Friday, June 24, 2016

Cover Reveal: Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh

We have a really cool post on the blog today! If you have visited us any time over the last few weeks, you know how much we love Nalini Singh and her books. Tonight that love continues! We're so excited to be working with TRSOR Promotions to bring you the cover reveal for the next book in the Guild Hunter series. Archangel's Heart is the ninth book in the series and it releases on November 1st. Here's what it's all about:

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.
 
And now for the moment you've all been waiting for...

Here's the cover for Archangel's Heart!

 
Archangel’s Heart releases November 1st!

You can find all of the links to pre-order the book HERE.

Add Archangel's Heart on Goodreads.

About the Author

 
Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.

If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.

STALK HER: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
 
 
You can check out our Read This F@!%ing Book post for the Guild Hunter series here
 
 
TRSOR_PROMOTIONS.jpg

and

   

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Weres Wanna Know: Should I be listening to audiobooks?

Weres Wanna Know is a new discussion feature where we share a topic that's been on our minds and invite you to share your thoughts as well. We usually post them on Fridays but we've got something special in store tomorrow so I'm doing it a little bit early this week.



I might be the only person in the whole world who has never listened to an audiobook. I know all the cool kids are doing it, but I've never been interested. I don't understand why you'd want to take twice as long to finish the book unless it was some special situation like a road trip (or, you know, blindness.)

 But a few weeks ago I went on a binge and read four books in three days. (No way you could do that with audiobooks, right?) For a week afterward, I couldn't hold my iPad long enough to read my Twitter feed, much less another book, because of pain in my wrists. There went all that ground I made up on my Goodreads goal! And that got me thinking maybe it's time to give this audio thing a try.

Should I be listening to audiobooks?

 But I'm still hesitant because I don't know what I'm supposed to do while I listen. I don't have a long commute but even if I did, the car is the only place I really listen to music and I don't want to give that up. I could see drawing or knitting while listening, but both of those would be counterproductive if I'm trying to spare my wrists. And I'm not good at paying attention to two things at once. If I get on the internet during a commercial break, I don't always notice when the show comes back on. So am I just supposed to stare at the ceiling for three days while I listen to a book?

Somebody please explain this whole thing to me. What do you do while you're listening to audios? How does it change your reading experience? And if I were going to start, what books would you recommend?

Should I be listening to audiobooks?
What are your favorites?



If you have a topic you'd like to see discussed in a Weres Wanna Know post, let us know in the comments, send us a Facebook message, or email goldiloxandthethreeweres@gmail.com.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (87)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. So here's this week's WOW pick:


I have adored the whole Darkest London series by Kristen Callihan! It's been full of paranormal aspects that I haven't seen before and it has had lots of excellent characters. I'm so excited because this book is about St. John! I can't wait to learn more about him especially after the deal he made in the last book! At the same time, I'm sad because this is the last book in the series. I'm not ready for it to end!



Forevermore
(Darkest London #7)
Kristen Callihan
Release: June 28, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Miss Layla Starling, the young, beautiful, and extremely wealthy heiress, is the talk of London. Until now, she's managed to evade the marriage noose. Despite the fact that she is unfortunately American, she's received a staggering number of offers. And turned down every one. St. John Evernight does not want to admit the relief he feels every time he hears that she has rejected one of her suitors. Which is unfair of him. Layla deserves to be happy. But he can not offer her happiness. He will never be normal, never be anything but a freak in her world. So St. John resolves to keep his distance, until he is recruited by the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals to guard Layla. For she is in grave danger, and he is about to learn the full extent of his powers.
What book are you waiting on?


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


Six of Crows
(Six of Crows #1)
Leigh Bardugo
Release: September 29, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.


Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
Review:

First things first: Damn! All of the hype for this book is so deserved! I loved every minute reading it! I NEED THE SEQUEL!

I'm going to be honest. I was hesitant to pick up Six of Crows even though I had heard nothing but amazing things about it. I liked Shadow & Bone but I didn't love it like many others did. I still haven't gotten around to finishing that series yet. I just couldn't get into Siege & Storm despite all the rave things I had heard about a new character who is introduced later in the book. Alina and Mal just rubbed my nerves the wrong way so I put it aside and never felt like picking it up again.

While this book is set in the same world as the Grisha Trilogy, it didn't rely on the characters and events from it to tell the story. I actually LOVED that this book was not directly connected to the original series. According to my friends who finished the original series, there were some references here and there but not enough to require reading it before this series. Six of Crows is its own story with its own unique and interesting characters and setting. Although, it does feature the same magic system for the Grisha and I found that it was easier to understand it after having read Shadow & Bone.

The plot is set after the original series and it is obvious that the people are still feeling the effects of the war in Ravka but this book focuses more on the dirty underworld of the Grishaverse. We get introduced to a great cast of characters, who honestly have such amazing relationships with each other. The story is mostly told from five out of the six characters' perspectives. This style allowed us to see glimpses of those characters' pasts and how they got to where they are today. The book is the perfect blend of darkness, magic, action, humor, and romance.

The crew is essentially a gang of misfits. Powerful, intelligent, courageous misfits, but misfits nonetheless. In this world, they would have been all on their own if they didn't have each other. Personality wise they were all very different but they worked well together as a group. All of them have their demons and their secrets but that matters little because they have an understanding. None of them will ever be a heroes. They're all survivors.

I really loved how the plot moved between each character’s perspective. The small flashbacks for each character gave us a little insight into how they all ended up together on this mission. It also allows the reader to get to know each character and try to determine their individual agendas. What I wasn't really expecting was how many times I literally laughed out loud. The dialogue was hilarious in parts despite the serious nature of the heist. I need more Jesper and Wylan in my life!

There are some delightful romances in different stages in this book and I ship them all! Also, I loved that there were no love triangles in this book and I don't foresee any in the future. As much as I loved the romances, what I really struck me was the friendships. The relationships between these characters are varied and unique. I loved them all but I absolutely adored Nina and Inej's friendship! They're supportive of each other and have each others backs without the cattiness that we see between female characters in a lot of YA books. I seriously want to see more friendships like this one in all books.

I was hooked from the first page and this book took over my life. I seriously did nothing but read this book until I finished it. The story is so well-paced that there aren't really any dull moments. And that ending! I need Crooked Kingdom in my hands ASAP! This book was everything I wanted and then some! If you want fantasy, adventure, friendship, romance, a little bit of espionage, some darkness, and intrigue then this is definitely a book you should pick up!

Recommended for fans of:  
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Graceling by Kristin Cashore


    
  5 / 5 Stars!



Friday, June 17, 2016

Cover Reveal: Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh

If you've visited the blog any time in the last few weeks, you know how much we love Nalini Singh. So tonight we're excited to bring you the cover reveal for the next book in her Rock Kiss rock star romance series. Rock Wedding is the fourth book in the series and it releases on July 19. Here's what it's all about:

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love...even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time

And now the moment you've been waiting for. . . Here's the cover for Rock Wedding!


Add Rock Wedding on Goodreads
Read about the Rock Kiss series on Nalini's Author Site

And check out my reviews of other books in the series:
Rock Addiction
Rock Courtship
Rock Hard


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Really Short Reviews: Marshals and Mercenaries

You all know how much I love my paranormals, but sometimes it all starts to blur together. My go-to rut buster is usually romantic suspense. It's like an action movie in book form. Two of my fave series have new releases this summer.

At Any Cost (U.S. Marshals #4)At Any Cost
(U.S. Marshals #4)
Mandy Baxter
Release: May 31, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Fast, cunning, and driven, he'll do whatever it takes to nail the most violent federal perps. But she is the one danger he'll never see coming… 

She can't remember when she wasn't afraid. She can't go to the police. And "Olivia Gallagher" is only a day away from fleeing her Idaho wilderness life before biker gang leader Joel Meecum finally catches up with her. So keeping her rugged new neighbor at arm's length is the only safe play. Until Livy can't resist one last hungry chance to feel alive…

For U.S. Marshal Nick Brady, taking his vacation next door to Meecum's ex-girlfriend seemed the smartest way to find him. But suddenly, nothing is making sense. How could this feisty, straight-talking brunette ever get mixed up with Meecum's brutal crew? And why is he breaking his oath and getting so close that all he wants is to keep her safe? Now as the clock ticks, Nick and Livy's only chance at escape may be the one they can't survive…
Review:
Have you ever had a moment when you felt like the author did something just for you? In my review of the last U.S. Marshals book, I said that I wished the suspense plot was more like Sons of Anarchy. And then Mandy Baxter wrote this one about a drug running California motorcycle club just for me! (Yeah, probably not. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

I loved the Idaho town where Livy was hiding out from that MC. Baxter has actually used it in her books before, but this time it was winter and she was at a ski resort and I just loved it. (So much that I said it twice.) I liked Livy's backstory as a competitive skier, which was something I haven't seen before. And I basically liked Livy, but Nick was not as well developed. Outside of the bedroom, he just wasn't that interesting.

Like with previous books in the series, all of the action scenes are at the end. It makes for an exciting conclusion, but I wish there was more happening throughout the book. Still, I'm enjoying the U.S. Marshals series and I'm looking forward to the next book.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

    1/2
3 1/2  stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
One Night More
One Kiss More
One Touch More

25503036Devil and the Deep
(Deep Six #2)
Julie Ann Walker
Release: July 5, 2016
Cocktail parties, political fundraisers, and charity events are Maddy Powers' way of life. But the daring man who appropriated her father's yacht a couple of months ago is still out there, somewhere, and she wants to pay him back for the scorching kiss they shared.


Behind his suave smile and ladykiller eyes, Bran Palladino carries a dark secret that keeps him from pursuing Maddy… even though he can't get her out of his head. But when Maddy is kidnapped as part of a grand scheme, it's time to put up or shut up… because Bran can't live without Maddy now.


Review:
Someone is trying to kidnap Maddy Powers. Again. (Her yacht was hijacked in the first book of the series.) That entire plot could have been repetitive and boring, but Walker made it feel fresh. (Though maybe not so much for Maddy.) I'm always a fan of friends-to-lovers stories and I liked how Maddy and Bran had built their friendship in the months between books, as well as the way the romance developed here.

Like with many of Walker's books, the secondary characters seem to be starting a relationship of their own. Usually they become the main characters in the next book. In this one, they seem to get even more time on the page than normal, which I was totally fine with. I really liked Mason and Alex and I'm looking forward to the rest of their story.

I also liked the villains more than I usually do. Not that I think they're nice people, but I think they were well-developed. Usually we know exactly who the bad guys are, but not exactly what their evil plan is. This time that was reversed, which I thought was a nice change.

Walker's Black Knights series and this spin-off are some of my favorite Romantic Suspense reads. I devoured this one in a single sitting. I recommend you go preorder it right now.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

    
 stars


My reviews of other books in this series:


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (86)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Here's this week's WOW pick:


Author Jess Haines mentioned in a recent blog post that she was reading, and loving, Shadow Born. That was enough for me to look it up and see what the big deal was. I love paranormal police procedurals and this one's set in Chicago, which is even better. I also think psychometry is a really interesting talent that I don't see very often. But the very best part is that you can preorder it for 99 cents.

30247358Shadow Born
(Shadows of Salem #1)
Jasmin Walt and Rebecca Hamilton
Release: August 16, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Chicago Police Detective Brooke Chandler is keeping a secret… and if she’s not careful, it could get her killed. 

Brooke is no stranger to the supernatural. In Chicago, vampires are just as prevalent as drug lords, and infinitely more bloodthirsty. So when her partner and fiancĂ© dies in a mysterious fire while chasing down a lead in Salem, she suspects something dark and otherworldly is at play. 

Blessed with the ability to see into the past by touching inanimate objects, Brooke transfers to the Salem PD, hoping her talent will help her get to the bottom of things. Between dodging assassination attempts and being stonewalled at every turn, the going is tough. Add in a mysterious fae club owner with secrets of his own and a personal grudge against her, and it becomes nearly impossible. 

If Brooke wants to play in the supernatural sandbox, she’s going to have to roll up her sleeves and get dirty. But how many people will have to die for Brooke to discover the truth about her fiance? And is she even ready to know? 

What book are you waiting on?





Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Release Day Review, Q&A, and Excerpt: Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

As you all know, I've become hopelessly obsessed with Nalini Singh's books. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have come to love them, but I can tell you that I have reread this series five times since I first marathoned it last June. See? I told you I'm obsessed.

It is rather appropriate that a year after my initial reading of this series my marathon of Psy-Changeling reviews is finally coming to an end. Allegiance of Honor, the fifteenth book in the series, is out today! I was lucky enough to get a copy of it for review and I've already read it twice! It was SO good! If you haven't started this series yet, you have plenty of books to marathon before book sixteen comes out next year!


Allegiance of Honor
(Psy-Changeling #15)
Nalini Singh
Release: June 14, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
The “unparalleled romantic adventure”* of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as a new dawn begins for the Psy-Changeling world...

The Psy-Changeling world has undergone a staggering transformation and now stands at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: Old enemies. New allies. Wary loners.

But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten and threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: A child who is both Psy…and changeling.

To find the lost, protect the vulnerable—and save Trinity—no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?
Review:

One thing I love about Nalini Singh is that she does things that are unexpected but very much appreciated by her fans. One of these is the sheer amount of bonus material she shares. I adore the short stories she features in her newsletter and later posts on her website. These vignettes allow us to get small sneak peeks into the lives of characters from the previous books. Now, imagine a whole book written in that kind of vignette format but with each one connected to the others to make a cohesive whole. I was hesitant when I first heard that Allegiance of Honor was going to be an ensemble book because I couldn't figure out how Singh was going to pull it off in a coherent manner. I really shouldn't have worried. 

There's a note from the author at the beginning of this book that the series is split into different story arcs. Shards of Hope ended the first arc and Allegiance of Honor is very much a setup book that segues the series into the next arc. It ties together several loose ends hanging around after the fall of Silence and at the same time it also kicks the story in a new direction. The format makes it hard to review without spoiling things but I will say that it does an excellent job of introducing the new story arc while checking in with all of our favorite characters from the previous books.

A lot has happened since the end of Slave to Sensation but the most notable is the number of intricate relationships that have developed to connect the Psy, Humans, Forgotten, and Changelings together. These connections provide a back bone that helps us to more fully understand the changes that are happening in the Psy-Changeling world with the fall of Silence and the new Trinity Accord. The ensemble cast really highlights these relationships and gives us multiple points of view to see how devious The Consortium is. Almost all of the major characters in this series gets some page time, so keep an eye out for your favorite pairings because they'll pop up at some point.

And if that wasn't enough, we also get some insight into a few characters I've been dying to know more about. The most prominent is the Blacksea pack and I can't wait to learn more about them! I just want a book with at least one of the love interests to be from Blacksea! Or both! Just think of all we'd learn if both the hero and the heroine were water changelings! I seriously love how this book sets up so many possibilities for featured characters in future books. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed for another Psy/Forgotten couple but I think it would be awesome if we got a Forgotten/Changeling couple. I also want more time with my beloved Arrow squad. I would totally read a whole series exclusively about the Arrows dealing with the fall of Silence and finding their places in the world.

This book was everything I was hoping for and more! It made me laugh and it made me cry in public. I couldn't help but hug my kindle to my chest when I finished it because it was so delightfully wonderful! There are so many possibilities as to what could be coming up that I cannot wait to see where this series takes us next! It's going to be a long wait for the next book.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

    1/2
  4.5 / 5 Stars!

Nalini Singh on the future of the Psy-Changeling series 

Is Allegiance of Honor the end of the Psy-Changeling series?

No, it’s not. :) I ADORE this world and the characters and I have so many Psy-Changeling stories yet to tell. (I've often joked that I'll be writing this series until I'm ninety-eight!)

Where do you see the Psy-Changeling world going from here? Who is the next book about?


(Slightly spoilery answer to follow if you’re just starting the series).

Allegiance of Honor sets up a lot of possibilities for the future. There are many avenues I could take. However, for me, this arc is all about what happens not just to the Psy, but to the world, now that Silence has fallen and all the rules have changed.

We’ve had the immediate aftermath books, both of which focused on the Psy race (Shield of Winter & Shards of Hope), but what about the wider long-term future? Because Silence existed for a reason. The Psy still have these incredible abilities that have the potential to drive them murderously insane, and the world is still a fractured triumvirate. And there are players about whom we know very little, like the falcons and BlackSea.

As for who’s book is next, I’m not ready to announce it yet because I want to be certain this character is ready – but I think you’ll be pleased. ;-)

Excerpt From Allegiance of Honor

Lucas had had to chase Naya around the aerie at bedtime last night—her walk might still be a little shaky, but she was a rocket when it came to crawling. Dressed only in a diaper, she’d laughed uproariously and said a loud, firm “No” each time Lucas caught her and put her in her crib.

After which she’d clamber out—she’d figured out how to escape a month earlier—and the game would begin again. Of course, since Lucas was a cat, he’d been having just as much fun as their daughter. Sascha, meanwhile, had sat in the living room with a cup of hot chocolate and just indulged in the sight of her mate playing with their cub.

She’d had to pretend to be stern when Naya ran over and pleaded her case with loud sounds and wild gesticulations of her hands. “No, Naya,” she’d said, biting her tongue in an effort not to laugh. “It’s time for bed. Go with Papa.”

At which point, Naya had growled at her, eyes sparkling with mischief.

And Sascha had cracked, laughing so hard she’d had to put down her hot chocolate before she spilled it. Lucas had shaken his head as Naya plopped down on her diaper-covered butt and joined in, clapping her hands at having made her mommy laugh. “No discipline.” Lucas had mock-growled at her before picking up their misbehaving baby. “And you”—a growly nuzzle that made Naya laugh harder and pat his stubbled cheek—“time for bed.”

He’d finally got her to sleep—by walking around with her pressed up against his bare chest.

Today, their cub was playing in the living area just outside the kitchen nook. Sascha had locked the aerie door to ensure Naya wouldn’t undo the latch and go out onto the balcony, and Lucas had childproofed the entire main area of the aerie, so Naya was free to roam as she liked. A lot of the time she practiced her walking skills. And no matter how often she fell down, she started back up again after a little break.

Stubborn, determined baby.

Peeking out from the kitchen, Sascha found her concentrating on stacking the colored alphabet blocks Faith and Vaughn had given her as a gift. Beside her sat a more than slightly ragged wolf plush toy, aka “The Toy That Shall Not Be Named.” Hawke had given that to Naya when she was a newborn, and it remained her favorite snuggle toy, much to her father’s despair.

Though Lucas did enjoy it when Naya went leopard on the toy, growling and “fighting” with the wolf. Then he’d smile and say, “That’s my girl.”

Find Nalini online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Friday, June 10, 2016

Really Short Reviews: Psy-Changeling #13-14

As you all know, I've have become hopelessly obsessed with Nalini Singh's books. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have come to love them but I can tell you that I have reread this series five times since I first marathoned it last June. See? I told you I've become obsessed.

The fifteenth book in the series is set to come out this month and in celebration of its release I've been reviewing two or three books in the series at a time. There's less than a week until Allegiance of Honor is out! I was lucky enough to get a copy of it for review and I've already read it! It was SO good! Since I don't have enough to say about each book to warrant a full review, I'm going to do Really Short Reviews of the series so far! Today, I'm reviewing the last two books which are my favorite books in the series so far! If you haven't started this series yet, you still have time to start it because the next book is out on Tuesday!



Shield of Winter
(Psy-Changeling #13)
Nalini Singh
Release: June 3, 2014
Goodreads Amazon
Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she'll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…
Review by Rose Red:
 
Guys! We FINALLY got Vasic's story! I've wanted to know more about this grey-eyed teleporter since the first time he showed up on the page. And his story did not disappoint! This book was so good! Vasic is an Arrow to his core. He’s incredibly loyal and he's willing to protect his people until the end, though he may not have long due to some of his choices. Ivy really is something else! She's had a tough life thanks to a botched-up reconditioning when she was a teen. I loved that Ivy had a pet! Her and Rabbit are a determined pair and I loved how they saved each other. Ivy really shows how stubborn and caring empaths can be. Vasic and the rest of the Arrows really didn't stand a chance against her welcoming warmth.

Shield of Winter is such a well-crafted book even by Nalini Singh's standards. Vasic and Ivy are two characters that immediately stole my heart. Vasic is a man who’s been used as a weapon for so long it breaks my heart. He’s so much more than his abilities, yet very few outside of the Arrow squad see him as more than such. Vasic has encased his emotions in ice to keep himself going until he could find the peace in he craves. Ivy takes a sledgehammer to that ice and he is able to truly experience life and love. Ivy is strong and deeply caring, and I admired her willingness to risk so much for the good of her people, even though she was almost broken as a child because of the Silence Protocol. Vasic and Ivy make one heck of a couple. I loved their passion and watching their relationship develop even in such dire circumstances. I want more stories from their points of view!

While Ivy and Vasic’s romance is the heart of Shield of Winter, the Psy-Changeling world is going through some major changes in this book. The end of Silence has sent shockwaves through the Net and we see the horrifying fallout that threatens to crush the Psy race. If they can survive the infection and chaos among the Net, there is hope for them to become stronger and better as a whole. The empaths are the key to the race’s survival, but figuring out how to unlock the empath’s abilities and use them to protect the race isn’t easy. I loved the worldbuilding that happened in this book in regards to the PsyNet. It was heartbreaking but it was satisfying to see the empaths in the spotlight and the solutions they came up with in this book.

I loved the previous book, Heart of Obsidian, I really did. But it was dark and super depressing (seriously, even when things were going well for our two heroes, it was a bummer fest). This book is happier, mostly because you get the sense that Vasic and Ivy will be okay, in spite of any terrible stuff that happened to them in the past. I seriously loved it. It was an excellent addition to my favorite series. I can't wait to get more stories revolving around members of the Arrow squad! I love them so much!

  
  5 / 5 Stars!




Shards of Hope
(Psy-Changeling #14)
Nalini Singh
Release: June 2, 2015
The “smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome action” of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races…

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.
Review by Rose Red:

Guys. I have a lot of favorite couples and I've loved all of the books in this series, but this book is my absolute favorite book so far. I've been dying to know more about Aden almost as long as I've wanted to know about Vasic. The desire has only grown exponentially the last couple of books as the Arrows have come more and more into the spotlight. Who wouldn't want to know more about the medic who ousted a Councillor to take over the leadership of the Arrow squad? I loved finding out more about Aden and he's officially become my favorite hero in this whole series! Don't worry. Judd and Vasic are tied for a very close second.

Also, can I tell you how much I adored Zaira? I'll be honest. I was not expecting her to be Aden's love interest at all before I started reading Shards of Hope but now I can't imagine him with anyone else. We really didn't know much about the commander of the squad's Venice base before this book because she only made a brief appearance in Tangle of Need. I loved learning more about her! She's a bit of a magpie and more than a bit damaged from her horrific past. The relationship between these two leads is my favorite of the series.

Nalini Singh proves with each new book of hers that she is a powerhouse writer and that the Psy-Changeling world has tons of stories left to tell. First and foremost, she creates a satisfying and emotional romance between the enigmatic Arrow leader, Aden, and his damaged commander, Zaira. But she also sets up a fantastic new arc to carry the series forward with a new mysterious villain and she introduces a host of new characters who all hold the potential to garner future stories.

I’ll get to the bigger picture stuff in a moment, but first I want to focus on the central romance. Aden is one of the last characters I have been waiting to see featured in the series and Singh did not disappoint me. There is so much more to him than we ever knew. What is interesting about him is that he has never been entirely what he seems. He’s never really been Silent. He’s never really been average. He just hides himself very, very well. I loved watching Nalini Singh unwrap his layers. He's a way more complex character than I could have ever pictured from the previous books. But perhaps the very best surprise of the book is the heroine, Zaira. She is so very damaged, even more so than the other Arrows. Her horrific childhood caused her to stuff her anger, hurt, and other emotions so far down that she appears Silent. But deep inside, she knows how volatile she is.

From the first page, we see that there is already a very deep bond between Aden and Zaira. It’s not quite a romance yet, but it's not just friendship either. They are bound by their past, their mutual trust, and an emotion that neither has tried to name before now. Zaira considers herself a monster, unworthy to be Aden’s mate. And he wants Zaira to be his and he'll never settle for anyone else. So we watch their tentative dance as they step toward one another, then she steps back. He steps forward and around it goes. Normally that would drive me crazy, but I believed in Zaira’s fear. Her monster is real and she loves Aden too much to destroy him.

I may have cried once or twice. It’s just that her wonder at his love is so bittersweet. Her realization of her worth through his eyes really touched me. I loved them together.

Meanwhile, these two are working to figure out who took them and why. The plot keeps widening from there until we see all the major players from the series to this point plus some new faces. As always, the worldbuilding in this series is amazing! And the pace builds and builds to a perfect climax where we see the true glory that is Aden Kai and his vision for the squad's and the world's future. I couldn’t have asked for a better book!

This book marks the end of this first story arc of the series and I can’t wait to see where Nalini Singh takes this world next. She has done a great job transitioning us to the next arc. It’s going to be another wild ride. 
  
  5 / 5 Stars!


My reviews of other books in this series:

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