Series: Psy-Changeling #0.5, #3.5, #9.5, #10.5
Author: Nalini Singh
Page Count: 339
Published: Berkley Sensation, 2013
A good kind of distraction while I was waiting for my copy of the newest Psy-Changeling book, Wild Invitation is a collection of four stories featuring four different couples that I’m sure every fan is more than happy to read.
The first of these couples were Nate and Tamysn, the experienced lieutenant of the leopard pack and their caring healer. Since they were an established couple ever since the start of the series, it was nice to go back in time and see how they began their relationship. It is the thing with couples that are already a loving family, that you miss out on the beginning, I for one, have always wanted to read something about them, and no matter what series is, there’s usually a couple like them, and if I’m lucky, I get a book like this where I get a chance to read their story too. And it was nice to see the young Tamsyn before she became the mother figure of the whole pack, and before her kitchen became the dining hall for all cats. As for Nate, he was less the sweet and caring father and more the sexually frustrated male, and everyone loves one of those.
The second story of the book was one I was familiar with, the story of Zach, one of the senior soldiers on the leopard pack this time, and the shy human teacher he had to charm, Annie. I’ve already read their story in another anthology and really loved it, in fact, it was so cute that I read it again in this book. Zach was the usual playful cat and he didn’t have any emotional burdens of his own. He met his mate and he went straight on working to seduce her into his life. Gotta say, when those cats turn on their charm, it’s pretty much impossible to resist. And Annie couldn’t hold on much longer, and who can blame her? Both of these characters were very likable and their story was really sweet.
The next story was of Cooper and Grace, two wolves on the different ends of the dominance scale with Cooper being a very dominant, aggressive wolf, and Grace as the extremely shy submissive one. These two were an already established couple too, but so far we’ve seen only glimpses to them as a couple so we knew them less than Nate and Tamsyn, but it was all the same fun to read how they started things off. I can’t help it, I just love a great big dominant predator setting his eyes on his mate, it’s just so good to read them chase their women, and Nalini’s great writing comes into play yet again in this story I think, because the gap between the dominance level between these two is a difficult one to explain. The whole idea that even though the woman very much desires the man, the wolf might mistake that desire with submission for survival when faced with a sexually demanding dominant. However, Nalini makes it an easy read somehow, you get to understand what’s going on and why, and you can also enjoy the chase.
The last but not least of this collection was the one I was looking forward the most, I admit. The wolf pack healer sweet Lara and the oldest of the defected Psy group, Walker. Ever since I realized they were going to get together in the books, I was actually hoping for a book of their own. When they tied the knot, so to speak, in one of the books for another couple, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. As much as I enjoy the big bad wolf, or cat, there’s something very intriguing and sexy about the silent type as well. We witnessed it in Judd’s book. And even though he doesn’t really look it, Walker is as much deadly as Judd. He had to be, he had a family to protect, that is including Judd with his assassin’s ways, and we know Walker did the same for more than just his immediate family. So naturally I wanted to get into his head, discover more about him, know more, and see how he came to care for Lara, and the way he loved his family. And this story gave us that. It was not just how Lara and Walker dealt with things after they mated -because that was the timeline of the story- it was how they dealt with being mated, how they overcame the painful past and the vulnerable present, but mostly, I think it was more about Walker finally breaking his shackles that tied him for so long, and learning to love in his own way, without limitations. I loved this story, it brought tears to my eyes, and it left me hungry for even more.
A great collection for those who love the Psy-Changeling world, and a five spoon addition to my hodgepodge.
Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh:
- Slave to Sensation
- Visions of Heat
- Caressed by Ice
- Mine to Possess
- Hostage to Pleasure
- Branded by Fire
- Blaze of Memory
- Bonds of Justice
- Play of Passion
- Kiss of Snow
- Tangle of Need
- Heart of Obsidian