The first book in the Psy-Changelings series, published September 5, 2006.
Genre: paranormal romance.
A fresh new talent in the realm of paranormal romance, Nalini Singh dives into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind – and none of the heart…
In a world that denies emotions, the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire. Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation” – the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticked into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this icecold Psy is very capable of passion – and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities – or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…
Sascha Duncan fears she is losing her mind. She is a Cardinal Psy, but no one knows what her powers are. Usually, Cardinals start working for the Psy Council, but she is not cut out for that life. She is working for her mother, Councilor Nikita Duncan, and she has just been appointed the liaison for working with the Dark River Leopard Pack on a housing development for shapeshifters.
Lucas Hunter is the alpha of Dark River, and he has his own reasons for seeking a connection with the Psy. Someone is killing their females, and the Enforcement Agency does nothing to find the killer. They won’t even agree that there is a serial killer on the loose, but the Changelings do talk with one another, and the clues are there. Someone very high up in the Psy must know who it is, and the Changelings are determined to find him and bring him down. And if the Psy won’t help them, there will be a bloody war. Especially when a young female wolf from the Snow Dancers, their allies, is taken. According to profile, they have seven days to find her, before he kills her, after torturing her for days. They do believe the Psy Council knows everything that happens, and they are determined to find out. Sascha is their door in. What Lucas does not count on, is his beast seeing Sascha as his mate.
Sascha can’t believe at first that there is such a thing as a Psy killer. Silence is supposed to have made all the Psy unable to feel emotions, unable to commit violence. But when she tries to find out some information on the Psy Net, she cannot doubt any longer. And as she knows she will die in a few weeks anyway, she is determined to do the right thing and find this killer. Hopefully in time to safe Brenna. But Lucas refuses to let her die, refuses to use her as bait. She is his mate, and as so, the most important thing in his life, more important than his honor, and his pack. Sascha is stubborn enough on herself that she does not give in to Lucas, she fights for what she sees as right. She is not Pack, he cannot control her. And to know that her mother has done nothing to stop those killings, and of the other murderers that do exist, is devastating to her.
I took this book with me to Berlin, the Autoren Love Letter Convention, to have it signed by Nalini Singh. She is such a great lady, so nice and spontaneous, and fun. She did not want to tell a thing about the next books in the series though, no spoilers, no surprises; we will just have to read the books to find out. Which is fine with me, as I was planning on doing that anyway. This series has a prime place on my keeper shelves, and I intend to keep reading them as long as she keeps writing books. I love her writing style, her characters and her totally unique world building and the great plots.
And so I found myself in my hotel room, looking at all the new books I had brought with me to read, all the old books I brought with me to be signed, and all the new books I had been gifted with by the authors, and all I wanted was to start re-reading this book. The first in the series, and I absolutely still love it.
I love Sascha, she is so strong, even though she thinks she is going insane. She has been conditioned from early childhood not to feel anything, to be a logic and cold being. But she has always known she is different, she does feel emotions. She has learned to hide her true self behind the strongest shields ever created. She craves the touch of Lucas and the rest of the Pack.
And then there is Lucas. He became the alpha at a very young age, and has led his pack to prosperity and influence in the region. And now he has made a pact with the other powerful pack of shapeshifters in the area, the Snow Dancer Wolves. After living in peace for a while, they have gone into business together, and very successfully. He will do whatever is necessary to protect his pack, and find the killer. And if the Psy won’t cooperate, there will be war between them. Innocents will die, and he does not look forward to that. But the Psy will have to learn they are not the boss, and they will have to deal with the changelings as equals and not as something lesser.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian