Thursday, August 25, 2016

Wild Embrace

Wild Embrace (Psy/Changeling Collection, A) by [Singh, Nalini]

Wild Embrace- Nalini Singh
Berkley Publisher
Release Date: August 23, 2016

Rating (Out of 5):

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Synopsis: The “alpha author of paranormal romance”* presents a stunningly sensual collection of four all-new Psy-Changeling novellas, in which taboos are broken, boundaries are crossed, and instincts prove irresistible...
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...

Wild Embrace is a collection of 4 all-new novellas in Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling world, and was well worth the wait!  I freely admit that I was dragging at work today because I stayed up late to finish the book- I just couldn't put it down, even between stories.

Each story takes place at different times in the timeline fans know: Echo of Silence closer to the beginning of the series while Partners in Persuasion takes place nearer the "present". Each can be read by readers just beginning to enter the Psy/Changeling world while longtime fans will enjoy cameos by old friends like Hawke, Mercy, Drew, and others. We return to familiar places and discover new ones, each so well written you feel like you are there with the characters.

I loved getting to "check in" on SnowDancer and DarkRiver, filling in some of the action behind the main stories we already know.  And Dorian was a great way to delve deeper into Dorian's psyche, and learn more about what makes him tick and what it was like for him to be a latent both as an adult who had accepted it, but also as a child still learning his place in the pack.

My absolute favorite story though, was Echo of Silence. As much as I love the changelings, I have a special love for Psy-human romance.  And this story had all the struggles: it was after Faith and Vaughn's story when Silence was still fully accepted by the Psy; the Psy, Stefan, couldn't blame his "faulty" Silence on being an Empath- he's a telekinetic.  Tazia wasn't a changeling whose animal was sure of her mate, she was a human with some heavy emotional baggage of her own.  But the two of them figured out how to know each other at a time when humans rarely bothered to look below the surface of a Silent Psy.  They fought cultural taboos on both sides to not only fall in love, but then to make it work.  They saw obstacles, but never saw impossible.  I'm hoping that we'll see these two in future books- as the third Psy-human couple in the PsyNet (briefly mentioned in Allegiance of Honor) I'm hoping that they will become advisors to future potential couples, in the same way that Lucas and Sascha or Ivy and Vasic advise others.

Beautifully written, complex and sensual, Wild Embrace proves that Singh is as excellent at writing novellas as she is the full length novel- in case anyone hasn't read her earlier stories and still needed convincing!

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