumb until I had read enough to satisfy my curiosity about a story that is filled with dark elements which sometimes tended to creep me out but nevertheless managed to deliver a great read which any fan of Shiloh Walker ought to read!

Desiree Lincoln is a psychic who can communicate with the ghosts of the dead, those who continue to linger on Earth because for some reason or the other, they have unfinished business that keeps them around without giving them the closure that they require so badly. A part of the team that is headed by FBI Special Agent in Charge Taylor Jones, Desiree or Dez knows no respite from the ghosts that continue to seek her out, wanting and craving the one thing that had been denied from them for so long.

Special Agent in Charge Taylor Jones comes across as a controlled man who seems emotionless to the point of being considered coldhearted. But beneath the tough shields that he puts up to keep emotions at bay lies a soul that continues to churn in turmoil, the hidden depth of pain deep inside of him so vast that its a wonder he is able to function the way he does. He has the uncanny ability of identifying people with special gifts who helps him keep the dark and twisted souls that roam the society at bay, and hopefully prevent another little girl from going missing like what happened to his sister.

For Taylor, there is nothing more dangerous to his peace of mind than letting himself care about someone else, but the way his emotions go haywire whenever Dez is around tells him that remaining aloof when it comes to her is an option no longer available to him. When Taylor’s impeccable shields crack, out comes pouring the passion and desire that he holds in on a tight leash, but the joy of the moments of abandon he finds in Dez’s arms is a short lived one when reality intrudes and Taylor drives them apart with his need to control his emotions.

It is 14 months later that Taylor comes across Dez in the one place where he never thought he would find her. Dez is drawn to a small town in Indiana by a ghost that draws her to the midst of the evil that lurks in the mind of a crazed teenager who is willing to do anything and everything in his power to play out the games that lurks deep inside of his mind no matter what the consequences. But something much deeper and elusive than the evil that lurks in the shadows keeps a hold on Dez until she starts digging to unravel secrets that could forever change the lives of so many people, for better or for worse.

The Departed is a story that definitely has a lot of dark elements to it, and yet or maybe because of it, I found myself totally fascinated with the tale that unraveled. Shiloh Walker has a way of surprising the reader with her villains and she definitely has the talent for muddying up the shades of gray when it comes to right and wrong that just has the reader on tenterhooks. For me, The Departed worked well because I was so in tune with both Dez and Taylor, whose need for one another grounds them and makes them cope better with all the darkness that is so much a part of their daily lives. I had nothing but admiration for both Taylor and Dez who works relentlessly to find the worst sort of scum that wander the Earth and it is a job that I know a lesser person would never be able to handle without breaking apart.

Though the romance aspect of the story was a bit laid back when compared to the suspense and paranormal elements in the story, The Departed nevertheless kept me riveted on the relationship that unfolded between Dez and Taylor as well as the huge hurdles that both Dez and Taylor cross to reach the ultimate truth that seeks to be brought out into the light. The one thing in my opinion that would have made the book better was an epilogue; for me the book tended to end a bit abruptly to bring me the closure that I wanted and needed for both Dez and Taylor.

Heartbreaking at moments and wonderfully moving at times, The Departed is a novel that combines elements of suspense, paranormal and romance to deliver a read that would linger on long after you are done!

Favorite Quotes

He hauled her against him and as his mouth crushed against hers, her brain clicked off, shut down

And her body came to life. After more than a year of existence, Dez felt like she was living again. His free hand gripped her hip, keeping her body pressed close to his while his other hand tangled in the short strands of her hair to yank her head back.
This wasn’t just a kiss, she thought. It was
more. It was everything. He breathed her in, just as she breathed him in. After so much time apart from him, she felt complete again. Whole.

Taylor worked a hand between them and stroked his thumb over the erect little nub of her clit. Lifting his head, he stared at her, watched as a harsh, broken sob fell from her lips.
Her nails bit into his skin as she started to come and he gritted his teeth, holding back until he saw her going over. Then, and only then, did he bury his face in her neck and start to move again, hard, fast.
He muttered her name, blind to everything but her
completely and utterly lost in her.

“My name,” he muttered. He turned his head, pressed a kiss to her palm. “Say my name, damn it.”
Chuckling, she pulled his head close. “Taylor.” She said it against his lips. As she did that, she rolled her hips against him, squeezing down with her inner muscles so that she milked him in a teasing, taunting caress.
Oh, shit

Little warning tingles were already shooting straight up his spine, but he gritted his teeth. No, damn it. He wasn’t going to lose it after thirty fucking seconds. Especially since he hadn’t told her yet.
But then she did it again, and again.
“I love you.” It came out a broken, harsh groan against her lips, the words he could no longer keep trapped inside. The words he had to share with her, now.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Diesel E-books

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Caressed By Ice by Nalini Singh

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, Book 3
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Judd Lauren
Heroine: Brenna Shane Kincaid
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 4, 2007
Started On: June 30, 2011
Finished On: July 1, 2011

The 3rd book in the Psy/Changeling series seems to be a favorite amongst its fans and I too have succumbed and joined the legion of fans who loved the story of the very lethal Psy Judd Lauren and the strong Brenna Kincaid whose dark past would have completely broken down a lesser woman.

Judd is a fascinating Psy not only because this is the first time that a male Psy is in the position of a hero but because Judd is a defector from the Psy world where he was trained to be a lethal killing machine, a member of the elite team of soldiers known as the Arrow Squad. Highly skilled in the art of mental martial combat, Judd is a Psy who is more in control of his emotions than most Psy, someone who has been conditioned from the tender age of ten to never ever give in to any sort of emotion which would make him and the others around him vulnerable to his abilities.

Brenna Kincaid is the wolf from the SnowDancer pack who manages to escape the brutal kidmapping and invasive rape of her mind by the psychotic Santano Enrique in the first book of the series. Since then, Brenna struggles every day to fight her fears and come out a winner although it feels like an uphill climb every single moment that terror paralyzes her. Surprisingly, it is towards Judd that she turns to knowing that he would give her exactly what she wants and needs instead of the constant pity and understanding to which she is subjected to by her own kind.

It is the vicious murder of a male wolf in the pack that bears eerie similarity to how Enrique used to cut up his victims that kick-starts a series of events that propels the growth of the relationship between Judd and Brenna. Judd who resists the feelings and emotions that are as foreign to him as the lack of any sort of emotion or touch is foreign to Brenna, whose changeling nature needs and craves emotional and physical contact to survive.

Though Judd faces animosity from Brenna’s brothers who go beyond the bounds of normal protectiveness given Brenna’s close encounter with death at the hands of a Psy, Brenna is a wolf who knows what she wants and is prepared to go through any lengths to make a union between her and Judd possible by any means.

Judd is certainly a dreamy hero; ruthless, dangerous and a hot inferno of feelings waiting to burst forth when it comes to Brenna. His mate for life though mating is a foreign concept to Psy is strong enough to take him as he is and wouldn’t have it any other way. There is no way on Earth you can read Judd and Brenna’s book and not crave some of that icy-hot passion for yourself that Judd is certainly more than capable of giving.

Together with their romance continues the story of the play for dominance by the Psy race who think themselves to be superior than any other beings to inhabit the Earth. As they move onto the next phase of Silence, a plan so nefarious that within the Psy population itself starts a movement of rebellion helped along by their allies on the outside that makes for a great continuing story.

Recommended for fans of the series.

P.S. I am having such a hard time sticking with reading the series in order. Hawke is tempting me to jump into his book which is the 10th book in the series and the temptation certainly seems to be doing its number on me. Sigh!!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, Book 2
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Vaughn D’Angelo
Heroine: Faith NightStar
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 6, 2007
Started On: June 25, 2011
Finished On: June 26, 2011

Now that I have started on my mission to get that much closer to reading Kiss of Snow, the story of the delectable alpha of the SnowDancer’s pack, I am slowly making my way towards reaching my ultimate goal which hopefully I should by sometime next month. The second book in the Psy-Changeling series tells the story of Vaughn D’Angelo, jaguar shifter and sentinel of the DarkRiver pack, a changeling whose animal lurks closer to the surface than most because of what he had to endure at a young age.

Vaughn is a changeling whose far the happier with his single and alone status. For someone who cannot understand the whole lure of the mate for life concept and especially one with a Psy who are famous for their lack of emotions, Vaughn is the one who is most surprised when his jaguar takes an exception towards the sleek and beautiful red-haired Psy that breaks out of her own compound to seek out Sascha, his alpha’s mate.

24 year old Faith NightStar of the PsyClan NightStar is considered the most powerful F-Psy of her generation. F-Psy have the ability to foresee the future and thus this makes Faith who always makes accurate predictions invaluable in the field of commerce for which F-Psy are used for. The one thing that F-Psy are also famous for is their vulnerability to death by clinical insanity which is something Faith has been conditioned to fear all throughout her life.

When dark dreams and visions continue to haunt her and those culminate in the murder of her sister Marine, Faith knows its time to seek out answers for all the questions that seems to plague her of late. Knowing that none of her own kind would be forthcoming with the answers that she requires, Faith seeks the one Psy she knows wont have anything to gain or lose by telling her the truth.

When she encounters the beautiful and lethal looking Vaughn, Faith never factored into the circumstances that Vaughn would be able to reach out to her on a level that is deemed impossible on any Psy. Though Faith has a hard time accepting the sensory overload that even Vaughn’s subtle touches seem to invoke, she can’t help but want more of the same though Faith is torn between the two worlds that beckon her from both ends.

Vaughn knows that he is a goner when he realizes that he is mated for life with someone who can choose to walk away from him, and that breaks his jaguar apart unlike anything else. When Faith finally makes her decision to leave the Psy world behind, it brings the ferocious jaguar to his knees, whose need for sensory stimuli from his mate has him all tied up in knots.

Once again Nalini Singh delivers on all accounts with the second installment in the series and though neither Vaughn nor Faith appealed to me on the same level as Lucas and Sascha did, nevertheless their journey towards happily ever after proved to be an engrossing read. As the stories continue to unfold, I am sure so will the atrocities the Psy Council members are involved in would come forth until the whole Psy world will unravel within itself to bring about a much needed revolution to its race.

Loved the glimpses of Sascha and Luke in this one as well together with Hawke’s minor entry into the story which didn’t go unnoticed. I am pretty excited to read the next installment in the series, this time around featuring a male Psy and a female wolf. Can’t wait to see how things will turn around with the role reversal in play.

Recommended for fans of Nalini Singh and fans of the Psy-Changeling series.

Favorite Quotes

His hair was a thick amber-gold, long enough to brush his shoulders, and his eyes … they were an odd almost-gold, the eyes of a cat made human. There was nothing soft about him, nothing tame. Yet she, a woman who’d never before understood the concept, found him beautiful. It was an inexplicable reaction, one her brain couldn’t accept, going as it did against every rule of Silence.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Book Depository

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ! 

Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Format: E-book
Read with: Kindle for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Lucas Hunter
Heroine: Sascha Duncan
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 5, 2006
Started On: June 20, 2011
Finished On: June 21, 2011

Wow!! That is all I am capable of saying at the moment with the remnants of Nalini Singh’s Slave to Sensation still coursing through me. If not for Dina’s review of Kiss of Snow on Goodreads that picks up bits and pieces of Hawke from each and every story till the 10th book in the Psy-Changeling series that delivers Hawke’s story, I would not have been tempted to pick up and read the first book in the series which has left me with a sort of breathless anticipation to continue reading.

Slave to Sensation introduces us to the world of Psy and the Changelings whose worlds cannot be more different even if they tried. Psy’s are well known for their icy control, inhuman practicality and their inability to resort to any sort of violence – or so they say. Changelings on the other hand are races that allow their animal sides to rule them and thrive on all sorts of emotional bonds and attachments that they form within their packs.

Our heroine Sascha Duncan has lived her whole life as a Psy knowing deep inside that she is unlike the rest of her race. Where icy control should be what runs through her veins, Sascha is a Psy that feels, a trait that would get her terminated if the Psy Cardinals were ever to find it out. Thinking that she is going crazy and that life as she knows it would come to an abrupt end if she ever were to show her vulnerability to her own race, Sascha is a woman torn apart on the inside, crying out for something which she doesn’t even fully comprehend.

When things on the business front brings her in contact with the sexy Lucas Hunter, alpha of the DarkRiver pack, she is at a loss as to how to handle the full frontal attack of sensations that bombard her right from the very first meeting. Lucas is a Hunter on a mission, who has vowed that he would do everything in his power to crumble the lines of defences around the Psy to find out who it is that are preying on females of their kind. What he doesn’t expect is to feel a compulsive need to touch and be touched by the woman of mass contradictions with whom he is to spend considerable time with for the next couple of months.

Scared out of her wits that Lucas and the way he constantly touches her is accelerating her deterioration process, Sascha tries her damnedest to erect walls of control around her heart and emotions which proves to be no match for the lethal touches and kisses that invoke a blaze of hunger across all her senses that refuse to be denied any longer.

When the news about a killer amongst her race comes to light, Sascha knows that finding him and bringing him to justice is the one thing she would do for the Changelings whose way of life makes her crave to embrace life with Lucas by her side which she knows is an impossibility. However, Lucas who has finally found his mate refuses to be denied as Sascha undertakes a mission that could very well mean her death and the end of a love that grows and fosters no matter how much Sascha may try to shield Lucas from eternal pain and loss that is sure to follow.

Slave to Sensation is a masterpiece that has everything going for it starting from its very appropriate title, the story underneath which has the power to invoke powerful emotions in the reader. The fascinating world which Ms. Singh creates is an unbeatable one where you can’t help but be in awe at the powers of her imagination in coming up with a world that feels as if its unfolding right in front of you.

All the characters whether it be Sascha and Luke, or the delicious Hawke from the SnowDancers pack to the ruthless and emotionless Psy are well rounded lending the story an extra richness that only in-depth character development can give a story.

Lucas (sigh) has wanting me to braid my non-existent long hair  just so that I can feel even a minute figment of what Sascha feels throughout the story when Lucas focuses his lethal brand of charm and seduction on her. Loved the purring and the rumbling that went on and especially the way Lucas protects, cossets and cherishes Sascha. Fantastic right from the very start, this is a series that fans of paranormal/urban-fantasy romances should not miss!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!

Review: Breaking Point by Pamela Clare

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: I-Team, Book 5
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Zachariah McBride
Heroine: Natalie Benoit
Sensuality: 4
Published on: May 3, 2011
Started On: May 3, 2011
Finished On: May 4, 2011

Oh…my…stars!

In the words of our heroine Natalie Benoit, that about sums up this delectable addition to the already 5-star plus I-Team series by Pamela Clare, in which each individual book in this series has rocked my world in so many ways. The 5th installment in the series has been a much awaited one by the thousands of fans of this series all over the world and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I have been on tenterhooks ever since Ms. Clare announced the release date of Breaking Point on her blog a few months back. The wait though an agonizing one has all been worth it as Ms. Clare once again proves her remarkable talent in delivering what readers like us truly want when we pick up a novel of the RS genre.

Breaking Point with its fabulously drool-inducing cover tells the story of the beautiful I-Team reporter Natalie Benoit and Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Zachariah McBride (Zach) who meet each other in the most trying circumstances. Zach is former Navy SEAL and has more than his fair share of battle scars, a testament to the Medal of Honor that he receives upon honorable discharge from the army. Now a U.S. Marshal who puts his life on the line day in and day out doing what he does best, Zach is betrayed by a fellow agent and wakes up in a hell hole from which he has no means of escaping.

Born and bred in New Orleans, Natalie Benoit moves to Denver after Hurricane Katrina brought with it tragedy into her life from which Natalie still suffers. Working for the Denver Independent on the elite I-Team for the past 3 years, Natalie finds herself signing up for a 3-day convention in Mexico because she needs a change of pace from the usual. However Natalie finds more than she bargained for when she finds herself a captive of the notoriously cruel Los Zetas who have their own nefarious agenda all lined up for her.

It is at the compound to which she is taken to and held captive that she meets Zach who is clinging on to his reserves of strength to stay alive amidst the torture that is dished out daily in order to break him. The surge of protectiveness that courses through Zach when he first sights the beautiful Natalie takes him unawares and Natalie’s tenacious efforts to escape infuses Zach with a slight ray of hope that they just might make it out of Mexico with their lives intact.

Thus begins a desperate race across a harsh and unforgiving desert to make it to the safety of U.S. soil, the desert providing its own sources of danger at each and every turn. As Natalie and Zach spend time depending on each other, the attraction that neither of them can deny heats things up to the most delicious levels, the scenes of passion that unfolds between the two done in classic Pamela Clare style, hot enough to skyrocket one’s inner temperature to eyebrow singeing levels. But back home does not turn out to be the sanctuary it promises as danger of the life threatening variety keeps after Natalie, bringing heroes from the previous I-Team books into the picture making this the most action-packed romance that Ms. Clare has written to-date.

There are so many things that makes this a 5+ star read for me. One of them being the unbeatable style with which Ms. Clare brings to life her characters who have the ability to imbed themselves into the deepest recesses of my memory and heart, rendering each and every one of them unforgettable for years to come. Likewise, Zach McBride is the type of hero who has the ability to fuel any woman’s dreams of the naughty as well as the non-naughty variety as he steps up and does what he is  best at – protect the woman he loves at all costs. His attention to detail in bed and out of it carves him a well-deserved notch in my unforgettable-hero list. Though Zach has his own demons that needs to be laid to rest before he can embrace his happily-ever-after, it is Zach’s take-charge attitude that appealed to me the most.

Natalie is a kick-ass heroine in her own right as she battles her own fears and overcomes them to escape the men who hold her captive. Natalie’s inner vulnerability makes her easy to relate to and the way she has the ability to draw Zach out of his shell and make his playful side come out to play was one of the most endearing qualities about Natalie. She has no qualms about expressing her love for a man who deserves all that and so much more and refuses to back down from the fight for her own happily ever after even if it means that the battle she wages is with the man who has earned her heart, body and soul.

And of course, let me not forget the impact the rest of the I-Team heroes bring to the novel as Marc, Gabe and Darcangelo come together and put their very own lives on the line to protect their own. The interactions between the 3 left me with huge grins on my face each and every time and found myself going “Aww!” at a scene towards the end of the book that shows the depth of the relationship between Julian and Marc. Gabe and Marc both get in on the action rendering me speechless a time or two, especially Gabe who seems to have gone up in my total-hottie-alpha-male list after reading this book, if it is at all possible!

If I were to continue rehashing what made this book work for me, I would never reach the end of this review and would probably end up boring you all to tears. But the flowery gushy tone just comes out to play when I end up loving a book to bits as I did with this one. If you are already a fan of the I-Team series and haven’t read this yet, my question would be, what on Earth are you waiting for? Like me, just put your entire life on hold for a couple of hours and indulge in Zach and Natalie’s story as it will sweep you off your feet right from the very beginning. If you have never heard of Pamela Clare and have no idea what the I-Team series is all about, I say its high time that you educate yourselves on this fantastic series. You can find reviews of all the books in the series here if you are interested and I dare you to pick a book and give yourselves a couple of minutes with the story that unfolds. I assure you, time and money well spent!

Favorite Quotes:

She slid her arms around his neck, arched into him, desperate for more.
He groaned, and the hand in her hair became a fist. And in a heartbeat the kiss transformed, his lips pressing hard and hot against hers, his tongue thrusting deep.
Oh, my stars!
Heat lanced through her, striking deep in her belly. With a whimper, she kissed him back, welcoming his tongue with her own, breathing in the male scent of him, her insides going liquid as his hand moved slowly down her spine.

He felt empty, broken, defeated.
He wrapped his arms around her, refusing to let go, his head dropping to rest against her chest.
Without a word, she enfolded him in her embrace, holding him to her breast like a mother comforting a child, her fingers curling in her hair, her heartbeat steady in his ear. And he clung to her.

“Shh.” He pressed his finger to her lips. “When I realized I was going to die, the only thing I could think about was you and what an idiot I’d been for not telling you how I felt about you. I think I’ve loved you from the moment you lifted that awful blind off my face. I opened my eyes, and there you were, the bravest, most beautiful woman I’ve ever known. You set me free, Natalie. In so many ways, you set me free.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Diesel Ebooks

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

So, with the publication of this review, I’ve decided to take things a tad further and do my first giveaway for two reasons. One being that my blog just surpassed the 10,000 hits mark and second because I just adore Ms. Clare as an author and what she can do with her stories. So to celebrate in style, I will be giving away a 20$ Amazon gift certificate to one will be picked out from a random draw which will be held 4 days from now, on the 9th of May 2011. To enter you have to do the following:

  1. Like this review post if you are on Facebook and spread the word to your friends who might be interested.
  2. If you are on Twitter, share this and tweet about the giveaway!
  3. And last but not the least, leave a comment with the post stating your email address and if you are already a fan of the I-Team series I would like to know your favorite hero from Marc, Julian, Gabe, Reece and Zach and why. If you haven’t read the I-Team series yet, I would like to know your favorite romantic suspense novel that you have read to-date. And if you have tweeted or shared the review on Facebook, please mention it on your comment as well as your name would be entered 5 times into the draw. Even if you do not share this review on Facebook or Twitter you can still  leave a comment behind and enter the draw. Good luck fellow readers!