Wild Invitation by Nalini Singh
Series: , , ,
Published by Berkley, Penguin
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
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In Beat of Temptation, innocent Tamsyn has always had a place in her heart for Nathan, a blooded DarkRiver sentinel. But is she ready for the fierce demands of the mating bond?
Tamsyn and Nate realized they were mates at the same time. Nate, however, is 10 years older than Tamsyn and since she was only 15 at the time he looked after her and protected her but he never made any move toward starting the mating dance and completely the mating bond.
Now Tammy is 19 and she’s going out of her mind. She craves Nate but he’s determined to keep his distance. His mother and father weren’t mates and though they loved each other at first, his mom eventually regretted getting into a lasting relationship so young. Nate doesn’t want Tammy to ever feel that way so he keeps his distance.
Tammy gets advice in making herself irresistible but that doesn’t seem to work. Tammy finally comes to the conclusion that Nate sees her more as comfortable and practical and doesn’t see her as a sexual being and that’s why he’s not making his move. Tammy makes a life altering decision because of this and Nate almost loses Tammy for good.
I originally read this in the anthology, An Enchanted Season, back in 2007 and was happy to read such a wonderful story again. I love how Singh deals with so many different issues in with her characters. It seems that no stone is unturned. In this one it’s the fact that Nate is holding back because of his own parents relationship and it was heartbreaking. Nate definitely wanted Tamsyn as much as she wanted him but he was leery to take that final step. The way that Singh brought this couple together was wonderful. I probably could have used a bit more groveling from Nate but it was all good. 🙂
In Stroke of Enticement, a wary young teacher, skeptical about love, arouses the man—and the animal—in an aggressive leopard changeling who must prove his affections are true.
Annie Kildaire is a human woman who teaches both humans and changeling’s. When one of her students gets into trouble and won’t share his reasons for his actions the boy’s Uncle Zach is called. Annie likes the way Zach looks and Zach knows almost immediately that Annie is his mate. Annie is hesitant when Zach asks her out but accepts. They spend a lot of time together but after a while Zach is frustrated that Annie won’t open herself up to the mating bond.
Annie has watched her mother long for her father’s attention and love over the years and she’s watched her father get farther and farther away both mentally and physically. It’s obvious he’s more interested in his work than his wife but his wife stays in the hopes that that will change. Annie loves her mother but she wants to be NOTHING like her. She plans to stay single and that will take care of the sitch. Well, Zach throws a wrench in her plans. After just a short time Annie finds herself in love with Zach (and what’s not to love?) but she doesn’t think too highly of herself so she’s constantly waiting for Zach to leave. She can’t seem to open herself completely to the possibility of a future. Zach doesn’t get that and it takes a nudge from a fellow changeling to see the error of his ways.
This also was a reread for me as I read The Magical Christmas Cat anthology back in 2008. I love this story. The novella is sweet and romantic and just wonderful. Zach and Annie are just great together and I loved Zach’s open and caring personality. I also very much enjoyed the fact that Zach had to get a kick in the pants (verbally) in order to get a clue.
In Declaration of Courtship, Grace, a shy submissive wolf, finds herself pursued by the last man she ever would have imagined: a SnowDancer lieutenant said to be “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”
Grace is a submissive wolf who has been in her den in the San Gabriel mountains for just six months. The head lieutenant in the den is Cooper and he’s known from day one that Grace is his mate. He hasn’t made a move on her as he wanted her to get comfortable in her new living space and make friend before he started courting her. Cooper and Grace are almost as far apart as you can get on the submissive/dominant scale. Cooper makes his intentions known to Grace but they both have to work at the relationship. Grace’s wolf needs to know that Cooper would never hurt her before their romance can go further, otherwise the wolf will just be submissive too Cooper without Grace’s consent and neither party wants that.
I loved this story. This is another very romantic story that I enjoyed immensely. The fact that Cooper and Grace are so very far apart in submissiveness was a interesting twist. Cooper was patient and kind – despite the fact that he had his hidden secrets. Grace was serious about making the relationship work no matter what and I loved her determination in finding a way. The end result was lovely and I very much enjoyed this story.
In Texture of Intimacy, SnowDancer healer Lara discovers the searing joys—and unexpected challenges—of being mated to quiet, powerful Walker, a man used to keeping his silence.
This was a very different kind of novella. At the center of the novella is Lara and Walker who have just mated. They each have their issues to deal with but at the center of it is their love for each other and how, because of that, they can make things work no matter what. I loved seeing Walker, his daughter Marlee, his nephew Toby and Lara all become a family as well. We got to read more about Walker and what he and his family went through before they first came to the den and that was heartbreaking but oh so good.
The novella also gave us a look into other characters that were affected by the events in Kiss of Snow and a peak into a possible story with Aden the Psy Arrow crosses fingers.
Overall it was a pretty great anthology. Even though I’d read the first two novella’s before it’s been so long since I first read them that it was lovely revisiting the stories. I think it just made the whole romantic theme of the anthology flow that much more. If you’re hesitant to buy this one because you’ve read the first two stories I would recommend rethinking that. The book is definitely worth having at any price!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5