Feb 24 2013 10:00am

First Look: Nalini Singh’s Wild Invitation (March 5, 2013)

Wild Invitation by Nalini SinghNalini Singh
Wild Invitation: A Psy-Changeling Anthology
Berkley / March 5, 2013 / $7.99 print & digital

In “Beat of Temptation,” innocent Tamsyn has always had a place in her heart for Nathan, a blooded DarkRiver sentinel. But is she ready for the fierce demands of the mating bond?

In “Stroke of Enticement,” a wary young teacher, skeptical about love, arouses the man—and the animal—in an aggressive leopard changeling who must prove his affections are true.

Plus “In Declaration of Courtship,”* Grace, a shy submissive wolf, finds herself pursued by the last man she ever would have imagined: a SnowDancer lieutenant said to be “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”

Plus “In Texture of Intimacy,”* SnowDancer healer Lara discovers the searing joys—and unexpected challenges—of being mated to quiet, powerful Walker, a man used to keeping his silence.

*never published before

Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series is action-packed, with a healthy balance of humor and romance. This paranormal romance series—a favorite of mine—takes place in an alternate version of Earth, playing hard and fast with fantastical world-building and dynamic characters. Multiple subplots are rich in subterfuge and adventure as we immerse ourselves into the lives of these amazing individuals.

In this four-story anthology, Ms. Singh offers four couples who are given a chance at love—if only they are brave enough to seize it. Both the Dark River and Snow Dancer packs are represented in the stories.

One of my all-time favorite changeling couples in the series is Tamara and Nate. We first meet them in Slave to Sensation. Already an established pair with adorable leopard twin boys, Singh gives us updates on their lives and their boys throughout the series. “Beat of Temptation” (previously published in An Enchanted Season) relates the story of their tumultuous courtship and the pure strength that the very young Tamara uses in order to bring her dominant stubborn mate to heel. We also get a treat as we get to see Lucas and Vaughn when they were still juveniles.

He’d expect total devotion, demand complete sexual surrender, take absolute possession.

“Stroke of Enchantment” (previously published in A Magical Christmas Cat) gives us a sweet, romantic story about Annie, a shy teacher, and the very sexy and sensual changeling Zach. Though the romance between them happens fairly quickly, we get a full-bodied story, with Singh doing a fabulous job of exploring the strong and complex emotional bond that forms between them. Singh also touches on Annie’s relationship with her family and how the expectations that are forced on her affect her own expectations towards life and love.

“She was about to break one of her most fundamental rules in deepening this relationship in putting her heart on the line...”

After reading Play of Passion and Tangle of Need, I really wanted to learn more about Cooper and Grace, since both those books offer hints that their courtship was anything but smooth. Singh brings us their story in the never-before-released novella “Declaration of Courtship.” The mating dance is hard enough between two perceived equals, but when one is a soldier and his chosen is a submissive, the dance becomes a seductive claiming that shows us that what we are born to doesn’t dictate what we can be. Cooper is delightful as he strives to make Grace his own while trying to curb his dominant tendencies. Grace more than holds her own against Cooper’s personality and makes him work for her body and heart.

He was treating her as his, as if their spending time together was a given. It was a very subtle form of dominance play, and no matter how much woman and wolf both adored Cooper, Grace has no intention of being led on a leash.

“Texture of Intimacy” takes place between Kiss of Snow and Tangle of Need. Lara and Walker’s bittersweet courtship in Kiss of Snow left many readers aching with sorrow, as a strong-willed, very loving changeling attempts to make a certain emotionless psy notice her. And notice her, he does. In here, Singh further explores and develops their relationship, letting us know how they are doing and giving us insight into further scenarios and clues to what is coming up next to this exciting world.

...he knew he’d fight to the death to hold on to her. Lara was his.

Wild Invitation is a wonderful anthology that allows us to visit with some old friends and make some new ones, all in one book. A fabulous treat for all Nalini Singh Psy-Changeling fans.


Tori Benson can be found at Smexybooks and at Twitter.

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1 comment
1. lalalande

Thank you for the review, i wish you could give us more quote coming from Cooper and Grace's story *puppy eyes*

Also the typo troll is getting creative lately, it 's not "Tamara and Nate" s story, it's and Nate's story.

I am wishing for an Amara Story though. Have a lovely day!
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