Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #6
Also in this series: 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, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, 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, Ocean Light, Ocean Light , Caressed By Ice, Wolf Rain
Publication Date: July 7th 2009
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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). When a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped, DarkRiver sentinel Mercy, a cat, and SnowDancer lieutenant Riley, a wolf, must work together to track the young man--before his shadowy captors decide he's no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it'll leave them both branded by fire...
I’m fairly certain I read this when it was first released, but I didn’t remember much about it so I’m marking it as a new read.
Mercy is a DarkRiver sentinel, which means she’s one of the protectors of her pack. As an alpha female, she knows there’s a good chance she’ll never mate; her cat won’t allow her to submit. Now that all the other sentinels are mating, she’s really feeling the pressure. Too bad for her, the only one who revs her up is Riley Kincaid, a SnowDancer lieutenant. They’re basically the same rank, which could be good, except Riley has a protective streak a mile wide – especially when it comes to females. Oh, and he’s a wolf.
Riley wants a submissive mate who will take care of his home and cubs, and stay where he puts her. He isn’t a chauvinist; he fully believes women are just as capable as men. He just really needs someone to take care of, especially since his sister was kidnapped and tortured by a murderer, and Riley wasn’t there to save her. He can’t deny his attraction to Mercy, but there’s no way the cat will ever let him take care of her. Except, he realizes she does. Just not in the way he’s used to. Maybe it isn’t enough…but maybe it is. If only he can convince her.
Mercy is my favorite kind of heroine; strong, independent, tough and not afraid to show it. I love that the main conflict is whether or not she’ll be able to accept a mate who may want to dominate her. I also love that she stuck to her guns and refused to let Riley walk all over her. That she’d rather walk away than lose herself was a pretty powerful statement.
Riley was frustrating in his need to look after and control so much, but it was understandable given his past. Especially after his sister’s kidnapping. Of course, that also made his capitulation much more satisfying.
The progression of the overall story arc and the world are what set this apart, though. Singh’s world is bright and imaginative. I finished and was ready to open the next book.
4.25 out of 5
One of the best things about the Psy/Changeling world, apart from how well it’s constructed, is that there is no misogyny. Yes, most of the dominant males are overprotective, but the dominant females can attain the same ranks–being a lieutenant or a sentinel–or an alpha–is not dependent upon the existence or lack of dangly bits, but on ability.and that something indefinable called ‘dominance’ (which does not translate into asshat)
Agree. No asshole heroes here.
Another strong entry in the series . . . I can almost feel the tingling of some re-reading coming on 😀