Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review: Play of Passion by Nalini Singh

I'm playing catch up again :P I've been doing very good blogging-wise at the beginning of the weeks and letting the ball drop at the end ^_^; I blame work, of course LOL. The past few weeks, I've been going to another hospital to recruit patients for the study we're doing  on Friday morning (very early in the morning) and thus, it's screwing my whole scheduling. So I'm trying something different this week and posting something up on Tuesday. LOL, I know, shocking. Plus, I've read so many good books since the end of October and I'm dying to review some of them :P So look out for my next few reviews... I'm going to start with Play of Passion by Nalini Singh :P

Play of Passion by Nalini Singh
published by Berkley in November 2010

As a conflict with Pure Psy looms on the horizon, two powerful wolves fight a far more intimate war of their own...

In his position as tracker for the SnowDancer pack, it’s up to Drew Kincaid to rein in rogue changelings who have lost control of their animal halves—even if it means killing those who have gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite…and who threatens to enslave his wolf.

Lieutenant Indigo Riviere doesn’t easily allow skin privileges, especially of the sensual kind—and the last person she expects to find herself craving is the most wickedly playful male in the den. Everything she knows tells her to pull back before the flames burn them both to ash…but she hasn’t counted on Drew’s will.

Now, two of SnowDancer’s most stubborn wolves find themselves playing a hot, sexy game even as lethal danger stalks the very place they call home...
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Psy/Changelings series, Book #12 (counting novellas)

The Story: Andrew Kincaid has been attracted to Indigo Riviere for what seems to be forever. However, it's not easy to woo a dominant female, especially when you're younger and outside of pack hierarchy and thus, the dominance ladder. Still, Drew is one determined wolf :P

Indigo has never regarded Drew that way. As a good friend - yes, as someone she enjoys spending time together - yes... but as a potential lover? He's Riley's little brother for God's sake! Also, Indigo has seen first hand what happens when a dominant female mates with a less dominant male and she's determined not to walk down that path. Factor in the recent events and the Pure Psy moves and Indigo is in no mood for romance...

My Opinion: LOL, like so many of you, I always look forward to Ms Singh's new release and Play of Passion was no exception :) Especially after I found out that the heroine would be Indigo - I've been wishing for her book since Caressed by Ice - and she'd be paired up with Drew!! Woohoo!! So I got my hand on Play of Passion as soon as I could and just proceeded to devour it :P

My first impression of Play of Passion was that it was a nice change of pace in the Psy/Changelings series. In the last few books, there's been a lot of progress in the overall story-arc, the tension has been building up and as a result, the focus was placed on the plot. There's nothing wrong with that, especially if the romance is satisfying and it was... but at the same time, I thought romances featuring a female Psy were starting to get a wee bit redundant and so, I was really happy Play of Passion was about two changelings.

Play of Passion was all about Indigo, Drew and their courting and I loved it :)  As one of the lieutenants in the SnowDancer pack, you know that Indigo is a strong and tough woman. However, seeing her interact with the younger members of the pack, you know there's a softer side to her. Indigo is definitively all woman and perhaps the most balanced character we've seen in the series so far :) I liked how she was able to deal with everyone and any situations... and that includes Hawke :P As for Drew. Ah Drew! LOL. I didn't expect to like him so much :) We've caught glimpses of his personality in the previous books, but it was pretty much restricted to the protectiveness and love of an older brother. As it turns out, Drew is so much more :) I think what I liked the most about his character was his attentiveness - he paid attention to his surroundings, to the people around him and considered, never dismissing a detail. I think that particular quality bridged his more playful attitude with the more serious side of his personality. I liked how he reached out to everyone, especially Sienna and his charming side... Seriously, who could resist? :P

The romance between Indigo and Drew was very well written and developed and more importantly, the obstacles to the relationship were real and not simply there just to be there. I thought it was a bit frustrating that everyone seems to look down on Drew because he was outside of the hierarchy. I thought being the Hunter would give him more cloud, mean more and instead, it was the opposite with his pack mates not being sure of his position and status and sometimes, how to treat him. I mean, it's pretty obvious that he is dominant... I guess the question was how much "more" dominant he was. Also, it seems much more difficult for dominant females to find a mate and so, made Indigo's fears and worries more realistic. Although, seriously, she didn't stand a chance with Drew's tactics! :P Now, there's a guy who knows how to win a woman's heart :P I thought it was nice that the relationship developed smoothly, two friends becoming lovers, and that each had to make some adjustment.

While Play of Passion was more focused on the romance, there were still some action and progress in the story. I actually like the fact that we got a better view and understanding of the SnowDancer pack. We know the DarkRiver pack very well, but our knowledge of the SnowDancers has been limited to what we've glanced in Caressed by Ice and I enjoyed seeing their dynamics. The interactions between Hawke, Indigo and Drew were very interesting in my opinion, how they know their Alpha and how he can assess the situation in a glance. Also, I enjoyed the camaraderie between Drew and Judd. It proves that Judd has really been accepted :P I also liked the secret meetings between Nikita, Anthony (Faith's father), the DarkRiver pack and the SnowDancer pack... and it finally shed lights about why everything is taking place in San Francisco. Also, I think it was a good move on Ms Singh's part to slow things down a little. Usually, it's the opposite and authors are building up for the big book... however, that usually leads to very high expectations and sometimes, to disappointment. We all know the next book is going to be Hawke and Sienna's and there's already enough anticipation I think due to the pairing... so really, Ms Singh doesn't need to add more oil to the fuel :P

My Grade: B++. Play of Passion was a great and fast read which I really enjoyed. I liked the characters and the romance. Perhaps I wished there'd be a bit more balance between the romance and the plot, but if I have to choose between the two, romance wins for sure :P I'm definitively looking forward to Hawke and Sienna's book, can't wait to see how that will turn out :)

By the way, I heard that Hawke's book will complete this story-arc and that Ms Singh will take the series to another city afterward and start a new story-arc. Can anyone confirm this and whether there's been changes in the plans or not? With the way things are going right now, it seems unlikely to me, although it would be very interesting :P  Also, I really hope that Lara and Walker will get their own book :P


  1. Glad the series is still going strong! I'm getting further and further behind in this series! The last book I read was Dorian's! I'm a slacker!

  2. I loved this book, and glad to hear that you enjoyed it, its one of my favorite series!! Great REview!!!

    Happy Holidays!

  3. Including Play of Passion, I'm 3 books behind in this series. Tempted to skip right to this one since both are changelings.

    Here's a link to a Q & A Nalini did this past June. http://nalinisingh.blogspot.com/2010/06/q.html

    The 3rd comment asks about Hawke & end of the first arc. No definitive answer. Sounds like she'll decide after finishing Hawke's book.

  4. I'm in the same boat as Leslie. Including Play of Passion, I'm three books behind in the series, too. But your review and the others I've read so far have really got me psyched for this Drew & Indigo pairing, so I'm totally motivated to get back on board.

    Thanks for writing such an insightful review without giving anything away!

    Like everyone else, I CANNOT wait for Hawke & Sienna's book!!!!!

  5. Okay, so I read your review even though I haven't read the book yet. I'm so excited... I love Changeling/Changeling pairings and am really looking forward to reading this book. I'm so glad you liked it so much, Nath. It sounds as if the overall storyarc moves enough, but the romance is awesome! Yes!

    PS: I wonder if Singh will begin the new story arc with Kaleb? That would make sense to me, but who knows! :D

  6. Mollie - Oh yeah, series definitively is going strong :P I really like this series because it moves along :P

    and don't worry, you're not the only slacker :P

    Lover of Romance - Thanks :P I'm glad you enjoyed it too. Definitively one of my best series :P

    Leslie - LOL, wouldn't be a bad idea. I think reading this one, you wouldn't feel lost actually :P

    I'm curious to see what her decision is going to be about the series. I wouldn't mind moving, but it just doesn't seem possible with the direction she's taking...

    Christine - LOL, do so Christine :P It's worth it :)

    And you have 7 months to catch up for Hawke and Sienna's book :)

    Hilcia - I love changeling/changeling pairing as well and this one is interesting because it's same species. What I'd like as well is seeing more Psy males as heroes. I think that would change things up a little.

    Who knows. I'm sure Ms Singh is going to surprise us :P

  7. I didn't read your review, just looked at the grade. :P I am a few books behind in this series. I need to catch up!

  8. Ames - I hope when you get to it, you'll have fun catching up :)