Review: Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh13:34
Author: Nalini Singh
Date of publication: 4 Sept 2007
As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins - cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna . . .
Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted - and had her mind violated - by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives...
This story of the Psy-Changeling series features a Psy male, Judd and a changeling female from the wolf pack ShadowDance, Brenna. But their background stories are even more complicated. He is one of the Lauren family who defected from the PsyNet and found refuge with the wolfs and she is the only victim of Enrique Santino who survived his torture and was saved by the united efforts of the wolf and leopard changelings (with the help of Sascha) in book 1.
It was an intense and deeply emotional story. Both main characters were fighting inner dark and deadly demons - she was struggling with the consequences and scars of unspeakable torture she endured in the a powerful sadistic psy. He was a former Psy elite warrior (The Arrows) who found refuge with the wolves and worked with other rebels to undermine the Psy dominance.
Add to the mix a killer who has set his sights on Brenna, two older over-protecive brothers and Judd deadly abilities kept in control because of Silence and things get really intense. It was a struggle for Judd and Brenna to come together but truly a captivating one.
I loved the both the romance and the mystery/thriller element in this story. The author has achieved a perfect balance between the two, keeping you on your toes till the end and at the same time melting your heart with tender and passionate romance.
The romance between Judd and Brenna was overwhelming but they both had to overcome so much to be together. Both Sascha and Faith (the Psy from the previous two books who fell for changelings) had great difficulties breaking free from their conditioning and learning to embrace emotion and touch. Yet, things were even more difficult for Judd. He was already outside the system, but he was an assassin with a deadly gift and his struggles with himself and his true nature (physical and physic) to be good enough for the woman he loved were touching and heart-breaking.
The writing is just superb - complex world building, addition of new details to this paranormal world of Psy, Changelings and Humans with each new book. Old familiar characters were revisited and new ones were introduced. I really liked Brenna's brothers and can't wait for their stories. I'm more of a fan of cats in general but the pack of wolfs did win me over with its fierce loyalty to and care for one another.
Overall, it is another great addition to a series that is quickly becoming a favourite of mine.