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 to track the young man – before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it’ll leave them both branded by fire…
Book 0.5: Beat of Temptation (See Wild Invitation Review)
Book 0.6: Whisper of Sin
Book 1: Slave to Sensation
Book 2: Visions of Heat
Book 2.5: Echo of Silence (See Wild Embrace Review)
Book 3: Caressed by Ice
Book 3.5: Stroke of Enticement (See Wild Invitation Review)
Book 4: Mine to Possess
Book 5: Hostage to Pleasure
Book 5.25: Dorian (See Wild Embrace Review)
Book 6: Branded by Fire
Book 7: Blaze of Memory
Book 8: Bonds of Justice
Book 9: Play of Passion
Book 9.5: Declaration of Courtship (See Wild Invitation Review)
Book 10: Kiss of Snow
Book 10.5: Texture of Intimacy (See Wild Invitation Review)
Book 11: Tangle of Need
Book 11.1: Partners in Persuasion (See Wild Embrace Review)
Book 12: Heart of Obsidian
Book 12.1: Flirtation of Fate (See Wild Embrace Review)
Book 13: Shield of Winter
Book 14: Shards of Hope
Book 15: Allegiance of Honor
This has always been one of my favorite books in this series – I love the dominance of Mercy, and how that plays against the dominance of Riley. I love how committed they both end up being to figuring it out. I love that the romance is effortlessly woven into the plot, and an important part of everything that’s going on. I love that there isn’t unnecessary drama that bleeds over into the life-and-death things going on in the world.
Plus, Mercy and Riley burn up the pages. I’ve said in a lot of recent reviews that I’m pretty much over the sex scenes in books – and I think that holds true in the majority of instances – but I can’t deny that the scenes between Mercy and Riley, in this book, are off the charts sexy. Part of this is just because of the skill of Nalini Singh in writing a good romance, and part of that is from her ability to weave actual relationship and character building into the sex scenes. They’re not unnecessary – yeah, they’re fun and sexy and hot to read, but they’re also important in the development of the characters singly, and together as a couple. And that makes them even hotter.
I’ve always been fascinated by this world that the Psy, Changelings, and Humans live in, but the world gets ever more intricate the further you get into the series. The ties of friendship and family, the alliances, and pacts built all serve to change the shape of the world. A world that’s seeming to move inexorably towards war and destruction.
There are so many different factions and people grabbing for power that it’s hard to see a peaceful way out of this. When a select few are willing to sacrifice so many for their cause, it makes me despair. But when others work so hard to fight against that? Makes me cheer. This series gives me hope – hope that even those with radically different mindsets, opinions, beliefs, and backgrounds can come together and make a difference for the better.
I think that’s one thing that I’ve always loved about the Romance genre in general. The hope. The happiness. The idea that no matter how bad things are, they will get better. And what Nalini’s done in this series is show that on a broader scale as well. Not only do the main characters get their HEA, you begin to see that even the more widely disparate individuals can decide that there’s a better way.
I like that not everything in this series is black-and-white. There are shades of grey. There are characters that aren’t exactly good, but maybe they’re not exactly who you believed them to be in the first place either. I love how we slowly get to pull back layers on many of these characters. I love how it makes me think critically about motivations and actions taken. I love how even the most (seemingly) cold and Silent characters have moments where their conscious shines through and makes them question.
That’s the beauty of this series – it started so simply, just one Psy mating to one Changeling. A world where it seems that the power struggle is more about politics than anything else. Now, six books in (as of this review), it’s becoming more and more obvious that everything is bigger, means more, and what we thought we knew might not be exactly the case. The stakes are high.
I’m invested in this world, in the characters. I’ve built relationships with these characters, and coming back to re-visit them through re-reads is like coming home.