Thursday, March 28, 2013

ANTHOLOGY REVIEW: "Wild Invitation" by Nalini Singh

Wild Invitation (Psy-Changeling 0.5, 3.5, 9.5, 10.5)
Wild Invitation by Nalini Singh
(Psy-Changeling #0.5, 3.5, 9.5, 10.5)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository

For Ages 18+
Paranormal Romance
Berkeley --March 5, 2013
Paperback, 339 pages
Bought from Amazon

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.

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.”

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.

The Psy-Changeling series is one of my favorites when it comes to paranormal romance.  I started reading them about two years ago and believe that I finished all the ones that were published at the time (9) in about a month.  One of my favorite aspects of the series, besides the amazing characters, unique supernatural world, and complex plots, is all the little side stories that Nalini Singh provides for her readers.

These novellas and deleted scenes are great ways to keep readers interested in the series while also helping make this fictional world more developed and intriguing.  That's why I was so excited to see that Singh was releasing an anthology of Psy-Changeling short stories in preparation for the highly anticipated Book 11, Heart of Obsidian.  Of the four novellas, two were ones I had previously read (though never reviewed) and two were brand new to me and other PC fans.

**Beat of Temptation (#0.5)
The first short story involves the DarkRiver leopard pack and serves as a prequel to the entire series.  It focuses on two very popular side characters, Tammy and Nate, and shows how this amazing couple got together.  And I absolutely adored this story!  I have had a soft spot for these two from the moment we met them and their rambunctious twins so it was nice seeing their love story unfold.  I loved the way that Nalini Singh showed readers about life in DarkRiver before Lucas took over as alpha.  She also used this story to focus on the role of the healer in pack life and the struggles that Tammy had to face when forced into the position so young.  Nate was a bit of a stubborn blockhead at times, but he was so sweet and devoted to Tammy that I was able to forgive him by the end.
--4 Stars

**Stroke of Enticement (#3.5)
This story also takes place in the DarkRiver pack and features a leopard sentinel Zach and a human teacher named Annie.  I enjoyed this story, but not as much as I was hoping.  I loved the romance and the characters, but found myself wanting more.  The development of the love story was a bit rushed for my taste especially because of how much I was getting into Zach and Annie's characters.  But, it was still a pleasant reading experience and I always like seeing the interactions of the pack with the human world.
--3.5 Stars

***Declaration of Courtship (#9.5)
Now, the anthology shifts from DarkRiver to the SnowDancer wolf pack run by the always delicious Hawke.  This particular story focuses on uber-alpha lieutenant Cooper and the much more submissive Grace.  I was fascinated by the interactions between these two with their very different personalities.  The whole dominant and submissive thing hasn't been featured very much in the PC world and it was a nice change.  I loved Grace's character and how she was able to show her strength without going against her wolf's nature.  Cooper was a decent hero, but he had some jerk moments that made me want to reach into the pages and smack him.  The love story was pretty standard, but sweet especially with all the little things Cooper did to court Grace.

--3.5 Stars

Texture of Intimacy (#10.5)
And our final short story takes place soon after the conclusion of Hawke and Sienna's book, Kiss of Snow, and features one of my favorite secondary romances: SnowDancer healer Lara and Psy-defector Walker.  I loved this couple's scenes in Kiss of Snow and was really excited to see Nalini Singh focus on them again.  Their situation is very unique and I like how the author portrayed the good and bad parts of the relationship.  Both Lara and Walker are strong individuals with some hidden vulnerabilities that they need to work out.  This was, by far, my favorite novella in the anthology and I really am hoping to see more of this couple in future PC books.
--4.5 Stars

Overall, I thought this was an entertaining and well-constructed anthology.  It covers a variety of themes and really allows the reader to immerse themselves into the DarkRiver and SnowDancer worlds.  The Changelings are my personal favorites when it comes to this series so I am always happy to see Nalini Singh write about them.

***4 Stars***

0.5. Beat of Temptation
1. Slave to Sensation
2. Visions of Heat
3. Caressed by Ice
3.5. Stroke of Enticement
4. Mine to Possess
5. Hostage to Pleasure
6. Branded by Fire
7. Blaze of Memory
8. Bonds of Justice
9. Play of Passion
9.5. Declaration of Courtship
10. Kiss of Snow
10.5. Texture of Intimacy
11. Tangle of Need
12. Heart of Obsidian (Coming 2013)



  1. I just finished Declaration of Courtship and needed a breather from all the dominant/submissive internal dialogue. I thought Singh should have pushed the characters further. It was all too sweet. But I'm excited to read the last one after seeing your rating. Great review.

  2. I enjoyed this collection too, and I especially enjoyed that it decreased the wait time until the next novel comes out. :D


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