Review: Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookbondsofjustice
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #8
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Max Shannon
Heroine: Sophia Russo
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: July 6, 2010
Started On: September 10, 2013
Finished On: September 13, 2013

Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh is the 8th book in the Psy-Changeling series. This series has come a long way and Nalini Singh has certainly managed to keep up the momentum and the pace of each of the stories in the series which is one reason why the entire set is so coveted by its legions of fans.

Bonds of Justice is the story of J Psy Sophia Russo, who at the tender age of 8 hadn’t been given much of a choice; to either become a J Psy or die. J Psy’s tend to have the shortest lifespan in comparison to either types of Psy in the fact that they have one of the most demanding sort of jobs on their minds and shields that is an essential makeup of Psy. J Psys are brought into retrieve memories of the most vicious criminals who need to remain behind bars for the rest of their life for the safety of the rest of the society. Sophia has always known that the time would come when one day she would have to give in to the fractured state of her shields which would mean her death, to be forgotten along with all the others just like herself.

Detective Max Shannon is one of the best detectives in New York Enforcement, a position that makes one of the most formidable Councilors of Psy, Nikita Duncan request for his services along with that of Sophia for a case of apparent suicides that has struck those closest to her. Already working on retrieving the memories of a psychopathic killer, a case on which Max is the lead the detective, Sophia knows that the fascination that she has harbored for Max just might be her undoing and bring death the inevitable death she is ready to face much closer than before.

Sophia is a scarred heroine if ever there was one. The horrors of her childhood, along with her abandonment issues together with that destructive career she leads makes her a disaster waiting to happen. The fact that the most innocent of touches may render her insane is a fact that hinders the burgeoning feelings that grow between Max and Sophia much more rapidly than either of them envisions. But Max is not a man to give up and neither is Sophia ready to do so on her cop, the only person who for the first time in her life is there for her, no questions asked.

Max is not a man who has led a charmed existence either. Having never known love from the woman who had given him life, Max carries a scar that has never properly healed in his heart ever since he was a child. Sophia and Max are two broken halves that make up a pretty darned fantastic whole and that is one aspect of the story that worked very well for me.

It is the makeup of the Psy along with the politics that governs their world that makes these stories so fascinating to sink oneself into. The NetMind itself is almost palpable in its reality, the treachery that is always a part of the powerful group of Councilors that oversees the affairs of the entire Psy a captivating aspect of every single one of these novels. Nikita is one of the most formidable Councilors, whose daughter Sascha becomes one of the first to defect from the PsyNet which causes the ripple effect that began the the sequence of events that seems to be the undoing of  the world of Psy. Bonds of Justice gives the readers insight into the worlds inhabited by Nikita and the rest of the Councilors, for all intents and purpose who have nothing but attaining power on their minds.

I found myself entirely way too fascinated with Kaleb’s character and Nikita’s too, a side of her that was revealed in this story that I would never have thought possible for a woman like her. While Max and Sophia juggle two cases that demands equal attention and focus from them, neither of them can ignore the heat, the oh so much heat that exists between them. It is almost as if the heat between them might result in them going up in a cloud of smoke; yes it was really that hot.

The villains provided the extra chills that managed to keep me hooked onto the suspense aspect of the story together with the romance and the politics that as always provided an unbeatable combination.

Recommended for fans of urban-fantasy/paranormal romances & fans of Nalini Singh.

Final Verdict: The intriguing insight into the Psy politics alone is reason enough to buy this! Recommended.

Favorite Quotes

Max felt Sophia’s hand tighten on his, wanted only to bend his head even farther and put his mouth on the unsteady beat of her pulse, suck hard. The possessive urge, the violent need to claim her to the core was a gnawing ache in his gut. He wanted the world to know she was his—make certain no one would dare lay a finger on her.

Shivering from the sensation, from the near-painful pleasure of the contact, she stood on tiptoe, trying to get closer. A raw male chuckle.
And then Max kissed her.
This was no brush, no teasing taste. He took her mouth with the contained intensity she could feel thrumming beneath her fingers, his muscles taut, his entire body held barely in check. And she realized he was savagely angry, a tiger no longer on the leash.

He felt it the instant she reacted, modified his stroke to what brought her the most pleasure, lifting himself off her enough that he could stroke downward to rub at the sensitive entrance to her body as well.
She was wet, slick. He couldn’t resist the temptation to dip his finger within. That was all it took.
A choked scream. Her body arching bowstring tight.

He could almost feel the vibrating tension in her, every tendon held taut. “I know who you are,” he said, holding her gaze. “I’m not going to be scared away because of your ‘imperfections.’ ”
A sheen of wet in her eyes, turning the midnight iridescent.
“We fit, you and I,” he whispered looking into that haunting gaze. “Two broken pieces making a whole.” It wasn’t the most romantic of statements, but it was torn from his soul. “I am not losing you.”

That slow, slumberous heat flamed, burned, but she took a step forward, lowered the zipper and then—taking a deep breath—pushed down both the jeans and her panties. Leaning forward to pull them off her feet, she could barely hear anything through the thunder of her heartbeat. Max didn’t say a word until she straightened back to her full height. But then he spoke . . . and she melted.

She swallowed as his fingers went to his jeans, as he undid the snaps and peeled the denim down his legs, along with his briefs. Her eyes were riveted to the thick length of his erection . . . to the hand he clasped around it. He stroked once, and her body arched. She couldn’t explain it, didn’t understand it, but the sight of him stroking his own flesh was the most erotic thing she’d ever seen. “Max.” A shuddering plea.

Shaking, she wrapped her other leg around him. The sudden act opened her up, made him slide inside faster than before.
They both cried out, and Max froze above her. “Sophie?”
She ran her teeth up the line of his throat. “Yes.” Always, yes for this man.

Her panties were torn off her, his fingers urgent as he tested her slickness. Lifting a leg, she wrapped it around his hip. He swore, lowered the zipper on his pants, and then the hot, hard heat of him was thrusting into her, pinning her against the wall. She cried out, holding on, holding him tight.

Purchase Links: Amazon | BookDepo | B&N | iTunes


Review: Bound by Marriage by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookboundbymarriage
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Silhouette Desire
Hero: Gabriel Dumont
Heroine: Jess Randall
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 1, 2005
Started On: August 7, 2013
Finished On: August 9, 2013

I have been so engrossed with reading the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh that I have never even wondered whether Nalini has strayed into writing any other genres in the world of romance. So while I was doing some random searching on the Internet, imagine my surprise when this little number came up, and that too with the uber interesting marriage of convenience trope that can really make for superb reads!

Bound by Marriage takes place in New Zealand and is told from both the hero and heroine’s point of views in the third person. While wealthy rancher Gabriel Dumont and Jess Randall enter into a marriage of convenience knowing fully well what they both are getting into, neither of them factors in the searing passion that lights up the sheets between them and of course plays havoc with the general order of things or how they both perceive their joint lives would turn out to be.

Jess never thought that her heart would be capable of loving anyone else, much less a man like Gabriel who is so withdrawn that he opens up to her only when they are in bed together, him drawing out responses from her that she would never have thought possible. But even then the times that Gabriel does let her see that tender side of his, although it is very rarely with the situations that continue to develop and put further strains on their already fragile bond, Jess finds herself inexorably drawn towards the man she calls as her husband.

I seriously thought that I would have a hard time liking Gabriel by the time the book was half way through. Yes, he is that stubborn and set in his ways that if it weren’t for his emotions that are as much in turmoil as that of Jess’s I wouldn’t have thought that he felt anything for the woman he had married. But lo and behold, I should have trusted Nalini a bit more and waited for the bombshell when it hit and yes, I was blown away with the compassion and love that filled my heart for the little boy Gabriel had been when he had lost vital pieces of his heart in a way that they would never be regained.

For some readers, Jess might seem to be putting up with much more than they would have liked. But I think Gabriel needed someone just as equally stubborn as him, willing to give until those impenetrable shields of his that he wears around himself like an armor were all but shattered around him. I loved the ending, the glimpse into the man Gabriel later turns into, not completely tamed, no never that, but a man who is at least a little bit at peace with his past and smiling in the arms of the woman who loves him like there is no tomorrow.

Final Verdict: Sensual & heart wrenching; Silhouette Desire at its best!

Favorite Quotes

Gabriel’s hand was rough against her skin, the hand of a man who worked the land. But on her neck, his lips were almost velvet soft—a seductive contrast. She lost her breath as he closed his teeth over a pulse point, then released with exquisite deliberation, scraping those same strong teeth along the sensitive flesh.

“I’m damn glad you’re a rider, Jess,” he almost growled as he filled her, going so deep that she could feel his heartbeat in her body.
Not aware enough to understand what he was referring to, she squeezed intimate muscles around him in a reaction as old as time itself. Throwing back his head, he tightened his hold on her and began to move. His rhythm was fast, his strokes deep. She screamed and screamed as he pushed her over the edge in a tempest of hot breaths and powerful thrusts.
And when she fell, it was as a marked woman. Gabriel Dumont’s woman.

And then she heard the zipper being lowered.
Even that warning wasn’t enough. She screamed as he pushed into her. Hard. Fast. Deep. Her body accepted him, welcomed his driving thrusts, but he was merciless in the intensity of what he asked of her, pushing her so far that she lost all traces of civilization and surrendered to her most primal heart.

“So I did,” he murmured, reclaiming her lips even as his hand pushed aside the gusset of her panties to thrust two fingers deep into a body more than primed by the slow seduction. Pleasure erupted inside her almost instantaneously. Pulling away from the ravaging fury of his mouth, she threw back her head and rode his fingers, feeling herself clench and unclench with vicious strength.

Gabe’s arm came around her waist and his teeth scraped lightly over the sensitive skin of her neck. “Now, Jess. Now!”
She fractured under the command, everything female in her glorying in the wildness of that harsh masculine voice. At the last second, their eyes met in the mirror and Jess knew they’d crossed a line. The question was, what lay on the other side?

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


Review: Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookblazeofmemory.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #7
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Devraj Santos
Heroine: Ekaterina Haas (Katya Haas)
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: November 3, 2009
Started On: August 5, 2013
Finished On: August 7, 2013

Nothing is stronger than the will of the human heart.

How anyone could have NOT LOVED the 7th book in the Psy-Changeling series is beyond me. I have seen well above 4 star average rating for almost every book or should I say all the books that I have read to date in this series on Goodreads. But Blaze of Memory has a 3.97 stars average rating which made me wonder whether Nalini had fallen short of the mark when she aimed to bring the story of Devraj Santos and Katya Haas to her fans. But in the end, it just went to show that relying completely on ratings to lead your way can sometimes backfire on you as I loved every single inch of this book and then some and wanted a little bit more being the greedy and voracious fan of the series that I am!

Devraj Santos (Dev) is the director of the Shine Foundation that seeks out the Forgotten, the generation of the first defectors from PsyNet when the protocol of Silence had first been put into place. The Shine Foundation seeks out kids who have “gifts” that they do not know how they ended up with, continually at danger if the Council were ever to find out their existence and move to eradicate them for the fear of loss of control as the most lethal race in the world. However recent events seem to have put cracks in the picture perfect world of the emotionless Psy as presented to the rest of the world and it is a continuing thread in all the books how the PsyNet seems to be slowly disintegrating and turning onto itself which makes for interesting reading in itself.

When Dev finds an utterly broken woman left on his doorstep for him to find, a female Psy who doesn’t remember who she is and how she got there though Dev knows that she might end up being the worst kind of threat to him and his foundation, he cannot help the protective instincts that surges forth with every single minute he spends in her company.

Katya Haas is a woman who has been violated in the worst manner possible and left to fulfill her destiny or die a slow and painful death which would strip her of even the little bit of tattered dignity that she has left. The one thing that Katya realizes from the onset is that the flawless Psy conditioning that should make her immune to the delicious appeal that Dev is on her senses has been effectively broken down and that she is no match for the chain of emotions that kickstarts deep inside of her when Dev is around.

Though trust is an element that is missing between Dev and Katya, the need that each rouses in the other is one that neither can turn their backs on. And as Katya tries to unravel the literally kicking time-bomb she is, Dev finds his heart, body and soul totally enamored by the enemy who could be his utter and complete destruction as the Psy Councilor playing puppet master to Katya wants.

Blaze of Memory proved to be nothing short of a fantastic read, the only thing I missed being the epilogue that Ms. Singh always tucks in at the end of each novel. But the Petrokov Family Archives which was presented throughout the story in the form of letters served to be an interesting facet into seeing how the Silence Protocol came about from someone who had witnessed it firsthand. And there was this bit towards the end of the story where Katya beseeches Dev to go visit his father which proved to be quite the emotion wrangling scene.

Dev might not be a shapeshifter, but he has his own set of skills that makes him just as lethal. Dev is just as finely honed as any sentinel in the DarkRiver or lieutenant in the SnowDancer pack of Changelings. His intensity and hardness both being features required of him with the job he had undertaken as the Director of a foundation that needs to make decisions that impacts the lives of so many people under his care. His salvation from letting the coldness totally rule over his emotions comes in the form of Katya, a woman he thinks to be broken in every fundamental way possible but surprises and amazes him with the strength she displays given the room to flourish.

Katya is the sort of heroine that any reader would fall in love with. Nalini has an innate talent in creating heroines who are tough, strong and yet with a core of femininity and vulnerability inside of them that makes them human and that much appealing. I felt for Katya with every single cell in my being, her immense strength in defying a master of mental combat one that had me enthralled and in awe by the time I was done.

The scenes of passion between Katya and Dev are scorching hot; Nalini certainly knows how to ratchet up the heat-o-meter when it comes to sizzling scenes of heated love making between her characters. The last couple of chapters are so intense that I felt like chewing my nails out in agitation and the tangle of hot emotions that coursed through me to see Dev and Katya nearly lose the precious and beautiful love that they had found with each other. If you are hesitating on picking up this wonderful wonderful book because of the slightly lower ratings when compared with the other books in the series, don’t. Blaze of Memory is just as spectacular and just as lethal on the senses.

Final Verdict: Like an inferno that rages out of control, Blaze of Memory is just as vivid and beautiful in its wildness. Definitely recommended!

Favorite Quotes

Life, electric in its fury…a kiss that demanded her participation.
Shuddering in surrender, she drowned in the scent of him. Wild and exotic. Dark and male.
A man who’d snarled at her, caged her… fed her.
“Dev.” Spoken against his lips, she was so loath to break contact.
His mouth took hers again before she could say anything more, his teeth sinking into her lower lip.

“I don’t understand,” she murmured, lifting her fingertips to touch kiss-swollen lips, “how my race could’ve ever given up such exquisite sensation.”
His cock pushed against the zipper of his pants, the metal threatening to turn him into a eunuch. “Katya.”
As a warning, it had no effect. Dropping her hand from her lips, she clenched it over her navel, as if soothing some inward ache. “I feel so … hungry, so hot, as if my skin is about to burst.”
He shuddered, voice lost.

Hands on her hips. Warm. A little rough. Perfect. She sucked in a breath, and when he lifted her, it was instinct to wrap her legs around his waist. He moved her until she—“Dev!” she screamed into his mouth as his still-covered cock pushed into her softness, parting her with possessive heat, the thin cotton of her panties no barrier.
His thumb smoothed over the crease of her thigh, inciting her to move impatiently . . . but that only rubbed her clitoris against him, further tightening the fist that was her body.

She couldn’t stop the strangely fluid movements of her body—part of her knew what to do, how to do it. “More,” she ordered, nipping at his ear.
“You’re too tight.”
Groaning, he slid a second finger inside her and pumped once.
Twice. Pleasure and pain, a stretching ecstasy. Her arousal peaked, hovered there, waiting, waiting… His thumb brushed her clitoris.
Everything exploded.

“Katya,” he said against her ear, trying to draw breath, to not lose himself completely.
Her fingers thrust into his hair. “You feel so good.”
The simple statement, made in that erotically husky voice, stole what small fragments of control he’d had left. Putting one hand on her hip, he pinned her in place as he began to stroke in and out in a hard, steady rhythm that had her clawing at him.

He lifted her with a display of strength that stole her breath. “Legs around my waist.” It was a clipped order.
She obeyed immediately. He rewarded her by sliding into her in a single hard thrust. Her scream echoed off the walls as pleasure short-circuited her body. His hands gripped her bottom, holding her tightly in place as he moved in and out. She clawed at his shoulders, feeling herself hanging on the precipice.
“God damn it!” Dev’s body went taut against her and she knew he’d lost every bit of his steely control.
That was all it took.
Electricity rocked through her, as wild and as hot as the man who held her pinned to the wall in helpless surrender.

She tried to pull away, but only because it amplified the sensations. Dev knew. He used his body to hold her in place, even as his lips insisted she return every kiss, every little bite, every breath.
She gave him all she had.
And still he asked for more.
Melting, she ran the back of one foot over his calf, urging him closer. Her reward was the release of her hands, as his own slid down her back, pulling her up. Instinct had her putting her legs around him in a shockingly intimate embrace, the hottest part of her pressed to the hardest part of him.

“Katya, baby, stop.” It was a groan. “I can’t hold on if you do that.”
She raised her lips to his again, infusing her kiss with every ounce of passion in her. Shuddering, Dev gripped her hard on one hip. “I sure hope you’re ready, sweetheart.”
“Yes, yes!” Crying out as her body stretched around the hard thrust of his entry, she wrapped both legs around his waist. And then she let him lead.
He took her on a ride that eclipsed anything they’d ever before done. Wild, untamed, and vividly physical, they danced. The last thing Katya remembered was seeing Dev’s eyes shimmer gold.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Diesel


Review: Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookbrandedbyfire
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #6
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Riley Aedan Kincaid
Heroine: Mélisande Smith
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: July 7, 2009
Started On: August 3, 2013
Finished On: August 4, 2013

I’m slowly but certainly making my way through the breathtaking Psy/Changeling series that is all kinds of wonderful that I don’t think I have the sort of words required to adequately describe what each of these stories have meant to me.

The sixth book brings to the table by far the hottest book in the series which might have something to do with the fact that both characters are equally strong and dominant in their respective packs.

Riley Aedan Kincaid (Riley) is the most senior lieutenant of the SnowDancer wolf changeling pack. “The Wall” as his Alpha calls him; Riley is strong, steadfast and oh so patient that he gives off the vibe that nothing pierces through that stoic armor of his.

Mélisande Smith or Mercy is a powerful female sentinel in the DarkRiver leopard pack. Mercy is the dominant sort; female sentinels being that much harder to find a mate for because of the irrevocable fight for dominance that takes place.

Mercy might be slowly going insane with the desire that unfurls in her belly to be possessed by Riley, a Wolf of all people and though her leopard might growl at the thought, it also cannot help but purr in utter boneless satisfaction when Riley is done with her.

Though it irks Mercy like nothing else to think of herself going down the road of utter domesticity which is definitely not her, that alone tells Mercy that Riley is not the man for her apart from so many other tidbits of importance when a leopard and wolf might mate for life. However, even that doesn’t seem to stop both of them from seeking each other out and burning the sheets up every time they get together. And though both of them are of the mind that their getting together is temporary, emotional intimacy starts to breed and the walls of protection each has built around themselves start to crumble.

When one of their own is kidnapped that kickstarts a chain of events that seems to escalate in violence and the need to kill, both Riley and Mercy have their hands full trying to outsmart whoever it is that is targeting too many places at once, lending the phrase ‘danger closing in on them’ a whole new meaning. Amidst fighting the mating bond that beckons and continues to grow stronger day by day, Mercy and Riley must find a middle ground within which they can be with each other or forever lose a vital piece of themselves if otherwise.

As I said earlier, Branded by Fire is the hottest book yet in the series. Riley and Mercy start their dance right from the beginning of the story, their entwined past since the Alliance between SnowDancer and DarkRiver lending credibility to the connection that exists between them. Riley is so hot, well, I don’t know which of the heroes has NOT been hot, but man, Riley gives the term losing control a whole new load of deliciousness.

Mercy is the equally endearing, and I just loved how she reveals that tender side of hers when it comes to Riley. It is a testament to Nalini Singh’s talent to be able to write such a dominant female character that doesn’t get into a pissing contest with her mate over every little thing.

Branded by Fire delves quite deeply into the relationship between the sexier than sin Alpha of SnowDancer Hawke and Sienna who drives him crazy enough to commit murder. As usual, the Psy and its Councillors with their own agendas lurks in the background, giving the series the edge that has made it one of its kind.

Recommended for fans of the series and fans of paranormal romances. If you aren’t reading Nalini Singh, you are doing yourself a grave injustice as a reader!

Final Verdict: Scorching hot installment in the series; Nalini Singh continues to prove why she is is a force to be reckoned with!

Favorite Quotes

“Now,” she ordered as they broke apart, her body close to vibrating with ever-tightening need.
“No.” He slid down her body and suddenly her dress pants and panties were gone. She felt the kiss of claws against the insides of her thighs and knew it had been on purpose. No pain, not even a real touch. Just a hint.
Just enough to remind her cat that he could take her.

She moved with him, kissing him back, running her hands over his body and nipping at him just because. He kept her pinned to the earth as he took her, as if he knew just how damn much she needed a good, hard ride. When she orgasmed, it was with a sharp cry, a lush clenching around the thick heat of him, and a burst of starlight behind her eyes.

He pulled her down to sheathe him. She could’ve resisted. She didn’t.
Instead, she moved above him in a sinuous curve of fire and gold, her beauty bathed in sunshine. The fire fractured minutes later. And Riley’s wolf could do nothing but watch her as pleasure gripped him tight, then broke him wide open.

She began to slide one hand down his body. He caught it, brought it back up to his shoulders. Pulling his head up, she pointed to her lips. It wasn’t a hard order to follow. And her kiss . . . oh, but her kiss. All heat and lush, seductive pleasure. It was a promise, that kiss, a promise of a slow ride to oblivion.

“So, staid Riley Kincaid has a kinky secret.” She moved on his fingers, relishing the building tightness in her body, the sheer pleasure on his face. “Do you have a whip?”
“With you, it might come in handy.” His fingers slid inside her.
And she came.
Just like that.

She came on his tongue the first time, hot and wild. And when he shifted her limp form back down his body, coaxing her into sitting up enough to take him inside, she was a scalding silken glove, one made for him alone. He didn’t last long.
The last thing he remembered was his cat licking over the mark she’d made.

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



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.”

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Review: Beat of Temptation by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookbeatoftemptation
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #0.5
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Hero: Nathan Ryder
Heroine: Tamsyn Mahaire
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 2, 2007
Started On: July 12, 2013
Finished On: July 13, 2013

29 year old Nathan Ryder (Nate) is one of DarkRiver’s top soldiers, who is soon on the way to becoming a sentinel.

19 year old Tamsyn Mahaire (Tamsyn) is DarkRiver’s healer who assumes her position at the tender age of 17, taking on a responsibility that would have broken a woman of lesser strength and maturity.

Few Changelings get to recognise and meet their mate so early in life. A bond that can never be broken, much less ignored without being slowly killed on the inside, Nate and Tamsyn recognise the fact that they are mates the day Tamsyn turns 15 years old. But Nate resists taking what’s rightfully his, leading Tamsyn to think that he might actually not want her as his mate unlike her who wants him and all of him with everything in her being .

This novella is set at the very beginning of the series, much earlier than even Lucas’s story, ‘Slave to Sensation’ that is the 1st book in the Psy-Changeling series. Set in San Francisco, Beat of Temptation is told from both Tamsyn & Nate’s points of view.

Anyone who loves this series would have an innate sense of curiosity to learn about the stories of the various couples you encounter in the series that have already settled down and lend considerable fodder to the story as secondary characters. Tamsyn and Nate are one of those couples that you always come across and it was while reading ‘Mine to Possess’ that I was actually thinking along the lines that I would love to know about them too! And to my delighted surprise, there it was, the story of Nate and Tamsyn, tucked inside the anthology ‘An Enchanted Christmas’.

Beat of Temptation is quite the angst-ridden read, much more so than any other book in the series I have read to date. Nate resisting a bond that is a visceral part of both of them is painful in the extreme. With the sexual need as well as the need to be held which is an aspect of Changelings that is essential for their survival, Tamsyn feels torn on the inside and the animal inside of her breaks with too many rejections to count.

Though Nate’s reasons for holding back are quite understandable given his past, the fact that he makes his mate believe that she is not important enough in his life in his misguided attempts to keep her at arms lengths lends that gut wrenching quality to the story which I absolutely loved.

I fell in love with Nate, just like Tamsyn did, when he buys her violets, a flower so delicate which is symbolic of the love they share more than anything else. Loved the little epilogue tucked at the end which just made me want my own Changeling hero to pet and stroke and to be petted in return.

The only thing that disappointed me was the fact that there wasn’t even one good solid sex scene in Beat of Temptation. The sexual tension between Tamsyn and Nate is one that can be cut through with a knife and to not get anything out of all that honest to goodness tension was a bit of a letdown.

Recommended for fans of the series & those who are curious about stories of other secondary characters already settled down with their mates.

Final Verdict: Beat of Temptation echoes like a beat of want in your body. Nate & Tamsyn are a must-read!

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo


Review: Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookminetopossess
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #4
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Clay Bennett
Heroine: Talin McKade
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 5, 2008
Started On: July 10, 2013
Finished On: July 11, 2013

Clay Bennett, a leopard shifter and one of the sentinels of the powerful DarkRiver leopard pack in San Francisco is a changeling constantly at war with his two selves; the human and leopard halves that fight for dominance and co-existence. The barely controlled fury inside of him is a living being, a result of his past that constantly puts him on the edge, making him vulnerable to going rogue, if he were to let his leopard half win the battle of wills.

28 year old Talin McKade is a woman who lives with a mix of guilt and self-loathing that is almost palpable. A victim of child abuse and the state entrusted in taking care of children like herself, its not surprising that Talin grows up to become a social worker, her kids and protecting them at all and any cost her sole purpose in life until danger comes calling.

Talin is forced to seek out the help of the one Changeling who terrifies her and the one man she knows would never turn her away in her hour of need. Desperate to find the killer(s) behind the abduction and murder of street kids who are hers, Talin finds herself coming face to face with the one man who had been her past and undeniably her future all in one. But the fury that lurks close to the surface inside of Clay after a 10 year separation is not one to be tamed easily, his beast not ready to accept certain facts together with Talin’s ultimate fear of him that comes close to driving Clay to the edge and beyond. Will Talin & Clay be able to find a way to heal & move on & at the same time find a killer in a race against a ticking clock?

Mine to Possess is the 4th novel in Nalini Singh’s fascinating PsyChangeling series. Mostly set in San Francisco, the story is told from both Talin & Clay’s points of view.

When I first started on the PsyChangeling series a year or so back, the one thing that drew me in as I am guessing with all the fans of this delectable and heart thumping series is the fascinating world building that happens and continues to grow and change with every story. Words simply cannot describe just how awe-inspiring it is to wade through a world of limitless possibilities, a world that I bet Nalini must live in constantly if the way these stories grab the reader by their souls and doesn’t let up is any indication to the fact!

The brief hiatus in my continuation of the series certainly seemed to have whetted my appetite for more and like a Changeling requiring touch and contact of its pack to survive, I found myself plagued with the need to completely lose myself in the compelling and sensuous story that unfolded. I let my senses soak in the world, the palpable feelings of a love so beautiful and vivid that it took my breathe away.

Clay is one of the darkest heroes in the series, made so by the fact that his beast is one that refuses to be tamed, his need to let it roam free understandable given the fact he had lived half of his life forcing himself to ignore that side of him completely. And now that his Talin, yes his Talin is back, there is nothing Clay wouldn’t do, even if it means unleashing all that glorious fury with murderous intent on anyone who dares take her away from him.

One of the best bits about the Changeling world is the concept of how they seem to thrive in the little and yet meaningful touches that is integral and much needed for their survival. Unlike the Psy stripped of their emotions, Changelings are directly the opposite, and one can’t help but feel the need to be petted and stroked, especially by the likes of someone like Clay who actually purrs under the touch of his mate Talin.

The backstory and end of Talin and Clay’s shared history is one mired in violence, and the life Talin had led till now one of half existence. It is inside the warm circle of Clay’s possessive embrace that Talin starts to let go of the fear and accept the fact that with Clay lies her future. I absolutely reveled in how Clay seduces Talin to give in & in turn how Talin has the ability to bring the powerful sentinel to his very knees.

The point in picking up a Nalini Singh novel is that you don’t just end up reading a highly sensuous romance between a dominant alpha male and his mate for life. Rather, it gives you a world so beautifully complex to indulge in that the fascination with what Nalini does with her characters and the story doesn’t ever abate! If there’s one thing that can be said about Nalini and her PsyChangeling series is that once you are in, there’s no going back – period!

To see the picture perfect world the Psy seem to think they have created and the nefarious ends to which their powerful Council is willing to go to keep their stronghold on the power they wield is another mind grappling asset of the story. With their world being stripped away and their fatal flaws being exposed layer by layer, there’s nothing one can do but sit back and watch the ultimate destruction of a race that thought that Silence of emotions is the best way to lead a healthy life.

Recommended for fans of paranormal romances with multifaceted characters and four dimensional world building that is ethereal in its beauty and complexity. There’s none that can compare to what Nalini delivers with this series.

Final Verdict: With each book in the series, Nalini Singh draws the reader deeper into her world of Psy-Changeling and resistance to the effect is a futile endeavour at best!

Favorite Quotes

She was unquestionably small, but not fragile, not easily breakable. There was strength in the straight line of her spine, but also a softness that promised a cushion for a hard male body. The woman had curves. Lush, sweet, curves. Her butt filled out the seat of her jeans perfectly, arousing the deeply sexual instincts of both man and cat. He wanted to bite, to shape, to pet.

The kiss he brushed over her lips caught her breath, blew her confusion to shreds. His skin was a little rough, his mouth pure demand…and his kiss so right it hurt.

He purred into her mouth.
Nipples shocked into sudden pleasure by the vibration, she pulled back. “You purr?”
His smile was pure cat. “Only for you.”

“Bully.” It was a gasp.
That clever, clever tongue was doing things to her she had never believed possible. She found herself pressing closer, begging him with her body, her thighs tight around him, her heels digging into his back. Then he bit her.
She made a sharp, shocked sound before the world exploded around her. The pleasure was so raw, so rich, so acute, it blasted through her body with the strength of a supernova, leaving her quivering in its wake.

“Move,” she said, voice husky. “Please move.”
He nuzzled at her throat, caught her lips in a kiss. “Ready?”
She looked into his eyes and nodded. “Ready.”
The last thing she remembered thinking was that she had never seen a more beautiful man in her life. A moment later, pleasure crashed through her like thunder and Clay became her world, her universe, her reason for being.

He came to her, laying his head on her thigh. She should have berated him for choosing to end the argument this way but what she did was stroke him. “Beautiful,” she whispered, sinking her hand into the black and gold fir. “Magnificent.” Petting words, because while he was big and tough, he was also hers to love, hers to adore.
Green eyes caught hers, a gleam of smug pride in their depths.
“Vain,” she added.
He growled, bared his teeth. And still she stroked him. Her mate. Her everything.

“You’re not angry anymore?” It came out hesitant, searching.
“How can I be angry with the other half of my soul?” he asked, his tone so tender it tore little pieces out of her heart. “I have a temper, baby, and I know I fucking brood. But even if I act pissed, even if I snarl, it doesn’t mean I love you any less. Your soul shines, Tally, and I’m so damn glad it shines for me.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo





Review: Caressed By Ice by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookcaressedbyice
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


Review: Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookvisionsofheat
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



Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookslavetosensation_2
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