Reviewette: WHISPER OF SIN by Nalini Singh

Reviewette: BURNING UP Anthology, "Whisper of Sin" by Nalini Singh

In Angela Knight's BLOOD AND ROSES, a vampire warrior and his seductive captor join forces to stop a traitor from unleashing an army of demonic predators on their kingdom.

New in Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series is WHISPER OF SIN, in which a woman in leathal danger finds an unlikely protector - and lover - in a volatile member of the DarkRiver pack.

Virginia Kantra continues the haunting tales of the Children of the Sea in SHIFTING SEA, the story of a wounded soldier rescued by a strange and enigmatic young woman.

Meljean Brook launches a bold new steampunk series with HERE THERE BE MONSTERS, as a desperate woman strikes a provactive - and terrifying - bargain to gain overseas passage.
Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Single Title/Series: WHISPER OF SIN is a series title novella that can easily be read apart from the Psy/Changeling series. In fact, its a great series start for newcomers since its essentially a prequel to Psy/Changeling series book one, SLAVE TO SENSATION.

Cover Thoughts: Bold and eye catching.

Why I Read It: This anthology was a must have purchase for me because of author Meljean Brook but Nalini Singh runs a close second. You can read my review for Meljean's novella contribution, "Here There Be Monsters", HERE.

My Review:

The Plot:

After a brutal physical attack leaves her shaken, Ria finds herself the new and deadly target of a rising San Francisco human gang threat known as The Crew. When her attacker fails to collect "protection" payment, a hit is put out for her death and per some warped honor code The Crew won't stop their pursuit until she's good and dead. But when Ria finds sanctuary in the unlikely arms of Emmett, a DarkRiver leopard shifter, she unleashes a previously untapped strong inner backbone.

From the moment Emmett takes Ria into his arms, feels her relax into the safety of his chest, an instinctive possession tears through his cat for the little human female. Incensed with anger that her attacker felt he had the right to hurt what Emmett has already claimed as his unleashes the sharp claws of his leopard. And the fact that The Crew is hunting Ria now invokes his killing rage.

DarkRiver is in the midst of taking over San Francisco as their territory. As the top predator in its area, it's only natural for the leopards to move in for the claim. While The Crew is made up solely of human members thereby lawfully keeping the cats from interfering, if DarkRiver can't control the escalating threat other predators will catch the scent of weakness and move in. Unwilling to let that happen no matter if the gang technically falls outside their "jurisdiction", DarkRiver will protect what's theirs and that includes San Francisco's human inhabitants. Determined to end The Crew's reign of terror, Emmett and DarkRiver seize the chance to bring them down while simultaneously protecting Ria.

The Heroine:

A spunky, curvy sprite, Ria may be small but she packs a pretty good punch. Feisty with a hot temper, she doesn't hide the fact that she's destined to unleash the flood of her emotions at times but up until this point, she's allowed her parents the right to maneuver her life in areas where they could. Extremely protective, Ria's parents want her to be safe with a man and family whom they know and trust. In that effort, they've continually paraded one specific suitor that Ria feels absolutely nothing for, not even friendship. However, it's not until the magnetic presence of Emmett that Ria finally stands up and puts her foot down.

At this time, little is known by humans of the leopards that are taking over San Francisco. Lowest on the totem pole of power, humans have little say in the matter but DarkRiver's determination to protect all those who are weaker than them, has earned the humans' wary trust. One thing that humans do know is that leopards don't mix non-leopards into their pack. They stick with their own which makes Ria extremely hesitant where Emmett's concerned. She can't let her heart get involved with a leopard she assumes will discard her once play time is over. Lucky for Emmett for he enjoys a challenge.

The Hero:

Emmett is a brave, protective, and affectionate hero with a playful naughty streak but if those he protects are in danger, his focus is sharp and unshakable. With no traumatized past or commitment phobias, Emmett isn't looking for love but he's not adverse to it either so when Ria sinks trustingly into his arms he doesn't fight his heart's desire. No matter how much we readers love a damaged hero, it's nice to occasionally have a respite from all the drama that one entails. And when Emmett sets his predatory sights on Ria, like his focus for those in need of protection, Emmett's focus on Ria is absolute.

My Final Thoughts:

Nalini Singh holds an undisputed position amongst my top five paranormal romance authors but in the case of "Whisper of Sin", I found the novella to be fun and entertaining but completely forgettable. Emmett and Ria are nice enough characters, well drawn and vibrant but the connection I normally find with Singh's characters is sadly lost with this particular pairing. The heat level, while normally trademarked with Singh's combustion, merely simmered and the love scene also felt a little rushed and glossed over.

However, one aspect of the novella where Singh doesn't disappoint is the cultural infusion she applies to all of her reads. She's an author who doesn't write in terms of white or black making her characters wonderfully mixed raced. Singh, in my opinion, is one of the rare authors that adheres to this method consistently and I'm always on edge to discover the interracial combinations she's created. This is not to say that prejudice or racism does not exist within her world's for there's a distinct racial divide amongst the Changelings and Psy of her Psy/Changeling series as well as amongst the vampires and angels of her Guild Hunter series. More to the point, it's simply refreshing to become enmeshed into a world with such an abundance of mixed racial heritages, supernatural elements aside.

"Whisper of Sin", while the novella showcases a dimmed heat level, its still heavy on the culture and the absorbing richness of the Psy/Changeling world. It's the perfect quickie romance bite for readers wanting a taste of something emotionally light and entertaining. Enjoy!


Coming Soon:

PLAY OF PASSION by Nalini Singh

Releases November 2010

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…


Leontine said...

I actually still have to buy this antho *eek* But like you said, it is a must have for me too with Nalini Singh/Angela Knight & Meljean Brook. Singh's novella sound like a light snack for the Psy/Changeling lover but still a nice one.

I read PoP recently which satisfied my psy/changeling craving and now it is a looooong wait for 2011 and Hawke's story *sigh*

I think Pop will give you a full flavored Singh story :)

Blodeuedd said...

First I wanted this book cos of Singh, but these days I am just so curious about that Brook story

Mandi said...

I love your paragraph about how she intermingles race yet that is what is causing the war :) Really well said!

I haven't read this one yet - although her Psy world is one of my favorites!

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Leontine!

I'm not even going to touch on the fact that you still haven't picked up this anthology. You know my thoughts. *wink*

Sooooooo dying for Hawke's book!! Shamefully, I'm two books behind in the Psy/Changeling series. Must catch up for PoP because is looks soooooo good! The Changeling pairings are my favorite. Glad to read that you loved it and that it'll satisfy my needs. ;)

Hugs, VFG


Blodeuedd!!! You gotta read BROOK!!!

Hugs, VFG


Thanks Mandi! Its really an aspect that I truly love about her novels.

Hugs, VFG

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