Author: Nalini Singh
Page Count: 400 pages print version (I read the Kindle version)
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me
50 words or less: The moment we've been waiting for for a long time- Hawke and Sienna finally have it out. Also, the war with the Psy finally explodes and a surprise secondary romance pops up as well.
I've been waiting for this book for a long time. It was beyond difficult to get up after a holiday weekend and go to work knowing that this baby was waiting for me on my Kindle, but I managed, and I'm happy that this book did not disappoint. I'm always nervous when a favorite author makes the jump to hardcover but this is a case where I'm happy that I stayed on board and bought/read the book right away; waiting for the paperback release is just an exercise in torture.
The primary storyline is definitely the blossoming relationship between Hawke and Sienna, or rather, the realization of a blossoming relationship that's been in the works for awhile now. Both characters have a lot of Issues to overcome before they can be equal partners in a relationship; Sienna is 19 and thinks she's a mass murderer waiting to happen (which, if not for her iron control of her abilities, is not that far from the truth) and Hawke is in his 30s, the alpha of the SnowDancer pack, and thinks his only shot at true love died when he was a kid. There is emotional baggage in spades in this book, and reading about how these two overcome that baggage to become a power couple in their own right was fun and exactly what I thought it would be.
Sienna, despite having been Silent for so long and at such an early age and being an X-Psy, which is a truly freaky designation, is the emotional powerhouse in the relationship and Hawke is completely gobsmacked by her. I loved that Sienna didn't allow life to just happen to her or to allow other people's decisions to bind her. Hawke tried to push her away and Sienna just put on her dancin' shoes and went out with her friends, knocking every guy she met for a loop in the process. Hawke gets a call to come get Sienna and her friends out of a bar before they cause a riot, and this is the first thing I thought of as I read that part:
Well, Sienna was stone cold sober, but that's beside the point.
Anyway, Sienna was totally right in calling Hawke's bluff and in saying that if Hawke didn't want a relationship with her then he needed to accept the fact that him not wanting her didn't mean other guys didn't. She made it very clear that she was not a plaything and that Hawke needed to do right by her and I loved her for it.
Sienna's strong presence in the emotional arena of their courtship was a good balance to Hawke's waaaay more extensive sexual experience. Hawke and Sienna came from two totally different backgrounds when it came to sensuality and touch in relationships; historically, Hawke's been able to shy away from any kind of commitment simply by knocking his lady friend's socks off in the sack. For Sienna, it's a package deal, and Hawke wasn't able to hide from her for long.
I found the explanation of the sticky situation of Hawke supposedly having been mated before and therefore, according to the rules of this world, never being able to mate again, realistic, although I will totally lay down the gauntlet and say that if that logic works for Hawke and Sienna, then Riaz is totally entitled to his own happily ever after too. Just saying.
The war with the Psy, which has been percolating away in the background of the past few books, finally explodes into the open here. The added component of the fractured Psy Council, interesting revelations about Nikita Duncan and her motives for her past actions, speculations about just what in the blue hell Kaleb the Mystery Councilor is up to, and revelations about just how big of a bastard Councilor Ming LeBon truly is all worked together to keep the pace of the story cooking right along.
And the added information about the members of the Arrow Squad? How very interesting.
I am thoroughly satisfied with the way this book left me feeling at the end. I think that Hawke and Sienna are going to drive each other absolutely bonkers and that's okay- I see many amusing snippets in future books as a result of these two. My love for this series only gets stronger with time, but now I have to wait for the next book to come out!
Overall Grade: A+