Series: Psy-Changeling, Book 15.5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Nalini Singh Reading Order
“Echo of Silence”
In a deep-sea station, Tazia Nerif has found her life’s work as an engineer, keeping things running smoothly. But she wants nothing more than to break down the barrier of silence between her and her telekinetic Psy station commander…
A changeling who can never shift lives a life of quiet frustration—until he learns how to let his leopard come out and play…
“Partners in Persuasion”
Still raw from being burned by a dominant female, wolf changeling Felix will never again risk being a plaything. But for dominant leopard Dezi, he’s the most fascinating man she’s ever met. She just has to convince this gun-shy wolf that he can trust the dangerous cat who wants to take a slow, sexy bite out of him…
“Flirtation of Fate”
Seven years ago, Kenji broke Garnet’s heart. Now the wolf packmates have to investigate the shocking murder of one of their own. And the more Kenji sees of the woman Garnet has become, the deeper he begins to fall once more. But even his primal instincts are no match for the dark secret he carries…
“Echo of Silence”
In the heart of the deep-sea station Alaris, a chance encounter with her Psy station commander has human engineer Tazia looking at the telekinetic Stefan in a whole new way. Psy are Silent. Emotionless. And Tazia’s sure her inexplicable attraction to Stefan will come to nothing… Until an unexpected trip lets her see the man beneath the calm façade.
“Echo of Silence” is sweet as can be. It’s a romance of discovery and joy and I absolutely adored it. Tazia is a brilliant engineer who is estranged from her family because she chose her dream job over marrying and living in the village she grew up in. I loved the attention and importance given to Tazia’s culture; it’s not something we see too often in romance. Stefan is also alone in the world. He’s Psy, but not the perfect vision of a Silent Psy. He comes alive with Tazia, and watching them come into their own and find happiness over the course of the story was simply beautiful. It’s not a simple matter of falling in love for them. Cultural mores and the threat of discovery over Stefan breaking Silence aren’t obstacles that are easy to overcome. You’ll be cheering them on, however, because the risk is worth it when you have two such smart, generous, endearing characters to root for.
Dorian captured my heart from the very first in Slave to Sensation and he remains my favorite of the Psy-Changeling characters to this day. It’s no surprise, then, that “Dorian” made me melt. The story is a series of vignettes following Dorian from childhood – where he struggled with his inability to shift and the pain it caused him and his leopard – through adulthood and the events of his book, Hostage to Pleasure. This story is truly a treat for anyone who loves Dorian. It gives extra insight not only into his character, but into the bonds between pack members. “Dorian” is sweet, heartwarming, and definitely makes me go all squishy just thinking about it.
“Partners in Persuasion”
Submissive wolf Felix has been hurt before by a dominant female and he’s not about to risk his heart again on any dominant, even one as beautiful as Dezi. Yet there’s something about the leopard changeling Felix can’t seem to ignore and it’s not long before he begins to wonder if he can trust her enough to try a relationship. But it’s not only their human hearts Dezi and Felix will have to convince if they want to take things to their next level; the animals that are every bit as much of their nature may break them apart before they have a chance to discover all they could have together.
It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite story in this anthology, but “Partners in Persuasion” may just be mine. A female dominant/male submissive pairing like Dezi and Felix have never taken center stage in the series and I loved this change. Dezi is strong, confident, and sexy, but she’s always tangled with other dominants. She’s attracted to Felix, but the quiet horticulturalist is incredibly wary. He’s smart and strong in his own right, but his submissive nature means that both he and Dezi have to be extremely careful when courting. The attraction between them is palpable and they are both such rich, interesting characters that it’s impossible not to root for them. But it isn’t easy for them to navigate the delicate balance between persuasion and unwitting coercion, and the struggles they faced made “Partners in Persuasion” one heck of a compelling read. Every obstacle they faced, every setback only made the story feel more real and I honestly could have read an entire book about Dezi and Felix. The way they are completely gone over one another, how Dezi appreciates Felix’s strength and nurturing and he sees the woman who should be treasured not just the fearsome leopard in her, just grabbed my heart. Theirs isn’t just a story of passion and love (though there’s plenty of that), but of trust earned and taking care of those you want to call your own. I loved everything about “Partners in Persuasion” and I hope to see Dezi and Felix as a couple pop up in future Psy-Changeling books.
“Flirtation of Fate”
On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Kenji broke Garnet’s heart. The two are now lieutenants and their flirtation/bickering is well known throughout the SnowDancer pack. Yet Kenji won’t ever let Garnet see that the two of them are meant to be, for he has a secret that means he will never ask her to give him a second chance. Then the two of them team up to investigate a packmate’s murder, and close quarters make it nearly impossible for Kenji to keep his feelings hidden from the too-perceptive wolf he’s always loved.
Sparks fly right, left, and center in “Flirtation of Fate.” Garnet and Kenji have great chemistry and the wealth of emotion between them had the pages of their story flying by. Kenji has loved Garnet for years, but he hides his feelings for her under the guise of teasing and flirtation. He wants her to be free, but he can’t bear to let her go, and though I won’t spoil his reasons why, I think his secret will be clear to readers from the start. Kenji has made mistakes with Garnet, but those mistakes were made with a good heart. Garnet, in turn, carries a wealth of hurt from his rejection of her all those years ago, but now that they’re forced to work together, she’s starting to see that Kenji’s attitude is hiding something. I loved watching Garnet go after him and was rooting for them to break down each other’s walls and grab the happiness that’s long overdue. A mystery involving a packmate’s murder adds another dimension to the story though, like Kenji’s secret, it seemed fairly clear how things were going to play out. Still, Kenji and Garnet made me smile and I thoroughly enjoyed watching these two dance.
Wild Embrace is a must read for any Psy-Changeling fan. Each of the four stories are so different, yet all feature strong, memorable characters who will grab your heart and not let go. Nalini Singh is a master of worldbuilding, but she’s also phenomenal at creating interesting, unique characters. “Echo of Silence,” “Dorian,” “Partners in Persuasion,” and “Flirtation of Fate” are all character-focused stories and the timelines are spread out through the course of the Psy-Changeling series. I loved getting to know more about relatively minor (with the exception of Dorian) players in the Psy-Changeling series and each of these stories makes the series as a whole feel richer. Wild Embrace is unique, gripping, and as wonderfully entertaining as I’ve come to expect any Nalini Singh story to be.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.