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Play of Passion (Psy/Changelings) Mass Market Paperback – November 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Singh returns to the dynamic community of her changeling wolf pack in the feel-good ninth Psy-Changeling installment (after July 2010's Bonds of Justice). Indigo, a SnowDancer lieutenant, will only date someone who is her equal in rank. As the pack's tracker, Andrew Kincaid is outside of the rigid ranking structure, and he'll use all his charm and persistence to strike the right balance between wooing and challenging aggressive, dominant Indigo. The game between them, alternately playful and deliciously sexy, is set against a backdrop of a war among members of the emotionless Psy Council, a war that puts the entire SnowDancer pack at risk. Longtime fans will welcome the return to the well-drawn and engaging culture of changelings after two installments focused on human/Psy relationships. The overarching series plot looms over the romance, drawing readers further into a world of intrigue, deception, and love. (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Compelling characters and wonderfully dense plotting are two reasons why Singh's books continue to enthrall. There is no finer storyteller around!" ---Romantic Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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--One Sentence Summary--
When SnowDancer tracker, Drew Kincaid, makes a move on Lieutenant, Indigo Riviere, she pushes him away, but Drew knows that Indy is it for him and he'll use his considerable charm to convince her.
--What are the Issues--
Drew is a younger wolf who is lower in the dominance ranking than Indigo. Because of this, Indy is leery of getting involved with him. She's grown up watching her aunt go through a toxic relationship with a less dominant lover, and she's positive the same thing will happen to her and Drew.
--What I Liked and Didn't Like--
Drew The Perfect Book Boyfriend -- I've really liked Drew in the previous books so I was excited to have his story. He's that perfect blend of cocky and charming without being annoying; you know that all his charm comes with the best of intentions and that he really cares for his pack. He's always a sounding board for pack or a place of comfort if they needed it and I loved his courtship of the tough Indigo and how he was so sneaky and determined to have her.
A Strong Woman -- Indigo was a great character as well, though I liked Drew a bit more. I admired Indigo's tough demeanor and her protective instincts toward her pack but sometimes she was too tough. I would have liked her to lighten up just a little bit. She's so hard on Drew and she pounces on any little dominance mistake he makes. Drew knows he has to make some comprises and learn to adjust for Indy but I felt like Indy wasn't as open to doing the same for Drew. At the same time I understand why Singh portrayed her as she was. Singh has always done an phenomenal job of blending the human and animal sides of her changeling characters and in this case, Indy is a fiercely dominant female wolf. I still liked her and once she learns to start bending she's so sweet with Drew.
Another amazing addition to this series by Nalini Singh, though I might be a bit biased as this is my favorite series. I loved the intricate balance of human vs animal in the changelings and this is one of the best descriptions/unity of two halves that I have ever come across in my paranormal romance reading.
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 basically read this because it is the next full book before Hawke and Sienna and really I’m super excited about that one. But I honestly liked Drew more than I thought I would. He was more playful and cunning than some of the other alpha males we have had in prior books. The teasing play between him and Indigo made for some intense sexual tension. But like all the other books one person in the couple is reluctant while the other is the instigator of the relationship. Drew beats all the other alpha’s to date in his romantic charm.
-- “You can run,” Dorian said in a neutral tone that did nothing to lessen the intensity of his
expression, “but sooner or later, you run out of places to run to.”
Some of the relationship stuff gets a little repetitive at times, but it is still enjoyable as the characters from the Darkriver, Shadowdancer, Shine Corporation and Psy become more entangled. Things are definitely building up for a great big explosion eventually but that still seems books away from now going by the pacing of the overall sub plot.
Best thing about this book was Drew, a few new alliances made some a little unexpected and the teaser scenes between Sienna and Hawke. I think that relationship is going to be explosive when it happens.
-- “If he decided to pursue Sienna...Sucking in a breath Indigo promised herself she'd warn the girl if and when the time came-because no woman should have to face that campaign unprepared.”