Every Changeling longs for the gift of a mating bond, to know that their partner is theirs completely for life. Except for SnowDancer wolves Riaz and Adria. Lieutenant Riaz has found his mate, but she's married - happily - to someone else. While Senior Soldier Adria has had her heart broken so badly she doubts she'll ever trust a man again.
Having both returned to the SnowDancer den to lick their wounds, the last thing they want is to get involved with each other. Except the attraction between them is so strong, and all wolves need to touch...
The Psy-Changeling series is back for its eleventh instalment, continuing the recent focus on the wolves. Riaz is a gorgeous lone wolf, charming, smart and dominant, but best known for going his own way. Adria is a dominant female with strong nurturing instincts, but is emotionally battered and heart-worn. Though they frequently snap and snarl at each other, there's no denying their chemistry - or their ability to heal each other. Whatever else is going on with their hearts, they make a dynamic pair.
But this story isn't just about them. There's a lot of Hawke and Sienna scenes as we see how they're coping after the events of Kiss of Snow
, while the intriguing Psy Councillor, Kaleb, also gets a fair chunk of story as his mysterious search draws towards its end. We also see more of the Arrows, Aden and Vasic, as they try to deal with the deepening fractures in the Psynet. And those are just the main side plots - there are plenty more appearances from old characters, but the Riley and Mercy scenes are my favourites.
With civil war on the Psynet growing ever closer, this book felt more like it was laying the foundations for future conflicts, than settling anything new. Danger threatens on several fronts, but very little is actually resolved, despite so much going on.
Packed with further character developments and world-building, at times Riaz and Adria were almost lost beneath the weight of everything else. Yet their story is important in terms of what happens when Changeling relationships don't go quite as expected. Even though at times their emotional conflict did verge on growing repetitive, there's enough heat and tenderness to put them on a par with others in the series - if they hadn't had to share so much space with everyone else.
A solid continuation to this excellent series, bridging the gap between the old story arc and the new, I can't wait to find out where it all goes next.