Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.
Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced-and keep her from Vaughn...
Book Two in the Psy/Changeling Series
Faith Nightstar is a billion dollar asset. As a Cardinal F-Psy, Faith has the rare gift of foresight and the most powerful known to date in the race making her very valuable to her PsyClan - a familial grouping of Psy that align themselves together for business purposes. Since she was three years of age, Faith has been forecasting and her predictions almost always come to fruition unless purposefully diverted.
Due to the fact that F-Psy have the highest rate of insanity, even with the implementation of Silence, they are kept in complete isolation and are rarely seen in public. In addition, their conditioning to Silence is one of the most intense within the Psy for they need complete and total lack of emotion to generate their forecasts of business trends and therefore the further growth in power for their race. Although at twenty-four, much earlier then her predicted collapse at fifty years, Faith is beginning to feel the deterioration of her mind. In the last few months she's been receiving dark and evil visions and awakening from night terrors so intense that she's soaked in sweat. While her home in Tahoe, California is monitored by M-Psy (medical designation), Faith has taken to sleeping in her bed rather then the red chair where she forecasts and which also monitors her every physical move and condition. If the M-Psy were to know of her night sweats, they would be performing a physical exam with no questions asked.
When Faith is contacted by her father and informed that her half-sister, Marine, has been murdered by strangulation, Faith knows now that the dark visions she's been experiencing was the foresight of the murder. Wanting answers from someone who will not report her to the center for reconditioning, Faith decides that she's going to seek out Sascha Duncan, the Psy that cut her link from the Net. Although there is a ban on any Psy making contact with the defective Sascha Duncan, Faith feels that Sascha can give her the answers and possibly even the knowledge on how to block these dark visions.
Vaughn D'Angelo is a jaguar and a sentinel of the DarkRiver leopard pack. Although he's a jaguar and more solitary then his leopard cousins, they adopted him on that long ago day when he was ten years old, broken and alone. Abandoned by his parents, Vaughn tried everything he could to save his then seven year old sister but she died in mere days of a broken heart. Surviving in his leopard form, Vaughn aimlessly wonders into DarkRiver territory. Due to the fact that he saw so much heartache and terror in his jaguar form, it took a long time until he was ready to shift into his human half. For that, Vaughn is closer to his beast then most making him very dangerous.
When curiosity brings his cat to the edges of Tahoe, he's immediately intrigued by a house that's surround by fences, surveillance, and Psy guards. He doesn't have to wait long to glimpse whomever is inside because soon a smallish woman with long flaming red hair agilely picks her way across the lawn and over the fence without tripping any alarm. But when he realizes that the female Psy is heading straight into DarkRiver territory, his protective instincts flare and he soon stops her in her tracks demanding her purpose as only a highly feral jaguar can do.
As a known loner and with every intention of maintaining his distance, no one is more surprised then Vaughn when Faith arouses his possessive instincts. He can't stop himself from breathing in her scent and touching her at every opportunity. While Faith warns him profusely that his intimate actions will undoubtedly cause her to go into seizures, (for she's seen actual recordings of these types of affects on other F-Psy) Vaughn is governed by the pure instinct that his Psy needs to be able to handle his touch. He senses a back bone of steele within Faith and that her physical reactions to him of unconsciousness is only her brain convincing her of this fact and that in truth she can withstand his possessive male onslaught. And sure enough, with each subtle caress, Faith grows stronger against her body's trained reactions.
What Faith learns and comes to believe from Sascha is that her race, while proclaiming that Silence has guaranteed the lack of violence, the Council is actually hiding the real truth: That Psy killers are not only abundant, but essential to the maintenance of the PsyNet - the psychic plain that all Psy connect with for necessary biofeedback and communication. Without these killers, the violence they contain and excert would bleed directly into the Net and cause many Psy to go insane.
In addition, Faith learns that previous to the implementation of Silence, F-Psy not only predicted commerce but they also predicted and provided the knowledge for the prevention of possible murders and natural disasters. With Silence having directed Faith's gift so efficiently towards business trends, she was never properly trained on how to block the dark visions she's forecasting now for with her total lack of emotion, they never should have found her to begin with.
With the death of Council Member Enrique, the Council is looking at candidates for his replacement and Faith is approached for the position. Having an F-Psy member would not only grant the Council nearly unlimited power, but F-Psy are also known to be adept communicators with the NetMind - a sentient being that organizes the immense data of the PsyNet and monitors all Psy. When controlled by the Council, the NetMind can seek out rebels within the Psy and report other findings for their benefit.
Faith needs to make a life changing decision. Not only is the Council making it's demands but if she defects from the Psy the Nightstar PsyClan will loose countless jobs and untold millions without her forecasts. She can either move into an incredible political position that can give her the tools to possibly help her race or she can cut her link to the PsyNet and belong exclusively to the jaguar that has stolen her heart.
Having already mated to Faith, Vaughn senses and rages at her indecision. Changelings only mate once and he could potentially be tied to a woman that may never accept the mating bond. Vaughn is not willing to let his Psy go without a fight but when powers greater than him pull hard on Faith, he may have to accept that he'll end up sleeping with the enemy. For if Faith chooses to stay with her race and become Council, Vaughn won't hesitate to come when she calls.
Out of the entire Psy/Changeling series 'Visions of Heat' is my least favorite for reasons that are difficult to pinpoint. I think that it really may come down to the fact that I didn't really connect with either the hero or heroine. Vaughn was supposed to be a solitary closed off male but then Faith comes along and before he even knows her, he's already pushing her hard to acknowledge his possession. This can be contributed to the fact that the mating is done on such a basic and primal level that it really just changes these males at a drop of a hat in some respects. Although with Lucas and his mating to Sascha, I didn't feel that he did a complete one-eighty with his personality.
Faith, in my opinion, was a weak heroine and I didn't really understand where her emotion came from. She based her entire thought process on the warnings from others rather than experiencing her own mistakes. Faith believed so strongly in what she's been told that she actually convinces her body to go into seizures when Vaughn touches her. With regards to emotion, Faith was a perfect Psy right up until the dark visions and that's when she starts questioning her life and her race. I also didn't think that she deliberated long or hard about giving up her life with the Psy and mating with Vaughn but rather she simply had a knowing, all of which led me to feel that her choices and her personality were inconsistent.
In contrast, I think that 'Visions of Heat' is integral to the Psy/Changeling series. The Council and it's members motivations were given more light and we're also given a more in depth look and understanding of the PsyNet. I really enjoyed learning about the sentient being that is the NetMind and how it has emotions. The way it communicates with Faith is beyond interesting. 'Visions of Heat' also unveils a new Psy - the Arrow Psy which are highly combative and lethal. They're also supposedly under the Council's thumb. And lastly there is Kaleb Krycheck. Who is he? Is he good or evil? Even as far as book six, Kaleb's motivations are still unknown but Nalini gives us access to his POV which must be for a reason, right?