Tangle of Need Hardcover – May 29 2012
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"The alpha author of paranormal romance."
"Nalini Singh is a master of her craft."
About the Author
Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China and the temples of Japan, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer.
Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand. For contact details and to find out more about the Psy-Changeling series, please visit her website www.nalinisingh.com.
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Much to my delight, for the third straight book, Ms. Singh focuses attention on the SnowDancer pack, a wolf-changeling pack that is one of the two powerhouses of the western US (the other is the DarkRiver Leopard pack). Tangle of Need opens a short time after the explosive (literally) conclusion of the previous book, Kiss of Snow. Two wolves that have been in the peripheral are now thrust into the spotlight. Riaz is a lone wolf, who has recently returned to the home den. Likewise, Adria has also recently return home after a failed relationship left her a bit broken. The two are both dominate wolves and have a tough time getting along. However, their fiery attraction cannot be denied!
Overall, Riaz and Adria have a wonderful Changeling courtship. Their volatile nature leaves them alternating between lust and frustration, desire and denial. Right from early on, their exchanges are smart and sensual, and always full of passion. At times there is so much sexual tension and simultaneously anger between them that I could feel the tension internally. I actually wanted to cower from the display of dominance. Ms. Singh understands these feelings so well and is a master at conveying it on the page.
Even with the excitement and fervor, I had a tough time connecting with Riaz and Adria and the story in general. There is a lot that is going on in this book. First - major sections of the story are focused on newly mated SnowDancer leader, Hawke and his dangerous X-Psy, Sienna. I enjoyed their story immensely (Kiss of Snow), but their "intrusion" into this book fell flat for me. I felt that there was too much attention on this couple that just had a whole book. And while some of the passages are interesting or sexy, several are not necessary for moving the overall plot forward, and reading them drained me. And while it is good "slice of life" story telling, I just didn't feel the heat between them like I did in the previous book. Several times I almost wanted to skip their sections and get on with the story.
Another factor that I felt kept me from connecting was the introduction (or re-introduction) of MANY new characters. There are so many new names and it was overwhelming trying to keep track of who is who (there is a handy glossary in the front of the book, though). Not only does the reader need to focus on several new SnowDancers, there is a new Changeling pack introduced, the Human Alliance rears its head again, and of course there are all of the Psy the reader must keep straight. In addition, there are a few times when the Changelings go over logistics for training, security, etc. and I felt completely lost.
I question the introduction of the water-based Changeling pack, BlackSea. They contacted SnowDancer to form an alliance. Meetings are conducted, and the reader is only mildly informed of the on-going situation. What really frustrated me is that in the end (of the negotiations), we are told the SnowDancers discovered the reasons why BlackSea reached out (after being secluded for a long time), but the reasons are never made clear to the reader. I felt this side-story wasn't well developed and gave the book almost a "transition" feel to it.
Although I had a difficult time connecting to the story, there are many gems within Tangle of Need. One side storyline involves my favorite couple, Mercy and Riley. Another is a short dialogue between the Psy twin sisters, Amara and Ashaya in which Amara questions her own mental stability. The scenes with Psy counselor Kaleb Krychek and the Psy Arrow squad are interesting, slightly revealing and leave you wanting to know so much more.
As the book progressed and Riaz and Adria move forward in their relationship, I did become more attached to the couple and story. But it did take over two-thirds of the book to get there. And even after you think that they are going to make it, both have to confront their past in order to move forward. I will admit, I was dreading that part of the book, but Ms. Singh's handling was nothing cliche or contrived.
After it was all said and done, I struggled a bit with the rating for this book. In the end, I liked it. Adria and Riaz are a great couple, and I love how hard he fights for her and them. I love the moment when she realizes her future is in her own hands. But it took a long time to get there. The book is filled with new characters, or peripheral ones that now have more book time. It is filled with a lot of political maneuvering. It is filled with a lot about Sienna and Hawke. There was a lot of jumping around, and I just couldn't focus and develop an attachment to the primary couple and story for a long time.
In the end I am giving Tangle of Need a B+. It is a good story and there is a lot of development in the Psy wars. I am excited to see what will happen next (especially with how the book ended!) Maybe in time, with a reread, I may bump to an A-, because after all, it is Psy/Changeling... I adore this series and really, there is never a bad story. The passion found in the wolf pack is sensual and although it took a while to find me, it was still there.
There is nothing simple about the relationship between Riaz and Adria. Their scars run soul deep, so there are things that need to be confronted and wounds that need to heal before moving forward. Riaz is dealing with rejection from his mate, while Adria has made a break from a relationship with a man who was her inferior and it took a real toll on her heart. The range of emotions they feel over the course of the book for each other and themselves runs from angry and sad to happy yet cautious. Their time shared alone where my favorite moments of the book because it showed a side of them few got to see. Riaz was surprisingly romantic yet commanded Adria's body in a way that satisfied her need for dominance. Adria had a playful side I wouldn't have guessed she had and was able to help Riaz in a way no one else could.
The question for me was, would Riaz be able to love Adria unconditionally and not see her as the consolation prize. I thought this would be a difficult task because having them conveniently get over the hurt and fall head over heels for each other would have been too easy and unworthy of such a well written series. But Nalini Singh did a wonderful job of handling the relationship in a way that fit perfectly for the characters, the series and in the end, made this fan happy.
Another couple in the spotlight is Hawke and Sienna. The alpha couple is still settling into mated life and the events that take place in this book, whether big or small, reinforces their relationship. I'm always happy to see Hawke and Sienna and I really liked that the time devoted to them didn't take away from Riaz and Adria's time needed to develop their relationship. We do see other familiar changeling faces and there's a sweet surprise from one of my favorite couples that left a silly smile on my face.
In Tangle of Need, the changelings and Psy are dealing with the aftermath of what occurred in Kiss of Snow. The Psy Council is inching closer and closer to its end and the Arrows are playing more of a prominent role in things. There's not so much a huge decisive battle as there are strategic moves that impacts a great many people. What's going on within the Psy is growing more intense as the series continues and I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds.
Tangle of Need was fantastic from start to finish. This series is a great example of how paranormal romance can be done right and this latest installment really drove that point home. Definitely recommend this series and highly suggest you go back and start from the beginning.
First, the characters Riaz and Adria never came alive for me. At all. Their relationship seemed to violate every rule of mating and I was disappointed that they would settle for no mating bond. Perhaps Singh will have them develop one in future books but by then it will be too late for me to care. I love Hawke and Sienna but their inclusion in this book just seemed like repetition: You're mine, Yes I am, lets have sex. Ditto, ditto, ditto.
And then there are the dozens of other characters thrown around. They were just names on a page and I could never relate or even care what was happening.
Frankly, this book just bored me senseless.
I've said it time and again, when it comes to Nalini's Psy-Changeling books, I can't praise them enough. I've enjoyed some more than others, but with Tangle of Need, Nalini is again tying up loose ends and the countdown has begun to finish this series with what will be explosive results. For me it's no longer about the primary romance. It's all the steps, very concentrated and planned out steps, to the final outcome of the Psy community and how the changelings and humans will rise up and defeat the silence the Psy has created as their idea as to what peace and harmony should be. There's big cracks within the Psy community and with their leaders. This is shown in Tangle of Need as we see plans for the battle that's going to have a massive ripple effect for everyone involved. But as everyone trains for this upcoming battle, and the knowledge things are going to get very difficult and deadly, there are moments of tranquility shown through friendships, family and the relationships Nalini has created with her cast of characters.
The primary couple here from the Snowdancer pack with Adria and Riaz who are at odds with one another. These two don't have a high opinion of one another, but have this crazy attraction where they can't stop thinking about each other and want to act on it. Both fight hard, and when they have time to play, they don't want their emotions involved when it comes to sex. But as we know, when two characters like Adria and Riaz get it on, their hearts will soon be intertwined. The moment these two engaged in a hot and heavy and sexual relationship, it's beyond smoldering, more so than any other couple Nalini has created. Adria and Riaz have enough passion to fill an Olympic size pool. Their love scenes are incredible, but at times I had trouble connecting with them on an emotional level. They didn't really fly off the page for me. I had more of an interest in all the other on-going stories such as Sienna and Hawke's mating ceremony and their life after their HEA in Kiss of Snow. Whereas I was a tad disappointed in Kiss of Snow, this time around I was completely hooked on Sienna and Hawke.
Many alliances have been formed within the changeling packs. We also gain more insight on the Arrows, Judd and the mysterious Ghost that has become a fan favorite. The biggest question in this series is the Ghost's identity. It's come down to two possible characters for me. Knowing how sneaky Nalini is, I'm probably totally off base regarding the Ghost, but when it's revealed who the Ghost is, which I think will be in the next book, it will be well worth the wait.
Nalini's writing improves with very book she publishes, and I always end up wanting more. Gimme Gimme now is my motto here. I'm beyond addicted to any scene with Kaleb, who is not what he seems and is slowing cracking emotionally as he has become obsessed in his search for a mysterious "her". I have an idea who "her" is mainly because of something special Kaleb possesses. This is a big clue (reminds me of Eve's button Roarke keeps on him at all times from JD Robb's In Death series). There's a mega, jaw dropping reveal concerning him, so much so that I'm on pins and needles wondering... as to what I'm wondering... I can't say, but it's one of the biggest spoilers (beside who the Ghost is) here, and what I believe will be a game changer when all is said and done when Kaleb gets what he wants.
Tangle of Need really kept my interest and shocked me silly with a cliffhanger of an ending that had me gasping for breath. Thank you Nalini, for making me lose my breath and beyond anxious (more so than any other book before it) for the next book in this series I can't get enough of.
Bunches of filler, weak plot, boring read. I only finished it because I spent $13.00 on it.