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.
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.