Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: Play of Passion by Nalini Singh

Title: Play of Passion
Series: Psy-Changeling
Author: Nalini Singh
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: November 2, 2010
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 0425237796
ISBN-13: 9780425237793

In his position as tracker for the SnowDancer pack, it’s up to Drew Kincaid to rein in rogue changelings who have lost control of their animal halves—even if it means killing those who have gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite…and who threatens to enslave his wolf.

Lieutenant Indigo Riviere doesn’t easily allow skin privileges, especially of the sensual kind—and the last person she expects to find herself craving is the most wickedly playful male in the den. Everything she knows tells her to pull back before the flames burn them both to ash…but she hasn’t counted on Drew’s will.

Now, two of SnowDancer’s most stubborn wolves find themselves playing a hot, sexy game even as lethal danger stalks the very place they call home…

My rating:

Reading the Psy-Changeling series is like visiting old friends and talking about the good old days. Some of the friends are great, some not so much, you get new ones, some great, some not so much, but you inexorably spend a few pleasurable hours in their company.

This book was exactly like that. I got so see Judd and Brenna again, got a glimpse of Riley and Mercy, Sasha and Lucas, got to drool over Hawke once more (I can’t wait for his book, yet I’m terrified of being disappointed), and became better acquainted with Andrew and Indigo.
While the first one made me fall head over heels in love (though he cannot compare to Hawke...ooh, the tension between him and Sienna) with his big heart and a protective streak a mile wide hidden behind his playful façade—tell me, who wouldn’t want such a man in real life, with or without his inner beastie—the second one made me grit my teeth in exasperation.

I’m all for strong, stubborn, independent women, as long as that strength, stubbornness and independence don’t blind them to that which could be good for them. And though she mellowed toward the end, I resented Indigo for taking so long to finally make up her mind. It was obvious Drew was different from her “uncle”, she noticed that many times in the course of the book, yet she stubbornly refused to give him any leeway. He bent and bent and bent for her, was ready to compromise, was willing to apologize profusely for any slight he made (which is almost unheard of in the male population ;)), yet she (almost) never did the same.
And it (once again) took a life-or-death experience for Indigo to finally grow a pair and jump off the proverbial cliff.

I loved the tension, the push and pull between them, the frustration, if I can use that word, but I felt it dragged for a tad too long for my liking.
And it also affected my perception of their “relationship” for the better part of the book. Because, while I was told it was courtship, they were tentatively starting a romance, I didn’t see it. I didn’t feel the connection (not even from Andrew’s point of view), it was more like two friend scratching an occasional itch. I read it as mere sex, going through the motions, instead of the sensual skin privileges of the changelings, so much present in the first few novels.
It was only toward the end, that everything somehow clicked. I don’t know if it was meant to be that way, or if I just grew used to the “lack of feeling”.

Being done with the “relationship rant”, I can focus on the rest—beside Hawke, who, if you ask me, had the most beautiful scene in the entire book, as he (in beastie form) accompanied Sienna on her trek to DarkRiver. Can I have an “awwww”, folks?
Everything else aside (namely my issues with Indigo), this was a great little installment in the series, adding to the main arc, building the plot, tension, and drama toward the big finale. Which we don’t know when it will happen, but we got a little glimpse from the joint F-Psy prediction. It won’t be pretty, it won’t be nice, but I sure hope it will knock my socks off.
We got some information on the Psy big plan, though vague enough to keep us interested, the Ghost made his mandatory appearance, and we were offered yet another sliver of info on the mysterious “creature” (I sincerely hope it turns out he’s Kaleb, because that tidbit could be another cherry on the cake that is the dangerous, young Councilor—and it would make great fiction as well). There’s yet another pack on the horizon beside the cats, wolves, and rats, I’m itching to see how that will work out, because I’m sure Ms. Singh didn’t just put them in there not to be mentioned again...

Anyway, it wasn’t as good as the first couple of books in this series, but it wasn’t bad either, and I sure hope Hawke’s story will deliver (and then some).



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