You can click here to read my original review, which was a buddy review with Chantal over at Breezing Through.
Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
published by Berkley in February 2008
A ghost returns from a leopard changeling’s past, making him question everything—even his base animal instincts…
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.
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Psy-Changeling series, Book #5 (counting novellas)
The Story: Clay and Talin met as children. Talin was with a foster family with parents that abused her and when Clay found out, he killed the foster father. He ended up in juvie for 4 years and when he came out, was told that Talin has died. Luckily for Clay, he was later picked up by Nate who brought him back to DarkRiver.
Fast-forward 16 years and Talin shows up, asking Clay for help. Talin is a social worker, working for the Shine Foundation, and her charges have disappeared. One was found dead with some organs missing, the other is still missing. Talin's life is running short, but she's determined to keep her promise to Jonquil and not give up on him. Unfortunately, Enforcement is not interested in the case and thus, Talin needs help from people with power and connection...
My Opinion: Phew, my memory was a bit rusty ^_^; I mean, I remembered the big lines of the book; however, for the life of me, I could not place Max LOL. So I'm happy I did the re-read.
On one hand, this book was very interesting. Mine to Possess was the first book with a human protagonist and as a result, it introduced a new dimension to the Psy-Changeling world. Primarily, we got to explore outside the Pack and the Psy, see how the world is in 2080. The introduction of the Shine Foundation and the Forgottens was engaging and well weaved in the storyline. I especially liked the addition of the Forgottens. It sounds simple and very logical at first, but I think it's something not all authors would have thought to include in the world building. Ms Singh definitively has her world all figured out and she's revealing it according to her plan :) All the elements introduced move the whole story-arc forward and I thought Mine To Possess was really a pivotal book in the series :)
As for the plot itself, the kidnapping and etc. I thought it was good. Perhaps the whole was a bit too easy to figure out - connect the dots, but it was still good. I especially liked how the kids were rescued :)
What didn't work too well for me was Talin and Clay characters and subsequently, the romance. Talin was a hard heroine to like, especially in the beginning of the book. There she is, having lied to Clay, made him suffer... and she shows up out of no where, asking for his help... and when he becomes angry, she has the nerves to say: "What happened to you? You weren't like that before." I mean, seriously?!? You betrayed him and you expect him to welcome you, open arms? Plus, she's afraid of him which obviously doesn't help... but worst, you antagonize him!! Ugh. I understand she had a terrible childhood and was traumatized, but I didn't follow nor was able to sympathize with her train of thoughts and outbursts. As for Clay, he was more likable than Talin, but not by much. He was such an angry character, with the brooding and the growling. Then, he pushed and pushed Talin till she accepted and started breaking out of her shell. Good, but by then, I cared little about them and the romance :( All in all, I just feel that Talin and Clay were not the most compelling characters Ms Sing has written.
My Grade: Originally, I gave Mine to Possess a B+. Now, after re-reading it, I feel that was the fangirl in me talking and Mine to Possess is more of a B-. Ms Singh is definitively a great author and all of her books are strong and solid. Still they are some better than others, unfortunately, Mine to Possess is not one of those. I just couldn't connect with Talin and Clay and it kind of ruined it for me, luckily, the engaging plot and events saved it for me :)