I have been anxiously awaiting the sixth Psy-Changeling novel by Nalini Singh and Branded by Fire was just as awesome as I knew it would be.
Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to possess her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons; the problem is that he’s a wolf, she’s a cat, and they’re both used to being on top.
But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped from DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together to track the young man—before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it’ll leave them both branded by fire…
I have to say that I was eagerly awaiting this release and it didn’t let me down. For the first time, we have a mating dance between two changelings instead of a changeling and a Psy or a changeling and a human. We get to delve deeper into the changeling mating mentality since we’re not having to deal with any of the other cultures. I have to say this new look is utterly fascinating and Singh weaves some mean tension for her two dominant sentinels. The chemistry between Riley and Mercy is spectacular and considering the attitudes of the wolves and cats, and the fact that both of them are pretty high up in their hierarchy, the interactions between the two tend to border on the insane and amusing, all at once. It was great watching these two duke it out between each other and figure out where they could step and where they couldn’t.
As for the plot, I have to say that it’s not as heavy intense as we’ve seen in the past. This, however, worked so beautifully and didn’t take away from what we’ve grown to love with this series. In fact, the idea that the plot was way more secondary than previous novels let us focus more on Riley & Mercy instead of getting drawn in to whatever the Psy Council was doing. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely some intrigue going on, and we do have a few action moments, but nothing like what we’ve seen in the first five novels. Instead, we’re given a more subtle maneuvering that seems to be setting us up for something major to happen in future books. I’m not sure what that is yet, but it definitely seems like Branded by Fire was setting something bigger up. I’m thinking the problems the changelings have faced so far are going to get expontientlly worse or at least it seems that way since they are constantly gaining allies. Either way, this concept worked really well since Riley and Mercy were able to indulge their inner beasts at times and it still gave Singh a way to set something in motion.
Overall, I really loved the new addition to the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh. Branded by Fire was just as hot as I had hoped it would be and has left me craving for me. Seriously, for anyone looking for a great paranormal romance, then you really need to check out this series. Singh is one of my auto-buy authors and she hasn’t let me down yet.
Slave to Sensation (excerpt)
Visions of Heat (excerpt)
Caressed by Ice (excerpt)
Mine to Possess (excerpt)
Hostage to Pleasure (excerpt)
Branded by Fire (excerpt)
Blaze of Memory – 11/3/2009