From the BLURB:
When a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped, DarkRiver sentinel Mercy, a cat, and SnowDancer lieutenant Riley, a wolf, 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.
I sort of slacked off with this series. I read up to ‘Hostage to Pleasure’ and then left ‘Branded by Fire’ sitting on my TBR shelf. Well, then Mandi (i.e.: Ms. Smexy) had to go and say that Riley and Mercy made the list of her top 10 sex scenes of 2009. How could I resist?
I loved Mercy and Riley! They have an ‘opposites attract’ relationship, that works so well because their strengths and weakness compliment each other very sweetly. Singh did a great job of writing two very distinctive characters, with just the right amount of hot-headedness mixed with steamy sparkage;
He bit her lower lip.
Her eyes snapped open. “Kiss it better.”
“No.” He nipped her again. Sharp. Sexy. “You make me so fucking insane, I want to mark you all over. So everyone knows you’re mine.”
The leopard growled in her throat. “Not yours.” She was her own person, a predator same as him.
“We’ll see about that.” This time, he dipped his head… and bit her neck in a suckling kiss that made her moan and thrust her hand into his hair, tugging him back.
‘Branded by Fire’ is the 6th book in Singh’s Psy-Changeling series.
I have a confession to make – I skipped over all the bits concerning the Psy council. I do the same thing with J.R. Ward’s ‘Blackdagger Brotherhood’ series and any scenes concerning the ‘lessers’. I can’t help it! When the leading man and lady are so compelling and steamy it’s such a struggle to get through all the boring villain bits. Luckily Singh and Ward do the same thing of filling the reader in on the bad-guy’s developments by having the main characters recap the intel they’ve gathered.
‘Branded’ has a really interesting second love story told alongside Mercy and Riley’s relationship. Wolf Alpha, Hawke, has been a bit of an enigma since the start of the series. We know very little about his personal life – except that he was once mated, and his young mate died, and he’s been single ever since. We also know that the one person who gets under Hawke’s skin is Psy teenager, Sienna Lauren. Hawke and Sienna are constantly at each other’s throats – he tries to keep her in line, she questions his authority. They’re very sparky – and it has been obvious for some time now that there was more to their snarky battles than met the eye. In ‘Branded’ Hawke reluctantly admits that he is aware of Sienna’s teenage crush (she’s 18), he also maintains that she is a child and he would never take advantage of her infatuation. Meanwhile, Sienna reveals that she knows the futility of her feelings for Hawke – since he is adamant that he will never mate again. Sienna confesses that her feelings for Hawke are wreaking havoc on her Psy-shields, and she volunteers to stay with Lucas’s leopard pack to regain her equilibrium away from the Wolf Alpha.
I really loved the Hawke/Sienna storyline (even more so when, in the final chapter, it turns into a potential love triangle), and I was really looking forward to reading their full story. That’s why I was so disappointed to discover that book #7 in this series isn’t about Sienna and Hawke, but two characters I do not remember ever reading about before (Katya and Dev?!). What a rip-off! And then I jump onto Nalini Singh’s website and discover Hawke & Sienna’s story won’t be out until 2011?!?
I really liked ‘Branded by Fire’. I was in the mood for a sexy/smutty read and this book delivered tenfold. I am bitterly disappointed that there is a LONG wait for Hawke and Sienna’s continued story – how frustrating!