ARC Review: Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh

wild embrace

Wild Embrace
Author: Nalini Singh
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling (Novellas)
Rating: B-

“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.  Continue reading

Review: Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

shards of hope

Shards of Hope
Author: Nalini Singh
Published: 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling #14
Rating: B

Shards of Hope” is the second to last book in what Nalini Singh is calling the “first season” of her Psy-Changeling series. This is exciting since I’m ready for a change in scenery and characters. While I’m attached to most of the people we’ve met so far, I’m ready to stop constantly checking in with them.

The events in the previous book, “Shield of Winter”, caused a mass upheaval for the Psy. Silence, the strict system by which they lived their lives, has fallen. “Shards of Hope” takes place in the aftermath of this event. Many Psy are at a loss of how to move forward. No group is struggling more than the deadly squad of Psy, called Arrows. Without the strict guidance of Silence to guide them, many are afraid that they’ll lose control of their powers and hurt everyone around them. Aden, their leader, is more optimistic. He believes that his squad can live happy and normal lives outside of Silence without causing mass destruction. Continue reading

Review: Wild Invitation by Nalini Singh

Wild Invitation

Wild Invitation
Author: Nalini Singh
Published: 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Chinging Series #0.5, 3.5, 9.5, 10.5
Rating: A

Wild Invitation is a collection of 4 stories set in Singh’s Psy-Changling world. The first two had been previously published in An Enchanted Season and The Magical Christmas Catbut the last two were new for this collection.

Beat of Temptation is set before the first book in the series, Slave to Sensation. DarkRiver’s pack healer, Tamsyn has been waiting years for her mate, Nathan, to fully claim her. Unfortunately, he seems intent on making her wait indefinitely. I love this short story. It hits all the right angst levels for me and I enjoyed seeing younger versions of some of the characters from the main books. Continue reading

Night Shift


Night Shift

Authors: Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane

Publish Date: 2014

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Series: Psy/Changeling 12.1, Kate Daniels 6.5, SPI Files .5

Rating: B+

Night Shift is one of the best anthologies I’ve read in a while with contributions from three powerhouse writers in their respective genres.

It says something when the “worst” story in a collection is from Nalini Singh. Secrets at Midnight is her contribution and it’s pretty boring. Leopard shifter, Bastien Smith, has scented his mate but quickly finds out that not all is well with her. Singh can write some compelling short stories, so I was surprised at how she seemed to have sleepwalked through this one. The conflict is non-existent and it’s painfully obvious what is going on with his mate from the minute Bastien starts talking about her. If I had to rate this one on an individual basis it would be a C –.

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews was the reason I had been so anxious to get my hands on the anthology. The story takes place in the Kate Daniels world and follows the characters Jim and Dali who were featured in Magic Dreams, which I had adored. This story completely lived up to my high expectations. Dali is approached to look into the case of a missing person and Jim tags along for the ride. It was great to see Dali take the lead and I loved getting a little more of these two working together. I’m still holding out hope that we’ll eventually get a full-length novel featuring Jim and Dali, as they’re just fantastic. A+

Lucky Charms by Lisa Shearin was the only author in the collection who was new to me. Makenna Frazier is a seer who gets pulled into a high profile case involving leprechauns on her very first day of work. I’m guessing this is a prequel to Shearin’s Urban Fantasy series starring Makenna because the story works to set-up a much more involved plot. All in all, this was a good contribution and I was intrigued enough by the characters to potentially read the first book in the series. B+

The Beast of Blackmoor by Milla Vane (aka Meljean Brook) was my second favorite contribution in the anthology. Mala is on a quest for her goddess to tame the beast of Blackmoor in a corrupt kingdom dominated by a tyrant. I really loved how different interpretations of words and personal perceptions influenced this short story. I’m not a huge fan of medieval settings but this one worked for me. I’ll be looking forward to the first full length book set in the world. A-

All in all a great anthology that is well worth the money.

Shield of Winter

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Shield of Winter

Author: Nalini Singh

Publish Date: 2014

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Psy/Changeling, book 13

Rating: C+

I love Nalini Singh’s books, but lately her Psy/Changeling series just hasn’t been doing it for me. Partly its because she’s spending a lot of time focusing on the Psy characters instead of the changelings. Mostly though, it’s the over-abundance of character cameos and point-of-view switching has been dragging down the pacing on these novels. Like the 10th book in the series (Kiss of Snow), Shield of Winter has a pretty ambitious main plot, but it suffers from the inclusion of too many extraneous details that bogs the story down. This didn’t hurt my enjoyment as much in Kiss of Snow because the central characters that were focused on had been built-up over the course of the series. By the time you got to that book you were already emotionally invested and wanted to see them succeed. Shield of Winter did not have that same luxury.

In Shield of Winter, Ivy and Vasic are brought in to handle the mass outbreaks of infection among the Psy race. These outbreaks turn masses of Psy into mindless killers, with a zero percent recovery rate for the infected. This plot alone would’ve been more than enough to carry the entire book by focusing on the group who was brought in to cure the infection.

Instead of focusing primarily on these people, Singh dedicated a lot of page time to following characters from previous books and what they were up to. I think she was trying to show how those characters were affected by what was going on, but it came at the expense of tension. These characters weren’t at ground zero like everyone else, so it dragged down the momentum. Things got a little better when Singh brought Sascha (Slave to Sensation) directly into an outbreak but that didn’t last long. Honestly, I think the story would’ve been tighter and more engaging if the chapters featuring main characters from past books had been written out.

What also slowed the story down for me was the addition of a side story involving Vasic’s gauntlet. The gauntlet is a technological device grafted to his skin that is malfunctioning throughout the book. Essentially, it’s putting a time limit on his life expectancy. So, during the outbreak they were also working on how to fix the device without killing him. Typically I wouldn’t have had an issue with a side-plot like this, but the main story is so ambitious that it’s inclusion didn’t work. In fact, towards the end of the novel the outbreak story gets wrapped-up (rather anti-climatically) and the last few chapters are dedicated to trying to solve the gauntlet issue. This caused things to feel off-balance and the remaining few pages to drag as we did some clean-up on other story threads.

Overall, this was an ok addition to the series. I always enjoy Singh’s writing style, world, and characters. However, the pacing and sheer size of the plot in this book did not work for me. I would recommend this mainly to people who are huge fans of the series. If you’re new to these books, I would suggest beginning with the early titles instead.