Shield of Winter (Psy/Changeling #13)

Why would you flirt with me? ...I'm already yours.

Shield of Winter
Nalini Singh
Psy/Changeling, book thirteen
ebook, 448 pages
ISBN 9780425264010

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…

Ah. The one that started it all.

When I originally purchased Shield of Winter, I had not yet read the first twelve books of the series. I mean, read the first paragraph of the blurb. How does one not ache to read a story with that context?? Pages in, though, I realized that starting here would be a major mistake and quickly went in search of book one. The world of the Psy/Changeling races is no way a simple one. Start from the beginning with this series. You'll be lost if you don't.

Firstly, having read some reviews, I gotta ask: Why the hell do so many people think Vasic was going to end up with Aden? I mean, what? Where was there even a hint of a glimmer of that? It's almost as bad as those who didn't know the identity of the Ghost. What. The. Hell. I can't help it. I pity them. His identity was obvious from his very first appearance.

And now that my moment of incredulity is over...

The changeling packs didn't play much of a role in the last book. How could they, with Kaleb's overwhelming presence? But the most noteworthy advancement was that Mercy is pregnant, with twins! So happy for her and Riley.

This installment begins a mere month after the last, after the fall of Silence, as Kaleb tasks the Arrows to find and employ ten suspected E-Psy to aide in the containment and possible cure for the infection contaminated the Psy Net. Vasic's target is that of Ivy Jane, a twenty-three year old woman who has suffered a reconditioning at age sixteen that few could have had survived, and just might have lost her empath power in the process of it.

"Send me another image."

Unfortunately, Vasic is not Kaleb. Oh, how that man has ruined me. While Kaleb took the time to research intimacy, because yes, he knew he would find Sahara one day, and even Judd took the time to read a book, Vasic wasn't so inclined and therefore failed miserably when it came to being with Ivy. Not saying he wasn't completely adorable in his own innocent way, but the guy couldn't kiss. He learned as he went. As did she. Sufficient to say, it made for some awkward moments.

"I'll get a manual."

When Kaleb lost sexual control, the ground quaked. With Vasic, he spontaneously teleports with Ivy with him. Personally I'd rather send tremors through the earth but at least Vasic managed a loop of uninhabited landscapes. Even Judd had a laugh at his expense as Judd's worst had been breaking all the damn furniture in the house.

While I can't say I truly loved the story of Vasic, I do think it was more Ivy's fault than his. Rabbit certainly didn't endear me, and I do otherwise love dogs. Aden, Sahara, and of course Kaleb managed to keep me in the game while Lucas and Sasha made small appearances as well. I could have done without the 'poster child for Arrow romance' angle and Vasic losing his arm to life saving surgery was a tad blah. Lastly, if any Psy couples are going to have kids, let it be Kaleb and Sahara. They may have more on their plate--and handle it oh so well at that--but I don't think I can I handle Ivy procreating.

3 out of 5 stars.

Previously in the series:


Newly Released: Sword-Bound by Jennifer Roberson

Sword Bound
Jennifer Roberson
Tiger & Del, book seven
Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by DAW
ISBN 9780756407964

For the first time in years, life seems settled for Tiger and Del. They run a school for sword-dancers in the South. They're raising a two-year-old daughter. They collect income from their interest in a thriving cantina. Occasionally Tiger must dance against sword-dancers bent on killing him for forsaking the oaths and vows of the circle, but for the most part it's an idyllic life. Until Tiger's twenty-five-year-old son accuses him of being "domesticated."

Thus challenged by his own flesh-and-blood to reclaim his legendary status, Tiger, accompanied by Del and his son, embarks on a journey northwards that will test his sword skill and resolve, and lead him and Del into danger from an old enemy. Though Tiger had forsaken his magic years before, he now faces the choice to reclaim it, and to wield it, in order to save those he loves.

Color me ASTONISHED! A series that spanned six books with multiple re-releases that survived decades... is BACK! Jennifer Roberson's Tiger and Del series has yet another installment in Sword Bound, which picks up two years after the completion of the last book which was released back in 2002!

I read the Tiger & Del saga through its volume releases way back in... hell, I don't even know. 2006, maybe? These two had one hell of a journey together. I still remember when he thought she was leaving him for who turned out to be his son. And I even remember the scene where she told him she was pregnant. "You don't drop a baby, Tiger." Ah, it's going to be good to have Tiger and his bascha back!

Previously in the series:


Upcoming Release: The Treasure by Sloan McBride

Well it took McBride six years, but she's finally managed to write a sequel to The Fury, of the Time Walker series, that has an expected publication February 9, 2015. Ugly cover and all.

From the Heavens comes a warrior who will melt your heart.

Celeste is a woman with a mission: kill the notorious pirate Blackbeard. She portrays herself as a young man to gain a place among the pirates. Before she can act, Fate steps in to fell her plans. Her ancestry is powerful, and the Underworld King wants her.

Orion is a time walker, a protector of the human race, and warrior against the Underworld minions, the galla. The shadowy creatures seek the young woman who has the blood of the gods running through her veins. Both the galla and Orion sense something mysterious—and wrong—in Celeste’s blood.

Time Walker law dictates no interaction with humans, but Orion can’t stay away. Celeste has the uncanny ability to draw demons and time walkers, alike. To protect her, Orion must keep her hidden from the Underworld and his own people. Should the gods discover her secret, they will destroy her, and he won't let that happen.

BTW, The Fury was awesome!


It's a Wolf Thing

It's yours now, y'know.

It's A Wolf Thing
Mina Carter; Chance Masters
ebook, 47 pages
Published May 8th 2013 by Blue Hedgehog Press
ISBN 139781301409082

Months after Armegeddon, the creatures of myth and legend have been forced out of hiding to join what remains of humanity to fight for their very survival against both Heaven and Hell. Dale Foxx, a born were-wolf, is one of the Rebellion's front line fighters. Strong, fast and absolutely lethal on the battlefield, there's very little Dale fears. In fact, she fears just two things. Her upcoming Mating Moon, and her attraction to her battle-partner Spencer Pena...

If Spencer wasn't fighting Hell's forces, he'd think he was in the fiery pit himself. He's lost his best friend already, and is forced to watch the woman he's loved for years risk her life day after day on the battlefield in a war no one can see ending. Then the match-making fae lend a helping hand, and a key-card leads him to the woman they've picked as his perfect match. The woman he's told himself is off limits.

In a world gone mad, can Dale and Spencer find the happiness they crave, or will the war take a fatal toll?

So Kaleb was... intense. So much so that I needed a quick, mindless, and most important of the three-emotionless, read to give me time to recover.

And that I found in this: a quirky, wtf, post-apocalyptic story about two wolf shifters who have been deemed a perfect match by Fae who leave a hotel key card as a sign of their decision.

Okay, it has a corny foundation but actually manages to save itself with uncommon facets as the story progresses. Having each received a key card that appears out of nowhere, both Dale and Spencer choose to meet the stranger the Fae has deemed their match with the same purpose of purging the other from their system. They've wanted one another long before the end of the world came. Have been ignoring their feelings ever since.

Once inside the hotel room, there's no shame in finally giving in to those long kept emotions. And once inside her body, with her confession of he being her first wolf in his ears, Spencer has the dawning realization that she is indeed his mate. In a half shift, he claims her. And the story doesn't end there.

Weeks later, as much as he's always hated watching her go into battle against demon and angels alike, he can't seem to take it anymore. She's not just the sister of the man whom he once considered his best friend, to whom he'd once sworn he'd watch over her- she's his mate. And he won't watch her die like he did Cain.

This story is short, but no less sweet. Spencer is probably one of the most emotional wolf shifters I've read. Not a good thing, mind you. What's worse it that he fails to protect both his mate and himself, welcoming death at her side before his superiors show up to save them both.

I've read Chance Masters, and many by Mina Carter. Together, in this, they did well. 3 out of 5 stars.


Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling #12)

You belong to me.

Heart of Obsidian
Nalini Singh
Psy/Changeling, book twelve
ebook, 368 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Berkley
ISBN 9781101605196

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.

Skipped book eleven. Not a Riaz fan. Who doesn't order dessert? Unfortunately, in doing so, I may have missed some pertinent details to the mystery that was and is Kaleb Krychek.

Kaleb Krychek, cardinal telekinetic and a man no one wanted to meet alone on a dark night, had been searching for his quarry for seven years, three weeks, and two days. Even while he slept, his mind had continued to hunt through the sprawling psychic network that was the heartbeat and the cage of the Psy race. Not for a day, not for a second, had he forgotten his search, forgotten what they’d taken from him.

In Kiss of Snow, Kaleb admitted to Judd that there was only one person in the entire world whose life he valued. And here she appears, in his home, rocking back and forth, as Kaleb patiently insists she drink something. Eat something. Bathe!

Her mind all but broken, she reacts only in violence at the perceived surveillance around her. The mirror. The glowing light of the smoke alarm. The lights above her head. It's difficult, in her first introduction, to truly guess at who this woman is. She is Psy. She is free of Silence. But who is she to Kaleb?

Her name is Shahara Kyriakus. Niece of Anthony Kyriakus and therefore, cousin to Faith, the mate of Vaugn, jaguar of the DarkRiver Changeling pack. And she has no memory of Kaleb. Very little of the first sixteen years of her life. The last seven she's spent tortured in captivity.

Kaleb is one scary SOB. The devil himself isn't as calculating. His motives for any one action are complex and many, and his possession of Shahara is no exception. Their first kiss.., Holy hell, it's not one I will soon forget. Hands on the neck. Glass shattering. Furniture flying. Oh yeah, one for the 'let's read this again' list! And too soon afterwards, he's relinquishing her to her family. And for a guy as possessive as Kaleb is with her, that was quite unexpected. Especially with his cryptic 'You belong to me' mantra. Being raised by a serial killer has a way of tainting the perception of things and certainly makes for a strange blend of terrifying and romantic. Yeah, Kaleb is a man unique unto himself. And one hell of a bedmate.

His every touch of her left me breathless.

Kudos to the author for throwing in the memory of the day Kaleb and Sahara met. He, thirteen. She, seven. Experiencing it from both of their perspectives was a wonderful bonus very few writers take the time to share.

I can't say enough how much this book pleased me. So unexpectedly, too. Many others have said this was the best of series and damn, they were right!

5 out of 5 stars.

Previously in the series:


Born of Fury (The League #8)

Shh! I'm being stupid and I have to concentrate for it.

Born of Fury
Sherrilyn Kenyon
The League, book eight
ebook, 624 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Piatkus
ISBN 9781250042965

Hauk, one of the fiercest Andarion warriors ever born, is also one of the founding members of Sentella, an organisation that has declared war on the terrifying League that rules the Ichidian universe.

Sumi Antaxasis is the best assassin the League has ever trained and failure is not an option. When she is assigned Hauk as her target, Sumi is sure of her quick and easy success.

However, things are never that easy and Hauk is far more skilled than the League thought. As Sumi hunts him down she discovers something that could not only destroy Hauk but all of Sentella.

But she has her own enemies hunting her down and suddenly Sumi's only chance for survival is to place her trust in the man she was sent to kill but is he just playing a game that could send Sumi to her grave?

Welcome back to the League! ...and to the beginning of the Reaver Era. I put this book on hold after finishing book six last month, wanting this to be the first book with my new e-reader, the Kindle Voyage, and also, because  it's the last of my League collection until May... freaking May!

It's been eight years since the first book told Nykyrian's story. He has six kids now. And he's raising them all so well. And let's not forget Syn and Shahara's son.

"I was playing with Devyn when he was a baby, and I pretended to drop him. His dad snatched him from me, and his mother shot me for it."

Yeah, you don't mess with the Sentella or their kids.

Fain Hauk, elder brother of Dancer Hauk, was disowned by his family and clan when, at the age of eighteen, he chose to marry a human. The marriage lasted two years before he discovered her infidelity and the union ended, leaving Fain disinherited and loathed by all but Dancer. Now... so many years later, it appears the woman's sister, Sumi, will be the one to bring Dancer to his knees. Oh, the familial irony.

And yet, due to Andarion custom, Dancer is sworn to wed the widow of his late brother, Keris, who fell to his death during Dancer's Endurance challenge. He's been betrothed to the bitch since he was fifteen. Has never been with a woman. Never even kissed one due to the strict code of his people concerning adultery.

After the last book's jaw dropping conclusion in which three of the Sentella members, Nykyrian, Darling, and Caillen, dropped their masks and revealed their tightly concealed identities to the League, Kyr is left with one hell of an axe to grind against them as war has been declared. He forces Sumi, through threat of her daughter's life (a daughter that was ripped from her at the moment of her birth) to gather to necessary information to seek Dancer's life. That is, info that would tie him to the Sentella.

A mere two days of being with Dancer, amidst the Endurance challenge where he alone is there to protect his nephew Darice and Nykyrian's daughter, Thia, and Sumi realizes she can't go through with it. By the middle of the book, she and Dancer have fallen in love and are doomed to death for it.

After their return to Dancer's home planet, being that Sumi put not only his life but that of Darice's in danger, it is law that Darice's mother/Keris's widow be able to claim Sumi's life in forfeit. Which she does to the royal family. That which being head by Nykyrian's mother. To save Sumi, and right the wrong done by Nykyrian's mother when she seduced his father while he was still pledged to Nyk's mother,  Nykyrian's mother adopts Sumi as her own daughter (and Fain as her own son) and the two are suddenly royalty. And no one can claim right to end the life of a royal member.

From beginning to end, this story has one hell of a transition. A serious one eighty if ever there was one. The Sentella bands together at every chance, leaving a crazy amount of characters in play. So. Many. Children. And when Sumi's daughter, Kalea, and Nykyrian's son, Jayce, come together for the first time.. pure childhood sweetness.

FYI, according to Kenyon's website via the family tree, Jayce and Kalea end up together as adults. So, too, does Nykyrian's youngest daughter, Zarina eventually marry Darling's son, Cezar. And *that* is a story I want to read!

4 out of 5 stars.

Previously in FIRST GENERATION of the series:


Introducing... Reaver V. Kindle

Five years ago, in October 2009, I received my first e-reader as an early birthday gift from my husband. It was Amazon's Kindle 2nd generation, and deemed "Corvis" after the brothers of Jean Johnson's Sons of Destiny series. Corvis served me faithfully even through the Paperwhite era, and I never once found myself tempted to upgrade. From "Divine Beginnings" to "Kiss of Snow", we shared a recorded six hundred ninety-four (at times, amazing,) literary adventures.

However, as 2014 settled in, Corvis began showing his technological age. And although my dear kindle 2 has now stepped down as my e-reader, it is with ecstatic joy that my husband has brought Corvis's brother, the Kindle Voyage, into my life.

I am so very blessed to present :::::  Reaver Voyage Kindle :::::: (after Yenrieth, aka Reaver, of Larissa Ione's Lords of Deliverance series). And yes, he got himself a photo shoot.

And if you haven't yet ordered your very own Reaver, you can do so at Amazon.com

I'm fully aware of my dork status.


Down to the hours...

Kiss of Snow (Psy/Changeling #10)

“From my perspective, it was hilarious.” -Lucas

Kiss of Snow
Nalini Signh
Psy/Changeling, book ten
ebook, 415 pages
Published August 11th 2011 by Gollancz
ISBN 9780425242094

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 the primal heart of 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.

A story, nine books in the making. Hawke is the SnowDancer alpha who lost the female that would have been his mate long, long, LONG ago. He was seven when he met her. Ten when she died. He has lived every day since, believing his one chance at forever was stolen from him. A wolf only mates once. Therefore, to Hawke, it only *chooses* once.

Sienna, a Psy, came to the SnowDancer pack after her family's defection from Silence with a death warrant on their heads nearly three years ago. She was seventeen at the time. Expecting death from the wolves, their one hope was that the children- Sienna's brother, Toby, and niece, Marlee-would be spared and taken in. Her uncles, Judd and Walker were, instead, welcomed into SnowDancer where Judd eventually mated Brenna, the sister of Riley and Andrew Kincaid, and, piggybacking this story, Walker finds his mate in the SnowDancer healer, Lara.

I'm going to share with you the moment this book got good for me.

“You wanted to talk. We’ll talk.”

Her palms went damp at that smooth, silky tone.

“I’m putting aside my ‘alpha status.’ ”

Oh, he was furious.

“So let’s see if you can win this argument.” Turning in his seat, he leaned his arm along the back of hers. “Now explain to me how you would’ve stopped a massive fistfight in the bar tonight.”

“That’s not on me,” she said, trying to breathe past the sheer power of him. “The women were an excuse—the males were itching to go at each other since the minute we walked in. They’re always playing dominance games.”

“So you knew that, and still you amped up the sexual energy in the room?”

The truck was suddenly too small, too confined, Hawke’s hotly masculine scent seeping into her very pores, touching parts of her no man had ever stroked. “It wasn’t my responsibility.”


“No.” A sudden crash of anger. “I’m not accountable for everyone! Maybe I wanted to have fun for a change. Maybe I wanted to not be in control for a few short minutes! Maybe I just wanted to dance.”

Hawke’s lashes came down. When they lifted back up, his gaze was night-glow, a brilliant ice blue shot with light. She sucked in a breath, realizing she was talking to the wolf now.

“You want to dance?” Husky words that stroked along her skin like the softest fur. She nodded. “Then we dance.”

Reaching out, he switched on the vehicle’s sound system and input a selection before stepping out.

Yeah, chick was dancing on the bar. From Coyote Ugly to Dirty Dancing in a blink. Not really. Still... Nineteen year old girl and a man many years her senior. Would have loved an exact number in that regard.

Hawke takes control to a whole new level. Oh dear gods. Call him a saint and dip him in bronze, because this guy should be idolized. He's older than Sienna. Like, my guess, decades older. And Singh does oh so well at capturing the differences in the maturity level between them. However...! This book had *way* too much going on. The constant interruptions. The staggering amount of postponements. All too much for little old me. By the end, it felt like this book had doubled in length. It's only fitting that I take a break from the Psy/Changeling world for a bit. Sheer coincidence that that was already my plan.

3 out of 5 stars. 4 stars had it gotten to the point and stayed there.

Previously in the series: