"This series just keeps on getting better with each new release!"
With this Psy-Changeling story, we're back with the
DarkRiver pack. When M-Psy Ashaya Aleine saved two children
from further torturing—children adopted by Talin and Clay—
she was owed a favor. Now she knows it's time to collect on
that favor. See, Ashaya has planned to run away from the
underground lab she's being kept in, from the project she's
been working on to create chips to implant in Psy brains.
Ashaya knows these chips are not to create a hive mind;
their true purpose is to have all the Psy controlled by a
select few and Ashaya wants no part of it. Instead of
working on her project, she's been perfecting a particular
poison. But before she will put her plan into action,
Ashaya must know her son will be safe, so she has the
DarkRiver pack kidnap him and take him to safety. Since
Ashaya knows how the Changelings feel about children, she
knows they will keep Keenan safe. After Keenan is safe,
Ashaya acts sick and is teleported to a clinic for a check-
up. Once there, Ashaya pulls a chip out of her organizer
and swallows it. After all, she coated it with her special
poison. And so, to all outward appearances, Ashaya dies.
When she comes to, she finds herself in a morgue and a
fellow rebel gives her clothes and a backpack filled with
certain items. After Ashaya cleans off the chip and stashes
it, a Tk Psy shows up and teleports her into the middle of
a woods. And not just any forest, but right in the middle
of lynx territory. These are real cats, not Changelings and
Ashaya is forced to climb a tree.
Dorian is not a normal leopard Changeling Sentinel. Ever
since he was two, he found out his gene was latent and he
would never be able to shift into his leopard, even though
he can constantly feel it clawing to get out. In order to
compensate, he became an overachiever and excelled at
everything until he's become the DarkRiver sniper. But
that's not the only thing Dorian is dealing with. His baby
sister was one of the Changeling women Enrico tortured and
killed. Her body was still warm when Dorian found it. Ever
since that time, he's hated all Psy—and in particular the
Council—with a passion, even though he's managed to accept
Faith and Sascha as pack. So he still doesn't understand
why he didn't take the shot when he had Ashaya in his
sights. Now he's kidnapping her son, but what he doesn't
expect is bonding with Keenan. With the exchange of their
blood—they both had open wounds—Keenan is brought into the
Web of Stars, the DarkRiver Netmind. They take Keenan to
the pack healer, but Dorian knows the two of them are
bonded. When he receives a call about an intruder in the
lynx territory, Dorian goes to check it out and finds none
other than Ashaya Aleine. For some reason, she doesn't have
the metallic stink of the Psy, instead she smells pretty
good and Dorian is attracted to her. When Dorian reports
in, Lucas—the DarkRiver Alpha—puts him on guard duty for
Ashaya, not that Dorian minds. After all, he is somewhat
possessive of her.
But Ashaya has secrets and Dorian is determined to learn
them all. He's also determined to get her to break Silence,
little knowing Ashaya has never really been under Silence.
What secrets is Ashaya withholding? Just how much danger is
she in? Does she even care about Keenan, much less love
him? Are these two mates and will their relationship even
have a chance? Why does Ashaya refuse to leave the PsyNet?
HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE PSY-CHANGELINGS, BOOK 5 proves that
sequels can be every bit as good as the first book in a
series. Nalini Singh once again weaves her magic in
bringing these two very wounded people together. Not only
does Ashaya have to deal with her feelings for her son, her
twin, and Dorian, but she has to keep her son safe and she
will do anything and everything to ensure he is. Then we
have Dorian, dealing with the fact he's a latent and will
never be able to change into his leopard, but also trying
to deal with the fact his mate is a Psy and all the guilt
that entails. The ending of this book really made the whole
story. Yes, I cried. While all of the PSY-CHANGELINGS books
are filled with emotion, bit by bit they also expose more
of the plot behind the series. I just can't wait to see
what develops next! This is a fantastic series and I highly
recommend it. In fact, I've even got my mother reading it.
Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted September 4, 2008
**2008 PEARL NOMINEE - BEST SHAPESHIFTER**
**A PNR Staff Top Pick & Reviewer Recommended Read**
Now, as the deadly Psy Council tightens its grip, a rebel Psy scientist finds herself at the mercy of a changeling who has sworn vengeance against her kind...
Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy--cool, calm, emotionless...at least on the surface. Inside, she's fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.
DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard's rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian's agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules...
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifters, Psychics
Psy/Changeling reading order per author's website:
*This novella was written to stand alone so you can pick it up at any stage in the series.
- Slave to Sensation (September 2006)
- Visions of Heat (March 2007)
Free short story: The Cannibal Princess
- Caressed By Ice (September 2007)
- “Beat of Temptation” in An Enchanted Season (October 2007)*
- Mine to Possess (February 2008)
- Hostage to Pleasure (September 2008)
- “Stroke of Enticement” in The Magical Christmas Cat (October 2008) *
Free short story: A Gift for Kit
- Branded by Fire (July 2009)
- Blaze of Memory (November 2009)