Kiss of Snow
Penguin, May 31, 2011, $25.95 (hardcover)
Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.
Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would've been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.
Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other's secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…
A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna's darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…
Nalini Singh does it again with her masterful blending of hot steamy passion and action packed suspense in her newest installment of her exciting Psy-Changeling series. Kiss of Snow brings us the much anticipated story of Sienna Lauren, Psy, and Hawke, Alpha of SnowDancer. From the moment Sienna and her family escaped the PsyNet and ended up in Snow Dancer territory, Hawke has been eye of the storm in her life. Hawke stays away from Sienna because of her age and his past. He doesn't feel she can handle the wildness of his wolf. But Sienna is older now, and demands that Hawke sees her as a woman or lets her go.
I love Sienna Laurens; strong, intelligent, and brave, she is more than a match for Hawke. She left everything she knew for freedom; even knowing it could and may still destroy her. Isolated as a child by the Psy, she has slowly come to learn to fully accept and embrace her emotions. She gives it her all and she is the epitome of grace as she does so. When she was younger, her immaturity and awkward social skills afforded her and Hawke the ability to ignore the stirrings between them. Their previously adversarial relationship suddenly morphs into misconduct and challenges as Sienna decides to take her destiny into her own hands and bravely provokes Hawke (and his wolf) into giving her what she wants: him. She jumps into the fire with no thought to her own survival. There is a particular scene where she dances coyote ugly style on a bar, knowing it will get back to him.
The crowd was chanting, “kiss, kiss, kiss” when Hawke walked inside.
That was when Sienna learned the meaning of the term alpha.
“You wanted to play, baby.” Soft words that had her freezing in place. “So we’ll play.”
When he makes her leave, she tells him she just wanted to dance. He drives her to a dark, secluded spot, turns on some music, and parks.
“You want to dance? Then dance with me.”
I love that Sienna never fears Hawke. While they have a volatile relationship, he never forces his will upon her (for her own good) as in some alpha shifter stories. She respects his wolf and his power, and for all her lack of experience, she is surprisingly astute concerning Hawke. She fights for him; using her wit and words as swords to slash and cut away at his excuses and lies. When Hawke decides his fight against Sienna and their relationship is not what he wants, he comes at her with everything in his arsenal. He makes sure she understands what it will be like to dance with an alpha changeling.
A faint smile that made every tiny hair on her body rise in quivering attention. “How fast can you run?” A wolf's question.
“I'm not running from you.” She held her ground.
Singh does an incredible job with impressing upon us the emotional and sexual tension that is felt throughout the entire story. It’s razor sharp edges scrape against our skin as we watch these two engage in an ageless battle.
“Scared?” Hawke's smile held no humor. “You should be, baby.” Then he kissed her and it was no tender exploration, no playful tease. This was the kiss of a man who knew precisely what he wanted and had no compuncture about getting it.
While the book is dominated by Hawke and Sienna, we are given updates on previous characters and see some interesting developments on the Psy-Changeling war that is coming to a head. In the end, Kiss Of Snow delivers what it promises and more. Sienna and Hawke takes this series to a higher level and only makes the wait for book 11 more delicious.