on 6 September 2007
In Caressed by Ice we catch up with characters first introduced in Slave to Sensation - the first book in the series. Brenna Kincaid is still feeling the aftershocks of her abduction and fears the full extent of what the abuse and torture may have done to her. She becomes increasingly drawn to Judd Lauren one of the Psy taking refuge with the Wolves. But he cannot feel emotion and she cannot contain hers. Will they find a way to make a future together.
This is my favourite book in the series so far. I initially thought this was a more standalone story and could be appreciated without having read the previous two books. However, having finished the book I no longer think this is the case. Although CBI takes place away from the leopards, at the Snow Dancer wolf pack, the overall arc of the Psy/Changeling story has some major developments here which I think are best appreciated having read Slave to Sensation and Visions of Heat. Plus both sets of protagonists from those books appear here, so I think it's beneficial to know the backstory.
I found Judd fascinating. And thought he gave a much clearer impression of what it means to be Psy. He has so much control, and underneath he's not bubbling like a volcano, he doesn't feel rage, there's just more control. With Judd you realize what Silence truly is, from someone who embraces it because they have to. Some readers may prefer the animalistic intensity of the Changeling heroes, but I liked Judd's determination to find a way to be with Brenna.
Brenna is a curious mixture of vulnerability and intense anger. Her relationship with her brothers - I loved. I thought Nalini Singh captured the sibling capacity for annoyance and affection perfectly. When things in the Changeling world start to fall apart and everyone's loyalty comes under question, this family strength almost becomes a double edged sword. And you stand with Brenna questioning exactly what her brothers are capable of.
I loved that Brenna and Judd's mating wasn't as smooth or immediate as in the previous two books. That would have been unrealistic. This was something the two of them had to puzzle out together. I liked the slow intensity of it. And I look forward to catching up with them in later books.
There was a lot of other stuff happening as well, this book was packed with information. We discover more about the wolf pack structure, and we also learn much more about the Psy in this book, including some of their history. The Psy council take their machinations to a higher level of brutality, and new alliances are formed. We get quite a lot of Kaleb, including some tidbits about his past. Nalini Singh has managed to maintain his ambiguity, I'm hoping he turns up again in Book 4. And we find out a little more about Walker Lauren, Sienna Lauren and Hawke - whose story I'm patiently waiting for, one of his conversations with Brenna is short, beautiful and heartbreaking.
Although the next book Mine to Possess isn't out 'til February. Nate and Tamsyn's story will be available as a short story in the October anthology An Enchanted Season. Which is good 'cause patience isn't really one of my virtues. :)
Slave to Sensation (Book 1)
Visions of Heat (Book 2)
on 11 June 2010
The 3rd in the Psy-Changeling series is a bit of a departure with a Psy male and Changeling female, both of whom where introduced in book 1. Where the first 2 books focused on 'broken' Psy women and their reactions to the overtly sexy and sexual changeling males, the relationship between Judd and Brenna is much more restrained in physical terms. In spite of this, or perhaps because of the more emotional connection portrayed, I thorougly enjoyed this book. I totally fell in love with Judd despite of his Psy traits and found Brenna a courageous and warm heroine. I know there are quite a few more in the series and I'm looking forward to Hawke's book which is a way down the line. If Singh can keep up the intensity and orginality of the first 3 books, I will be hooked.
on 7 June 2010
I just love Nalini Singh and her extraordinary worlds she seems to create with such ease. But after being a little bit dissapointed with "Visions of Heat", where the action and plot where kind of neglected, this book tops it again.
First, I was a bit sceptic, knowing Judd from the previous novels, unsure how he could become a lover at any point of his live, having been under seemingly stronger Silence than Faith.
But exactly this fact, and his interesting past makes ít even more interesting to read how he gets more and more intrigued by Brenna. In the other books, Silence was so easily breached, yes, Faith endured pain, but it was absolutely nothing against the difficulties Judd needs to face due to his fascination with Brenna.
But because of those difficulties, the reader gets even more sucked into the story, more as in Visions of Heat, and it is just amazing how Nalini manages to bring this struggle against Silence and something as simple as emotion to the reader, just by her written words.
This novel should be read after the first two novels "Slave to Sensation", and "Visions of Heat" because the problematic between the Psy and the Changelings is a continous one, and new problems appear in this book.
Unfortunately, as much as I just loved Judd in this book, and felt for him, Brenna couldn't get my heart as easily. Therefore, even if this book is the best plotwise, I like the pair of Lucas and Sascha still more than Brenna and Judd. But also Brenna has her good sites and there are enough so that the reader doesn't just symphatize with Judd.
All in all, this is just another evidence, that Nalini Singh is a master in fantasy and her imagination is soooo refreshing, that I can't wait what other amazing worlds she will create throughout her further life as an author.
on 26 September 2007
I really loved "Slave To Sensation", the first book in this series (Psy/Changeling) by Nalini Singh. However the follow-up, "Visions Of Heat", although a good read wasn't at the same level. However the teaser chapter at the end of that book for the third in the series, "Caressed By Ice", made it look interesting. And indeed it was, Nalini Singh is definitely back to form, in fact in some ways this book is even better.
The first two books have focussed on female protagonists who are members of the Psy race, a kind-of Mr Spock emotionless but permanently in a Mind Meld group of superhumans. They are permanently attached to the PsyNet and are told that if they leave the Net they will die. However in the first two books our heroines discover this isn't entirely true, that functioning of the PsyNet in 'Silence' often covers up great crimes and that they are able to leave - with the help of their changeling mates, of course.
"Caressed by Ice" took us in a slightly different direction because the heroine, Brenna, is one of the wolves and the hero, Judd Lauren, is a Psy. He and some members of his family were introduced to us in the first book and we learned more about them in the second. However in this book we really begin to understand about Judd and his role within the Psy - that of assassin. Judd has very special Psy powers which mean that if he ever breaks Silence he will probably kill those around him at the first moment of any stress. Brenna is a damaged wolf after she was kidnapped and tortured in the previous book in the series and yet she finds something about Judd that calms her. Perhaps it's because he seems to be able to understand her fears about lasting effects from the attack - or perhaps there's more to it. And yet Brenna, as a wolf, needs emotion and closeness from Judd and yet for him it is fearsomely dangerous. How can this be resolved?
There are some other underlying threads in this book, we learn a little more about Hawke the Alpha of the wolves, more about the Psy council and some of Judd's activities as he continues to work as an assassin for 'The Ghost'. However the major part of this book is about Judd and Brenna coming to understanding about each other, about their own problems and limitations, about the cultural differences between Psy and Wolves and more. It's always an enjoyable read with more depth to some of the side characters than in many of the other novels and is another excellent adventure in the world that Nalini Singh has created.
I'm fairly new to this series. I only just started reading it a couple of months ago. I love this world NS has created, and in Caressed By Ice, we find out more about the Council, the Ghost and more about Brenna's ordeal from book 1. And while I enjoyed all of that, what I enjoyed most was Judd and the relationship between him and Brenna.
I have to say Judd is my type. I love that surly, remote, volcano about to blow type who finally meets his match, the one woman who pushes him over the edge. I love to see a man like that fall and fall hard. Judd is tall, dark and deadly, handsome with dark hair and black intense eyes, just piercing eyes. He's icy and remote but smoldering underneath. I couldn't wait for him to loose his cool.
Also, Judd is that wounded hero in that he has never had love or passion or closeness. No emotions at all. And his past haunts him, even if he denies that it does. Redemption was a word the author used for Judd and his past. Brenna is the wounded heroine too. I really liked her. She's been through hell when a Psy (a powerful one like Judd) kidnapped her and raped her mentally and brutalized her physically with torture. Brenna is wounded mentally, but she is still strong and spunky.
There's so much going on with these two because of where they've been and what they've been through; yet when they are together, you feel a certain tenderness and closeness between them. And I loved this. I couldn't wait for them to be together. I loved how Brenna knew she wanted Judd and how Judd really tried to resist her, believing he could not be the man she needed him to be.
I love a hot sex scene like anybody, maybe more than some, but I can do without that in a book IF the author gives me that connection and that chemistry in other ways, and NS did, completely. It's even better when that same author gives me a sex/love scene where h/H are finally letting go. And NS did this too. It wasn't overly erotic, and I didn't expect it to be, but it was sexy as hell. The sexual tension is off the charts. You can practically feel it.
Judd is like the Ice Man but he's unthawing and letting those emotions like possessiveness and jealousy and passion loose. He told Brenna that once she has said yes to him, there was no going back for her. She's his forever. I LOVE that. I loved experiencing their simmering passion, need, and longing. I really love when two characters long for each other, struggle with the desire, but soon give in to it.
I could just eat Judd up with a spoon. When Brenna tells him she wants to lick him head to toe, I'm like, know what you mean! To me, Judd is so sexy and sweet and strong, yet needy and vulnerable in his own way. He needs Brenna, and when he realizes that, and gives into that, it was special. Judd is special. I loved him and this story.
on 13 February 2011
I think this may be my favourite book so far in the Psy/Changeling series.
This installment follows closely on from the second book Visions of Heat. This time we are treated to rather a different scenario. Judd is a Psy male finding himself drawn to Changeling Brenna. Unlike the previous two Psy leads, Judd is habouring something of a secret about his past and what exactly causes him to react to any sort of emotion or feelings with pain. Brenna suffers pain of her own but hers is mental; scars left over from the brutal attacks she suffered at the hands of a killer in the last book. The story follows Brenna's attempts to hold on to her sanity and her independence and Judd's attempts to fit in whilst they both try to find a way towards each other that will not cause them pain.
I enjoyed this more than the last two books because there was a great deal more plot, more action, plus something of a mystery, all alongside the romantic angle. It was interesting to see the Psy mind from a male point of view and I found Brenna a strong female lead. I particularly enjoyed her confusion over why she felt no mating bond with Judd. The flip-side to all the additional plot was that there were fewer scenes of "hanky panky" between the two leads, but in this case I didn't find that a bad thing. This third book has left me very interested in some of the other characters; Clay and Sienna in particular. Looking forward to book 4 coming to Kindle.
On an unrelated issue- I love the new covers they are giving this series now that they are releasing new editions. Big thumbs up from me. Goodbye and fond farewell to the tacky US covers ;)
Kindle version: error-free and well-formatted so go ahead and download!
Ever since she was captured and tortured by a Psy psychopath Brenna has been struggling to put the pieces of her life back together. She may have been a victim but it takes strength to get through everything she did and come out sane on the other side. Something deep inside her has changed though and she is terrified of the new abilities she has gained, fearing that she is turning into something as evil as the Psy who held her prisoner. Visions of violence and death haunt her and when one of her pack members is brutally murdered in the same way as her dream Brenna is terrified. The only person she can turn to is Judd, he is the only one she trusts to be honest with her and who might be able to help her uncover what is happening.
Judd is an incredibly powerful Psy, one with rare abilities that make him a perfect assassin. Before he fled the Psy-Net to protect his family he was an Arrow, an elite soldier who carried out the Council's orders, no matter how terrible the things they asked of him. Now he uses his abilities to work against the Council, determined to stop them from taking Silence to the next level. The nature of his abilities make Judd an extremely powerful soldier but they also mean he is at the greatest risk of injuring someone if his emotions get the better of him. Judd is one of the Psy who embraces the Silence because he knows it will keep the people he cares about safe from his abilities. He doesn't want to break the chains and allow his emotions to the surface because he thinks he will end up hurting someone so as much as he is drawn to Brenna he is determined to keep her at arms length. Brenna isn't going to give up on him without a fight though, she knows what she wants and she will do whatever it takes to show Judd how good things could be between them.
Caressed by Ice was my favourite instalment of the series so far and there is no doubt that Judd was my favourite hero! He comes across as so cold and controlled but you just know there is so much more to him bubbling away under the surface. When he makes up his mind to go for it with Brenna there is no stopping him and he is incredibly passionate and possessive when he allows his emotions to show. I loved watching Brenna break through his icy outer layer to free the man underneath. Brenna and Judd are a fantastic couple who take time to get to know each other before they fall in love. It is harder for them to find a balance than it was for the previous couples because of the nature of Judd's abilities and the way they effect him when his emotions start to show. It isn't easy for Judd to break the hold that the Silence has on him and let Brenna under his defences. What I really liked was the way Brenna sees through the iceman act in a way that nobody else does, the other wolves have never fully accepted him as part of their pack and Judd has always deliberately kept himself at a distance from everyone else. As Judd opens up to Brenna he also starts to get to know the rest of the pack and finally begins to find his place amongst them.
Brenna has suffered so much but she refuses to break and let the man who tortured her win. She loves her pack and they brought her back from the edge but she refuses to let them keep her locked away even though they are just trying to keep her safe. I loved the relationship she has with her brothers and the SnowDancer alpha Hawke (I can't wait for his book!). Her brothers are understandably protective of her but they have started to smother her and I was glad that Hawke helped her get her freedom back. It was great to get to know more about the wolves and see the differences between their pack and the DarkRiver leopards. We are at the point in the series where we are starting to see more of the wider picture and learn about the other kinds of changelings and how the different packs all interact with each other. We are also uncovering more about just how twisted the Psy Council are and the lengths they are prepared to go to to get what they want. This series is becoming a firm favourite and I highly recommend it to paranormal romance fans.
Judd Lauren, the Psy who has appeared briefly in previous books takes a lead role. Unlike the other Psy who have severed their contact with the PsyNet and broken the protocol of Silence, Judd understands that his unique abilities, without Silence harnessing his emotions, could easily kill those he could care for.
Judd meets his match in Brenna, the young she wolf who survived a horrific attack in book 1 "Slave to Sensation". Only Judd seems to understand Brenna's strength of will yet as a Psy, he cannot give her the tactile affection she craves to fully heal from her ordeal.
Brenna's wolf may not recognise Judd as her mate, but the Ice Man is the only male she is attracted to. She seeks to break down his barriers and free him from the icy control of Silence, unaware such freedom could result in inadvertent deaths if Judd was to ever succumb to rage or anger.
This series continues to get better and better. The relationship between Judd and Brenna (both with an understandable reluctance to become vulnerable to someone) is poignant, passionate and deeply touching. Brenna is broken at the start of this book but she never becomes a victim and with Judd by her side there's no indulging in bouts of self pity. The action never lets up as Brenna is hunted by an unknown assailant plus another Changeling murder takes place and the chase is on to uncover the bad guy. This is another adventure filled, hot romance that ticks all the right boxes for a big fan of this genre.
on 30 March 2011
Judd Lauren was an Arrow, an elite soldier trained to be a merciless killer under the complete control of the ruthless Psy Council. But when Judd's family was slated for rehabilitation, a fate far worse than death for any psy, he defected and now the Laurens live hidden in SnowDancer lands. Brenna Kincaid was a happy innocent student before she was kidnapped and tortured by a Psy serial killer. Her SnowDancer pack saved her, but her scars run deep and when she begins to have visions of another killer she realises the only one who can help her is Judd.
This is the third in the Psy-Changeling series (after Slave to Sensation and Visions of Heat) which is fast shaping up to be one of my favourite paranormal romance series. In the last two books, a female psy has broken the Silence (the training that strips psy of their emotions) and fallen for a changeling. This book changes that formula to have a male psy fall for a female changeling. Brenna and Judd were both introduced in the first book and up until now have been little more than background characters, so it was great to see them get more development.
Brenna was kidnapped in Slave to Sensation and although she was rescued, it was after she had spent almost a week at the hands of a sadistic serial killer. Not only is she emotionally damaged, her abuduction has also scarred the SnowDancer pack as a whole. Judd has always seemed like he was made of ice in the previous novels, but it was great to see why he was so committed to maintaining his lack of emotions despite his defection from the psy. The whole relationship was sweet and well thought-out, and a welcome variation on the theme.
Unlike the previous books, this is also unique in that the book isn't just from Brenna and Judd's perspectives. Small sections of the book are also from Sascha, Faith and the killer's perspective as well. This could have been jarring but it was so cleverly done that there are seemless transistions between the narrators which really helps the story to advance smoothly and at a good pace.
Nalini Singh also continues her world building, gradually deepening and developing the world she has created. The idea of Arrows was introduced briefly in the last book, but the concept is fully explored here. Also developed from previous snippets of information is the new protocol for culling emotions within the Psy, basically creating a fully controllable hive mind. There is also a new plotline introduced about a renegade Psy known only as 'Ghost' who is working within the PsyNet to bring down their world from within.
All in all, this was another awesome read and I can't wait to read Mine to Possess
on 27 July 2010
OMG! I cant believe that no one ever told me about this series. This is the third chapter in the Psy/Changling series, a series which it quickly becomming one of my favourites. In this story Brenna, a wolf changeling and Judd, a psy (who we met in in Visions of Heat, the 2nd book in the series) get together despite the constant danger they are both under.
If you want a good read then this is the book, and series for you. It has passionate and engaging characters, and thumping great plot which goes at a break-neck speed and an ending that will leave you satisfied and craving the next installment.
This series is right up their with JR Ward in that the world Singh creates is interesting, engaging and flawless in its detail. The characters are wonderful and all fit well with each other despite their massive differences.
A seriousley great series. 10 out of 10 *****.