Review: Heart of Obsidian

Review: Heart of ObsidianHeart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, #12) by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #12
Published by Berkley Sensation on June 4th 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 360

One of the Best of the Series

“To fight evil, you have to understand the dark.”

WARNING: This review contains spoilers that detract from the wonderful slow revelation of information that Singh has done in the novel. I would recommend reading this book and enjoying the journey. It is fabulous!

THE STORY: Kaleb Krychek is a Psy councilor, a cardinal Tk (Telekenetic) and perhaps the most powerful and dangerous man alive. Throughout the series, it has been unclear whether he is good and evil. Raised by a serial killer, at times helpful to those in need, no one knows what his motives are. For years, Kaleb has had only one motive: to find Sahara Nightstar who may be the only person more powerful than Kaleb and he believes that with her by his side, he will be able to take over the PsyNet. When he finds her, Sahara has been tortured and striped of her identity. This book is all about Kaleb’s motives, his history and his murky history with Sahara.

OPINION: HEART OF OBSIDIAN may be the best written and most complex of the Psy-Changeling novels. Singh keeps the motivations and history of Kaleb hidden for most of the book. Best of all, she doesn’t engage in revisionist history to make him a clearly heroic character. He remains as complex and a creature of the dark at the end as he is in the beginning. His love for Sahara is his redeeming trait and it is she who brings him into the light. I loved their story. For a story that so often strays into the dark, Singh has given them a past that is also sweet and beautiful. I loved every moment of this book. There are some books that end far too quickly — not because of a defect in the story but because the story is so compelling that the reader doesn’t want the book to end. HEART OF OBSIDIAN is one of those books. Having read it once, it is already in my favorites and I know I will revisit it again and again.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book reveals a tremendous amount about what was happening on in the previous novels that the reader was unaware of. I appreciated that Singh has in a way been writing this novel since SLAVE TO SENSATION.

FINAL DECISION: I absolutely loved this book. I am a fan of the dark, mysterious hero who may or may not actually be the villain. Beautifully written, the way the mysteries are revealed are compelling and keep the reader completely engaged.

CONNECTED BOOKS: HEART OF OBSIDIAN is the twelfth book in the Psy-Changeling series. This book finally brings to a close an overarching story that has been going on since the first book of the series. This book can be read independent of the other books of the series because the focus is so much on the couple but it is best appreciated as the culmination of the prior books.




Review: Slave to Sensation

Review: Slave to SensationSlave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling, #1) by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #1
Published by Berkley Sensation on September 5th 2006
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 352

Fabulous, Unique, Emotional Paranormal Romance

The story of a world where the Psy, a cold emotionless race, rules over humans and Changelings (a type of animal shapeshifter). What happens when a Psy and a Changeling fall in love.

THE STORY: Sascha Duncan is a 26 year old Cardinal Psy. The Psy were conditioned to remove emotion from their makeup. Sascha has a secret. She is falling apart because she feels emotion. She has been hiding that fact for years and fears that she is losing control and will be sent to rehabilitation where defective Psy are essentially erased. As part of her job, she begins working with Lucas Hunter, a leopard changeling. Lucas and his pack are searching for a Psy serial killer (who isn’t supposed to exist because of the Psy conditioning). Lucas believes that he can use Sascha to discover the killer. Something about Sascha, however, attracts Lucas and he is determined to find out everything about her.

OPINION: I loved this book. I really felt the fears of Sascha as she discovers her true self and I loved how she claims her own identity by the end of the book. Lucas is sexy and playful and Singh’s depiction of him just makes a reader want to reach out and pet him. I was impressed with the world building that Singh does. She depicts the world without droning on and on about the details. She world serves the story. I was instantly enthralled by the story and wanted to know the outcome not only of the romance but also the plot itself. Although Sascha is at a difficult part in her life, she is strong and determined and immensely likeable. I admire strong heroines who are also likeable. The romance was sexy and sweet. There was absolutely nothing about this book that I didn’t like.

WORTH MENTIONING: There are two prequel novellas to this book. They can be read before or after this book.

FINAL DECISION: SLAVE TO SENSATION was a surprise to me. Singh has created a unique world with great characters. I was instantly sucked into the story and couldn’t stop turning the pages. The story has emotional depth and I believed in the characters and their world. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to read more.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SLAVE TO SENSATION is book one of the Psy-Changeling series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.



Review: Wild Invitation

Review: Wild InvitationWild Invitation (Psy-Changeling, #0.5, 4.5, 9.5, 10.5) by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #0.5, , ,
Published by Berkley Sensation on March 5th 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 339

Great Set of Four Psy-Changeling Novellas

WILD INVITATION consists of four novellas about the Psy-Changeling world. The first two stories are about secondary characters in the DarkRiver leopard pack and the second two stories are about secondary characters in the SnowDancer wolf pack. Overall rating: 4.25 stars.

BEAT OF TEMPTATION: This novella is a prequel to the Psy-Changeling series. It is the story of the DarkRiver leopard healer Tamsyn and Nathan Ryder, a sentinel. Although Tamsyn and Nathan are destined to be mates, Nathan refuses to approach Tamsyn because he wants her to have a chance to explore and consider life before settling down. Tamsyn is angry at Nathan because she wants him now and doesn’t appreciate him deciding what is right for her. A prequel to the series, the events of this novella occur before SLAVE TO SENSATION. I liked the romance between Tamsyn and Nathan. I read this novella before any other book in the series and understood exactly what was happening. Rating: 4.25 stars.

STROKE OF ENTICEMENT: This novella is the story of Annie Kildaire, a human and Zach Quinn, a leopard changeling. Annie is a schoolteacher for changeling cubs. The drama in the story is around Annie’s fears of having a long term relationship with Zach because she fears that he will tire of her and abandon her. I liked this story although it was the least memorable of the collection for me. Rating: 4 stars.

DECLARATION OF COURTSHIP: This novella is the story of a dominant SnowDancer wolf lieutenant Cooper and the sweet submissive wolf Grace who catches his interest. The couple’s courtship was mentioned in PLAY OF PASSION and this novella gives their story. Cooper is determined to court Grace but she worries that her submissive nature will ruin any relationship they may have. I really liked this story because the relationship is different from the others in the main novels of the series and gives a different view of what dominant and submissive is in the changeling world. I smiled at this story because Cooper does the hard sell in courting Grace with tons of gifts and sexy, naughty notes. A sweet addition to the series. Rating: 4.25 stars.

TEXTURE OF INTIMACY: This novella continues the romance between Lara, the SnowDancer healer and Walker Lauren, Psy defector. Their romance was detailed as a secondary romance in KISS OF SNOW. This novella begins after the events in KISS OF SNOW. Here Lara and Walker are mated but are learning to live together and build a life. Sweet and beautiful and more a love letter to the entire series, I enjoyed this story as a coda to KISS OF SNOW. It gives readers a chance to focus on Lara and Walker and to demonstrate that they have an honest happily ever after. This story was my favorite because I was already invested in Lara and Walker’s story and was happy that they got extra time. Rating: 4.5.


Review: Tiger Magic

Review: Tiger MagicTiger Magic (Shifters Unbound, #5) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #5
Published by Berkley Sensation on June 4th 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 308

My Favorite of the Series

TIGER MAGIC is the fifth novel in the Shifters Unbound series. It is the story of Tiger who had been a government test subject. He has no name and has spent most of his life in a cage. He comes across Carly Randal and immediately identifies this human as his mate. Early is drawn to Tiger, who Shifters distrust but who Cubs love. Tiger exists at the edges of Shifter society because he doesn’t accept all the social constructs. The relationship between Tiger and Carly is interwoven with the mystery of Tiger’s origins.

This is my favorite of the series. I absolutely loved Tiger who is definitely an alpha and yet is a real sweetheart. I thought the story of how Tiger is an outsider even among outsiders was really interesting as well. The story kept me turning the pages.

Loved it!


Review: Primal Bonds

Review: Primal BondsPrimal Bonds (Shifters Unbound, #2) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #2
Published by Berkley Sensation on March 1st 2011
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 298

My favorite of the series! I loved the story of Sean Morrissey (a feline Shifter) and Andrea Gray (a lupine Shifter). I have never been a fan of paranormal romances, but I simply love Jennifer Ashley’s series. She has the ability to make the books about the romance between the characters in a manner which allows me to easily accept the weirdness of the story. In fact, Ashley story really is about family and community and racism and the fear of differences. I was impressed that Ashley could incorporate such themes so seamlessly and not make them overwhelm the romance. There is no doubt that the romance is the center of this book.

I’d give this book a 4.5 rating.


Review: Archangel’s Enigma

Review: Archangel’s EnigmaArchangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8) by Nalini Singh
Published by Berkley Sensation on September 1st 2015
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 357

My Favorite of the Series. Sexy, Sensual, Fun, and Exciting — Just Like Naasir

“Seven months Naasir had been hunting. Seven months since he’d told Ashwini he was ready to find a mate. Seven months and still his mate hadn’t made herself known to him. Didn’t she know he was looking for her?”

FINAL DECISION: My favorite of the series. I loved the characters, their deep respect and mutual acceptance of one another. The tone of the book is sexy, sensual, playful and dangerous which fit Naasir’s character. As a character that fans have wanted to know more about since his first appearance, this book is deeply satisfying. He is given a mate who matches him well. Their journey is exciting and sweet and just plain sexy.

THE STORY: Naasir is one of the Seven to the Archangel Raphael. His origins are unknown but he has some feral qualities and some vampire qualities. When a plot to murder the former Archangel of Persia is discovered, Naasir is sent to awaken the Archangel to warn him. He is to accompany Andromeda, a young angel scholar who has done work to discover the Archangel’s sleeping place. Because they are racing against time to discover the sleeping Archangel before it is discovered by the one who wants to kill him, their journey is expected to be perilous. At the same time, Naasir is seaching for his mate. When he meets Andromeda, he thinks that she smells like she could be his mate, but her fragility and her vow of celibacy make him wonder how she could possibly be the one for him.

OPINION: A wonderful blend of sex, sweet romance, friendship, adventure and excitement, this book and its tone are perfect for the sensual, playful but deadly Naasir. A fan favorite since his introduction to the Guild Hunter series, Naasir has mysterious origins. Fans can rejoice that this book answers questions that have surrounded Naasir. No spoilers here, but I found Naasir’s story to be especially satisfying.

Naasir is playful, brilliant, sensual and brutal and all those traits are exhibited here. He is unique to the series and I loved how this book expressed all his qualities. Readers of Singh’s Psy-Changling series will recognize her deft hand with expressing animalistic qualities and she has raised it to a superlative level here. Naasir is incredibly complex and his different way of thinking is well depicted here.

Andromeda is seemingly an unlikely match for the wild Naasir. A scholar and a celibate, Andromeda first appears weak and defenseless to Naasir. As he begins to uncover her true nature, however, he learns that she is precisely the mate he needs.

“The idea his maybe-mate might have a secret side fascinated him.”

What I loved most about this book was the mutual acceptance that Naasir and Andomeda show to one another. Both had broken childhoods and come from monstrous origins and wage fights against their nature. In each other, they find acceptance and appreciation for the qualities that others have rejected in them.

“A woman who knows me, understands what I am, and who wants to have secret rules with me.”

A beautiful expression of love, their romance was allowed to develop slowly (contrasted by the swift events of the narrative). Naasir’s respect for Andromeda is evident throughout. Truthfully, the conflicts between these characters arise from external events and threats and that works perfectly for this couple. This is a story of love, acceptance, sensual exploration, deep respect along with a playful tone even in the face of serious danger and brutal battles.

I finished this book was a deep sigh of satisfaction and then immediately began reading passages of it again because it was that good. Instantly my favorite of the series and a definite “keeper”!

WORTH MENTIONING: A warning: “Something bad is coming. Worse than before.” But that is for future books.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ARCHANGEL’S ENIGMA is the eighth book in the Guild Hunters series about a world where angels and vampires and mortals live together. There is a strong connecting story between all the books as political maneuvers and battles take place between Archangels. This book, however, can be read as a standalone as all the information a reader needs to know can be garnered from the text of this book.

STAR RATING: I give this book an enthusiastic 5 stars!



Review: Angels’ Flight

Review: Angels’ FlightAngels' Flight (Guild Hunter, #0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 3.5) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #0.4, , ,
Published by Berkley Sensation on February 28th 2012
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 345

Great Collection of Guild Hunter Novellas

A collection of four novellas. Readers should take note that the novellas are out of order for where they take place in the series.

ANGEL’S WOLF: This novella takes place after ARCHANGEL’S CONSORT. It is the story of the vampire Noel who was almost killed in an attack. He believes he has been set aside by being sent to the court of the angel Nimra. He soon discovers, however, that Nimra has need of him. Dangers abound in this story and a mystery of who is threatening Nimra is interesting enough to provide a platform for the romance between Noel and Nimra. Noel is especially interesting as being such a damaged soul. It was nice seeing his happy ending. Rating: 4.25 stars.

ANGELS’ JUDGMENT: This is a prequel novella to the Guild Hunter series. This novella introduces Sara who is the leading candidate to be the new Guild Director. She meets Deacon who is a slayer tasked with tracking down rogue hunters. Deacon has arrived to be a bodyguard for Sara because the Angels have a habit of testing potential directors in deadly ways. The two are in search of a rogue and end up in a romantic relationship that has no future because Sara’s very public new job does not mesh with Deacon’s very private responsiblity. I liked this story and did not feel that I needed to know any other information other than what was introduced in this story. It interested me in reading more about the series. Rating: 4 stars.

ANGELS’ PAWN: This is a prequel novella that tells the story of a guild hunter, Ashwini and her association with a vampire, Janvier. Readers should be aware that this is a short story and merely introduces the possibility of a relationship between Ashwini and Janvier. Ashwini has hunted Janvier before but he has always managed to resolve his problems before Ashwini had to take care of him. Now she needs his help when an angel wants her to track down a missing vampire. This story is funny and sexy and I really want to know what happens between Ashwini and Janvier. They seem to have a doomed relationship considering the fact that he is somewhat immortal and she is human. Dark and delicious reading. Rating: 4.5 stars.

ANGELS’ DANCE: This novella is about Galen a 275 year old angel who is the weapons master for the archangel Raphael. He meets Jessany, who is also an angel and is the historian and teacher. She is over 2500 years old but has lived a solitary existence because she has a deformed wing and thus cannot fly. When Galen meets her he is determined to court her and become her lover. This story is amazing. For such a short story to paint such a vivid picture of the Guild Hunter world was unexpected. I loved this intense story between the two. Both Jess and Galen are emotionally damaged and their relationship allows them both to heal. I loved that their relationship is allowed to take time so that by the time the story reaches its end, there is no doubt these two are perfect for one another. ANGELS’ DANCE is a prequel novella to Singh’s Guild Hunter series. Rating: 4.25.