Psy-Changeling: Branded by Fire

Branded by Fire

Branded by Fire

Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to possess her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons;  the problem is that he’s a wolf, she’s a cat, and they’re both used to being on top.

But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped from DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together–before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it will leave them both branded by fire…

 I have fallen in love with this series. I’d really, really, really enjoyed it before, but this book totally clinched it for me: Nalini Singh is a paranormal romance writing goddess. I adored everything about this book. Singh manages to write these hot romances while keeping up with her absolutely riveting world building. Honestly, I’m fangirling right now.

Branded by Fire is Mercy and Riley’s story. I wasn’t sure what to expect from these two since they’ve both been peripheral characters in the past books. But Singh did not disappoint. Branded by Fire is another one of those “opposites attract” scenarios. We start off with Riley and Mercy not particularly liking each other very much. They respect each other on a professional level, each acknowledging that the other is a badass, but not having much time for one another beyond that. Until one day… bang! Pun intended. In a moment of sexually frustrated weakness, Mercy takes Riley on after he propositions her. And, man, talk about fireworks. Riley, of course, is happy to go there again, but Mercy is horrified that she went there with a wolf with no discernible personality. Mercy is of the opinion that Riley makes the chilly Psy seem bubbly, and Riley sort of sees Mercy as a bit of a lose cannon. Mercy thinks that Riley thinks too much, while Riley thinks that Mercy doesn’t think enough. Mercy is a free spirit, and Riley is always in control. Clearly, they’re as different as two people can be in terms of temperament, never mind the fact that one’s a leopard and the other is a wolf.

I enjoyed the romance and how they gradually softened towards one another. Riley hasn’t been the same since Brenna (our heroine from Caressed by Ice) was kidnapped and tortured by a deranged Psy. He’s hardened himself, and everyone in his pack has noticed. But when he starts spending time with Mercy, he lightens up a little. Mercy’s been having some problems that her pack’s picked up on too. As a dominant female, she’s been worried about her prospects of finding a male who can handle her. Thing is, she needs someone even more dominant than her in order for her leopard to accept him. Thankfully, Riley seems to fit the bill.

I’m not going to go into too much detail with the romance because, although I enjoyed it, it wasn’t my favourite part of the book. No, my favourite bits were the more peripheral stuff. I was far more focused on  issues like, what’s happening with the Psy Council? And who exactly is the Ghost? And what is Kaleb Krychek’s story? And why are there so many books on my to-be-read pile between me and Sienna and Hawke’s book?!?! Just to go off on a quick tangent here, but I cannot–CANNOT— wait to read that book! It’s going to be EPIC!!! Ahem… anyhow. I actually find that Singh’s attention to detail is my favourite part of her books. I mean, most romance novels follow the same general patterns and she’s no exception to that. But what she does do, better than almost any author I can think of, is focus on the little things. Her world building is just phenomenal. With each installment of this series, things just get more and more intricate.

In short, I can’t get enough of this series. The attention to detail in the world building is breathtaking, the romances are hot and sweet, and everything is just so well-written that I think this series is going to go down as one of my favourites. Nalini Singh can honestly do no wrong in my eyes, and I am dying to see what’s going to happen next.

 

Psy-Changeling Series: Hostage to Pleasure

Hostage to Pleasure

Hostage to Pleasure

Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy–cool, calm and emotionless… at least on the surface. Inside, she’s fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper’s embrace.

DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard’s rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian’s agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules…

I had mixed feelings about this book. The world building and the overall story line was as brilliant as ever, but I just didn’t feel it in the romance department. This isn’t to say that it wasn’t a really good book, just that I felt that there was something missing.

We met Ashaya Aleine in Mine to Possess. She’s a Psy scientist who’s been assigned to the Implact Protocol by the Psy Council. The idea behind the Protocol is to sort of unify all the Psy minds under one big umbrella. Individual thought will be impossible for the vast majority of the Psy. The Council would be in the position to monitor the entire population’s thoughts at will. No individuality, no dissent. And to make sure Ashaya cooperates, they are holding her son prisoner. Even though Ashaya can’t show it, she adores her son and will do anything to save him. So she makes a deal with the DarkRiver pack. She did them a favour, and she wants them to repay her by getting her son away from the Council. This is where Dorian comes in. He’s not keen on helping a Psy, even one he’s inexplicably attracted to. But after losing his sister to a member of the Psy Council, Dorian is happy to do anything to screw the Psy over, so he agrees to Ashaya’s terms.

Once Ashaya is assured of her son’s safety, she puts her own escape plan into action. Everything goes according to plan. Except for one thing: she inadvertently lands smack bang in the middle of DarkRiver territory. No prizes for guessing who finds her. Clinging desperately to the Psy control she’s all but managed to perfect, Ashaya tries to ignore how much Dorian is affecting her. But Dorian isn’t having any of that. If he has to sit with this infuriating attraction to a Psy, a race he pretty much regards as the enemy, then she can damn well own up to what’s going on between them too. Now, for the most interesting part of this book: what the hell is going on with the Psy Council? Everything is going all topsy turvy and no one on the Council is what they appear. I love the intrigue!

Like I said, the romance didn’t especially do it for me. I think it’s probably because I couldn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t really like Dorian very much. He had a tendency to stretch the whole “alpha” thing into the realm of asshole. Ashaya was okay, but I probably won’t remember her in the long run. That being said, the situation with the Council is getting so good! There actually isn’t much of the Council in each book, just these little tidbits that are slowly making me die with curiosity. I want to know.

Ms Singh is killing it with this series. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next! Check it out over at Sony’s ebook store.

The Psy-Changeling Series: Mine to Possess

Mine to Possess

Mine to Possess

Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed… and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.

Talin McCade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life-the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the deepest secret in her heart, and steels herself to ask the help of the strongest man she knows…

Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her is a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past, or risk losing everything that ever mattered.

I am quite a big fan of Ms Singh’s so I couldn’t wait to start in on Mine to Possess. It’s been sitting on my to-be-read pile for what feels like forever, but it was well worth the wait. The world Singh has created is absolutely fascinating. It just gets more and more detailed and complex as the series progresses.

Clay is a high-ranking member of DarkRiver, a sentinel charged with protecting his pack. However, despite his position, Clay is a bit of a loner. He’s got this anger building inside him and he’s on the verge of just giving up on his humanity and going leopard full time. He wasn’t always like this, though. While he’s always had this darkness inside him, there was a time where he was a little more lighthearted. Talin, his childhood best friend, accepted him without question. They were once inseparable. Until the day Clay became aware of the abuse Talin was suffering at the hands of her foster father. In a fury, he killed the bastard right in front of Talin and Clay was later taken to a juvenile detention centre. Clay accepted it, believing that once he’d served his time he would be able to see Talin again. He was devastated upon hearing that Talin was dead, and for a long time he seemed to be lost in that darkness inside himself. So you can understand his shock when Talin suddenly shows up in his life, alive and well. Talin is damaged. The things her foster father did to her, coupled with losing Clay left her in a bad place. When she finally felt like she was moving forward, she found out that Clay was being released from his prison. She knew Clay would come for her, so she made the decision to have the authorities tell him that she had died. But now she needs Clay’s help. The street children she’s responsible are being killed and the enforcement agency is making no effort to catch the killer.

My love for this series is actually stemming more from the universe that Singh has created than from a real passion for the characters. Don’t get me wrong, the characters are awesome. We got to see Talin transform from a scared little girl into a strong woman; we got to see a softer side to Clay that you would never have suspected was there. All of that was great. But those snippets into the inner workings of the Psy Council and how the whole system is being shaken up is… riveting. Singh manages to make important changes to the universe her series is set in with every book and I am so excited to see what’s going to happen next!

If you’re keen on reading Mine to Possess-and you really should be-you can head on over to Foyles.

Guild Hunters Series: Archangel’s Consort

Archangel's Consort

Archangel’s Consort

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school-the assault one of sheer, vicious madness-and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and and the earth itself shudders. 

The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed.

I don’t think there is any other author who can compare to Nalini Singh. This woman has such an amazing way with words. Sometimes I have to stop reading and just marvel. I’m torn between absolute awe and and utter envy.

Archangel’s Consort is book three in the Guild Hunter series and it takes place shortly after the shit hit the fan with Lijuan in China. Elena and Raphael are back in New York, hoping for a little (relative) peace and quiet. Unfortunately, it looks like all the weirdness has followed them home, and the New York vampires start losing their heads. Something is causing Raphael’s vampires to succumb to bloodlust and the results aren’t pretty. The normally cool-calm-and-collected Raphael is worried. He knows that if he doesn’t reign his vampires in, and quickly, things are going to get messy. Circumstances force him to be more brutal than he’d necessarily like, and this puts a little bit of strain on his relationship with Elena. While Elena knows that Raphael has rule with an iron fist to keep control of his city, the methods he’s forced to use make her slightly uneasy. Making their lives even more complicated, there are increasing signs that a Sleeping ancient is about to wake up. And this isn’t just any ancient: it’s Caliane, Raphael’s mother. She wants her son back and she isn’t willing to let anyone, let alone some newly-made angel, stand in her way. However, Raphael isn’t the only one having to deal with family issues. Elena is forced into a situation where she has to deal with her estranged father and the little sisters who are basically strangers to her.

I really enjoyed this installment of the Guild Hunter series. There was more action in this book than there was in Archangel’s Kiss. This isn’t to say that there was no progression in Raphael and Elena’s relationship; it’s just that there was a little more focus on Elena being the kickass heroine we met in Angel’s Blood. We saw a good balance in Elena’s personality and how she interacted with the other characters. She displayed a certain amount of vulnerability with Raphael, but she was in no way a push over. She isn’t as physically strong as she used to be, but that does in no way keep her from hunting down vampires and holding her own with Raphael’s Seven. I also liked how Singh is developing Raphael’s character. He’s a hard man and he’s capable of doing some really awful things, but with Elena he… softens. He’s capable of being sweet and gentle. And where I once wasn’t too sure about Raphael, I’ve now decided that I love him.

This series, and the author who writes it, is a-ma-zing. I cannot wait to see what Singh’s got planned next for this series.

Guild Hunters Series: Archangel’s Kiss

Archangel's Kiss

Archangel’s Kiss

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed-an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn-but her fragile body needs time to heal  before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used  to being in control-even when it comes to the woman he considers his own.  But Elena has never done well with authority…

They’ve barely begun to understand  each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing-and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…

Archangel’s Kiss is the second book in the Guild Hunter series, and it sees Elena dealing with her transition from human to angel. Unlike its predecessor, Archangel’s Kiss is a lot less action packed, focusing more on the burgeoning relationship between Raphael and Elena.

Archangel’s Kiss takes place roughly one year after Angel’s Blood. Things have changed a great deal since Uram, the evil archangel, was defeated. One of the most notable changes has taken place with Elena. She’s now more than simply a hunter: she’s an angel, albeit a weak one. After being out of commission for so long, it’s going to take Elena a while to get back on her feet again. The main issue weighing on Raphael and Elena in this book is the threat posed by Lijuan, the archangel of China. She is extremely old and extremely powerful. Unfortunately, she’s also stark raving mad. When Raphael receives the invitation to Lijuan’s little get together, his first instinct is to be all, “Hell, no!” But to do so would be to place both Raphael and Elena at a tactical disadvantage and betray weakness. The last thing anyone wants to do is to leave themselves open to attack from Lijuan. Sadly, though, there’s no arguing against the fact that Elena is a major weakness for Raphael. She’s nowhere near as strong as she should be, and this makes Raphael vulnerable in a way that he’s never been before. So, it’s decided that she needs to work on her strength and prepare as best as she’s able for the trip to Beijing. Unfortunately, things are made more difficult-and scary-by a string of murders taking place within the Haven (basically the place where angels go to chill). Many of these acts of violence seem to be directed at Elena.

While there is absolutely no question that this is a brilliant series, I did feel like something was missing. I missed the action. I know that Elena’s being in a coma severely hindered her ability to kick ass, but I just felt like more stuff should have been blown up, or something. The threat presented by Lijuan was… I hesitate to say hyped up, but there was a big ominous build up to the event and it felt a wee bit anticlimactic. Maybe that was just me. What I did love was that we finally met all of Raphael’s Seven, however briefly, and they were awesome. Some we’ve already met-like Illium, Dmitri, Jason and Venom. But the new boys are just as badass. They are Aodhan (haven’t the foggiest idea how to pronounce that), Naasir and Galen. Together they are the Seven and, quite honestly, I find them more interesting that their boss, which I think really says something for these guys.

Overall, I felt a teensy bit let down, but I think that’s mainly because the first book was out of this world awesome. The Guild Hunter’s series is still definitely one worth following, and I can’t wait to see what Ms Singh comes up with next.

Psy-Changeling: Caressed By Ice

Caressed By Ice

Caressed By Ice

Explore new heights of sensuality in this return to the world of the Psy-where two people who know evil intimately must unlock the good within their icy hearts…

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins-cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted-and had her mind violated-by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…

Man, I am really getting into this series. It seems that as the series progresses, things just keep getting better. If it carries on at this pace, eventually I’m not going to be able to contain myself. With this and the Guild Hunter series, Nalini Singh has easily become one of my absolute favourite authors.

What really excited me about this book was the fact that it deals primarily with the SnowDancer pack. In the previous two installments of the series, we hung out with the cats from DarkRiver. These two are now allies, so there has been quite a bit of interaction but we haven’t seen much of the inner workings of how the wolves operate. We met Brenna in Slave to Sensation after she was kidnapped by a psycho member of the Psy Council. She managed to recover from her horrific ordeal, but she bears some serious mental scars. She hasn’t been the same, and the constant coddling is beginning to drive her up the wall. She’s also acting a little bit out of character, being snarly and mean to her brothers. Things progress to the point where Brenna is convinced that she’s losing her mind. Her Pack tries to provide her with the support she needs, but the only ones who could possibly help her are Psy. And isn’t it lucky that the SnowDancers have a number of Psy on hand?

Judd and the rest of the Laurens have defected from the PsyNet. The whole Lauren family had been sentenced to “rehabilitation”, including the children. Judd and Walter, the kids’ dad, decided to take the children and get the hell out of dodge. They went deep into SnowDancer territory, expecting the wolves to kill the adults but spare the kids. They were half right. The wolves decided to spare them all and integrated them into the Pack. However, this transition hasn’t been smooth, especially after Brenna’s kidnapping. Judd’s been fending off challenges for weeks, and he doesn’t expect a change in the wolves attitudes any time soon. Judd’s got some insane psychic powers, and he’s also a bit of a loner. He has no interest in “assimilating”. And then Brenna comes along and does something totally unexpected: she makes him feel. This is all kinds of dangerous for any number of reasons. Judd worries about what effect breaking Silence will have on his control over his abilities. If he can’t control his powers, he runs the risk of inadvertently killing people. So he does that thing where he pushes Brenna away. But Brenna is no pushover, and she makes it clear that she isn’t going anywhere. I liked Brenna. She had moments where she was vulnerable, but she knew what she wanted and she went for it.

In addition to the romancing going on between Brenna and Judd, we also see a little bit more of the Psy Council and the new threat they present. There’s an initiative called Protocol I and it’s going to cause all kinds of trouble. Judd and a mysterious fella called Ghost are working together to derail this programme because it threatens the Psy species as a whole. Moving on from all things grim, can I just have a moment real quick? Hawke… I love him. He was the main reason I was so excited about seeing more of the SnowDancers. I know it wasn’t his story, but I just wanted more of him! There’s some something so… I can’t think of a word right now, but he totally does it for me. And is it just me, or does Sienna, Judd’s niece, enjoy bugging Hawke a little too much?

Overall, this book was epic and I honestly believe that it’s only going to get better. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next…

Psy-Changeling: Visions of Heat

Visions of Heat

Visions of Heat

Go deeper into the world of the Psy and the changelings, where a gifted woman sees passion in her future-a passion that is absolutely forbidden by her kind.

Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need… exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her. 

Changeling Vaughn D’Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar’s instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith’s sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silent-and away from Vaughn…

Visions of Heat is book two in the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh and, man, it was good! In all honesty, I wasn’t too jazzed with Slave to Sensation. I mean, it was good, but it wasn’t something I’d write home about. I know the first book in a series is rarely spectacular, but I was puzzling over what all the fuss was about. And then I read Visions of Heat… Well, lets just say that I am now a believer.

Faith NightStar is an F-Psy. This means that she has the gift of foresight. She’s incredibly powerful and can see into the future with almost one hundred percent accuracy. This makes her an extremely hot commodity in the cut-throat world of Psy business, and she is one of the most sought after F-Psy on the Net. However, F-Psy used to have a purpose that extended beyond the bottom line. Back in the day, the F-Psy used to predict future disasters and acts of violence in order to stop them. But, since the implementation of the Silence protocol, that part of the F-Psy has been cut off. No longer plagued by visions of death and destruction, these Psy are now simply tools used in the Psy’s favourite pastime: making money. Faith was no exception to this apathy… until one day she begins receiving horrifying images of hands around her throat and the sensation of the life being choked out of her. Faith is shaken by what she sees but tries to carry on as normal. A few days later she learns that her sister has been killed in the exact same manner as the visions she’s been having. This is the final straw for Faith. She needs to know what’s going on and she needs to know now. But Faith is well aware that discussing this matter with anyone else in the PsyNet will only result in her being lied to or, worse, placed into a rehabilitation programme. Thus, logic tells Faith to seek out Sascha Duncan, the only Psy ever to have dropped out of the PsyNet.

Vaughn D’Angelo is a jaguar who lives with the leopards of the DarkRiver Pack. He’s had it pretty rough and, even among his fellow Pack members, he’s a bit of a loner. But he takes one look at Faith and his jaguar is convinced that she’s his. This is a tad unsettling for Vaughn. Firstly, she’s a friggin’ Psy. As a rule, he trusts them about as far as he can throw them. Second, Vaughn doesn’t need anyone. He’s perfectly self-sufficient, thank you very much. And finally, even if he is able to look past all that, how the hell is he supposed to touch her? Faith’s mind, what with her being the well-conditioned Psy that she is, cannot handle touch. In spite of all the arguments as to why he shouldn’t, Vaughn wants her bad and he’s willing to pull out all the stops to get her to accept him.

I just want a moment here to talk about how sexy Vaughn is. I mean, like really fine. He was pushy and demanding and bossy… and I didn’t mind. In fact, it crossed my mind that if he was being all “grrr…”, Alpha-y on me, I’d damn well hop to. Luckily, Faith didn’t do that. Despite being utterly overwhelmed by Vaughn and the feelings he inspires, she doesn’t just placidly do what he tells her. She gives him a fair amount of stick. I liked that they both had their issues to work through. It wasn’t all sunshine and daisies with them. Vaughn is a little possessive and aggressive, and he had to work at tempering those instincts with Faith so that he didn’t freak her out. And Faith had to get past her extensive conditioning so that she could be in a normal relationship. I also enjoyed seeing more of the Pack. I love how loyal they are to each other. It may take them a little while to warm up to strangers but once they’ve decided that someone belongs to them, God help anyone looking to fuck with them.

I’m really starting to get into this series and I cannot wait to start on Caressed by Ice. The world that’s been created here is absolutely fascinating, and I find myself so disappointed every time I finish an installment. It’s like, “Dammit, not yet!” Nalini Singh has become a definite auto-buy for me. So if you haven’t given the fabulous Ms Singh a try, you need to get your butt into gear.

Guild Hunter’s Series: Angels’ Blood

Angels' Blood

Angels’ Blood

Vampire Hunter Elena Deveraux knows she’s the best-but she doesn’t know if she’s good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, only one thing is clear-failure is not an option… even if the task is impossible. 

Because this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of killing spree like no other… and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn’t destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break…

Angels’ Blood was the first book I’d read by Nalini Singh. And by the time I’d finished it, I wanted to cry. It was just so good! I was in awe of Singh’s writing ability. This book was incredible. You know that feeling you get, when you read a book for the first time and it’s amazing? You almost get high? I was floating around like a friggin’ kite while I was reading this book. Sorry, I know I’m gushing, but it cannot be helped. This book had everything. It was action-packed, it was sexy, the heroine was one fierce lady, and our hero was so damn yummy, I wanted to take a bite out of him.

Let me start at the beginning. In the Guild Hunter series we have three races living amongst each other: humans, vampires and angels. Odd combo, right? But, oh my stars, did it work out well! See, angels are responsible for creating vampires. Angels have some sort of toxin in their blood that they need to get rid of. They feed it to humans, who then become vampires. The humans apply to become vampires and, if they are chosen, they have to serve the angel who turns them for one hundred years. But there are some vampires who aren’t into that whole servitude thing, and they run away in order to escape their contracts. This is where the hunters come in. When vampires try and skip out on their contracts, angels call in the hunters to bring the vampire to heel.

Elena Deveraux is a hunter, and she’s the best there is. But when she gets called in by the Archangel Raphael, the head honcho in New York, she is freaked. Raphael has a reputation for ruthlessness, and Elena has no desire to fall under his scrutiny. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have much in the way of a choice. She meets Raphael, and the sparks fly. Even though she’s crapping herself, she’s not about to let him push her around. Raphael, arrogant son of a gun that he is, isn’t used to people questioning his authority. So he’s more than a little intrigued by Elena’s fighting spirit. What I liked best about Elena is that she’s a strong heroine. She didn’t try and make excuses for Raphael when he acted like an ass, and she had the good sense to be afraid of him, even while fighting their attraction. While I was rooting for these two, I’m glad that Elena didn’t just fall at his feet because he was sexy. She knew he was bad news, and she tried to avoid him. Smart lady. But when these two did get their acts together, they were so damn hot. Seriously. But Raphael was kinda scary. I liked Dmitri, a member of his Seven, much better. First let me explain who the Seven are, and then I’ll tell you why Dmitri made my knees weak. The Seven are basically Raphael’s guards, and are made up of both angels and vampires. They eliminate any threat to Raphael without remorse. We meet don’t meet all of Raphael’s Seven, but Dmitri was by far my favourite.

Dmitri is a vampire, and he’s way old. The older a vampire becomes, the more… sexually alluring they become. Dmitri must be old as the hills, because he was super fine. Now let me share my favourite part of this book. It’s a scene between Elena and Dmitri. Elena and Raphael have just had a rip-roaring fight, and Elena has decided that she’s going home. She’s sick of Raphael’s gorgeous face at this point. Raphael doesn’t want Elena to go home on her own. Dmitri has the hots for Elena, despite Raphael’s interest, and he’s being a little… forward. In order to dissuade Dmitri’s interest, Elena slits his throat (don’t worry, he heals fast):

“Bitch.”It was a wet gurgle.

“Thanks.”

He actually smiled, hard, lethal, scary as hell. “I like bitches.” The words were clearer, his healing progressing at a faster pace than she would’ve believed. 

But it was the dark hunger in his tone that got to her. Damn kinky vampire had actually liked the knife.

Maybe I’m a wee bit messed in the head, but I found that so sexy. Whew…

The Psy/Changeling Series: Slave to Sensation

Slave to Sensation

Slave to Sensation

 

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”-the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion-and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities-or sacrifice everything for taste of darkest temptation.

Slave to Sensation is the first book in Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series and I was quite keen on starting it. I loved Singh’s Guild Hunter series, so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be disappointed. And, happily, I was right.

I love the premise of this book! It’s set in a sort of parallel universe in the year 2079. There are basically three races: humans, Changelings, and the Psy. The Changlings and the Psy are pretty interesting. They are the complete opposite of one another. The Psy are cold, calculated, and emotionless, while the Changlings are emotional, spontaneous and touchy feely. They’re no pushovers, mind you. Once upon a time, the Psy did have emotions. However, they didn’t appear to handle them too well and there were a crap load of violent crimes being committed by the Psy. So in an attempt to prevent this from happening, Psy leaders decided that the best thing to do would be to strip the Psy of their emotions. Thus began the programme of Silence. Children are systematically indoctrinated to feel nothing, until most Psy can no longer remember what it was like to feel.

Most of the Psy don’t feel. But, as with most things, there are exceptions. Those exceptions are sent to be rehabilitated, a process that basically strips them of their identities. Unsurprisingly, there are very few people who willingly ‘fess up that they’re “defective”. One such Psy is Sascha Duncan. Sascha has always known she was different from the other Psy, but with a mother on the ruling Psy Council she’s never dared to let even the smallest crack show through. That is until she meets the ridiculously yummy Lucas Hunter. I would just like to take a moment here to go W.O.W. Seriously, this guy was smokin’ hot. Whew! Moving on. Lucas is a shifter (he turns into a panther) and he’s an Alpha. And he’s on a mission: he’s out to find the evil SOB that killed a member of his pack. The Changlings are convinced that it’s a Psy committing the murders and that the Psy Council are covering it up. That’s where Sascha comes in. Lucas is hoping that he can use her to find out what the Council knows. But as these two get to know each other, Lucas realises that deep beneath that icy facade is a person capable of a whole lot of emotion. And Sascha realises that likes the feelings that Lucas stirs up in her, and she wants more. Things progress as normal from there…

I liked the world that Singh is building here more than I actually liked the main characters, Sascha and Lucas. Don’t get me wrong, they were fine. But the world building was better. I cannot wait to read the next book and find out what’s the what!

P.S: How hot is that guy on the cover? Holy smoke!

Cheapest place to get this book will be at Foyles.