Review: Silver Silence

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Silver SilenceSilver Silence (Psy-Changeling Trinity, #1; Psy-Changeling, #16) by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #16, Psy-Changeling Trinity #1
Published by Berkley Books on June 13th 2017
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 464
Goodreads
five-stars

“Welcome to the Age of Trinity.”

“Even after all this time, Silver did not understand bears.”

FINAL DECISION:  Moving the action from San Francisco to Moscow, Singh kicks off the new “season” of the Psy-Changeling series with the compelling story of Silver Mercant, a powerful Psy woman, and the alpha bear shifter, Valentine who breaks through her silent walls.

THE STORY:  Silver Mercant is the uber effective assistant to the most dangerous man in the world and has also taken on being the coordinator for the new worldwide emergency response/humanitarian response group.  She has also acquired an admirer in Valentin Nikolaev, the Changeling Alpha of the StoneWater bear clan.  Valentin has been courting Silver for months — making sure to meet with her instead of her boss, leaving her food and appearing at her apartment unexpectedly.  When an attempt is made on Silver’s life, Valentin makes it his business to help protect Silver.  In a post-silence (aka a world where the intellectual Psy are allowed to feel emotion) Silver must decide whether to break her own Silence to embrace a potential relationship with her self-proclaimed “teddy bear.”

OPINION:  I approached this book with a bit of trepidation.  When an author puts out a book like ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR and specifically states that she is moving to a new stage in a beloved series with a new focus, a reader who loved the original series might be concerned.  I’m happy to report that while this book moves the series in new directions with the introduction of new characters (and changeling groups), this is still the Psy-Changeling series that I love.  And maybe a better version of itself.

“Something always seems to get broken when a group of bears is out to have a good time.”

I’m constantly amazed by the amount of detail and differentiation that Singh is able to create in her Psy-Changeling world.  For the first time, we get to meet the bear changelings in detail.  And, oh, what a wonderful group these are.  Cuddly, messy, outwardly and unabashedly emotional, partying.  These bears are different from the cats and wolves that the series was previously embedded with.  I love how Singh makes each of these changeling groups different and distinct from the other groups.  Each group has a different culture, a different history, a different set of value priorities and yet they remain unmistakably changeling in their attitudes.  I had thought that I would always love the cats the best, but these bears certainly made an impression on me.

Valentin is a different kind of alpha hero.  He is definitely a dominant and in control, but he is also sweeter and more outwardly romantic and emotional than the other alphas we have met.  (I didn’t think an alpha hero could beat the sexiness of Lucas Hunter, but Valentin certainly does).  He is strong and yet funny and has a soft heart that he is not afraid to show others.  He ends up being a surprisingly good match for the efficient and smart Silver.

Silver is as competent and complex as we have seen through the series.  She has a difficult journey in this book.  (Yes, I ended up crying about half way through). And I never expected where this book went. While this is not the first (or even second or third) Psy and Changeling pairing, Singh always manages to keep the journey of the particular romantic pairing separate and unique.  Silver and Valentin are not like any other couple we have seen in this series — and that is a beautiful thing.

Pairing a wonderful couple with a political thriller is old hat for this series.  But this book gives us new enemies and (perhaps) allies to get to know. A series that never rests on its laurels or gets repetitive, SILVER SILENCE is a winner on all levels: emotional, complex, funny, daring, intriguing and a beautiful testament to love and devotion.

WORTH MENTIONING:  The story has moved away from familiar stories in the San Francisco area that series readers are used to and yet this book exists in that world and doesn’t feel separate at all.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  SILVER SILENCE is the first book in the new “season” of the Psy-Changeling series.  Known as the Trinity series, this book is connected to what went on in the previous 15 books in the Psy-Changeling series and yet really starts out in a new direction. New readers could start here and catch up fairly easily, but I don’t know why anyone would.  Start at the beginning of the Psy-Changeling series because this is one of the best series out there.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to be able to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

five-stars

Review: Archangel’s Heart

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Archangel’s HeartArchangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #9
Published by Berkley on November 1st 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 384
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“He was hers. She was his. And together, they were something far better than either one of them was alone.”

FINAL DECISION:  Goes deeper into Elena’s background in unexpected ways.  This book is a tightly drawn suspense story, political thriller and a very human story about surviving and rising above the past.  Plus, there is a very settled and sexy couple: Elena and Raphael.

THE STORY: This book continues the focus on guild hunter turned angel Elena and her archangel lover Raphael.  Things have been quiet since the disappearance of Lijuan, the Archangel of China (who also happens to be crazy dangerous).  A year has passed and because no one knows whether she lives or has withdrawn from the world and is sleeping, there is uncertainty.  An ancient order of angels called the Luminata calls the Cadre together to make a determination of what to do with Lijuan’s territory.

Attending the Luminata requires Raphael and Elena to travel near the place of her grandmother’s birth.  There, Raphael and Elena must deal with dangerous archangels, mysterious threats, strange events surrounding the Luminata. Elena also hopes to find out more about her past and that of her family.

OPINION: The Guild Hunter series returns to focus on Elena and Raphael.  I have to admit that I love the Elena and Raphael books most in the series.  This book, thankfully, doesn’t involve problems in the relationship between Elena and Raphael (that remains increasingly strong) but rather Elena’s own history.

This book continues the overarching series story regarding the Cascade, Lijuan and the possible end of the world.  While this book doesn’t have a romance as its organizing feature, it doesn’t need one.  This book delves into the adventure and politics of the Guild Hunter world — but reserves its emotional core for Elena’s discovery of her own family’s past.

There is a dark suspense story involving the Illuminata who are a mysterious addition to the series.  Elena ends up investigating what is going on with this mysterious group and their connection with her own family.  That story keeps the pace of this book quick and the pages turning.

While the suspense story keeps the books hopping, the theme explored in this book is about how the past makes us who we are and how one can overcome the pain of the past to go forward.  Multiple characters in the book have to deal with their past — the question is how will they respond.  This is most present in Aodhan who is recovering himself after years of separating himself from those he loves.  The events in this book challenge his recovery and he must make a choice.  The series has been an increasing interaction between those of Raphael’s world and Elena.  In this book, we see the developing relationship between Elena and Aodhan, which has its own contours.

Singh goes deep into the emotions of her characters and even as the events feel dark and dangerous, her characters possess a lightness and beauty that gives the book heart.  I always love reading Singh’s books because even when things seem bad for her characters, they maintain a likeability and a lightness of spirit that overcomes all the darkness.

The events of this series appear to be approaching a crescendo and this book provides a little breather that allows the exploration of character and relationships.  Elena finds out the truth about her mother’s family which has been shrouded in mystery.  I’m glad I didn’t know where this book was going because I enjoyed the resolution which provided a happy ending in an unexpected arena.

Without giving away the secrets of this book, I can say that this book is about survival and overcoming darkness.  So many characters express this theme and it leaves such a good feeling that I dread that more darkness is on the horizon for these characters.

For fans of the series, this book gives more background on the characters you love and gets everyone in the right place for the next stage in this series.  There are no new romances but much happens in this book that illuminates where the characters are now and where they have come from.

WORTH MENTIONING:  We learn more about Aodhan.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ARCHANGEL’S HEART is the ninth book in the Guild Hunter series.  This series builds upon each of the prior books in the series and thus should be read in order.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: Wild Embrace

Review: Wild EmbraceWild Embrace (Psy-Changeling, #15.5) by Nalini Singh
Series: , , ,
Published by Berkley on August 23rd 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 400
Goodreads
four-half-stars

WILD EMBRACE consists of four novellas in the Psy-Changling series.  They vary in length and complexity and while none reach the quality of the awesome novels in the series, these novellas are a great introduction to the series or a wonderful chance for fans to revel in some secondary characters.  The events take place at various times in the Psy-Changling universe (although there is no reason to worry about the order unless you are hyper concerned about spoilers).

One of my favorite parts of reading a Nalini Singh series is that every portion, every moment, every characters feels exceedingly alive.  Singh proves it by regularly giving readers the additional content (much free to newsletter subscribers) that tells the stories of minor characters, gentle moments and funny slices of life.

In the novella ECHO OF SILENCE (which takes place after book 2 VISIONS OF HEAT), readers finally get the story of Stephen Berg, a Tk Psy and Tazia Nerif, the human woman with whom he falls in love.  Readers of the series might recall that subsequent to the events in this book, Stephen has been known to give romantic advice to Arrows.  This story takes place just as Silence is beginning to be challenged.  The romance is incredibly sweet and painful as the two are in danger if it is known that Stephen breaks Silence but he cannot love unless he does.  I thought this story was the best of the four (I love those Tks) as the story was complex and multilayered.

The short novella DORIAN (which takes place over a period of time ending after book 5 HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE) consists of vignettes in the life of Dorian.  Dorian is a leopard changeling who was latent and could not shift into his leopard form.  The vignettes start when Dorian is a child and take place at various times in Dorian’s life.  The final vignette happens after his mate is able to help him to successfully shift.  (We finally get to see other characters reactions to Dorian’s shift.  This novella adds some additional and welcome scenes to HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE.

In the novella PARTNERS IN PERSUASION (which takes place after book 11 TANGLE OF NEED), we get an unexpected pairing of a dominate female leopard changeling and a submissive male wolf changeling.  Felix is at his heart a gardener (aka the horticultural expert of the Snow Dancers) who has been hurt by his attraction to a dominate woman before.   Despite this, Felix is really, really attracted to Desiree.  I loved Felix who might be a submissive but is certainly no pushover and definitely proves that submissives can be dangerous when those they care about are threatened.  The careful navigation of Felix and Desiree’s relationship mirrors those which arose in DECLARATION OF COURTSHIP (which had a dominate male and submissive female changeling). Questions of consent and trust are artfully navigated here without the hero being a wimp.

The final novella, FLIRTATION OF FATE is the sometimes heartbreaking second chance at love story between Garnet (aka Jem) and Kenji, both Snow Dancer lieutenants.  The two grew up together and it seemed like they were fated to be together until Kenji broke Garnet’s heart on her twenty-first birthday by standing her up.  In the years since, the two have ignored one another and engaged in a combative flirtation.  The big question throughout this novella is why did Kenji break Garnet’s heart when he clearly loves her so much?  I had figured out the reason before the reveal but I loved how these two were unable to let one another go despite their best attempts.  I hope that we hear more about these two in the future because I would like to see that they have been able to work through their challenges. FLIRTATION OF FATE takes place at the end of HEART OF OBSIDIAN (book 12).

Overall Rating for book 4.5 stars.

 

four-half-stars

Review: Rock Wedding

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Rock WeddingRock Wedding (Rock Kiss #4) by Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #4
Published by Tka Distribution on July 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
five-stars

FINAL DECISION:  As the final book in the Rock Kiss series, this book is a beautiful gift to fans of the series while also providing a compelling second chance at love story.

THE STORY:  Abe Bellamy and Sarah Smith’s marriage fell apart under the weight of Abe’s drug and alcohol problem.  Their relationship almost destroyed Sarah, but she has learned to live without Abe and has become more confident, more independent and more mature.  After finally achieving sobriety, Abe realizes that he alone was at fault for the end of his marriage and he wants the woman he loves back.  Sarah, however, doesn’t know if she wants to risk herself again with Abe.

OPINION:  ROCK WEDDING is truly a wedding bonanza with multiple weddings in the book.  Fans of the Rock Kiss series will be pleased.  ROCK WEDDING lives up its name as it has four rock weddings in it.  As the final book in the Rock Kiss series, this book is a beautiful gift to fans of the series while also providing a compelling second chance at love story.

Organized around the weddings of the other couples in the series.  Making the weddings of the other couples central to the story makes them not only a treat for fans but also a lens through which Abe and Sarah take stock of their relationship.  Serving as both reminder of their own broken marriage but also the promise of a new life together, the weddings serve as important tent poles in Abe and Sarah’s relationship along with giving series fans the joy of seeing their favorite couples married in their own unique ways.

Abe and Sarah have a rocky past to overcome.  Abe was mired in grief and drug and alcohol abuse during their marriage.  Unable to love Sarah as she deserved but unwilling to be apart from her, Abe made Sarah miserable until he broke her heart with his verbal abuse and forced her to leave him.  Sarah knows that she should not trust Abe again because he only endlessly disappointed her, but he now claims to be sober and know that she is the woman for him.

Abe is a recovering addict who used his addictions to hide his grief about the death of his baby sister. After losing his wife, he begins the long road to sobriety.  He now recognizes that he needs Sarah and that their breakup was his fault.  Now that she is free, he doesn’t intend to lose his chance with her.  I liked that Abe took complete responsibility for his actions.  It is often difficult to make an addict a hero but Singh has done a good job reforming Abe and the length of the time period covered by this book can give readers some security that Abe has turned the corner.

Sarah has completely changed since her marriage.  She wanted her marriage to succeed so much and believed herself so unimportant that she allowed herself to be completely malleable.  Once her marriage was over she allowed herself to be swept up in another relationship that she really didn’t want.  But then she began to become her own person.  She opened her own business and began to use the strength that allowed her to survive her difficult childhood.  I love that she no longer takes any gruff from Abe.  I loved her sweet vulnerable character with a spine of steel.

This couple is hot together as is true of all the couples of this series.  Plenty of really sizzling sex scenes that are always accompanied by an emotional component that makes them relevant.

I give this book an extra credit because I love that all the couples of the series are involved in Abe and Sarah’s journey.  It’s like one of those great summary epilogues but expanded into a giant buffet of goodies for fans.

This book was so good that I immediately went to each of the other books in the series to read my favorite parts and I completely re-read the first book in the series ROCK ADDICTION to remind myself of how far these characters have traveled.

I’m going to miss these characters (although Singh has promised a spin off series about Gabriel Bishop’s brothers) but I am thrilled that they got such a great send off.

WORTH MENTIONING: A bit of a spoiler for those who might have sensitivities as ROCK WEDDING discusses the aftermath of a miscarriage and stillbirth.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ROCK WEDDING is the fourth book in the Rock Kiss series.  It can be read as a standalone although Abe and Sarah’s story is mentioned throughout the series and various characters from the series make significant appearances here.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

five-stars

Archangel’s Heart Cover Reveal

by Nalini Singh
Genres: Paranormal

Simply gorgeous cover for the next book in the Guild Hunter series!  I’m especially excited that this book focuses again on Raphael and Elena.  How amazing does Elena look here?

Archangels Heart Cover

Archangel’s Heart is the 9th book in the

Guild Hunter

Archangel’s Heart releases November 1st!

Now Available for Pre-order HERE: http://bit.ly/28P4Qel

Add it to your TBR: http://bit.ly/GoodreadsArchangelsHeart

Blurb

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

Author Information

nalini Singh

Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.

If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.

STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review: Allegiance of Honor

Review: Allegiance of HonorAllegiance of Honor (Psy-Changeling, #15) by Nalini Singh
Published by Berkley on June 14th 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 496
Goodreads
five-stars

Must Read for Any Psy-Changling Fan

“The world has changed in countless ways since the day a cardinal empath sat across from a changeling alpha, the empath trying to hide her emotions, the alpha trying to see under her skin.”

FINAL DECISION:  The Psy-Changling book I will return to again and again, ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR not only is a window into the lives of the engrossing characters that Singh has created but also the book’s ensemble format itself demonstrates the themes of the bonds of love, friendship and respect that differing groups and people can build in order to create a better world.

THE STORY: ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR is a different book from the others in the Psy-Changling series and in paranormal romance in general. It does not have one central romance rather it is the last book in “Season 1” of the Psy-Changling series, an ensemble piece, which touches on almost all of the characters who appeared in the first 14 books of the series (and the novellas as well!).

The story picks up right after SHARDS OF HOPE.  Silence has fallen and the three powers in the world (Changling, Psy and Human) have joined forces in the Trinity accord. The alliances the various groups are fragile and there is a shadowy Consortium which is working against Trinity in order to advance its own interests.

Naya, the young daughter of Sasha and Lucas (from book 1 SLAVE TO SENSATION) is the first Psy-Changling child and has become the focus of those who want to defeat Trinity and keep the races separate.  Naya is a symbol that some look to as hope and some want to control or destroy.

OPINION:  A tapestry that depicts a wide swath of the Psy-Changling world, ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR is simply magnificent.  In a series which is founded upon crossing boundaries and making connections between disparate groups, this novel itself by its vignette nature demonstrates the power and beauty of the entirety of that interwoven world.  I love how the shifting points of view and small and big moments come together to provide the widest and most comprehensive view of the Psy-Changling world.

What I found incredibly powerful about this book is that Singh managed to take what might otherwise be merely an extended epilogue to the series without any other value other than good feelings and instead makes it a compelling conclusion to “part 1” of the Psy-Changling series and a kickoff to a whole new adventure.

Readers who had lingering questions about the series both big and small will get answers here and also get a good sense of where the series goes from here.  A pivot point in the series, it allows readers who have persevered through the prior fourteen books to get a conclusion while making it clear that there are new challenges and new characters ahead.

A reader could end their reading of the Psy-Changling series here (BUT WHY WOULD YOU?) and be completely fulfilled and satisfied because this book resolves almost everything central (and many tangential) to the main series.  There are lingering issues which will kick off the next part of the series but nothing that will haunt people for years.  This series is so incredible that there is no reason not to highly anticipate what will happen next. I can’t wait to see what Singh will do next in the Psy-Changling world.

There is something in this book for anyone who has read the series.  Stories of just about everyone are progressed demonstrating how fluid this world is. Intense joy, happiness and immense sadness are all present here.

If I have a suggestion for anyone getting ready to read this book — avoid spoilers.  Part of the beauty of this book is how the stories develop in somewhat unexpected ways.

I love this book and intend on reading it again soon — maybe today. Immensely fulfilling and I couldn’t imagine how it could have been better!

WORTH MENTIONING: Pupcubs!!!

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR is the fifteenth book in the Psy-Changling series.  Because this book assumes knowledge about the characters and events of the series, it should only be read after the other books.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

five-stars

Review: Archangel’s Shadows

Review: Archangel’s ShadowsArchangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter #7) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #7
Published by Penguin Group (USA) on October 28th 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 378
Goodreads
four-stars

The Story of Ash and Janvier

“She is my eternity.”

THE STORY: Ash and Janvier have a history. Ash has hunted Janvier down because she is a Guild Hunter and he is a vampire. Janvier, however, has always managed to resolve his problems such that Ash is never able to take him in. For several years the two have been involved in a strange courtship. They both know that they have feelings for one another. Ash, however, is determined to stay apart from Janvier because she knows that they have no future. When the two work together to track down a dangerous killer, the sexy flirtation gets more serious.

OPINION: I liked this story but I never connected with Ash in the way that I have the other women in this series. I really liked Janvier, but I just didn’t feel the connection with her. I also thought that the story was not as interesting as others in the series. I quickly figured out the villain and because I didn’t connect with Ash as much, I didn’t like this one as much. That being said, there hasn’t been a bad Guild Hunter novel and the continuing story of the other characters kept me interested in the novel until the end.

WORTH MENTIONING: I completely adore Naasir and can’t wait to find out who he tracks down as his mate.

FINAL DECISION: I liked this story because Janvier is a sexy Cajun who adores Ash. I just never connected with Ash as much so it is not one of my favorite stories in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ARCHANGEL’S SHADOW is the seventh book in the Guild Hunter series. This book can be read apart from the other books in the series, but I recommend reading the novella ANGELS’ PAWN before reading this novel because it features Ash and Janvier when they first worked together.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

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four-stars

Review: Archangel’s Legion

Review: Archangel’s LegionArchangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #6
Published by Penguin Group (USA) on October 29th 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 384
Goodreads
four-half-stars

War Has Finally Arrived

“Eternity would mean nothing without you. For no power on this earth would I trade my Elena.”

THE STORY: Guild Hunter turned angel Elena and her lover Archangel Raphael begin preparing for the archangelic war that is coming. Strange, destructive occurrences begin happening: angels falling from the sky, rivers filled with blood and vampires dying of diseases that should not exist. It will take all of their friends and allies together along with their strong relationship in order the defeat the evil that is overshadowing New York.

OPINION: After two books about the people around Elena and Raphael, this book returns to the power couple of New York. Powerful, dramatic and sexy, this book shows the growth that Elena and Raphael have made in their relationship. This book is filled with action because war is coming to New York and this book doesn’t shy away from depictions of the battles. While not overly graphic, it is more so than other books in the series. I was also very interested in the developments in Elena’s relationship with her father and siblings. Revelations about the past provide context and understanding for Elena’s father. I liked that Singh is still finding new information to give us about Elena and Raphael.

WORTH MENTIONING: My new favorite character is Naasir. Singh has done such a great job tempting the reader with the mystery surrounding this guy.

FINAL DECISION: I loved this book. Powerful, I especially like that real progress is made on the overarching story of the series at the same time Elena and Raphael’s relationship evolves. Also loved seeing all the characters in the series make an appearance.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ARCHANGEL’S LEGION is the sixth book in the Guild Hunter series. This book is the culmination of the storyline of the other books in the series and therefore depends upon the knowledge gained in those books. I think that readers should just start at book one and read on.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

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four-half-stars

Review: Night Shift

Review: Night ShiftNight Shift (Kate Daniels, #6.5; SPI Files, # 0.5; Psy-Changeling, #12.5; Barbarian, #1) by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane
Series: Kate Daniels #6.5, SPI Files #0.5, Psy-Changeling #12.5, Barbarian #1
Published by Berkley on November 25th 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 378
Goodreads
four-stars

Four Paranormal Novellas

NIGHT SHIFT consists of four paranormal novellas. Of the four authors, I had only read Singh before this collection. Overall rating: 4 stars.

SECRETS AT MIDNIGHT by Nalini Singh: Part of Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, this novella features Bastien Smith (Mercy’s brother). Bastien is a DarkRiver leopard and one day he scents his mate on the street of San Francisco. When he finally discovers who she is, he knows there is something different about her. Kirby is a schoolteacher who is alone in the world. The story has a twist that is different from other stories in this series. This story was great. Bastien was a great hero although I had less interest in Kirby as a person but her ultimate story was very interesting and added to the Psy-Changeling universe. Rating: 4.25 stars.

MAGIC STEALS by Ilona Andrews: This novella is part of a series that I have not read. That made no difference, however, because I found the story easy to follow, with interesting characters and a tight storyline. Dali is a weretiger who is involved with Jim Shrapshire who is a werejaguar. Dali feels that she is not a good match for Jim because Dali thinks herself as clumsy and not a strong fighter. Dali does good magic instead. I thought the story was really funny especially when Dali is attempting to hide Jim from her mother. I thought the story was interesting and I loved how Jim is clearly attached to Dali who doesn’t really believe in herself. This story intrigued me enough to want to read more of this series. Rating: 4 stars.

LUCKY CHARMS by Lisa Shearin: This is the story of Makenna Fraser who is a new employee for the SPI, Supernatural Protection Investigations. Makenna is a seer who can see the actual creature underlying any disguise. She is partnered with Ian Byrne who is the star of the company. On Makenna’s first day, she and Ian are in search of a quintet of leprechauns who have evaded their bodyguards. Their search takes them through strip clubs and a sex club. The story is all about the case and there was little character development or any relationship between the characters. I know that there are other books in this series, but this story was not enough to make me interested in reading more. Rating: 2 stars.

THE BEAST OF BLACKMOOR by Milla Vane: Kavik is known as the Beast of Blackmoor. His homeland has been taken over by an evil ruler and when he is refused his request by the goddess Vera, Kavik, who is fifteen, insults the goddess and finds himself given a curse instead. Years later he meets the woman who will be his downfall. Mala, High Daughter of the House of Krima is one of Vela’s chosen and on a quest of her own to save her own destroyed homeland. Her task: to tame the Beast of Blackmoor. I really liked this story. The hero is very dark and tortured but Mala’s persistence wins him over. Both of the characters are strong warriors and work well together as partners. The story is also very sexy especially for such a short novella. Rating: 4.25.

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four-stars

Review: Shards of Hope

Review: Shards of HopeShards of Hope (Psy-Changeling, #14) by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #14
Published by Berkley Hardcover on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 483
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Brings All The Story Threads Together and Starts a New Chapter

THE STORY: Aden Kai and Zaira Neve are two Arrows who awake to find that they have been stripped of their psychic abilities. Forced to escape and rely on one another, they discover a new plot to take control by shattering the fragile peace that has arisen after the fall of silence. As head of the Arrows, Aden knows that he must show the Arrows that there is hope for the Arrows in a post-silence world. He believes that Zaira is the key for him. Zaira, however, knows that she cannot risk relinquishing silence lest she risk releasing the psychotic murderer that she knows is within her.

OPINION: Simply beautiful. SHARDS OF HOPE builds to its conclusion slowly and with such precision that by the time the conclusion arrives, it is clear that the entire book is the demonstration of what the solution to the problems must be. This book is a treat especially for fans of the series because there are so many significant cameos by favorite characters. Aden is a wonderful hero. He so clearly has loved Zaira for so long and he is such a caring individual that one cannot help but fall in love with him. Zaira is the tormented one here. Her past is horrific and she cannot imagine that she can possibly have a happy ending. This book, however, is really about hope and the big difference that one person can make in changing another’s view of themselves. This book is about the transmission of hope and the importance of individual action.

WORTH MENTIONING: Fans of the series will be especially pleased because there are numerous appearances by previous heroes and heroines who are important to the overall plot.

FINAL DECISION: This book feels like a homecoming with appearances by so many previous favorites. The romance between Aden and Zaira is at times dark and at times incredibly innocent. This was a great book for fans although I think that newcomers would be better starting with another book in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SHARDS OF HOPE is the fourteenth book in the Psy-Changling series. This book feels like it needs to be read as part of the series because it wraps up the previous storyline and starts a new part of the overarching story.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

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