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Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh

Genre: Paranormal Romance; Alternate Universe; Futuristic
Series: Psy/Changling, Book 10
Rating: 5 Stars
Length: 432 Pages
Formats: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle

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Perfect

He wants her. There's no use lying to himself about that. Hawke aches to possess her with a single-minded intensity that has his wolf starving for the most intimate of skin privileges. But he's not going to take her. He's a mature wolf changling, alpha of SnowDancer, and significantly older than she is. But damn, he wants her.

PsyNet defector and cardinal X-Psy Sienna Lauren is an adult in the pack, and given her past, she's older than her years. She is the ultimate weapon, one that requires unimaginable discipline, and it makes her crazy that the one man she wants, Hawke, refuses to see her as anything but the child she was never allowed to be.

As attacks by an aggressive faction of Psy known as Pure Psy are leveled against SnowDancer and the winds of a burgeoning war start to blow in their direction, Hawke's focus is torn between his pack and his desire for the one woman he refuses to take. His resolve is legendary, but even he has to see that a woman who can fight for her pack, risk her life for them, is old enough to decide who she lets into her bed.

She has to do something to show the stubborn wolf she is more than the child he sees. Even if it endangers the woman she's become.

~*~

I can't tell you how many times I've highly anticipated a book in series only to have that book disappoint in some way or another. You'd think I'd know better than to ever let myself feel that anticipation, but it's a lesson I seem to need to keep learning. Or maybe it's books like this, those rare awesome books that are highly anticipated...and manage to deliver for me on every front...that keep anticipation burning.

Don't know. Don't care, either, at the moment. I'm too busy being thrilled with this book.

Obviously, as I'm still reading this series at the tenth book, both the series and the author are favorites of mine. Some of the books in this series have been more beloved than others, and I do slightly prefer Singh's Guild Hunter series to the Psy/Changling series, but both are two of my favorite ongoing series and I highly recommend both for fans of well-written and imaginative paranormal romance/urban fantasy romance.

I loved everything about this book. The complexity of the plot and the myriad of plot threads that Singh wove together throughout the story were impressive. There's so much that goes on, and so many characters involved in so much of it, with a rock-solid foundation built by every one of the preceding books, that I would definitely not recommend a reader new to the series start here.

It could be done, Singh has a gift for condensing necessary exposition and fitting it in well with current developments, but so much of the emotional impact would be lost that it just shouldn't be.

I adored the relationship arc and character developments for Hawke and Sienna in this book. It wasn't what I would call a traditional romance, really, and that's what I love about Singh. She has such a gift for creating stories that fit perfectly with the characters featured in it. Hawke and Sienna have known each other for a while, have battled and locked horns, have struggled against their attraction for years, so the relationship between them is in a completely different place and needed completely different things than, say, Judd and Brenna did in their book.

The pack, the past, who they are, what they're responsible for, what they can do, the issues each have with how they feel, the threat of the Psy, all of that plays a significant role in each character's definition and development, not to mention on their romance. It was frustrating at times (very frustrating at times). It was enlightening at others. There were moments that made me mad and moments that made me laugh. Sometimes it just flat-out broke my heart. For me, though, all the sublimely well-crafted pieces that factored into their personalities and into every moment of their relationship arc worked...perfectly. I loved every second of it.

I was also very much in love with the secondary romance between pack healer Lara and Walker, Sienna's uncle. Where the relationship between Hawke and Sienna was rocky, fiery, raging with emotion, and practically shouting its passion and angst, hurt and strength, stubbornness and pride, Lara and Walker's relationship balanced that with its quiet implacability, its soft moments and tender touches. The frustrations were more internal, the feelings more subdued. That relationship created such a wonderful counterpoint to Hawke and Sienna's point that I can't imagine what the book would have been like without it.

By no means is this book, or any of the books in this series, focused solely on the romance, though. This one definitely provided some forward progression on the Pure Psy threat and the continuing degeneration of the Council and the PsyNet. There are so many, many balls up in the air in this series that a single book can't really touch on every plot point without being six hundred pages long, but there were certainly a lot covered here. Singh manages to keep me guessing on some things, keep me horrified about others, and still manages to introduce new story elements all the time.

Honestly, I don't know how she does it. I don't know how this series, even at the tenth book, feels just as fresh, just as original, just as intriguing and compelling and a thousand times as complex as it did in the beginning. I open a Psy/Changling book and feel like I'm visiting old, beloved friends who I care about very much...even if I wouldn't want to catch a meal with them. In particular, I want to thank Singh for the gift of seeing Lucas and Sasha's newest development meet the world.

I'm so incredibly invested in this series. To me that's the mark of a series that is a step above, one that has just that little extra that makes it stand out among a huge crowd. This, its tenth installment, is perhaps the best of them for me. It certainly did not disappoint.

Quotables:
"Do you really think I'd let you go that easily?"
An implacable glance from eyes that were suddenly decades older than him. "I'm not yours to let go."


"Walker doesn't glare...He just looks at you until you obey."


"You're in my every breath and every thought, intertwined so deep inside me that love's not a strong enough word - you have my devotion, your name branded on my soul, my wolf yours to command. A hundred years? It'll never be enough. I want eternity."

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Ratings Guide

Here is a rundown of what the star ratings mean to me! It's not a perfect system, so you may see me add in a .5 star here and there if my impression of the book falls somewhere between these:

5 Stars - Loved it
4 Stars - Liked it
3 Stars - It's okay
2 Stars - Didn't like it
1 Star - Hated it

2014 Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Tracy has read 22 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Tracy's bookshelf: read

Zero at the BoneHead Over HeelsLord of the WolfynIn Total SurrenderA Win-Win PropositionNorth of Need

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