Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #4
Also in this series: Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, Wild Invitation, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, 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: 2008
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A Psy/Changeling novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Shards of Hope, Shield of Winter, and Heart of Obsidian..."the alpha author of paranormal romance" (Booklist).
A ghost returns from a leopard changeling’s past, making him question everything—even his base animal instincts…
Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed…and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.
Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life—the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows...
Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past…or lose everything that ever mattered.
The first time I read this book (close to the time it was released), I hated it. I hated it so much it completely turned me off the series. Tally drove me crazy. The way she acted toward Clay made me want to beat her. She was too proud, too stubborn and too quick to turn away from a helping hand when she really needed one. Hate is a strong word, but it’s the only one that comes to mind.
A few months ago I read a novella set in this world and decided I wanted to go back to it. Since it’s been so long many of the finer details were fuzzy, I decided to re-read the early books, including this one. While Tally will never be my favorite character, I definitely liked her better this time around. While her actions in the beginning of the book really frustrated me, I ended up liking her enough in the second half that the story wasn’t ruined.
Clay and Talin were best friends as children. When Clay found out Tally was being abused by her foster-father, he lost control and murdered him – right in front of Tally. It traumatized her enough that she made sure Clay thought she was dead when he came looking for her four years later, when he got out of juvie.
Now, Tally needs his help. She’s a guidance councilor (of sorts) and the kids under her are disappearing. She knows Clay is strong enough to find out what’s happening to them, but she’s terrified of him. She’s also still traumatized from her childhood, suffering from nightmares and having day terrors. Not to mention losing large blocks of time.
For Clay, losing Tally was the hardest thing he’s ever dealt with. Knowing she’s alive and has been avoiding him – is in fact terrified of him – kills him. He’s always wanted nothing more than to protect her and keep her safe. Now that she’s back in his life, he vows to keep her. Forever. If only she’d open up to him and realize he isn’t the monster she’s always thought he was.
I loved that Clay refused to let Tally hide from him. He didn’t let her romanticized what he was, but he also forced her to realize he was more than his beast. The relationship developed slowly, which worked well considering Tally’s past. Clay kept things light until Tally was ready for more. Since that isn’t a trait many men in this world possess – patience when it comes to their mate – it’s worth noting.
While this will never be my favorite of the series, I’m glad I re-read it. I have a better understanding of Tally now, and I thought the advancement of the overall story arc was well done. I look forward to catching up on the series.
3 out of 5