FANGIRL ALERT FANGIRL ALERT FANGIRL ALERT
SPOILERS POSSIBLE SPOILERS POSSIBLE SPOILERS POSSIBLE
In Caressed by Ice we catch up with characters first introduced in Slave to Sensation - the first book in the Psy/Changeling series. Brenna Kincaid is still feeling the aftershocks of her abduction and fears the full extent of what Enrique Santano's abuse and torture may have done to her. She becomes increasingly drawn to Judd Lauren one of the Psy taking refuge with the Wolves. But he cannot feel emotion and she cannot contain hers. Will they be able to find a way to make a future together.
Okay. That summary sucks. LOL. But it seems the more I enjoy a book the harder I find it to encapsulate it in a paragraph.
This is my favourite book in the series so far. Having looked at a few other reviews I know that while everyone (I've seen) has enjoyed the story, some people prefer the Changeling hero. This is not the case for me. (As could probably have been guessed, when Judd came up as the result in the Psy hero quiz.)
I initially noted I thought this was a more standalone story and could be appreciated without having read the other two books in the series. However, having finished the book I no longer think this is the case. Although CBI takes place away from the leopards, at the Snow Dancer wolf pack. The overall arc of the Psy/Changeling story has some major developments here which I think are best appreciated having read Slave to Sensation and Visions of Heat. Plus both sets of protagonists from those books appear here, so I think it's beneficial to know the backstory.
We learn much more about the Psy in this book. Including some of their history. I thought Zaid the first Martial Arrow sounded like an interesting (if remorseless) character. See I said I had a fascination for the Psy hero. As an aside I also wondered if perhaps a future story might be set during the 18th Century (Changeling) Territorial Wars.
I found Judd fascinating. And thought he gave a much clearer impression of what it means to be Psy. He has so much control, and underneath he's not bubbling like a volcano, he doesn't feel rage, there's just more control. It's mentioned it's significant that the first two Psy to publicly drop out of the Psynet are women, which I think is an interesting point. I always felt that both Sascha and Faith had access to some emotion, whilst with Judd you realize what Silence truly is, from someone who embraces it because they have to.
Brenna is a curious mixture of vulnerability and intense anger. Her relationship with her brothers - I loved. I thought Nalini Singh captured the sibling capacity for annoyance and affection perfectly. When things in the Changeling world start to fall apart and everyone's loyalty comes under question (leopard to wolf, Changeling to Changeling) this family strength almost becomes a double edged sword. And you stand with Brenna questioning exactly what her brothers are capable of.
I loved that Brenna and Judd's mating wasn't as smooth or immediate as in the previous two books. That would have been unrealistic. This was something the two of the them had to puzzle out between themselves. I liked the slow intensity of it. And I look forward to catching up with them in later books.
There was a lot of other stuff happening as well, this book was packed with information. We learn more about the wolf pack structure, and I like that the maternal females can order Hawke to think about what he's doing. The Psy council take their machinations to a higher level of brutality, and new alliances are formed. We get quite a lot of Kaleb, so I was happy, including some tidbits about his past. Nalini Singh has managed to maintain his ambiguity. He could be a good guy, or he could be very bad. I'm hoping he turns up again in Book 4.
Other new characters are hinted at - Ashaya Aleine and Zie Zen. My gut says they'll be playing a bigger part in the series. As will The Ghost I think. :) And we find out a little more about Walker Lauren, Sienna Lauren and Hawke - whose story I'm patiently waiting for, one of his conversations with Brenna is short, beautiful and heartbreaking.
Although the next book Mine to Possess isn't out 'til February. Nate and Tamsyn's story will be available as a short story in the October anthology An Enchanted Season. Which is good 'cause patience isn't really one of my virtues. :)