Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh

Title: Tangle of Need
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling, Book 11
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 29 May 2012

Adria, wolf changeling and resilient soldier, has made a break with the past--one as unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a new territory, and a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer lieutenant already sworn to a desperate woman who belongs to another.

For Riaz, the primal attraction he feels for Adria is a staggering betrayal. For Adria, his dangerous lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It consumes her. It terrifies her. It threatens to undermine everything she has built of her new life. But fighting their wild compulsion toward one another proves a losing battle.

Their coming together is an inferno...and a melding of two wounded souls who promise each other no commitment, no ties, no bonds. Only pleasure. Too late, they realize that they have more to lose than they ever imagined. Drawn into a cataclysmic Psy war that may alter the fate of the world itself, they must make a decision that might just break them both.

Riaz and Adria’s relationship burns steady and hot in this tension filled installment in the Psy/Changeling series. This is definitely a time when I’d recommend reading the previous books in this series prior to this one. Check here for the reading order if you need it. Rest assured that each book is well worth the read, and you have a wonderful journey in front of you. Read no further if you don’t want spoilers for the previous books.

We first met Riaz and Adria in Play of Passion. Riaz had come back from Italy after having found his mate – except she’s already married and he can’t have her. Adria, Indigo’s aunt, was in a destructive relationship that’s nearly destroyed her sense of self. Sparks fly between them from page one, something neither is sure they want. But they have to figure it out because they can’t seem to stay away from each other.

The romance here ended up being one of my favorites. I admit that when I started the book I wasn’t invested in Riaz and Adria and, as such, it felt like this book wasn’t really focused on them. It didn’t take long, however, until I absolutely adored both Riaz, with his strength and the warmth, and Adria’s quick mind, intelligence, and warm heart. What I immediately anticipated, even as I worried about the resolution, was that their relationship was unlike any other we’ve seen in the series. There were real obstacles set up pitting Riaz and Adria's love against the odds in world as we know it. Nalini Singh resolved these conflicts in an absolutely stunning way – and one that didn’t involve any deus ex machina, but simply made me believe in their love even more.

Ms. Singh is absolutely a master at weaving together multiple plots and threads throughout each book and, indeed, the entire series. Seemingly effortlessly we are treated to a whole lot of beloved characters from previous books – most especially Hawke and Sienna who have a very prominent plot line in Tangle of Need. It was wonderful to see more of their story and how they’re making it work. Additionally, we see a lot of Kaleb (*sigh*), Judd, Mercy, Riley, and many others. Tangle of Need was a book just made me happy. I spent nearly the entire book smiling, laughing and cheering.

Honestly, Ms. Singh is a master of her craft. I’m constantly in awe of her ability to weave engaging, relevant, interesting stories around characters I truly care about, in a world that’s so incredibly complex and compelling. Every time I pick up one of her novels I know I’m in for a treat and Tangle of Need was no different! Already I’m counting down to the next Psy/Changeling novel!

Grade: B+

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Title: Firelight
Author: Kristen Callihan
Series: Darkest London, Book 1
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 31 January 2012

London, 1881
Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.

I admit it, the first thing that drew me to this book was the gorgeous, fiery cover. Somehow this book got pushed quite far down my to-be-read pile, and I’m so incredibly sorry that it took me so long to pull it out.

Firelight is a beautifully written, passionate, mysterious book that kept me on the edge of my seat to find out how things turn out for Miri and Archer. The world is simply built, with nothing that makes it too confusing or extravagant, and it’s more striking because of it. We’re thrust into a dark, gothic Victorian London that has just a bit of pervading supernatural.

Miranda Ellis has a touch of paranormal around her. I realize now that we never really learn why or how she has this special gift – or curse – but it never bothered me to not know that while I was reading. I just accepted her, and loved her. She’s a great heroine, strong inside of herself, not afraid of going after what she wants or believes in. But she has a brain in her head, she thinks things through, doesn’t put herself needlessly at risk, and also has such an incredibly generous, accepting heart.

Archer was a mystery much of the book, at least what his affliction was. He wears a mask and covers his skin nearly all of the time, so I pictured him a lot like V from V for Vendetta. But his personality shone through. He’s definitely tortured, a lot of it brought on himself and perhaps more than needs be, but I couldn’t help but feel for him as he struggled with his absolute adoration of Miri, and how to show her that.

Most of the book I spent trying to figure out what was going on with Archer, and what his curse was. The not talking between Miri and Archer about their respective secrets, while understandable considering both of their histories, dragged on just a bit too long for me. I would have liked them to expose themselves fully a bit earlier, however I have to admit that when it did happen I was ecstatic at how it happened, and the resulting scene that was so full of love and acceptance I was teary eyed.

Firelight had such evocative, beautiful prose that it was incredibly hard to put down, and pulled at my mind every moment I was away from it. I can’t wait to read Moonglow which comes out July 31, 2012.

If you’re looking for something different from nearly everything else out there, or just looking for a great read, I highly recommend picking up Firelight by Kristen Callihan!

Grade: B

Book Link | Amazon | Kindle | nook | kobo | Sony | Book Depository | Hachette Book Group
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