Welcome to my Den of Delights! Please make yourselves comfortable.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

REVIEW: Hostage to Pleasure (#5 Psy-Changeling) by Nalini Singh

5 Stars!!!

Time to catch up on my reviews for this series…
“I heard the sniper’s voice against my ear when I woke today. He whispered sensual promises so savage, I can hardly believe these thoughts come from some corner of my own psyche. And yet they must. Because, at the end, he called me prey.

And told me to run.

From the encrypted personal files of Ashaya Aleine
Now why does that give me a delicious shiver?! Because it’s Dorian!! *sighs and swoons* I LOVE Dorian!!! And I loved this book and Ashaya! ^_^

Dorian, from the first moment I met him in the first book of the series, captured a piece of my heart. In Slave to Sensation, we meet Dorian when his beloved little sister, Kylie, had just been murdered by a Psy, and he was in so much pain and filled with rage. My heart just ached for Dorian.

The other pain in Dorian’s life is that he’s a “latent” leopard – a leopard who can’t shift into his animal form. In every other way - his senses, speed, strength, etc. - Dorian is a leopard. To compensate for his latency, Dorian is a high achiever, always striving to make sure he is the best. He is a super-skilled sniper, a computer genius, and is as lethal as the other sentinels of the DarkRiver leopard changeling pack, despite looking like a gorgeous surfer. Dorian, with his charming nature, portrays to the world that he has come to terms with his latency, and he mostly has…but deep down, he hasn’t really.
“When you want something so bad it hurts,” he said quietly, “and you bury it, bury it so deep that you convince yourself it no longer matters . . . and someone tells you you can have it, it's terrifying. What if you take the chance and you're wrong? What if you let yourself feel the loss and it's this huge pain and you can't put it back in the box?”
Ashaya Aleine is an M-Psy (Medical); a specialist in DNA. Ashaya never really took to the Silence Protocol, ie. the conditioning the Psy race has imposed on the race to eliminate emotion, in order to protect their society from mental degeneration and madness. But because of this, Ashaya has very strong psychic shields, and she had to carry out a ruse for her own, and her son’s, survival in the PsyNet. She is intelligent and compassionate.

Ashaya sought help from DarkRiver, the dominant leopard changeling pack in the San Francisco surrounds, to rescue her son, Keenan, after she helped them out in the previous book.

Ashaya manages to escape from the Psy research facility where she was required to work on some special projects. After she escapes, she ends up with DarkRiver - Dorian, specifically.

I loved being sucked into the electrifying sexual tension and developing relationship between Dorian and Ashaya. Dorian battles with his hatred for the Psy, and his leopard-self telling him that Ashaya is his mate; he was a hostage to his compulsion towards her. I loved the banter between these two. Ashaya is strong and doesn’t back down from Dorian, and Dorian can be both charming and demanding.

‘Her eyes opened.
Locked with his.
“Why are you watching me?” Her eyes, he saw, were not blue, not truly. They were a vivid pale gray with blue shards coming in from the outer ring to hit the pure black of her pupils. Strange eyes. Wolf eyes.
“My leopard is fascinated by you.” By her sensuous, flawless skin, her wild hair, her damn curves. He leaned in and blew a gentle breath that made a rebel tendril dance. “I dreamed of running my tongue across your skin.” He spoke to release some of the tension, to leash the beast before it broke its bonds. “Of exploring you in long, slow licks."
She didn’t break the deeply intimate visual connection. “You’re crossing lines again."
Hell yeah. It was either that or go insane. “And your heartbeat just got erratic.” The cat smiled, pleased. Ashaya Aleine wasn’t as immune to him as she liked to pretend. “What would happen if I tasted you? If I took a bite out of you?”’

*SHIVERS* Hell yeah, Dorian is insanely sexxxy!

There is plenty of hot, sexy romance, intrigue, and suspense in this one! But what I loved most was how Ashaya helped Dorian heal, and how a family was formed between her, Keenan and Dorian.

Ashaya’s son, Keenan, was adorable, and I loved watching the bond that formed between him and Dorian, with Keenan’s almost immediate trust in Dorian, and Dorian’s protective instincts toward Keenan.

Ashaya has a twin who will... Creep. You. Out. Yet the bonds of twinhood are so strong.

I’m really enjoying the world that Nalini Singh has created, with the tensions between the cold Psy, especially their governing body, the Psy Council, and their machinations, and the changelings and humans.

I admit that I enjoy watching sci-fi but not necessarily reading it, and I had found the concept of the PsyNet a little confusing, initially, but now, I am really enjoying it!

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I love how racially diverse the characters are in this series. I believe Nalini Singh’s own background of being a Fijian Indian, who moved to New Zealand as a child, and then teaching English in Japan for a few years, gave her a real appreciation of different ethnicities, and I love how she knit this into the fabric of the Psy-Changeling world. Nalini Singh has removed the prejudice against the colour of one’s skin, and instead, created a world where it is the dichotomy between cold logic versus hot emotion, and the mental/psychic versus physical/sense-driven, which breeds prejudice.
‘“Hate will destroy you,” she whispered. “It’ll destroy…us.”

He shuddered, burying his face in the curve of her neck. The electric curls of her hair cushioned him with a soft warmth that was so intrinsically female, he couldn’t hope to explain it. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he simply held her, allowed himself to hold her, to accept that she was his mate. And that she came from the very race he’d made a target of all his rage, all his pain…so that he wouldn’t have to face his own guilt.”’

“Then save me, Shaya.” He laid his heart bare, invited her to savage it.

Dropping her hand, she turned in his arms. Then, rising up on tiptoe, she cupped his face in her palms and drew him down. Her kiss was innocent, vulnerable, a caress so gentle that it made him her slave between one breath and the next.”

THANK YOU, Nalini Singh, for a wonderful addition to the series!!! 

My Dorian (Jesse Pavelka) and My Ashaya (Aishwarya Rai)

1 comment: