Review: PLAY OF PASSION by Nalini Singh

Review: PLAY OF PASSION by Nalini Singh

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…
Publisher: Berkley, November 2010

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Single Title/Series: PLAY OF PASSION is Book Nine in the Psy-Changeling series and I highly recommend reading this series in order.

Cover Thoughts: Love it! Finally, a Psy-Changeling cover comeback!! I love the colors and how the designers took excellent care and consideration for Singh's character descriptions.

Why I Read It: I purchased this book solely for my own reading enjoyment.

My Review:

The Plot:

Indigo Riviere is the third most dominant wolf in SnowDancer hierarchy and the most dominant female wolf of the entire pack. Always cool, calm and collected, Indigo trusts and values the hierarchy implicitly and looks to it for guidance and understanding for both her wolf and herself. Pack is everything and knowing where you belong is of utmost importance. However, when one wicked male wolf who doesn't quite fit within the ladder of Pack makes a bid for Indigo's heart, it turns her life and her sanity inside out.

While Andrew Kincaid's place in SnowDancer isn't readily defined, he's right where he needs to be and it's likely, as the pack's tracker, that Drew may in fact have the most difficult role in keeping SnowDancer healthy. When wolves go rogue, it's incredibly dangerous to both the rogue wolf and those closest to them for the rogue tends to attack or kill those they love. It's not only Drew's job to track the wolf once its gone rogue but he's also the one to eliminate the wolf if it can't be brought back. With his finger on the pulse of the pack, understanding the emotional mood of SnowDancer is everything to a tracker and it's Drew's easy charm that keeps him heavily intertwined in Pack life despite his dark role.

Where there was once only deep respect for the SnowDancer Lieutenant, Drew's building desire for Indigo has become an unstoppable force within his wolf. He's singled her and he'll do what it takes to claim her.  Failing miserably with a sexual pounce, Drew next strives for subtlety while courting Indigo. Knowing that her dominant wolf won't appreciate being claimed, his inherent sneakiness and smooth charm soon has him coaxing Indigo into his arms but winning this particular wolf's heart will test Drew's stamina and more importantly, his patience.

Four years younger than herself, Indigo has a difficult time envisioning a future with Drew beyond anything but friendship. As a woman who makes no decision lightly, to grant Drew the intimate skin privileges he seeks feels as pointless as a windowless room facing the ocean. Besides, Indigo has come to cherish and rely upon her friendship with Drew. His easy demeanor and constant smile soothes both Indigo and her wolf. But more than that, Indigo fears what can only be an awkward and inevitable end for she's stubbornly resigned to the belief that her more dominant wolf simply won't be able to accept the less dominant Drew. In order to preserve the comfortable boundaries of their friendship, Indigo does what she can to keep Drew at a distance, but like a dog with a bone, there's no shaking this persistent wolf.

Amongst the chaos of this burgeoning mating dance is the ever present Psy and their ignorant attempts to gain world domination. Wanting to unseat the power trifecta in San Francisco, which effectively controls all of North America, the radical group Pure Psy are moving forward with their war operations to take down Psy Councilor Nikita Duncan, SnowDancer and their allies, the DarkRiver leopards. With these three power groups eliminated, Pure Psy can then move across the Continent free of resistance. But first they must succeed and they've started by targeting SnowDancer alpha, Hawke. By eliminating the glue that holds SnowDancer together, the pack stands no chance in the fight against the Psy.

The Heroine:

Indigo is an incredibly strong and independent woman but never does she come off as aloof or impervious. There's a heart of vulnerability within her that quickly endears the reader to Indigo and the fight she embarks upon for her happiness.

Sharing the same fear with other extremely dominant female Changelings, Indigo seriously doubts her ability to make Drew happy. She's not so much concerned with his own need to dominate her, it's more about what will increasingly happen when a male dominant is less dominant than his mate. Feelings of inadequacy will eventually give way to frustration, anger and ultimately hate, and Indigo simply can't handle that which she feels is inevitable if she gives into Drew's bid for her soul. Truly believing that she's looking out for what's best for not only her and Drew but for Pack as well, Indigo skids on the breaks numerous times during their courtship.

However, it's Drew's persistence and his laughter that brings out the playfulness in Indigo's otherwise buttoned-up wolf. Her own smile has never come so easily except with Drew and ultimately it's his devotion and his true interest in who she is that slowly has him winning her reluctant heart.

The Hero:

Drew is the ultimate romantic. Wooing Indigo with a locker full of roses, sending her the most decadent desserts to satisfy her sweet tooth and gifting her with notes via an adorable wolf stuffed animal, Drew gives new meaning to the definition of courtship. But beneath this smooth operator's charm is a complex heart and soul that has a boundless capacity to love. While Indigo likes the safety of thinking Drew is just a young pup chasing skirts, he soon reveals to her that he's so much more than she could have ever hoped for in a mate.

My Final Thoughts:

PLAY OF PASSION has successfully secured my own passion once again for the Psy-Changeling series. It's been a long time since a hero has swept me off my feet the way Drew did. For him, Valentine's Day is everyday and showering Indigo with mouth-watering desserts, perfect rose blooms and cuddly stuffed animals brought out the woman in me that loves a good hopeless romantic. Literally, the wolf melts your heart and our heroine isn't ice against it either as she melts right along with us. It just proves that Singh can and does deliver one-of-kind heroes. I mean, when was the last time you read of a hero courting his heroine with chocolates and flowers? Seriously, it seems as though today's hero is only interested in one thing: the sexually aggressive claiming of his heroine. That's all well and good and don't get me wrong, I love a sinful hero myself but it was nice to experience the doting courtship that Drew plies with Indigo.

Also, any reservations of Drew being the weaker dominant in this pair is quickly scoffed and cast aside. While on the surface Indigo may appear to be the more dominant of the two, Drew's charming layers soon reveal a cunning and skillful wolf that's equipped with the smarts on how to handle an uber dominant female. He's patient and kind but that doesn't mean he can't get angry or violently protective and possessive. His demeanor is complex to say the least and while he doesn't read like a leashed beast, instead Drew is simply extremely cohesive with his wolf and the two work wonderfully against Indigo's push and pull in the mating dance. He's just a lovely hero and I can't say enough good things about him.

Finally, the long awaited chance to become heavily acquainted with the mysterious SnowDancer wolf pack was a treat in and of itself and gods know I love me some Hawke. There's some prep here for his book with some wonderfully volatile moments with Sienna too. Love it! And this book truly gifts its hero and heroine with center stage. While there is some impending doom with the Psy, the sinister ongoing plot arc has little affect on Drew and Indigo which is refreshing after the saturated Psy plots in series installments seven and eight. PLAY OF PASSION is all about the Changelings folks!!

Extra heavy on the romance, PLAY OF PASSION is paranormal romance at its best. Prepare to be thoroughly won over by Drew and his scrumptious courtship wiles. I'd recommend having something sweet and delicious in your pantry for this cunning wolf will quickly have you scavenging for chocolate. Enjoy!

5 Stars

More Reviews:

Lynette's Two Cents
Dear Author
The Good, The Bad, and The Unread
The Book Pushers
Fiction Vixen
The Book Binge
Literary Sluts
Realms on Our Bookshelves
Smokin' Hot Books
Lurv A La Mode
That's What I'm Talking About
The Book Reading Gals
What Book Is That?

The Series to Date:


Coming Soon:

KISS OF SNOW by Nalini Singh

Releases June 2011

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s exhilarating world of shapeshifters and psychics is “paranormal romance at its best” (Publishers Weekly). Now comes the story of an alpha wolf named Hawke used to getting exactly what he wants--and of the only woman who dares tangle with him.

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.

Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…


Mandi said...

LOVED this book - so sensuous! Nalini writes the BEST shifters.

Dying for Hawke!!!

Leontine said...

I fell hard for Drew in PoP, especially how he wooed Indigo *content sigh* Like many others I'm pining for Hawke's story, it promises quite the firework :)

Blodeuedd said...

I want to read it now, but I am a wicked girl who is waiting for my friend to get it first so i can borrow it

Lizzielvr said...

"It's been a long time since a hero has swept me off my feet" That did it for me! I put this one in my TBR pile, now I have to move it up to the top! Thanks VFG!

VampFanGirl said...

Me too Mandi! I'm so DYING for Hawke!! His scenes with Sienna, while I gobbled them up, were just cruel of Singh cause now I need their book so bad!!!!

Hugs, VFG


Hey Leontine!

Oh yeah, I fell so, so hard for Drew. I love this kind of courtship and it was wonderfully refreshing in a paranormal romance world filled with - Me Man, You Woman, now we have sex.

Hugs, VFG


You've got to read it Blodeuedd!! I can't wait for your thoughts!

Hugs, VFG


Hey Lizzielvr!! Yay!! Get ready to be swept off your feet too! Enjoy!

Hugs, VFG

Ing said...

So am I missing out? All the raves I've seen about her and I'm not sure why I haven't read any of her books yet.

I'll need to remedy that soon!

VampFanGirl said...

YES, you're missing out Ing!!! You have to read her books. Her Guild Hunter series and Psy-Changeling series are must reads especially her Guild Hunter. Go forth and read Nalini Singh my friend!!

Hugs, VFG

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