Review: Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh04:08
Title: Hostage to Pleasure Psy-Changeling # 4)
Author: Nalini Singh
Date of publication: 2 Sept 2008
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifters
My rating: 5 Stars
Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy--cool, calm, emotionless...at least on the surface. Inside, she's fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.
DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard's rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian's agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules...
I loved this installment in the series. We are still with the DarkRiver cats and once again the romance is between a male cat (Dorian, a sentinel, a latent changeling and a brother of one of the victims of Santino) and a Psy female (Dr. Ashaya Aliene, M-Psy, who had broken Silence and is on the run)
The conflict in this story was pretty intense for both sides. Dorian may have the carefree surfer's good looks but on the inside he had his daemons to fight. The loss of his sister to a Psy-sociopath, brought him to the brink of madness. Initially, he resented his attraction to Ashaya, felt guilty about it. Add to this his connection and urge to protect her son, and things get close to boiling point.
Ashaya had her own secrets to protect - she had defected the Psy world but this had placed both her son and her twin sister in danger. And like for most Psy in the series so far, the attraction she felt for Dorian was a completely new and unfamiliar thing which she needed to analyze and understand.
I loved the plotline with Ashaya's twin, Amara. It was an interesting presentation of the struggle between good and evil, light and darkness and finding the gray in between. I think this conflict was resolved in the best way possible.
This story has thrown the characters in some rather complex relationships. There are no easy answers and tough decisions must be made. Despite these heavy undertones, there was also humour and lightness in the story. The interactions between the packmates could be quite funny and playful. The children Ms Singh has created in this series are also very entertaining - Keenan was rather exceptional and Noor and Jon, togther with Tammy's twins add so much colour to the story.
Ms Singh continues building the suspense plot of the series. Here we meet new players - the Human Alliance and I guess we'll be seeing more of it in the coming books. The world of Psy, changelings and humans is already in turmoil and it looks like things are bound to escalate in the future.