Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #5
Also in this series: Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Tangle of Need
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 2nd 2008
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Shards of Hope, Shield of Winter, and Heart of ObsidianLora Leigh calls Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series “a sensual, dangerous adventure not to be missed.”
Now, as the deadly Psy Council tightens its grip, a rebel Psy scientist finds herself at the mercy of a changeling who has sworn vengeance against her kind…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, 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...
KEEPER, KEEPER, KEEPER, KEEPER, KEEPER!!!!
Phew! I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I am that I loved this story so much!
See, I won an ARC copy from Nalini Singh and since I don’t read back blurbs for auto-buy authors I didn’t really pay attention. Until I started to read the book and came across a kid.
Kids are a no go for me in romance books as a rule.
Let’s just say, that some authors can break the rule and in this book, Singh was able to pull it off for me.
Cindy Blurb: Dorian is a sniper / sentinel for the Dark River ‘cat’ clan. Dorian comes with a bunch of baggage that includes the fact that his changeling abilities are latent (he can’t become the leopard he is) and that quite recently his sister was was tortured and killed by a Psy sociopath that the ruling Council of the Psy allowed to roam free because he was valuable to them.
Now, if you think that is baggage you should see the cart that was needed to pull in Ashaya Aliene’s cargo! Hot diggity, those Psy heroines sure do carry a lot on their shoulders. Not wanting to spoil anything for you guys I’ll leave it at that for now.
Basically these two people are forced together by circumstance and thus, a great romance begins!
I don’t want to do a review with a bunch of spoilers because hey, the book’s not even out in the stores yet and some people are like me and avoid spoilers every chance they get.
So I’m going to talk about what worked in this story.
Even though this story has the root of a Psy heroine and a Changeling hero, it is a completely different story from those that have come before it. For one, Ashaya’s experiences in the Psynet are completely different than the previous two heroines Sascha and Faith for many reasons. All of the reasons for why Ashaya is different are wonderfully complex and a neat twist on how the Silence protocol is not working. Like I said, lots of baggage here but not so much that the reader is numb or uncaring of her many dilemmas.
Meanwhile, Dorian is not the standard Changeling hero as he cannot change. In no way does this make him feel ‘crippled’ for lack of a better word but he does experience physical pain from his leopard ‘trying’ to change. Through sheer determination he excels at everything he puts his mind to. He felt the need all his life to try harder, be brighter and fight dirtier in order to become the man/cat he wanted to be. He has risen to the rank of Sentinel for his Alpha leader Lucas which is quite an acheivement for someone who can’t change.
Another life changing event happens when he is too late to save his sister from a sociopath, and thus he carries around a hatred for all things Psy and has vowed to kill every member of the Council (the rulers of Psy) because they allowed a monster to live and kill freely. He has experience with Psy but only with those who have broken Silence (Faith and Sascha) and if you had ever told him he would fall for a Psy he would have torn your throat out with his bare hands.
But Ashaya is not just a Psy, she is a Psy carrying a dangerous secret that created the perfect conflict for two such tortured characters. I mean, you just couldn’t have had a bigger wall to climb for these two people but not only does Singh carry it off, she allows her characters to feel all the negative feelings that come along with the knowledge.
As for romance value, this book rocks! The first ‘sex scene’ was a great change of pace from what most romance books try for and I’m telling ya, I’ve never found a scene like this so very sexy before but whoa!, what a great way to start off.
There was also a sense of equality between Ashaya and Dorian whereas, the other female Psy were seen by their heroes as less than (because Changelings and Psy knew next to nothing about each other) and were physically handled differently by the men. Dorian and Ashaya seem to come out on equal footing and do not judge each other based on their previously preconceived notions. Okay, anything more on that and I’ll be into spoiler territory.
Was there anything that didn’t work for me?
Huh, apparently I’m good. I thought there would have been something but nothing pissed me off or made me go ‘wtf!?’ or anything. That there would explain the keeper rating 😉
Final thoughts are for those who have loved this series this latest installment should make you very happy!
As a grade I’m going with a 4.5.
This book is available from Berkley September 2, 2008. You can pre-order it here.
Check out more from CindyS at Nocturnal Wonderings.