Title: Play of Passion
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Psy/Changeling Series (Book 9)
Publication Date: November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
ISBN-10: 0425237796 (Berkley Sensation)
ISBN-13: 978-0425237793 (Berkley Sensation)
Reviewed by: Kristie
In his position as tracker for the SnowDancer pack, it’s up to Drew Kincaid to rein in rogue changelings who have lost control of their animal halves – even if it means killing those who have gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite . . . and who threatens to enslave his wolf.
Lieutenant Indigo Riviere doesn’t easily allow skin privileges, especially of the sensual kind – and the last person she expects to find herself craving is the most wickedly playful male in the den. Everything she knows tells her to pull back before the flames burn them both to ash . . . but she hasn’t counted on Drew’s will.
Now, two of SnowDancer’s most stubborn wolves find themselves playing a hot, sexy game even as lethal danger stalks the very place they call home . . .
Quick & Dirty: Ms. Singh delivers with another hot romance. The plot is well crafted with action, mystery and drama that keeps the reader engaged.
Opening Sentence: The Psy have been pure, have been Silent for over a hundred years, their emotions conditioned out of them until a wall of ice separates them from the world.
Nalini Singh continues the rich and detailed world that she has created for the Psy/Changelings with her ninth book in the series, Play of Passion. Set in the year 2081, this alternate reality setting takes place in San Francisco and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. Play of Passion focuses mainly on SnowDancer, a pack of Changeling wolves and where they stand with the upcoming Psy conflict.
Indigo Riviere is strength personified, she is smart and dangerous, and she is always cool and collected in high stress situations. She is the highest ranking female wolf in the pack. She is looked up to and is seen as a symbol of strength for the pack. Indigo has had a pretty good life but when her sister was born with a weak immune system, she grew up fast, wanting to be strong for her family. Indigo is pretty much a lone wolf when it comes to relationships, she likes her sex but when it is over she prefers her independence. She doesn’t usually offer skin privileges but when she and Andrew come off a harrowing hunt, she allows Andrew the comfort she thinks he needs, but when he goes too far and “claims” ownership over her she is furious. Andrew is several years younger than her, and she doesn’t think his is mature or strong enough for her, that he will be put off by her strength.
Andrew Kincaid is a charmer. He is extremely intelligent, he is easygoing with his pack mates, he makes friends easily, and he isn’t beneath flirting with the young girls of the pack. The pack loves him and easily confides in him their secrets, rumors they have heard, they tell him anything that they don’t tell the pack Alpha. Andrew uses his position to gain everyone’s trust because in the position as Tracker they could easily fear him. As a tracker wolf, he can find any lost or out of control wolves, and if he has to, he can kill. He could become a Lieutenant like Indigo because he has the strength, but it would undermine the confidences he has built up in the pack. Andrew has had a tragic past, his parents were killed while protecting the pack when he was a young child, several years ago his sister was kidnapped by a serial killer, and she survived her ordeal only to have Andrew take a bullet for her in a situation that should have killed him. Andrew has had a crush on Indigo for many years and he believes he must make his move on her since a fellow Lieutenant is coming back to town that has had a past with her. Andrew fights his feelings for Indigo until he can prove that he is strong enough for her without ruining his or her reputation within the pack.
Singh has created a great set of valuable characters each with their own strength and weaknesses. The trials that Indigo and Andrew go through just to prove their love for each other is believable. I could feel their heat for each other pouring off the pages.
Singh’s writing is visually stunning and flows smoothly from one scene to the next. Her plotlines are always strong; Play of Passion is no exception. This book was hard to put down, Singh combines an excellent mix of action, mystery and drama that just makes me want to keep reading.
As a standalone novel, Indigo and Andrew really do carry the book, the story is contained, past actions are explained, but with the cast of characters, this book is best read with the series. There is also the continuing fight with the Psy Council that pushes the series along, there is also quite a bit of foreshadowing for the next book in the series. There are many points of view that push the story along, although I did feel that this book didn’t have a lot of changes like some of the previous books.
Overall, I think Play of Passion is an outstanding addition to the Psy/Changeling series. Singh doesn’t disappoint in her storytelling. The romance is hot and the action intense. There are two follow up books in the series, Kiss of Snow, available now, and Tangle of Need releasing on May 29, 2012.
She knew half of it was an act—but her wolf liked his playfulness. She always had. And . . . he had apologized. Flat out. No reservations. Most dominant wolves—and Drew was categorically a dominant, for all that he fooled people into thinking otherwise—had trouble with the s word, even when they were utterly in the wrong. Maybe he hadn’t been avoiding her because he was sulking, she decided; maybe he had actually been figuring out how to apologize. As a dominant herself, she understood exactly how hard it had to have been for him.
The Psy/Changeling Series:
10. Kiss of Snow
11. Tangle of Need
FTC Advisory: Penguin/Berkley provided me with a copy of Play of Passion. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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