Thursday, May 19, 2016

Really Short Reviews: Psy-Changeling #6-8

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 next month and in celebration of its release I'm going to review two or three books in the series each 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 next three books! If you haven't started this series yet, you still have time to do so before the next book is out!

Branded by Fire
(Psy-Changeling #6)
Nalini Singh
Release: July 7, 2009
A Psy-Changeling novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Shards of Hope, Shield of Winter, and Heart of Obsidian..."the alpha author of paranormal romance" (Booklist).

Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to possess her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons; the problem is that he's a wolf, she's a cat, and they're both used to being on top.

But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped from DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together to track the young man - before his shadowy captors decide he's no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it'll leave them both branded by fire...

Review by Rose Red:

Yay! We finally got Mercy's book! I loved this book so much! It's the first in the series to have a changeling-changeling couple and what's even better is the hero is a wolf and the heroine a leopard. It was bound to happen at some point, right? The packs' have an alliance after all. How close the packs are is actually one of the things I love about this series. Plus, it gives us a chance to see characters from previous books again. Mercy and Riley have an interesting dynamic with them being the liaisons between their two packs! It made me laugh in more than a couple spots.

Mercy has always been one of my favorite characters, but in Branded by Fire she sealed her position as one of my personal favorites. She's strong, both physically and mentally, cunning, kind, warm, funny, and generous and on top of it all, imperfect. And it's one of the things I love about her most! She's stubborn and proud. There's a reason she's a Sentinel. Despite her reticence at falling in love with a wolf, Riley is exactly the right male for her. He's more than Mercy's equal in terms of strength, dominance, and pack position. He's also incredibly giving and a sweetheart. Riley is utterly endearing which is not something you expect from someone nicknamed The Wall. Unfortunately, his heart is scarred by what happened to his sister, Brenna. Her imprisonment left its mark on Riley, making him overprotective of those he cares about, which causes problems at times in his relationship with Mercy.

I loved watching the two of them find their way in their relationship, each complimenting the other's strengths and willing to call one another on their flaws. Mercy and Riley are perfect for each other even though their road to being together was more than a little bit rocky. And boy do these two have chemistry! As with the previous books in this series, Nalini Singh will also leave you wanting books for each character introduced. Personally, Branded by Fire is the book that made me desperate to know Sienna Lauren's story. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen until book ten. This book also made me hopeful for future leopard-wolf pairings! I've mentioned that I love this series a lot a lot, right?
  5 / 5 Stars!

Blaze of Memory
(Psy-Changeling #7)
Nalini Singh
Release: November 3, 2009
Goodreads Amazon
A woman without a past becomes the pawn of the man who controls her future...

Dev Santos discovers her unconscious and battered, with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that she's dangerous. Charged with protecting his people's most vulnerable secrets, Dev is duty-bound to eliminate all threats. It's a task he's never hesitated to complete...until he finds himself drawn to a woman who might prove to be the enemy's most insidious weapon yet.

Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity. Her only hope is Dev. But how can she expect to gain the trust of a man who could very well be her next target? For in this game, one must die...

Review by Rose Red:

Good heavens! These books just keep getting better! I was hesitant to start this book because there are no changelings in it and I really thought I was going to miss them. Dev definitely makes up for the lack of changelings in this story. He is actually just as protective as a changeling and incredibly intense, so I was more than happy to get his backstory. It was also fascinating learning more about the Forgotten.

The woman he falls for, Katya, is a Psy, but she shows more emotion than any Psy we've meet so far. It was a change of pace for a Psy heroine to have no Silence to work through and overcome. The reason she is free of Silence is actually heartbreaking and something I am not going to go into because I think you need to read it for yourself. I was always afraid that these books were going to hit a routine and become repetitive with the Psy stories, but Nalini Singh keeps coming up with ingenuous ways to have these characters develop so I am never bored.

The world just keeps getting more and more interesting and the characters are fantastic! What I was not expecting was to have my heart ripped slowly out of my chest with this book. It made me sob like a little girl. Yet I loved it so much! Dev has been an enigma since he was first introduced and I liked getting to know more about him even though he is a jerk sometimes. The person I really loved was Katya. You can't help but love her after you find out her back story.

Blaze of Memory is a fantastic addition to the psy/changeling world. It shakes things up quite a bit even though changelings are the not main focus of this story. I love how the world just keeps expanding with each book to include other groups like the Human Alliance and the Forgotten. This series just makes me so happy.
  4.5 / 5 Stars

Bonds of Justice
(Psy-Changeling #8)
Nalini Singh
Release: July 6, 2010
Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy-dominated power structure. The last case he expects to be assigned is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor’s closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of a catastrophic mental fracture…

Sophia Russo is a Justice-Psy, cursed with the ability to retrieve memories from men and women so twisted even veteran cops keep their distance. Appointed as Max’s liaison with the Psy, she finds herself fascinated by this human, her frozen heart threatening to thaw with forbidden emotion. But, her mind filled with other people’s nightmares, other people’s evil, she’s standing on the border between sanity and a silken darkness that urges her to take justice into her own hands, to become judge, jury…and executioner…

Review by Rose Red:

Just as with the other books in this series, I loved this one. The world is so fascinating and the plots are so complex and emotional. I love the fact that it's not just hearts and roses but that the characters, have to work for their happily ever afters. I think Max and Sophie are my favorite and I have a lot of favorites in this series. A lot of things changed with this book and I'm excited to see what happens next!

I have had my fingers crossed since I finished Mine to Possess that we'd get a book with Max as the hero! And we finally did! I fell in love with both Max and Sophia in it. I found Sophia to be an intriguing character. As a J-Psy, she's been exposed to a lot more evil than the Psy in the previous books. She's damaged and her abilities have the potential to make her into a monster. They have also made it so she can't touch another person without her personal shields basically imploding and letting all the voices around her in to drive her insane. I loved how Max handled Sophia and her problems. It was sweet and intense because he pushes her limits but he's never mean or condescending about taking things slowly. His natural mental shield really comes in handy in this book for lots of reasons.

One thing I really love about this series is how, while it's focused on the romance between the characters and their obstacles to being together, there's still a conflict that deals with an outside force like a serial killer or people targeting a certain group. In this book, Max and Sophia are dealing with a serial killer that is both psychotic and evil and he has fixated on Sophia. So much stuff happens with that but it complimented the story instead of hindering it. I enjoyed the dynamic of Max and Sophia working together to solve this case for a Councilor.

All in all, Bonds of Justice was a great addition to the series. Oh, Sophie and Max! I love you both so much! And Morpheous! Max's temperamental alley cat of a pet was a wonderful part of the story! I want more stories about these two and a certain someone who appears at the end. I really want a short story set immediately after this book. You all who have read it know why. 

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