Friday, November 5, 2010

Review: Play of Passion by Nalini Singh

Title: Play of Passion
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling 9
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 2 November 2010

If you haven’t read the first eight books in this series, first – What are you waiting for? Rush out and buy them. You won’t be disappointed. Seriously. Secondly – there are going to be spoilers for the first eight books below. Not many, but I highly recommend you stop reading here and go pick up the first book. You can thank me later. *wink*

Drew Kincaid is well used to long, difficult hunts as the pack tracker – responsible for reining in wolves that go rogue, giving in to their animal halves. Doing everything he can to save them and bring them back, before making that impossible choice to kill them – for the good of the Pack. But nothing has prepared him for the challenge he faces to win the heart of the one woman that he’s wanted for so long.

Lieutenant Indigo Riviere is comfortable in her own skin as a dominate female, and has very specific ideas about the kind of male she should mate with. With a dreary example of what happens when a female mates with a less dominant wolf, she’s surprised – and worried – when her attraction is to the most playful wolf in the pack. Her mind tells her to stop this, before it burns them both up and destroys the Pack by creating havoc in the hierarchy, but her heart starts to tell her different. And she never counted on Drew’s perseverance, or his charm.

With the world ready to explode around them, Drew and Indigo find themselves playing a wickedly, hot game with each other. As the stakes grow, and their home is stalked, can they find a way to overcome everything threatening to keep them apart and save the pack too?

Passions collide in the intensely satisfying Play of Passion. If you’ve read any of my other reviews of Nalini Singh it’s probably easy to tell that I’m a huge fan. And if you haven’t, here’s my disclaimer: I am a definite fan-girl for Ms. Singh. Play of Passion did nothing to change that status. In fact, as I went into the book not knowing what to expect with the first wolf/wolf pairing, she blew me away!

Drew is wickedly sensual, playful, and charming. Yet at the same time, he’s most definitely a dominant, smart, observant, loyal and beyond stubborn. All of these things come together to make one deliciously perfect male. Quite simply, Drew charmed me. Every step he took towards Indigo just made my heart sigh for him.

It was awesome to see another dominant female, and the differences, after Mercy’s book Branded by Fire. Indigo is definitely her own woman, and with insecurities that she doesn’t even really realize she allows to affect her, she definitely touched my heart. Strong and more than capable, she’s also full of love to give, and affectionate with those she trusts and cares about. Which always included Drew. But when he suddenly ratchets it up to the next level, Indigo is put off balance and struggles to regain it.

Drew isn’t about to let her find it though, until she finds herself in his arms.

Beyond their romance, which is definitely the heart of the book, there are so many things that I loved about Play of Passion. Even while Drew and Indigo are dancing around, and with, each other, they both have the best interests of the Snow Dancer pack at heart. And when threats come, from both outside the den and in, they fight for what’s theirs. The danger coming from inside the pack isn’t the same as it was in Caressed by Ice. But it is just as important. Some of the juveniles are coming close to losing control of their wolves, and I loved seeing how Hawke, Drew and Indigo decided to handle this. How the realities of keeping the pack healthy was shown so clearly.

While they take steps to make sure they’re helping those that need it within, they’ve also got the threat of the Psy trespassing into their lands. And it’s obvious that the Psy have something awful planned. As everyone struggles to put together the puzzle pieces, allowing us to see more of Dorian, Brenna, and Judd, the risks get higher. I especially loved seeing more of Judd as he’s one of my favorites. Seeing him continue his work with the Ghost, and continue in his duties as a Lieutenant for Snow Dancer was a welcome glimpse into his and Brenna’s continuing life.

If you’ve been reading since the beginning of the series, you surely know that the tensions between the Psy and the Changelings and Humans have been skyrocketing, especially lately. There’s no let up on that front in the explosively charged Play of Passion. There’s a bit of a cliff-hanger at the end about this, and it’s left me on edge for the next book in the series, which just happens to be Hawke’s – who I’ve been waiting for ever since Slave to Sensation, book one.

I can’t end this review without mentioning Hawke. He plays an integral part in this book as the leader of Snow Dancer and I was ecstatic to see more of him. I’ve long speculated, as have many others, that his mate is going to be Sienna Laurens. The scenes between them, so restrained and short in Play of Passion and yet they fairly ignited the pages with their chemistry. I. Can. Not. Wait. for their book.

Immediately upon finishing Play of Passion, which made me laugh out loud and tear up, I said: “The only thing wrong with this book is that I have to wait seven months for Hawke’s.” A few days after finishing it, I can safely say that sentiment is still true. Ms. Singh continues to get better and better and I can’t wait to see where she goes next!

Grade: A

Book Link | Amazon | Kindle | nook | kobo | Sony | Book Depository | Berkley

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