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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 17 June 2012
I like all of Nalini Singh's books, and this one included. However, unlike others of the series this one was a book that I could put down and pick up again later. I agree with one of the other reviewers that something was missing. While I love reading about all of the characters from the other books, in this book I felt that the story of Riaz and Adria at times took a back seat to everything else that was going on. But irrespective of this it is a good read and worth the price.
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on 27 May 2016
Another book in the Pay changing series this take place after a kiss of snow. I love the way the author carries on her story lines with main characters even though there is a new story interwoven. All the characters are there Hawke, Sienna, Lucas, Sasha, Riley and Mercy. The Pure Pay are trying to disable the net and all the main parties in San Francisco work to protect it. Through it all is the love story of Riaz, the lone wolf, who mate is married to another and Adria, Aunt of Indigo but borderline, who heart was hurt by a less dominant male. How they find love and a lasting bond that will never be a mating bond. The emotional rollercoaster of a story is so well written. BRILLIANT
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on 7 June 2012
I wish I could give this 3.5 stars rather than 4. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE Nalini Singh both this series and her Angels series,I believe completely in her characters and her world. BUT (and it is a big one) somehow this book feels like a fill-in, where the author is just biding her time and getting the story arc together for the next book.

Quick summary - we see Riaz (first seen in Play of Passion) and Adria (Indigo's sister - snape) as the central pair. We also see a lot of Hawke and Sienna (a LOT) and some of Brenna and Judd (quite a lot of 'some') and Drew and Indigo AND Mercy and Riley (and no, I'm giving NO spoilers about any news aboutany of them). While it's lovely to catch up on other members of the packs, we did see a lot (really, a LOT) of the other couples - almost more than the so-called 'central' couple.
This is part of the problem.

There is also the rather splintered story line with the fall of the Psynet: you have Kaleb chasing someone (a 'her' but it's all very mysterious and, to be honest, a bit clumsy); you have Kaleb plotting (again, all very mysterious); you have Ming plotting to get Sienna (more of this later); you have your Pure Psy (again, more later); you have your Human Alliance. It's the weaving together of these story arcs and all the couples that just makes the whole book seem very fragmented - nothing seems completely 'together'.

At the end of the last book Ming seemed to be the eminence grise controlling Henry Scott's grab for power ... now he's totally fixated on Sierra, plots to grab her and then ... he's got rid of but he's swearing revenge. Given the build up of suspense in earlier sections of the book about this, it's all very sudden and rather simplistic.

The whole story arc that started earlier on in the series (Bonds of Justice)with Kaleb looking for someone (personally I suspect it's Alice that he's looking for) is, again, all too mysterious and too unlinked with anything else that happens in the book - which makes it seem like a bolt on and a bit clumsy.

The Pure Psy - in the last book controlled by Henry Scott (and therefore possibly Ming), now controlled by a supposedly dead ex-Arrow who (again supposedly) reports to Scott ... who are now trying to destroy the Psynet by killing anchors - a new designation (A) hinted at in Bonds of Justice (and other books) - but never given a designation of their own. Apparently the Net collapses if the anchors disappear... Hmm...

Again, I love Nalini Singh - her books are autobuys for me - but this feels too disjointed, too bitty and there are some interesting continuity blips... In Play of Passion, Adria is mated but this book doesn't refer to her breaking a mating bond, it does talk about the death of a relationship, but not the breaking of a mating bond. This seems odd. Early books in this series imply that the mating bond is permanent and unavoidable ... now we find out that the mating bond is always the woman's choice and it is a choice. So either side can walk away from it. Again... hmmm... (nope, not giving any spoilers)

So ...
Is the central pairing a good one? Yes
Did I enjoy reading it? Yes
Is it as good as others in the series? No
Major flaw? bitty - doesn't hang together as a whole
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Adria and Riaz take an instant dislike to each other when they both return to the heart of SnowDancer's territory but that's more because they are both disturbed by the strong sexual appeal they feel towards each other than anything else. Both of them have reasons not to be interested in pursuing a relationship and have no intention of acting upon their attraction but sometimes chemistry can't be ignored and the pull between them is just too strong to resist for long. What starts with the promise of a no strings affair quickly turns into something so much stronger but with so many things against them do they have any chance of creating a lasting relationship?

We first met Adria in Indigo and Drew's book so we already had a pretty good understanding of her relationship with her ex Martin. It wasn't a happy relationship, Martin resented Adria's strength and dominance which led to problems between them and meant Adria was constantly trying to change her personality to make him happy. It's no surprise that she's come out of that relationship wary, no matter how badly things ended up she had loved Martin in the beginning and she doesn't want to risk putting herself into a similar situation again. Riaz is someone I've been wanting to know more about ever since we first met him and found out that his mate was already married to someone else when he met her. He walked away from his mate because he could see that she was in love and happy but that doesn't mean his heart doesn't ache from the loss of what should have been the most important person in his life. Riaz never had a chance with his mate, they were never a couple and she doesn't even know how he feels about her but in spite of that his attraction towards Adria feels like a betrayal.

The chemistry between Adria and Riaz is off the charts from the moment they meet, they practically melted my kindle with the unrestrained desire between them so I was glad they didn't take too long to give into temptation. It was interesting to see a couple who don't have the benefit of the mating bond to strengthen the relationship between them, they fall in love but Adria finds it difficult to believe that Riaz wouldn't leave her in a heartbeat if he had a chance to be with his real mate. Riaz is the one who accepts his feelings towards Adria more easily, he quickly realises how strong their connection is and he knows that nothing would ever be able to tear them apart. He is so sweet and gentle with her and I couldn't help falling a little in love with him myself seeing how much he cares about her. Adria obviously loves Riaz too, in fact, the way she was willing to let him go because she loves him so much was more than a little heartbreaking and I was glad that they were able to work things out in the long run.

As much as I enjoyed the developing romance between Adria and Riaz I think my favourite scenes in the book were focused on Hawke and Sienna. I loved getting to see how their relationship is progressing and their mating ceremony was absolutely wonderful, they are the heart of the pack and I just love seeing Sienna grow in confidence now that she has Hawke at her side. There are also some wonderful scenes with Mercy and Riley that melted my heart a little and Judd gets another chance to shine as we learn more about both the Arrow squad and Kaleb (boy I can't wait to start his book!!). Of course it wouldn't be a Nalini Singh book if there wasn't danger and the changeling's psy enemies are definitely on the war path. Things in the PsyNet are worse than ever and Silence is on the verge of failure which will effect not just the entire psy population but also the changelings and humans. Things are getting incredibly tense and I have no idea how they can be resolved. This whole series is just packed full of amazing characters that I can't get enough of and I'm excited to find out what happens next.
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on 2 July 2012
To be honest I was expecting more from this book, especially when I read the summary, but to be honest the 'main' two character's story was overshadowed by just about EVERYTHING else.

On top of that, the whole 'mating bond' concept (i.e causes, reason, ect) seemed badly developed and just a way to justify the character's plot line (Riaz feels bad for liking Adria etc...). It just didn't seem plausible or believable (and yes, I am aware this is under the category 'fiction'.

Hawke and Sienna had more screen time (pardon the expression) than the main couple, and it would have been okay if the book had been advertised as their second book or something along those lines.....but it was not...

All in all, I was disappointed; this book is definitely not on the same level as the first books.

Still....I'll be reading the next one!
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on 20 September 2014
All the characters in the Psy Changeling are interesting and intriguing. This is no different. Brave, dangerous to his enemies but loyal and protective towards those he loves.

Great addition to this series. Look forward to the next.
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on 8 June 2012
This story revolved around the relationship between Riaz and Adria but also allowed us to catch up with other much loved characters. I enjoyed it as much as all the others and didn't feel this detracted from spirit of the series.
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on 16 June 2012
The Psy Changeling series has kept me wanting more at the end of each tale. This installment is no different. I'm desperate to see how Alice's awakening fits into everything and which side of the fence Kaleb is really on.
It's complex storylines and the re visiting of many of the series' characters leaves you with a well rounded story that has more twists and turns than a fairground ride.
Adria is so hard on the outside that it took me a while to see that very vulnerable and damaged inner shell. She wears her armour well and Riaz with his "have at it" attitude just wears that down with romance and the subtlety of a bull in a china shop! I loved it.
My only criticism-if that's what it is- would be that with such a long time between each book, I found that I had to really concentrate on the story to enable me to have a good grasp of what it was trying to say. It's not a book you can put down, wander off and then return to. Mind you, I'm one of those that has to read until I fall alseep or else I dont feel I've done the book justice!! Oh and Henry Scott-should have been a long drawn out death-he was such a baddie!!
Roll on Book 12, hint hint Ms Singh!!!
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on 13 June 2012
This latest in the Psy-Changeling series lives up to the rest. After the explosive mating of Wolf Alpha Hawke and Psy Sienna, Nalini Singh opened the way to allow those pack members not having found their 'mate' to still have a rewarding, passionate and loving stable relationship. I was a little disappointed that even though Riaz had not had the mating bond snap into place with his lost love, unlike Hawke he was not allowed to have a second chance of the bond with Adria. Nonetheless it was a good story and the glimpses of Hawke and Sienna were delightful, the progression of their story within the broader context of Riaz and Adria was good to read.

Other news (which I won't spoil for those who've not yet read it) was great too and I hope we hear more of that in the new books.

All in all another great tale from Nalini Singh and well worth reading.
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