I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Berkley on August 23, 2016
Source: the library
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Also by this author: Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel’s Enigma, Shards of Hope, “Fairy Balloons”, "An Unexpected Guest”, Allegiance of Honor, "The Song of the Wolf", Silver Silence, Archangel’s Heart, Archangel’s Viper, Ocean Light, "Elena's School of Horror", Cherish Hard, "Ain’t No Party Like A Bear Party", Archangel's Prophecy, "One Night At The Refuge", "Secret Things", Rebel Hard, Rock Hard, Wolf Rain, "Clean and Dirty", "Wolf School", "Naya’s Most Important Visitors", "Grocery Shopping", "A Gift for Kit", "Movie Night", "Kaleb and Sahara’s Meeting with Sascha and Lucas", "Housewarming at the Orchard", "Christmas in the Kitchen", "Stalking Hawke", "Romancing Drew", "Sunday Morning", "Rowan", "Baubles & Ben"
Four short stories in the Psy-Changeling paranormal romance series and revolving around the emotionless Psy and the passionate changelings.
“Echo of Silence”, 2.5
“Partners in Persuasion”, 11.5
“Flirtation of Fate”, 12.5
“Echo of Silence”
A sadly sweet tale that takes place beneath the sea involving a shy woman who has been cut off by her family and gets to know her station commander when he invites her to aid him in a search-and-rescue effort. It’s an interesting take on a Psy, as I’m finally getting around to reading “Echo of Silence”, and I’m surprised that Stefan was accepted with his flaws. Must be that Tk ability of his. It’s definitely not the experience other Psy have had. Singh’s Psy world has been pretty vicious about weeding out defectives.
The really sad part is Tazia’s father. He’s so supportive of her studies, but he’s still stuck in thinking she should be happy with a smaller life.
…the deep-sea station where Stefan Berg is the telekinetic Psy station commander and an unofficial Arrow. Stefan’s mother had been a respected M-Psy, a medic. Andres is the junior geological oceanographer. Dr Night is a water changeling, and he heads the research team. Allie Livingstone is the station’s chief counselor. Courtney, Dr Avril Lee, and Trev (who snores loudly) are fellow crew.
Tazia Nerif is a human engineer who leaves no stone unturned. Teta Aya is Tazia’s grandmother. Jefim and Kaya Nerif are her parents. Mina is a friend in her village. Kabir, the son of her father’s friend, was meant to be Tazia’s husband. Tazia has a brother who is married and has a son.
The Silence Protocol was implemented 100 years ago to save the Psy. It isn’t working.
Both past and present are here, as Dorian reflects back on how hard his childhood was as a latent leopard, and how it influenced him to achieve. In today, he plays as both leopard and human, now that he can change — and Lucas finds out! I love how Dorian “discovers” his leopard is accepted by his packmates.
Childhood and the Teen Years in DarkRiver
Dorian “Blondie” is a leopard changeling who can’t change. Kylie is his little sister. His playmates and friends include Emmett, Mercy as his best friend, Barker, Lucas, and Vaughan. Lachlan is the alpha. Shayla is the pack healer and Lucas’ mother. Zeph is a human and good enough to be Lachlan’s sentinel. Clay is accepted into DarkRiver.
Today in DarkRiver…
…after Ashaya “Shaya” Aleine, Dorian’s mate (Hostage to Pleasure, 5), repairs his genes. Dorian has become a DarkRiver sentinel. Keenan is Shaya’s son. Noor is Keenan’s best friend. Tamsyn is the healer, trained by Shayla. Nate is Tamsyn’s mate. Lucas is now the alpha. Hawke is the wolf pack alpha.
“Partners in Persuasion”
Sweet and a bit annoying. Overtly, it focuses on the replanting of a part of the forest that was destroyed in a battle with the Psy when Sienna revealed her power. The underlying theme explores the truth of submissives — I do love how Felix demonstrates both his submissiveness AND his dominant side. Yeah, who knew?! And who knew how many different scenarios Singh could come up with to promote Felix! And I love, love, love that Singh focuses on each person’s character. Sure, both of the primary characters are gorgeous, but it’s not what they each focus on.
So the annoying part is how obsessed Felix is about his past experience with a dominant. One. Just one, and he’s nutso. There is an interesting tidbit about SnowDancer’s self-sufficiency in fruit, vegetables, and flowers.
…a pack of wolf changelings, with Hawke as alpha. Sienna is his mate. Indigo is a lieutenant. Drew, the pack’s tracker, is one of Felix’s friends and Indigo’s mate. Ben is still a sweetheart of a cub. I love Ben’s idea of what’s not a bath…! Ava is Ben’s mom. Lara made cake. Spence has baby duty. Is he Ben’s dad? Nell is one of the maternal females. Cooper (Wild Invitation: “Declaration of Courtship”, 9.5).
Felix Grady is a submissive wolf (and former high fashion model) and the horticultural expert who is in charge of the reforestation. Madison is his sixteen-year-old sister.
“Every member of SnowDancer had value. That was why it was such a strong, stable pack.”
…a pack of leopard changelings, with Lucas Hunter as alpha. Ria is mated to Emmett (Burning Up: “Whisper of Sin”, 0.6). Annie. Barker. Tamsyn is their healer, mated to Nate. Mercy is mated to a wolf, Riley, Drew’s older brother. Jamie is a fellow soldier.
Desiree “Dezi” is a young dominant soldier. Her father, Harry, is a ranger in charge of the flora in the territory. Meenakshi is Desiree’s mother, a petite classical dancer. Sonal “Sonu” is Desiree’s younger sister, who is currently roaming the world, bungee jumping.
Wild is a popular dance club. Amore is a restaurant where one can dance; it’s owned by a human woman with SnowDancer. Carisma is the woman who “crippled” Felix. Hawke and Lucas have agreed that cross-mating pairs can choose their allegiance, and neither has to change packs if they don’t want to.
“Flirtation of Fate”
It is simply meant to be. In spite of the two main characters involved, lol. Time-wise it starts with the wolves celebrating Hawke mating Sienna.
Singh is having too much fun rubbing it in that men are from Mars and women are from Venus what with the “enlightened” Kenji making such bad decisions. Poor Garnet. Poor us…Singh drove me wild with all the hints and teasing about Garnet’s anger and Kenji’s hot-cold approach to loving her.
It’s a fascinating little story with Singh providing little details to show Kenji and Garnet have known each other all their lives. It’ll take a locked-door mystery for Garnet to realize the truth about Kenji and break down his wall.
…a pack of wolf changelings, with Hawke as alpha. Riaz and Indigo are in overall command of security over their territory. Cooper runs the den at the other end of the San Gabriel range.
Garnet Sheridan is a lieutenant who runs the Los Angeles den from her base in the Santa Ana Mountains; she also specializes in finance, working with Cooper to keep SnowDancer investments strong. Ruby is Garnet’s very pregnant older sister; Tex is her mate. Steele is Ruby’s twin and Kenji’s best friend. Their parents had a total of four sets of twins and Garnet. Jasper is one of those twins and is in Alexei’s sector; Jasper’s mate is carrying twins. Grandma Maisey is a friend of the Sheridan’s maternal grandmother.
Revel is Garnet’s right-hand man, an engineer…and her current love interest. Pia is Rev’s twin and good with scheduling. Grace is Revel and Pia’s younger, very submissive sister. Lara is their head medic with Lorenzo as her deputy. Gavin is another medic. Eloise is a young soldier. Felicia is supposed to teach a combat class. Yejun is in charge of the junior soldiers; Sabrina is his mate. Mitchell, Cameron, Josephine, and Roan are more soldiers.
Russ Carmichael is a loner math professor who has to be in control. He was also Eloise’s senior advisor. Chase is Eloise’s love interest. Athena, a talented artist, had been his long-term love who recently broke it off. Julie is Athena’s friend. Shane loves to collect knives. Sam, Kerian, Ju, and Tanya are human packmates, adopted into the pack.
Lieutenant Kenji “Casanova” Tanaka specializes in international law with a brilliant facility for languages and runs the San Fernando Valley. He once played the violin so beautifully that it made adults weep and children dance. He’s also the point man with BlackSea. Louisa is a hairdresser and colorist who loves playing with Kenji’s hair. Emi Lucenko is Kenji’s second-in-command. Kenji’s parents, Satoshi (ever flitting between women and hobbies) and Miko (an amazing artist whose words command high price tags), split up due to their inability to not do battle with each other. Seems Kenji’s paternal grandfather is another one for the ladies. Kenji’s maternal grandfather had been human, a sailor who loved the water. His grandmother, Sobo, called him “Seawolf” and had been a SnowDancer.
Alexei is the youngest lieutenant and is in charge of the smallest den. One packmate has a wickedly funny nighttime radio show, Deja’s Delici-News. Tomás also has a region. BlackSea is a school of water changelings. In high school, Britney Matthews was a mean girl with a body. “No Brains Bacon” Barton did not impress Kenji.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a study in blues. A ripped chest leading to jeans-clad upper thighs is tinged in blue on the left. On the right is a close-up of a disembodied wolf’s face. Merging with the wolf is a pale night sky with the silhouettes of trees at the top. Below the man’s chin is a white info blurb with the author’s name in a thick white script below that. Spanning the center of the cover and his lower chest and waist is the title in a pale orange outlined in black. In a much smaller font below that is the series information also in a pale orange. At the very bottom in white is a note that there are four novellas.
The title is a Wild Embrace all right, as each story involves changelings and love.