Review: KISS OF SNOW by Nalini Singh

Review: KISS OF SNOW by Nalini Singh
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…
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 31, 2011
Release Format: Hardcover
Genre: Paranormal Romance
432 Pages

Single Title/Series: KISS OF SNOW is book 10 in the Psy-Changeling Series. The romance between this hero and heroine has not only been long awaited but a much cherished emotional development between two beloved characters. For a reader to experience the true evolution of the love between these two characters, I definitely recommend reading the series in order. Why wouldn't you want to any way? Its beyond stellar!

Cover Thoughts: Its certainly eye catching with all that skin showing on a large hardback release but sadly, its not a favorite. What irks me the most is the black wolf. That's not Hawke who's wolf has a white/gold pelt. Thankfully the contents surpass the disappointment of its cover.

Origin: I purchased this novel for my own reading enjoyment.

My Review:

The Plot:

Hawke's wolf has sensed that its quarry has finally reached adulthood and is therefore fair game for the sensual assault its clawing to unleash. Since the moment Sienna Lauren and her Psy family landed uninvited upon SnowDancer territory, both Hawke and his wolf have been intrigued by the then adolescent cardinal X-Psy with her night-sky eyes and flaming disregard for him as alpha. She's wrestled him at every turn, defied him at every moment, and now she's grown up to become an intelligent and adept soldier in Hawke's ranks. But Hawke, despite his body's wild sexual hunger for Sienna, can't bring himself to claim her. Knowing that he would demand everything from Sienna but have nothing to offer in return, Hawke is determined to maintain his cool and indifferent facade. But his cunning X-Psy isn't about to make his decision to stay away easy and honestly,  he shouldn't ever expect anything less given their volatile history.

The moment Sienna's eyes clashed with Hawke's piercing predatory gaze, her Silence shattered like so much glass. Faced with the alpha wolf and his alpha demands, Sienna fights continuously to stay in control of her combustible emotions while also striving desperately to hold tight to her psychic shields that safeguard the most deadly of all Psy powers. Hackles constantly raised against her alpha, all Sienna wants is Hawke - just Hawke - instead, she's forced to chafe against the yawning distance that has been pounded relentlessly between them by a wolf who hides behind his rank and the belief that he has nothing to offer. Having withstood Hawke's rejection for too many years, Sienna's done waiting. She wants to live and she's going to start now.

Helpless to fight Sienna's innocent seduction, Hawke can no longer subdue his raging urge to claim Sienna. Threatened by the scent of a leopard that stalks dangerously close to his Psy, Hawke can't stop himself from squashing both Sienna's and her kitty's flirtation for he can only tolerate his scent on her untouched skin. Selfish of him, yes, but he's driven by hot-blooded alpha instincts that he could no more ignore that he could stop himself from breathing. Willing to make progress in their relationship, Hawke tentatively reaches out to Sienna, asking her for answers to the personal questions he's always hungered for but when the interrogation turns to him, he's ruthless in shutting Sienna down. In truth, Hawke's trying to save Sienna from the despair she'll inevitably feel. Wolfs mate only once and having found and lost his would be mate as children, Hawke knows within his heart that he'll never mate with Sienna and no self respecting woman, wolf or not, would want anything less than everything.

While the fact that Hawke's inability to mate is heartbreaking, Sienna won't let him go without a fight. Demanding that they be equals and that he share his heart and secrets that same as she's done with him, than mating be damned for she'll still have her wolf. But just when her happiness seems set, her X designation rears its ugly head. The only cardinal X-Psy to be birthed in the PsyNet, Sienna faces the wild unknown. If she goes critical, if the ugliness within her manges to overpower her ruthless attempts to hold it under shield after shield after shield, than the North American continent is in serious threat of total and complete annihilation.

The Heroine:

Brutally caged both physically and psychically by the ruthless Psy Councilor Ming LeBon, Sienna has lived in a prison of fear from the moment the X maker made its presence known at the tender age five. Trained to be LeBon's protegee, Sienna never learned to play even by Psy standards. Instead, each day of her childhood was a fight to survive. Weapon and combat trained, Sienna bears the burden of knowing with deadly military precision the complete and utter destruction that can be wielded with a flick of her seemingly delicate wrist. The only cardinal X-Psy in existence, Sienna's a ticking time bomb set to explode. The only measure of peace that allows her to live are the fail safes orchestrated by her Uncle Judd and her own ruthless control so at nineteen, she's not going to waste a single precious moment of the gift life has granted her.

Burdened with knowledge and memories beyond her years, when Hawke invites Sienna to play, she pounces. Knowing that she's playing with an alpha who's wolf is closer to the skin than any other Changeling, Sienna takes pride in being one of the few who can sense man from wolf. But it's not all fun and games. Sensing a deep well of pain within the alpha, Sienna digs relentlessly through his dark layers completely undaunted by Hawke's attempts to cauterize any attempt. Wanting this complex man with every fiber of her being, she'll not allow him to claim her without her reciprocating the action. Mating aside, Sienna demands Hawke's heart and she'll accept nothing less.

The Hero:

Enduring a childhood soaked in the blood of heartbreaking loss, Hawke's wolf was forced to take hold of the boy as an adolescent in order to make the hard decisions, decisions that no child should be forced to make. Now, as alpha of SnowDancer - the largest and most influential Changeling pack in North America, most would be hard pressed to discern the wolf from the man for they move as one with synergistic fluidity. Grudgingly resolved with the fact that he can't offer the mating bond, Hawke limits his relationships to the mere assuaging of base needs. But despite feeling the acute pain of never being able to claim a woman fully as his own, Hawke does what he can to maintain distance from Sienna knowing she deserves more.

With a stranglehold on both his wolf and his raging sexual need, Hawke throws his final effort into staying away from Sienna but neither she nor his wolf are willing to back down from the chase. No sooner does Hawke decide to take tentative steps towards Sienna, slowly and sensually acclimating her to his demands, he finds that his quarry has nestled herself firmly under his skin. Sienna's strength and cunning intelligence make him preen with pride while the need to protect surges hotly when he must command her to the front lines. She's everything Hawke has ever wanted and to deny her the bond she deserves tears him apart but he'll never ever let her go. Sienna is his, mating bond or not.

My Final Thoughts:

Verdict: The highly anticipated and long awaited KISS OF SNOW delivers! Oh does it ever! And I'm tempted to leave it at just that...

Nalini Singh has become a permanent fixture on my book shelves and the real estate she's rightfully claimed is not a recent development. Oh no. She claimed her territory in September 2006 with the release of SLAVE TO SENSATION, the first installment of the Psy-Changeling series. Back before I even knew about blogging, the buzz this author generated resounded across the world of romance lovers like the circular momentum thrust of a giant boulder plopping into calm waters. She's created change and set a new standard. And while my wallet may be hurting a bit more, I still couldn't be more thrilled or happy with her transition into hardback. She's more than deserving of that validation.

More than that, there's something utterly comforting about a Singh novel. I've been reading her Psy-Changeling series for five years now and every time I sit down with her latest release, I feel like I'm coming home. Her characters are so recognizable that they're almost like a fantasy family that welcomes me lovingly with open arms. In addition, there's something to be said for the consistent quality Singh produces with each book.  A reader can be confident while expecting a high standard of story telling from Singh because she never fails to deliver the goods. And oh was KISS OF SNOW the goods!

It has to be mentioned that for five years I've been reading about Hawke and wanting more. He's protective, strong, alpha, and even beyond that, he's thrillingly wild! With his wolf always just beneath his skin, he exudes a primitive sexuality that practically leaps off the pages, zinging you with the electric force of his personality. He's a hero that has always managed to make me shudder. When reading the true beginnings of Hawke's and Sienna's physical relationship, I was helpless against the giddiness I felt. I'd picture the large masculine body of Hawke pressed sensually with male aggression upon Sienna and I'd be thinking this is Hawke! And with that, I ate up every moment. Hawke is a hero that all authors desperately dream of ripping from their subconscious. He's incredibly rare and a hero that readers don't find often but when we do, there's no denying our eternal fanship.

Well...I suppose I was tempted enough to leave you readers with more than simply the fact that KISS OF SNOW delivers. KISS OF SNOW is action, passion, love, and sex. Its romance. Period.

5 Stars

The Series:

Untitled - Releasing 2012


Blodeuedd said...

It has been so long since I read a Singh book..ok it feels like that anyway. I need some serious HAwke time ;)

Nice review VFG

VampFanGirl said...

Sigh...I so love me some Hawke. He's so...potent. *shudders*

Thanks for lovin' my review Blodeuedd! I hope you get some Hawke soon!!

Hugs, VFG

Barbara said...

I'm so happy you loved this book. I also know you milked it, lol. I've been there when you savor every word and hate that the story will come to an end.

I know how much you like and look forward to Nalini's stories. It's a scary thing when a favorite author has a new release. We have such high expectations. Especially if it was a character whose tale we've been anticipating.

That's so odd that the art department would make such a mistake as to make the wolf the wrong color. You know, it could just be a shadow of a wolf...if that makes you feel better ;)


VampFanGirl said...

Oh I totally milked it. After this book, all the characters that I've waited so long to receive their stories are done. While Singh is continuing the series, it'll be with new characters...I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. Oh wait, there is one last character that I'm pining for. Kaleb! How could I have forgotten him! Nix my earlier statment. :)

And on closer inspection, you might be right. The wolf might be a shadow.

Hugs, VFG

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