Narrator: Angela Dawe
Published by Berkley on July 7th 2009
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
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
Holy. Moly. This book was so good! This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for from this series! Mercy and Riley were amazing. So hot together, both strong and dominant, neither damaged, neither expected to roll over and give up their entire lives in order to be together. This was so great!
After Mercy sees her best friend Dorian get married, she realizes that she’s going to have trouble finding a mate. She’s known this for a while, but seeing him married off makes her realize exactly how difficult it’s going to be. She’s a dominant female leopard, and she’ll never be able to submit to someone stronger than her. But she would never be able to be happy with a mate who was weaker than she is, either. So she’s stuck. She and Riley, a SnowDancer wolf, have been working together for a while. Since the packs struck up an alliance, as sentinels, they’ve been working together to keep the packs safe. The sexual tension has been sizzling all along, but until now they’ve never acted on it. Wolves and cats typically don’t mix.
But they certainly decide to act on it here. There’s no slow burn, like there has been in previous books. No dancing around the subject. They’re rolling around on the forest floor before the end of the first chapter and the heat between them never lets up. And the non-sexual tension between them was just as good. Riley has an almost pathological need to protect those he loves. He started doing it after his parents died when he was young, and there was no one else to take care of his younger siblings. That need to protect was heightened when his sister, Brenna, was kidnapped and violated. He just wants to find himself a nice, docile, domesticated wolf who will stay home and out of danger and give him lots of puppies. What he does not want is a dominant cat who refuses to do what he says out of sheer spite and defies him at every turn.
The world-building in this one was as good as I expect from Nalini Singh. And because both of our main characters were changelings, there wasn’t any of the gross way the changelings tend to push their will onto their Psy mates that I don’t like. This book was a good mix of a standalone mystery and the overarching story of the books. One thing I think I’m going to need before long, though, is a family tree of some kind, or some kind of flow chart. There are so many characters, I’m starting to lose track of who’s in which pack.