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Visions of Heat (Psy-Changelings, Book 2)
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81 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2007
I appreciate a series that completes every book with it's own story, yet still relies on the foundation built by the first. Visions of Heat does that, perfectly. This book was more of a grand love story than the thriller of the first novel (Slave to Sensation), but still enhanced the landscape of the world of the Psy and the Changlings. All the characters of the first book are present and accounted for in this one.

Generally, I don't like Alpha men. Vaughn seriously fits the profile. Arrogant, superior, stubborn, persistent, demanding, possessive. He relies on his animal instincts, touches without permission, pushes past acceptable boundaries. In a human love story, this would irritate the hell out of me, but when written in the context of his jaguar persona it's comfortable to accept. Of course it helps that Vaughn is also sexy, gentle, loving and protective.

Faith Nightstar is a strong heroine. Fragile but brave, intelligent but willing to learn, loyal almost to a fault. She finds her salvation in Vaughn, and pushes her own boundaries, character growth at it's best. The process she goes through satisfies beyond the norm. The love scenes between Faith and Vaughn are beautifully written, you feel the attraction, the love, the commitment they make to each other.

Good suspense, more erotic than the first (in my opinion). PG-17 for the love scenes (very hot, but not gratuitous), no annoying cliffhangers, but enough interest generated to continue with the series. I suggest reading the first book to get a better handle of the world and previous characters created by the author, or too many nuances will be lost. A brief teaser for the next novel comes at the end of this one.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2007
Nalini Singh's fresh take on the world of paranormal is as gripping as ever, with strong action and a cast of interesting characters. Visions of Heat continues somewhat the original plot of the first book, Slave to Sensation. The Psy are a race known for their cold aloof facades and the deadly minds they cloak beneath. Thanks to a rigid race determined to conceal their slightest imperfections, killers are born, and it's up to the changelings once again to protect not only their own but the Psy as well.

Faith Nightstar is the embodiement of a sheltered Psy. As an F-Psy able to predict the future, her talents are coveted by her family. Cocooned against the outside world, she's tucked away in her own compound, where she can predict safe things, things that make the PsyClan Nightstar very wealthy. When dark, disturbing visions begin to plague her at any given time, and a particular murder cuts too close to home, she knows she cannot ignore them...no matter how fragile her mind might be.

Drawn to the enigmatic and unusual Psy, Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo uses his abilities as a jaguar to encroach on Faith's territory. He must tread carefully, for too much contact with the delicate Psy could send her senses into overload. He's determined to make her feel though and it's going to be on his terms. He sees strength in Faith and that's what he plans to draw forth in her, till she can handle exactly what he wants to give her. When visions of the killer cut too close to home, and the Psy come for her too, Vaughn will be there to catch Faith and dispense the remorseless justice changelings are known so well for.

Vaughn's story was one I greatly looked forward to and came out pretty pleased with. An aloof character in the first book, it was interesting to read exactly what made up this single jaguar member of the DarkRiver leopards. As a sentinel for his adoptive clan, he's fierce, loyal and dangerously cunning. When he sets these talented sights on Faith it's an instant animal attraction that roars to the surface, ready to claim the confounding woman. Faith, knows her boundaries, and while she thinks there's no place for her in Vaughn's world, she proves herself to be invaluable to him and it's not for the cold reasons her Psyclan wants her. Their interactions make this installment worth the read. While the villain this time didn't stand out the way the previous book's baddy did, I found myself not minding in the least by book's end. Ms. Singh is a master at dishing up the details at just the right intervals, allowing her plots and subplots to flow beautifully amongst one another. Stay tuned for more from this fascinating new world. Next up is Caressed by Ice, this time starring a Psy member as the hero. It releases September 4, 2007.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2007
I've read Nalini Singh's first book about the Psy, Slave to Sensation, twice now. The first time I read it, I was struck by how original it was. The second time, I was struck by how enjoyable it was. With that being said, I had high expectations for Visions of Heat, but also some doubts that Ms. Singh would be able to sustain the originality and fun factor that made the first so enjoyable. I'm pleased to be able to write that Visions of Heat is just as good if not better than the first.

What made Visions of Heat so enjoyable were the characters and the world building and the dialogue and the chemistry and . . . well, just about everything. The world that was already so fully developed and realized only became richer and fuller this time around. The fear I sometimes have is that an author will successfully create an idea and some interesting characters . . . at first, but those characters will then go on to appear time and time again in successive books, although disguised under a different name and description. That is not the case, here. Faith and Vaughn are completely different from Sascha and Lucas . . . and if I'm being honest, I think I liked them even more.

Faith is one of the rarest Psy designations: a Foresight Psy aka an F-Psy. On top of that, she is probably the most talented and most successful of all F-Psys. Her predictions are strong and accurate and have earned her and her family billions. Unfortunately, her gifts have a downside. She lives secluded and alone, sheltered from the outside world that would overwhelm her mind (or so she is told). Her only visitors are her emotionless father and the cold M-Psys who monitor her every word, her every move and every beat of her heart. Faiths' facade of emotionless begins to crumble when her sister is killed and the murderer begins haunting her dreams. She sneaks away from her compound and sets off to find some answers with Sascha Duncan.

Along the way, she is held up by the protective Vaughn. His behavior is unpredictable, his attitude is predatory and he is perhaps the most dangerous of the DarkRiver Changelings. Vaughn's own childhood was a terrible one. He remains haunted by the beloved sister he had to watch slowly die, unable to save her. Vaughn is immediately captivated by the very fragile Psy. He forces her to accept his touch little by little, alternating between patience and impatience in his desire for her. It's Vaughn who notices one night, that the killer that plagues Faith's dreams may be more than just a mental presence in her mind, and together they set out to find her sister's murderer.

Visions of Heat starts off strong and stays that way right until the very end. Faith and Vaughn were two characters that at first seemed polar opposites- she: so fragile, he: so . . . borderline violent, but. . . Ms. Singh made it work. Their chemistry was great, but the emotional aspect, their love story, was very sweet as well. Faith's evolution from a sheltered and fragile Psy to a strong and resilient woman had me applauding and the mystery of her sister's killer kept me guessing. Also, a couple characters were more fully developed this time around - just enough to tantalize us for the upcoming books. Visions of Heat is an enjoyable and unique sequel to an enjoyable and unique book- I definitely recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2007
As an F-Psy, Faith NightStar is extremely valuable to not only her NightStar PsyClan, but also to the Psy Council itself. When she starts having disturbing visions of murder, Faith believes that her mental state is declining even faster than that of a "normal" F-Psy. Faith had heard whispers of Sascha Duncan dropping out of the PsyNet and believes that Sascha is the only Psy that can help her battle the visions that are becoming harder and harder to hide. On her way to find Sascha, she is stopped by Vaughn, a sentinel for DarkRiver as well as a shape-shifting jaguar.

Vaughn knows that he walks a very fine line between humanity and following his animal instincts. When he first sees Faith, his animal instincts override what little humanity he may have. Though he wants nothing more than to claim Faith as his own, Vaughn's first duty is to Lucas, alpha of DarkRiver. As she tells her tale to Sascha, he realizes that he will do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

VISIONS OF HEAT is a fantastic addition to the Psy-Changeling series. Faith tries to overcome her natural instincts which were instilled in her during Silence. Vaughn knows that if he gets Faith away from the Psy, she will be far from safe. He also knows that she won't be safe if she stays in the PsyNet. As each day passes, Faith's foresight ability grows and soon they find themselves racing to stop murder.

Don't miss this one. You won't be disappointed!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Psy- Changeling Series:

Slave to Sensation

Visions of Heat

Caressed by Ice

I'm totally hooked on this new series. It's great to be swept into a whole new idea of paranormal beings. In Nalini Singh's Psy- Changeling series, the world consists of 3 different human species. The Psy, psychics who have trained all emotion out of their people. The Changelings, half animal/ half humans who fight to keep the Psy from dominating the world. And the traditional human species, who lack any sort of magical powers, yet have made a big impact upon saving the environment... a joint venture with the Changelings.

Visions of Heat:

Faith Nightstar is worth billions to the Psy people. Her gift of predicting the future brings in a constant flow of successful investments. "The Council", who rule the Psy, keep her locked away from the rest of the world. They want to maintain total control over her powers through fear of the outside world. They have raised her to believe that the sensations of worldly emotion or physical contact with other people would cause her to go insane. "F-Psys", like herself, have been known for losing their minds. Faith is afraid the madness has already begun for her. She is having nightmares of deep emotions that terrify her.

Vaughn is a jaguar changeling who was raised among the DarkRiver Leopard Changeling Pack. He serves as a sentinel, with a natural propensity for protectiveness. He is known for being colder than most changelings, but he is also best friend and the most loyal pack member to the leopard alpha and the alpha's wife. While out patrolling the pack territory, he is drawn towards a fenced in compound. He can't explain what is calling to him, but knows he must find out who is inside.

Faith is desperate to break free of the compound. She has learned of a Psy woman who has successfully done the impossible. Sasha Duncan, wife of the leopard alpha, has broken free of the Psy world. All Psy know that leaving their world will mean instant destruction of the mind. Faith must speak to Sasha to learn if their is a way to save herself from impending F-Psy insanity. When she escapes over the compound fence, she is followed by a jaguar. While attempting to reach Sasha, the jaguar changes into human form.

Vaughn has noticed that the Psy woman is heading towards his alpha's home. Protective instincts cause him to stop her. His inexplicable connection with this Psy has intrigued him, but protection of his alpha comes first. He plans to have her meet his leader, but not to let her near the alpha home.

Over the following weeks, Faith will spend time searching among the changelings for answers to her problem. She must continue to fool the Psy into believing she is submissive to their demands. Vaughn is walking a fine line. He must keep his people safe from the Psy, but he knows he must also have Faith. Faith, who has been taught that emotion leads to insanity, can't fight her desire for Vaughn. Together, Faith and Vaughn are determined to break her free from the Psy who threaten her sanity, her freedom, and her life. Their bond with one another may be her saving grace. Many of the changelings fear that Faith may be a Psy spy. Vaughn cherishes his life- long bond with Faith. A bond so powerful, he will protect her above all other things... even his pack.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2007
As always when i read a second or third installment in a series, I am a bit wary. Sometimes I am so disappointed that I rarely read any of the books that follow, but I have to say that Nalini Singh has done it again!

Singh takes you back to the world of the PSY NET and this time it covers Faith Nighstar a powerful but isolated F-Psy whose talents lay in foretelling the future. Faith had been conditioned and taught that F-Psy at one point went insane. Those who reached that state either disappeared or had their minds completely wiped out.

What Faith didn't know what that a certain jaguar changeling, was going to change her life forever.

I suggest reading Singh's Slave to Sensation to get a feel for all the characters that are mentioned in this novel. I am looking forward to Judd's story..the only thing I don't like about it..is waiting for it to come out!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2010
The series has an interesting plot, but the focus was squarely on the main character, Faith. She herself is a different type of heroine. The portrayal is somewhat confusing. Is she delicate, strong, or even brave? References to Vaughn thinking she's strong are confusing since the descriptions of her internal struggles are inconsistent. There was little character development, which unlike the first book, makes it difficult to care about what happens to these characters.

I do like the way the author incorporates other characters like the Pack; whereas, other series books I've read only lightly references previous main characters. It's nice to see them recurring throughout the story. The only other problems I had with this book were some of the repetitious phrases and while the concept of the Psy-Net is intriguing, descriptions about how it worked was really confusing. I found myself re-reading several passages and still not 100% understanding the actual concept. There were just too many extraneous links, nets, and bonds to get carried away with and I also found it difficult to believe all that maneuvering throughout the Net without detection from the Council.

I didn't get a true feel for Faith or Vaughn other than their early traumas and the relationship was just weird and it felt forced to an extent with no real attraction. Not really sure that I'll continue with this series but I almost want to give it another chance thinking that the series might develop into something.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 26, 2007
Faith NightStar has been taught that the Silence is necessary. The Silence restricts the Psy from feeling any emotions. As an F-Psy, she has the ability of foresight but has remained isolated from person-to-person contact. After all, the Psy know that every F-Psy is destined for clinical insanity and Faith is one of the top prognosticators of her generation. Naturally Faith is worried when she begins receiving visions of evil, including the murder of her own sister. However, everything Faith believes, all of the teachings that have been drummed into her, are about to be questioned when she meets sexy Changeling, Vaughn D'Angelo. Vaughn wants to show Faith just how powerful emotions and touch really are....

VISIONS OF HEAT is the phenomenal sequel to the equally phenomenal SLAVE TO SENSATION. VISIONS OF HEAT will best be appreciated after reading the first book as there are several ongoing threads that are expanded upon in this sequel. We learn more about the NetMind and the PsyNet in VISIONS OF HEAT and some fascinating possibilities are already in place for the next book.

Nalini Singh proves without a shadow of a doubt that she is an absolute master at world building with this gem! The various interactions between the Changelings and the Psy, coupled with the machinations of the Council, make for one intriguing storyline. The romance between Faith and Vaughn happens rather quickly and it should be noted that VISIONS OF HEAT will appeal more to readers looking for a strong plot than those seeking solely to find a romance with a paranormal twist. Nalini Singh takes her plotline very seriously as she has developed a very complex but thoroughly satisfying storyline that has quickly vaulted her to the top ranks of writers in the genre. Don't miss out on this series as it is a definite keeper!

COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I'll bet the people at Berkley Sensation are dancing little jigs in delight for having this wonderfully talented writer on their list. I read SLAVE TO SENSATION and was bowled over by Nalini Singh's talent. Now I've finished VISIONS OF HEAT and cannot believe how seamlessly the two books work together. If at all possible, I would recommend reading SLAVE TO SENSATION first. It lays all the groundwork for the paranormal environment where the books take place. VISIONS OF HEAT can be read as a stand-alone book, but I am personally glad that I had already met so many of the characters depicted in this book. It was wonderful to revisit Saschia and Lucas along with all the other Changelings from book one.

Faith NightStar was unaware of the fact that her subconscious had been preparing her for the changes which were about to take place in her life. Living in total isolation, within her own compound, she had time to read anything and everything which caught her interest. Only later did she see that she had been choosing reading material which would help her understand the world she would walk into when she went in search of Saschia Duncan, the E-Psy who had escaped the PsyNet shortly before. Faith needed the empath to tell her why she had begun to "feel" emotions during her dreams. Dreams which had become increasingly dark and frightening. Due to the Silence Protocol, Psy did not feel any emotions. Was this a sign that Faith was beginning to go insane? If her handlers thought so, she would be placed under protection, used as long as she could predict financial data accurately, and then be left to exist within her deranged mind until her body finally died.

Vaughn D'Angelo was a true alpha male in personality, even though he was not the alpha of the Changeling pack. His interactions with Faith were so crucial to her ability to survive in the world outside her bubble existence. His past history explained why he was always much closer to being jaguar than human. Too many weeks on his own at a young age had left him closer to feral than human. Together these two damaged individuals helped each other through feelings of guilt and fear so that Vaughn could claim Faith as his mate, and she could submit to all that term meant.

I loved it. Some reviewers wanted it to be "hotter". Not me. With these books, the story, the plotline, the building of block upon block is the ultimate pleasure. Yes, there are sensual moments. No, they are not excessive. I look forward to book 3, CARESSED BY ICE, due out soon. Nalini Singh is peppering her books thusfar with lots and lots of potential heros and heroines for future adventures. I look forward to many stories in this fascinating universe.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Visions of Heat is the sequel to debut novel Slave to Sensation. While Visions of Heat didn't quite live up to StoS, it was still a good read. This alternate realty romance provides a rich otherworld filled with three distinct groups: Psy, Changeling and human. Like Slave to Sensation, Visions features a strong Psy female and a delicious Changeling male.

Faith Nightstar is an FPsy, a foreseer, who is worth untold millions to the Nightstar clan due to her ability to foresee economic changes in the future. She has been making predictions since the age of 3 and not one of her predictions, unless intervened, has been wrong. As any valuable asset, Faith has been protected and hidden for all of her life. FPsy's often go mad toward the latter end of their usability and then the Psy use those people for parts or scientific study. Faith has been able to stave off madness, but she has some concerns when she begins to have strange, non financially related visions. These visions lead her to seek out Sascha Duncan, the Psy who dropped out of the network and the only person who would not seek to betray or mislead Faith.

Sascha Duncan lives with her Changeling family and this puts Faith in close proximity to Vaughan, a Dark River sentinel. Vaughan's cat, the jaguar, is intensely interested in Faith. The cat's need for sensory input juxtaposed against Faith's physiological abhorrence for touch made for immediate conflict. Beyond Faith's predisposition for mental instability is the present danger in the from of a killer who is strangling Psy women, starting with Faith's sister. Faith must seek out the killer on the Psy Net, cope with Vaughan's physical demands and find a place for herself in a changing world.

The challenges I had with this book were episodes of inappropriate lusting despite the justification of the jaguar's nature. I also found the time spent on the Psy Net to be a bit difficult to follow and, at times, a bit repetitive of Slave to Sensation. I hate to say that a story is too complex, but at times, it was for me.

I was really intrigued by a couple of characters deftly introduced and that was Faith Nightstar's father, Anthony Kyriakus, who isn't all that he is portrayed to be and Kaleb Krychek, a contender for the Psy Council. I think that rebellion is brewing within the Psy and I am anxious to see how that plays out in future books.

Fans of Slave to Sensation, and those who like Linda Howard and Christine Feehan, won't be disappointed. B.
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