Author: Nalini Singh
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling (Novellas)
“Wild Embrace” is a collection of four novellas set in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. Unlike past collections, all four of these stories have never been published elsewhere.
Echo of Silence
Engineer Tazia Nerif gave up her family to follow her dream of working on the deep-sea station. Facing another lonely mandatory shore leave, she’s surprised when the aloof Psy she works with suddenly invites her to spend the time off with him.
Out of the four stories in this collection, “Echo of Silence” was the one I was the least excited about. So, of course, it actually ended up being my favorite in the anthology. The glimpses we saw of the deep-sea station were fantastic. The novella really worked to wet my appetite to see more of this setting and the people working there.
My least favorite in the collection, but I’m not surprised. “Dorian” focuses on snippets of Dorian’s (from “Hostage to Pleasure“) life.
The stories where Singh revisits characters from previous books never work for me. She doesn’t insert enough conflict to keep the story interesting. Instead, everything in their world is peaches and cream, which makes for some pretty boring reading. This one wasn’t too bad, since it skips around in the timeline a lot. However, it wasn’t the most engaging novella. Hardcore fans of Dorian will probably enjoy this one, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
Partners in Persuasion
Leopard shifter, Dezi, finds herself drawn to the quiet submissive Felix. Felix knows first hand a relationship with a partner who’s higher on the food chain is a bad idea. However, for Dezi, he might be willing to try one last time.
Finally! Singh writes a story where the female shifter is more dominant than the hero and keeps it that way. I was so relieved that Singh didn’t give Felix some super secret power that put him higher or on the same level of dominance as Dezi. It also helps that the romance between the two was pretty sweet. I only wish that there had been more time to slowly build it up, since it felt a little rushed. However, it’s still my favorite in the anthology, behind “Echo of Silence”.
Flirtation of Fate
Years ago, Garnet had thought that Kenji hung the moon. Just as their relationship was turning into something more than friendship, Kenji smashed everything to bits with his actions. Seven years later, the animosity between the two is going strong. After a murder in the den, they’ll have to put their feelings aside in order to ferret out the killer.
Throughout the Psy-Changeling series the tension between Garnet and Kenji has been a bit of a running joke. So, I was pretty excited to see what caused it. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like this one. The reason behind Kenji sabotaging his relationship with Garnet was painfully predictable and a trope I really hate. Singh keeps it a “mystery” for most of the story but you can see it coming from a mile away. I also hated how quickly Garnet forgave Kenji after how much time was spent focusing on how hurt she was over his actions. Tossing in a murder mystery with the relationship drama made it feel like this novella was trying to do too much in a short amount of pages.
All in all, this was a good anthology. “Echo of Silence” and “Partners in Persuasion” were fantastic. While I didn’t enjoy “Dorian” or “Flirtation of Fate” as much, they were still fairly solid stories that most fans of the series will appreciate.
ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Reviews for other books in the series: