Oh, how I dreaded reading the last book available in this series and having to wait until 2012 for another…but I couldn’t leave Hawke and Sienna sitting on my Kindle unread anymore. I just couldn’t wait to read their story, to wonder what wonderful thing Hawke was going to say next. He has been a favorite of mine since the first book. I love the way he is the heart of his pack. And while he still hates Psy, he has the ability to understand that not all Psy are the same, calling Sascha Sascha Darling. When he says “baby” in this book, I curled my toes and I got all warmed up…it was simply the best book I have read in 2011.
Hawke is the alpha of the pack SnowDancer. Has been the alpha since the age of 15, when tragic events made him take on the mantle. Sienna is a 19-year-old Psy defector, who is also a Cardinal with starry eyes. Her skill though is the rare X that very few people actually know what it is. Not even Sienna knows the full extent of her powers, but she knows she can decimate the pack, the state and maybe even a continent if she can’t control herself. These two have danced around each other through the entire series, but we needed to wait until Sienna was old enough to take on an alpha like Hawke. But Sienna never had a childhood, so growing up wasn’t something she really had to do.
Hawke knows there is a deep attraction between them, but he keeps avoiding it knowing he won’t be able to give Sienna the mating bond she wants and deserves. At a young age, he found the child that someday would grow into the woman who would be his mate. Dying at the age of five, Hawke hasn’t forgotten her and often talks to her at her grave. Even though he can’t give her the mating bond she so deserves, he must come to terms with the deep passion he feels for Sienna. His struggle early on is deciding that he needs her despite not being able to give her what she needs. His wolf is close to the service and he either needs to find fun between the sheets with another wolf or give his heart to Sienna.
Sienna is such a complex character. Her young life was spent being trained under Ming, a Psy Counselor. Ming intended to make her his private weapon, making her do horrible things just to survive. She never had the childhood that most changelings had, so this makes her even more grown up that her age says she is. While very mature, at times she did fall back to the personality fitting for the age.
On the Psy front, they are now at war. Councilors are picking sides and alliances which are turning deadly very quickly. Pure Psy is taking on fanatic tendencies, stock piling weapons in hopes of taking down the DarkRiver, SnowDancer, Nikita and Anthony lands. The central theme under the book is that war is coming, and they plan to fight.
The sexual tension in this book is so strong, you could have seen it even if you weren’t Changeling. There are a lot of near misses on getting it on. In fact at times this went on too many times. One pet peeve I had was that you would have a scene, like them dancing in the forest and then it was over. You didn’t see how they parted ways or feel the tension in the car when they drove back. There were a lot of scenes that just ended and went onto the next day not giving me an entire picture. Now I know if she had written in completions to each scene the book would have been big, but there were times I felt let down when you didn’t see the tension continue.
When Hawke and Sienna do come together I thought my Kindle would melt. It was so sweet, hard, enticing, lusty, hot, sweaty, orgasmic, high in the sky sex, that I thought I would need a cold shower to calm down. Nalini Singh knows how to write the most incredible love scenes.
On the series…I like all the books, but lately the last few books have left me wanting more and not quite up to what I expected. The Psy part of the story didn’t move forward much until this book, but still there is tons I wanted to know, or have move forward. Stories without Changelings just didn’t do it for me. They were ok, just not the strong mating bond kind of love I wanted to see. I think that is why I put off reading Play of Passion and Kiss Of Snow for a month. I just didn’t want the series to come to an end where I had to wait and because I just wasn’t interested in books 7 and 8. I still want to know more about Kaleb. Being so mysterious, I almost want him to fall in love with a Changeling just so I can see his story. I was happy to read more in between the lines on Nikita. Nothing was outright said, but I feel she has emotions she is trying to hide at all costs. Really hoping that there is more Psy in the next books to explain the war that is taking place.
Don’t let me forget to tell you about the side romance in this book. Walker and Lara. Walker is Sienna’s uncle and the patriarch in the family. He of course spent more time in Silence than the other Laurens, but we learn he understood family and took care of them. Such a strong character that you respected and wanted to find love for. Lara is the healer in the pack and while not a lieutenant, she is high up on the hierarchy. The two both feel passion, deny it, find it again, deny it, and finally figure out they were made for each other. Here’s my favorite quotes from them…it’s a spoiler so beware.
A single touch and he would’ve had her naked in the silver kiss of the moonlight, her back cushioned by the softness of the lush green grass, her hair a ruby red flame over the wildflowers.
“You want to play baby.” Soft words that had her freezing in place. “So we’ll play.”
A single raised eyebrow. “You’ve defected, sweetheart. No use worrying about the big, bad wolf now.”