Donna Reads: Visions of Heat (Psy-Changeling Series Book 2) by Nalini Singh

Vaughan D’Angelo is a jaguar changeling and a sentinel for the leopard pack he belongs to. Abandoned as a child and forced to live in his animal form to survive has made Vaughan a bit of a loner who doesn’t quite belong. He’s more wild animal than most changelings.

Faith Nightstar is a member of the Psy, a telepathic, unemotional race. Faith is a highly profitable, heavily guarded and monitored F-Psy. She is a forecaster who is worth millions. Her business predictions are accurate and much in demand. Removed from her family at age three, she has been living in isolation with virtually no contact with others. When her forecasts become malevolent and evil, showing her death, blood and violence, Faith is disturbed. Since the Psy don’t feel emotions or fear, Faith is certain she is going insane. Afraid to tell her handlers, she seeks help in an unusual place. 

Sascha Duncan (our heroine from the first book in this series) is a Psy who has left the Psy-Net. She is an outlaw and off limits to other Psy. Faith slips out one night and goes looking for Sascha, certain she may have some explanation for what is happening to her. Vaughan, as a pack sentinel, is sworn by blood to protect the pack alpha, Lucas and his mate, Sascha. When Faith wanders into the forest, she is stopped by a large jaguar – Vaughan in his changeling form. 

I enjoyed this second installment. Sascha and Lucas’s story was continued while we got to know Vaughan and Faith. I really liked them both. Faith had been raised in a cold, sterile environment and couldn’t stand any sort of touch. She was sure she would have a seizure or a mental breakdown. Vaughan decided fairly early on that Faith belonged to him, and he was determined to keep her, realizing she was his mate. Faith, of course, had to grow and come to that realization on her own. There was also plenty of evil to fight and lots of Psy plotting going on. 

Donna Reads: Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changelings, Book 1) by Nalini Singh

Sascha Duncan is Psy, a powerful, unemotional race of cerebral intelligence connected by a psychic net. The Psy punish any display of emotion, believing that giving in to emotions or feelings makes one flawed. Sascha is different. She feels. She believes herself damaged, and she hides behind strong psychic barriers, living in fear of being discovered and having her mind erased.

Lucas Hunter is a changeling, part man, part panther. He is the alpha leader of his pack. After a serial killer murders a member of the pack, all signs point to the killer being a member of the Psy. When a business deal puts Lucas in close contact with Sascha, he hopes to learn enough from her psychic link to the Psy net to lead him to the killer. 

This wasn’t my first Nalini Singh read, but it was my first shifter type romance. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I should’ve known Nalini wouldn’t let me down. I found the world of the Psy a terrifying one. Unemotional and Vulcan-like, they were cold and brutal, emotionally crippling or even erasing the minds of their own children to maintain the Silence. The world of psychic and telepathic communication that Nalini created was fascinating and scary both.

Lucas is unlike anyone Sascha had ever met. As she gets to know him better, she finds herself drawn to him, and he has decided that Sascha belongs to him. He doesn’t realize that she cannot leave the Psy net; she needs to be linked to other minds to survive.

Together they worked to find the brutal serial killer preying on changeling women. As they got closer to solving the crime, I could feel the suspense, terror and fear at the very real possibility that Sascha would be discovered or caught either by the killer or by the leaders of the Psy Council as she tried to help the changelings. Either would mean her death.

I enjoyed the building romance as Lucas found his mate in Sascha. Overall, I enjoyed this suspenseful paranormal romance. I’ve already started the second book in the series.

Donna Reads: Rock Hard (Rock Kiss #2) by Nalini Singh

rockhardThe Blurb: Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

This is the second (third if you count the novella) book in the Rock Kiss series by Nalini Singh. When I read the first book in the series (Rock Addiction) and got to know Molly and her best friend, Charlotte, I found myself more drawn to Charlotte’s character than I ever was to Molly. I really wanted to read Charlie’s story. She was the more interesting character. She was funny and sweet, and it was obvious from the start that Charlie had serious issues of some sort. She’s shy, she’s timid, and while she’s always cheering Molly on to try more and reach for more, she’ll never do that for herself. She’s too damaged.

Gabriel Bishop is an ex-rugby player whose career was cut short by an injury. He’s ruthless as a businessman, brought in to save struggling businesses, he’s smart, he’s dedicated, and he cleans house. Charlie spends the first part of the book terrified of him and worried that she’ll be losing her job, too. Gabriel quickly sees that the timid mouse who works in records is the one who’s doing most of the work that his personal assistant is supposed to be doing. When his PA is his next victim, he promotes Charlie to that position. Charlotte intrigues him. She’s talented, she’s highly intelligent, and she’s as dedicated as he is, staying late hours to work just as hard as he does, but she’s terrified of him.

I loved Gabriel. He is one of the most patient heroes ever. He constantly pokes at his Ms. Baird, finding that stirring her to snap at him in anger gets her past her paralyzing fear and shyness. Molly, always on the phone with Charlotte, is pushing her to stand up to him. Molly has realized that Charlie likes Gabriel and not just as a boss. She tells Charlie to be brave and to live her life. Her support and encouragement and Gabriel’s strength and persistence convince Charlie to open up.

I knew that what had happened to Charlotte was bad, but reading it was heartbreaking as she was telling Gabriel everything. She’s been through hell, and her fear is understandable. It breaks her own heart that she has flashbacks and panic attacks. Gabriel remains steadfast in his determination to get her past the horrors. He is one of my favorite romance book heroes. He has demons from his past that still haunt him and make him the driven man that he is today. Along the way, Charlotte helps him to grow, too. Despite the horrors of her past, their love story was sweet and wonderful to read.

I highly recommend this one.

Donna Reads: Rock Courtship (a Rock Kiss novella) by Nalini Singh

The Blurb: What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty? A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move. Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients—or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots. What she doesn’t know is that David is a one-woman man…and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

I loved David’s and Thea’s story. Although it’s a novella, it was so well told it felt like a full length novel. I wish it had been. David is known as the Gentleman of Rock. He’s the drummer for the rock band, Schoolboy Choir, and he’s been in love with the band’s publicist, Thea, forever. Thea is just out of a long term relationship where she was deeply hurt by her ex’s cheating. David has been a good and true friend throughout it all. Can David teach Thea how to love again? I enjoyed this and liked both main characters a lot.