Thursday, October 04, 2007

Review: Beat of Temptation by Nalini Singh

Okay, so I got An Enchanted Season on Monday... and we all know or can guess why I got this anthology right? Nalini Singh. So far, I've only read her story, Beat of Temptation, and thought I'd reviewed it :D

Beat of Temptation by Nalini Singh
published as part of the anthology An Enchanted Season, by Berkley in October 2007

Young Tamsyn has always held a special place in her heart for her powerful fellow pack-member Nate. But as a dominant male leopard in the pack, the more experienced Nate doesn’t want to trap Tamsyn into the fierce demands of the mating bond—a bond driven by the animal within—when she’s hardly had the chance to grow into a woman. But Tamsyn knows what she wants for Christmas, and she’s going to get it...
Genre: paranormal romance, shapeshifters
Series: Psy/Changeling world, Book #0.5

We've all complained at one point or another how we find novella/short story unsatisfying, because they are too short... However, this sure is not the case with Beat of Temptation. Ms Singh took a clever approach when writing this novella. Instead of writing the story of new characters that need to fall in love, she went back and explored how it all begin between Tamsyn and Nathan. I say clever because 1) we all know what/how they are in the future and so, Ms Singh doesn't have to wrap it up and 2) those who won't read this novella won't miss anything needed for the further development of the series.

Those who have read Slave to Sensation all know and remember Tamsyn, the Dark River healer, and her mate Nathan, who's also a sentinel. Nathan is 10 years older than Tamsyn and has been holding off from completing the mating dance, because he wants Tamsyn to enjoy her freedom. He also doesn't want to suffocate her in this demanding relationship, because he's seen what can happen... and it's not always HEA. However, completing the mating dance is what Tamsyn wants and needs. As a result, she takes the matter into her hands... Okay, I almost just repeated the book blurb :P

Anyway, I really enjoyed the story :D Yes, it was short, but everything was covered - Tamsyn's feelings, Nathan's reasoning - and I can't really think of what Ms Singh could have added to the story. The story focused on Tamsyn and Nathan and their relationship and there was nothing really complicated. I personally enjoyed seeing young Tamsyn and Nathan, not that they are much different from the ones we know already... With this novella, you really see the effects of a fullfilling mate bond have on two persons. It also shed some lights on the mating bond... it's not automatic (as in recognizable at first sight) and although you feel attracted to each other or lust for each other, it doesn't guarantee happiness.

What else to say? I really liked Tamsyn and Nathan... Tamsyn is strong and has a backbone. She's also young and vulnerable and inexperiment. She's still young in many ways, but that didn't make her stupid. Nathan was just very alpha :D I also liked reading about a younger version of Lucas and Dorian and also, at a time when Dark River pack wasn't as strong. It actually would be very interesting to learn how Dark River got some prominent in such a short time.

There is a light storyline with a Psy, but it wasn't developed too much. The way it was handled though, didn't make it seem too superfluous. I'm even wondering if this Psy wouldn't appear again in the future.

In the end, I was very satisfied with this novella :D However, it did raise 2 questiosn: 1) How many shapeshifter races are there and if they all live as a pack? So far, I'm aware of wolves, leopards, wild cats, deers, hyenas, horses, eagles... are there marine species... Although, in the ideal world, Ms Singh shouldn't explore all of them too much (like Ms Marjorie M. Liu)... and 2) how long do these shapeshifters live?

Despite those two questions, I'm giving this book a B+ :)

Also, a little more book pimping for Ms Singh... Many have read Caressed by Ice and enjoyed it greatly. So here's some info about the next book, Mine to Posess:

Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed...and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.

Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life--the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows...

Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past...or lose everything that ever mattered.
This book comes out in February and already, I can't wait!! It sounds awesome :D

Slave to Sensation
Visions of Heat
Caressed by Ice


  1. Wow you are all about this Nalini Singh. I still haven't read anything by her. That good eh?

  2. Nath, thanks for the review. I'll buy the anth just for this story now. I've gotten so burnt by anths the last couple of years being a big disappointment. It's worth it when the author you buy for delivers though.

    I'm with you on being excited for the next book.

    Daphne, you really got to try NS.

  3. Haha I know Rosie. And man, I remember I seeing a NS book (the bluish one) at Holly's place, I should've asked her if I could borrow it.

  4. I am so far behind in this series! I still haven't read Visions of Heat although I own both that book and Caressed by Ice!

  5. I wonder if there is anyway to buy just the one story instead of getting the anthology?

  6. I didn't know the anthology was out already! Monday everything will be closed up tight. I think I should read my Anne Stuart before I buy any more books ;)

    It's now official. February can't come soon enough!


  7. Goodness, I'm seeing NS everywhere, I totally need to get my butt in gear and read her already!!!

  8. Sounds good. I really have to start reading her, considering how many series are really going downhill for me.

  9. Daphne - if you like paranormal romances, she's an author you really have to look into :P and yes, that good :D

    Rosie - welcome Rosie :D I know many were wondering whether it was worth to buy this anthology and for NS alone, I think yes. Of course, it'd be better if it came out on its own... but I think this is just the right amount for Tamsyn and Nathan's story :) and Clay and Talin sound soo good :P

    Marg - LOL, when you're going to start to read them, you're going to eat them up :D

    Chantal - I don't know if there is... wonder perhaps e-books, but I'm not sure.

    Cindy - Yep, the anthology is out :) LOL, hurry and read AS! and yeah, February and March can't come too soon.

    Rowena - LOL, definitively :) now that you're done with the VR series, this would be great :D

    Dev - Definitively agree. I hope you enjoy :D

  10. I wasn't enthused about this story (because it was in an anthology), but then I read the excerpt on Nalini's blog, and I rang up the bookstore immediately only to find out that they've sold out! I am not good at waiting.

    BTW, I don't have your e-mail address but I wanted to reply to your comment on my blog. LotFL has a lovely romance, but since you're also a reader of sci-fi/fantasy, I have to warn you that the fantasy aspect might not be that crash-hot if you're already familiar with the genre. Me, I'm easy to please as long as there's romance and magic and the good people win at the end. *lol*

  11. Oh, man, I should stay away from your blog cuz it always costs me money. Must go shopping. Must buy this. I finished Caressed by Ice not too long ago and I'm still in a daze. I hate February (weather-wise) but now I have something to like about it this time. Thanks for the review.