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Friday, May 27, 2011

'Kiss of Snow' Psy-Changeling #10 by Nalini Singh

Received from the Publisher

From the BLURB:

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would've been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf. Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other's secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight...

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna's darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home and the alpha who is its heartbeat...

Sienna Lauren has loved Hawke from the moment she laid eyes on him . . . alpha-wolf, Hawke, and the SnowDancer pack have become Sienna’s new home since she and her family defected from the cold of PsyNet. But as much as Sienna loves Hawke, she has always known they can never be together. Hawke lost his true wolf mate when he was just ten years old, and there will never be another mate for him as long as he lives. Never mind that nineteen-year-old Sienna is considered a child next to the experienced older alpha, and he has worked hard for many years to ignore the inappropriate spark between them.

Regardless of all these obstacles, the heart wants what the heart wants . . . and Sienna has always wanted Hawke.

Meanwhile, Hawke is hard at work fighting his attraction for the ever-maturing Sienna. She is no longer the awkwardly cold teenager scared of her X abilities. Sienna has grown into a beautiful young woman, who is garnering attention from the young SnowDancer pups (much to Hawke’s chagrin). But regardless of his lust, Hawke doesn’t want to hurt Sienna by denying her the one part of himself that he knows she craves . . . his mating.

While Sienna and Hawke try to control and balance their feelings for one another, the PsyNet looms. Sienna’s dangerous X abilities are hardly subtle, and as the pressure within her grows the Net could discover her whereabouts and the truth about her family’s defection . . .

‘Kiss of Snow’ is the tenth book in Nalini Singh’s ‘Psy-Changeling’ paranormal romance series.

It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! Ever since Sienna first laid eyes on the gorgeous and sadly broken Hawke, readers have been salivating for their story. Hawke and Sienna are one of the few couples in the ‘Psy-Changeling’ series whom we have known would end up together. Their story has been slowly evolving over nine books, reaching a boiling-point when Sienna started dating DarkRiver cat, Kit. In every new instalment, Nalini Singh would revisit Hawke and Sienna’s ever-evolving and complicating feelings . . . from when Sienna realized her girlish crush, to Hawke beginning to notice her womanly changes. Fans have been mapping and anticipating this romance for so many instalments and now it’s finally here! Singh had some high expectations to meet with this couple, and I'm happy to report that she definitely delivers the goods!

Singh had quite a few hurdles to jump before Hawke and Sienna could embark on a romance. For one thing, Sienna was a young girl when she realized her feelings for the much older Hawke, and in ‘Kiss of Snow’ she is still only nineteen. It would feel wrong if Singh jumped right into their romance without at least considering the implications of a younger woman/older man scenario - especially when Hawke has a position of power over Sienna as her alpha. I really appreciated Singh taking the time to explore these difficulties, and reach a compromise between Hawke and Sienna, for readers’ peace of mind.

Then there’s the fact that Hawke lost his mate at the age of ten. Hawke and Rissa found one another when they were children – their mating was sweet and innocent then, that of very close friends who were glued at the hip throughout their childhood. But they were mates – destined for a lifelong commitment, until Rissa was sadly killed and Hawke’s life irrevocably altered. Hawke has considered himself ‘damaged goods’ since Rissa’s death, believing he will never have another mate. So when he develops deep feelings for Sienna, he feels guilty and confused. He wants Sienna, on a deep physical level . . . but he doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to give her his whole self. Sienna likewise understands Hawke’s inability to mate, but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t wounded by what he can’t give her;

Her emotions a tight knot in her chest, she closed the door after he left and walked back into the bathroom to pick up the brush on the shelf by the mirror. “Hawke’s mate is dead,” she made herself say to the woman who was her reflection, her fingers clenching to bloodless tightness around the carved wood of the handle. “He buried his heart with her.”
Even in the face of that harsh truth, the brutal compulsion inside of her refused to be extinguished, to be contained. Like the destructive power of an X, it threatened to consume her until only ashes remained.

I loved the development of Hawke and Sienna’s romance. Like I said, they had a lot of hurdles to jump over – but Singh takes the time to tease out their feelings, bringing them together on an intellectual and emotional level before embarking on an explosive physical relationship. And trust me, their romance is sizzling. Hawke is a demanding and predatory lover, and he wants to completely dominate Sienna on every level. Sienna, meanwhile, is both scared and exhilarated by Hawke’s demands and over-powering love. Coupled with pent-up sexual frustrations that have been brewing over nine books . . . this is quite possibly the most intensely sensual romance of any Psy-Changeling coupling. Yowza!

Towards the end of the novel the plot concentrates on the looming PsyNet danger, and the investigations of the SnowDancer sentinels into Sienna’s dangerous X abilities. At this point the plot becomes very intricate and complicated as Singh discusses the PsyNet, valves, overheating etc, etc. It does become very intense and convoluted, and somewhat detracts from the Hawke/Sienna side of things. But I have a feeling that all of this plot will become pertinent in upcoming books.

‘Kiss of Snow’ is quite possibly the most anticipated ‘Psy-Changeling’ instalment. Nalini Singh had a big task before her when she finally wrote a happily-ever-after for beloved couple, Hawke and Sienna. They had an age-difference and denied mating to combat, but still Singh managed to deliver one of the hottest couplings of the series so far. Hawke and Sienna are intense and sparking – theirs is a heart-palpitating romance that is bound to exceed expectations and cement Hawke and Sienna as the Psy-Changeling couple du jour!

4.5/5

2 comments:

  1. I didn't know you followed this series, if you have reviewed the others I must have missed... why, oh why have I not read these yet?

    I think i bought some of them a while back, I just need to find time to read... I am soooo behind it's insane!

    Awesome review, as per usual hon!

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  2. @ Larissa - I wasn't actually all that impressed with the series when I read the first few books back-to-back in 2009:

    http://alphareader.blogspot.com/2009/09/psy-changeling-series-by-nalini-singh.html

    I really liked 'Mine to Possess', but that was about it. What kept me coming back was the evolving Hawke/Sienna storyline. I knew they would be worth hanging out for ... and I was right!

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