Play of Passion Paperback – May 1 2011
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Drew Kincaid is well used to long, difficult hunts as the pack tracker - responsible for reining in wolves that go rogue, giving in to their animal halves. Doing everything he can to save them and bring them back, before making that impossible choice to kill them - for the good of the Pack. But nothing has prepared him for the challenge he faces to win the heart of the one woman that he's wanted for so long.
Lieutenant Indigo Riviere is comfortable in her own skin as a dominate female, and has very specific ideas about the kind of male she should mate with. With a dreary example of what happens when a female mates with a less dominant wolf, she's surprised - and worried - when her attraction is to the most playful wolf in the pack. Her mind tells her to stop this, before it burns them both up and destroys the Pack by creating havoc in the hierarchy, but her heart starts to tell her different. And she never counted on Drew's perseverance, or his charm.
With the world ready to explode around them, Drew and Indigo find themselves playing a wickedly, hot game with each other. As the stakes grow, and their home is stalked, can they find a way to overcome everything threatening to keep them apart and save the pack too?
Passions collide in the intensely satisfying Play of Passion. If you've read any of my other reviews of Nalini Singh it's probably easy to tell that I'm a huge fan. And if you haven't, here's my disclaimer: I am a definite fan-girl for Ms. Singh. Play of Passion did nothing to change that status. In fact, as I went into the book not knowing what to expect with the first wolf/wolf pairing, she blew me away!
Drew is wickedly sensual, playful, and charming. Yet at the same time, he's most definitely a dominant, smart, observant, loyal and beyond stubborn. All of these things come together to make one deliciously perfect male. Quite simply, Drew charmed me. Every step he took towards Indigo just made my heart sigh for him.
It was awesome to see another dominant female, and the differences, after Mercy's book Branded by Fire. Indigo is definitely her own woman, and with insecurities that she doesn't even really realize she allows to affect her, she definitely touched my heart. Strong and more than capable, she's also full of love to give, and affectionate with those she trusts and cares about. Which always included Drew. But when he suddenly ratchets it up to the next level, Indigo is put off balance and struggles to regain it.
Drew isn't about to let her find it though, until she finds herself in his arms.
Beyond their romance, which is definitely the heart of the book, there are so many things that I loved about Play of Passion. Even while Drew and Indigo are dancing around, and with, each other, they both have the best interests of the Snow Dancer pack at heart. And when threats come, from both outside the den and in, they fight for what's theirs. The danger coming from inside the pack isn't the same as it was in Caressed by Ice. But it is just as important. Some of the juveniles are coming close to losing control of their wolves, and I loved seeing how Hawke, Drew and Indigo decided to handle this. How the realities of keeping the pack healthy was shown so clearly.
While they take steps to make sure they're helping those that need it within, they've also got the threat of the Psy trespassing into their lands. And it's obvious that the Psy have something awful planned. As everyone struggles to put together the puzzle pieces, allowing us to see more of Dorian, Brenna, and Judd, the risks get higher. I especially loved seeing more of Judd as he's one of my favorites. Seeing him continue his work with the Ghost, and continue in his duties as a Lieutenant for Snow Dancer was a welcome glimpse into his and Brenna's continuing life.
If you've been reading since the beginning of the series, you surely know that the tensions between the Psy and the Changelings and Humans have been skyrocketing, especially lately. There's no let up on that front in the explosively charged Play of Passion. There's a bit of a cliff-hanger at the end about this, and it's left me on edge for the next book in the series, which just happens to be Hawke's - who I've been waiting for ever since Slave to Sensation, book one.
I can't end this review without mentioning Hawke. He plays an integral part in this book as the leader of Snow Dancer and I was ecstatic to see more of him. I've long speculated, as have many others, that his mate is going to be Sienna Laurens. The scenes between them, so restrained and short in Play of Passion and yet they fairly ignited the pages with their chemistry. I. Can. Not. Wait. for their book.
Immediately upon finishing Play of Passion, which made me laugh out loud and tear up, I said: "The only thing wrong with this book is that I have to wait seven months for Hawke's." A few days after finishing it, I can safely say that sentiment is still true. Ms. Singh continues to get better and better and I can't wait to see where she goes next!
Other books in this series:
* Beat of Temptation in An Enchanted Season
* Whisper of Sin in Burning Up (Berkley Sensation)
1. Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changelings, Book 1)
2. Visions of Heat (Psy-Changelings, Book 2)
3. Caressed By Ice (Psy-Changelings, Book 3)
* Stroke of Enticement in The Magical Christmas Cat
4. Mine to Possess (Psy-Changelings, Book 4)
5. Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Changelings, Book 5)
6. Branded by Fire (Psy-Changelings, Book 6)
7. Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changelings, Book 7)
8. Bonds of Justice (Psy/Changeling)
Touch the Night blogspot
Indigo Riviere doesn't have time to play around with pack flirt and charmer, Drew Kincaid. He's declared his interest in her but he pushed too far and is too obviously looking to work off some stress in the naked and sweaty way. Problem is, he's younger than her, also dominant, and his position in the pack is...complicated. It's confusing her wolf. Hell, it's confusing her, too. She doesn't want to lose his friendship, there's no doubt he stirs her blood, but Indigo may just be too dominant to ever accept him.
Andrew Kincaid has bled for his pack and he's killed for them. His job demands it. He deals with the dark weight of responsibility by smiling, flirting, and having a good time. It's a coping mechanism, and it has its own purposes, but it doesn't for one minute mean he's the harmless young rogue Indy thinks he is. Drew is a dominant wolf who knows exactly who his mate is and he will use every bit of charm at his considerable disposal to convince the stubborn woman, no matter how long it takes. Indigo is his, and not even she can say otherwise.
Let me just get this out of the way before I go any further: Singh is one of my favorite authors, both her Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter series are two of my favorite series, and I love how she writes. I need to say that first because I this book didn't really work for me, and within the parameters of the series, it was a little disappointing. I'm not saying I think it's a bad book. In any other series by any other author, I probably would've liked it just fine, but in this series the bar has been long-since set extremely high, and this one didn't reach it for me.
First, the characters. I was a little surprised at how flat and two dimensional both Indigo and Drew seemed to me. That's nothing near normal in this series. Hell, even the characters I haven't liked since the series started have gotten more fleshed out than these two. Their relationship evolution, as well as the requisite conflicts between them, also seemed limited and lacking depth.
She's a dominant; so is he. She's older than he is, and his pack position isn't quite clear in the hierarchy of SnowDancer. That's the whole of the relationship conflict that gets hashed out throughout the romance arc of the book. Oh, and he's charming and she's stubborn.
There's something wrong when I can sum up both Singh's main characters and their relationship conflict in a couple of sentences. And this is something I never thought I'd say, but I was a little bored by the will they/won't they mating dance. It was just too limited to really seem like a question with consequences.
On the other hand, the "they will" moments were chock full of lusty good times and smoking hot sex scenes!
There were plot threads that could have added some depth or insight into the characters, but they were dropped or lacked development. Drew speaks with Indigo's mother and she mentions he needs to meet Indigo's sister and someone else that she keeps nameless for a time. I got the impression that meeting these two were supposed to give Drew insight into Indigo's personality. He never met the sister, and I think the nameless one was supposed to be Indigo's aunt Aida, but when he did meet her, nothing was mentioned that hearkened back to that conversation between Drew and Tarah, so I wasn't sure.
Another problem for me with this book was the limited page time the characters were given for their relationship to evolve. Between the shifting focus in the narrative from plotlines that encapsulated the pack's issues and the Psy Council antics, neither of which were particularly cohesive, nor furthered the series storyline arc in any significant manner, the whole book felt jumpy and jerky and a little disorganized to me. It also seemed largely inconsequential to the series big picture.
It did, though, serve as a very nice prologue to set up what I can only guess is going to be a cataclysm of storytelling in the next book. Hawke's book. Sienna's book. The one I've been waiting for since the series started. The tension between those two has been ratcheting up, over, and off the charts for several books now and I can't wait to see how it all plays out. But not at the expense of this one, and that's exactly how I felt about this book at the end. That it was little more than cannon fodder for the next.
But I stand by my opening comment. Singh's a favorite. So is this series. While Play of Passion may not have lit my fires, there's just been too many fantastic reads so far to get upset about it. Every series has its transition books, books that seem more to change the series direction than further the established series arc, and maybe that's exactly what this book was intended to do. It would've been a great book in any other series or world. Just wasn't quite enough to make me happy in this one.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
I loved their courtship - even though Indigo's fear of their relationship doesn't always feel like it fits with her big bad dominant character. There are a fair number of emotional moments in the story as both of the pair make major mistakes during their courtship and a when tragedy strikes as well, but all of that just added up to making the HEA that much more satisfying. It didn't hurt either that my hero-centric self absolutely loved Drew - charming and dominant but not domineering (and sneaky too), he ended up being my favorite Changeling to date.
In addition to the romance, there's also good progress in the setup for Hawke's book and in background arc with Psy machinations ramping up too - it looks like Singh's working up to a big finish.
The Psy have come up with a plot to target the Snow Dancer wolves in their long range plan to reinforce Protocol and maintain Silence. This was the first time I felt like I was able to be fully emmersed in the wolf culture without the leopards overshadowing. Readers are also able to get brief scenes of the Snow Dancer alpha suffering and trying to deal with his feelings for Sienna.
I really enjoyed Drew's character more than I thought. He was always the playful lighthearted brother but in Play of Passion we get to see the serious side to him and his role in the pack is more than what I thought.
Singh did an excellent job bringing together two opposite personalities and I found myself appreciating Indigo's concerns about a relationship with Drew. In the end they werent as opposite as Indigo thought but I wont go into detail on that. There were no huge surprises in this and the scenes with the other counselors were brief and not as cryptic so I was able to breeze through those without difficulty understanding what was going on. Allin all a good read
I'm not sure why because i usually love her. I like the wolves, but I haven't connected with these two, i cant even remember the character's names! I had preordered this book and am still struggling through. I will finish it, cause i want to be ready for the next one. Still a fan, still going to pre-order her books, just looking forward to the next one.