Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh

 

Paranormal SuspenseParanormal RomanceParanormal RomanceKiss of Snow by Nalini Singh Kiss of Snow
Nalini Singh; Berkley Sensation 2011
WorldCat

A war is building between the Psy Council members – and San Francisco and Northern California is the major target. Why there? The Pure Psy want to take out the two Psy Council members stationed there and the two dominant Changeling societies. SnowDancer, the changeling wolf clan, is the first target, with DarkRiver, the changeling leopard clan, being next.

Hawke, the alpha member of SnowDancer, is preparing his people for anything. The Psy have telepathic and telekinetic powers. But the wolves have some weapons of their own, including a few Psy who have become members of their clan. Hawke is also on edge – and he blames one of the Psy clan members.

Sienna Lauren was 16 when the Lauren family defected from the Psy. The Psy Council had sentenced the whole family to mind wipes due to her extreme ability. She can be a powerful weapon until she burns out. Then she will be dead along with anyone who is within unknown miles around her. The oldest person recorded with her ability lived to 25. Now, at 19, she’s grown and strong enough to be a lieutenant in the SnowDancer pack.

From the moment the Lauren family found them in the wilderness and asked for asylum, Hawke felt a pull towards Sienna. He has refused to acknowledge it. Sienna has the same pull, but knows he’s putting her off. Changeling wolves only have a mating bond with one person in their lives. Hawke’s died when they were both children. He doesn’t want a serious relationship without that bond. He feels it’s unfair to the woman. Sienna challenges him, both with her fiery Psy ability and her passion for him.

Kiss of Snow is a demanding novel in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling world. The series has been building up both to this war and to Hawke’s and Sienna’s romance. Singh adds another romance in this one between Sienna’s uncle and protector, Walker Lauren, and the SnowDancer healer, Lara. While the book can be read alone, I recommend going back to the beginning Slave to Sensation to fully grasp Singh’s fascinating creation.

Although Kiss of Snow feels bloated, it’s difficult to know where to cut back on the scenes. Even the minor scenes set the mood and tension in the story. Yet then tension often gets stuck without moving tighter for a while (thus bloated).

At the same time, Singh builds a wonderful sense of family in this Changeling clan. The wolves are pack oriented. Their most precious possession is their children, then each other. They touch and play and shout and argue and laugh and love. The Psy are cold, never touching, allowing emotions to come out. The contrast between the cultures is stark. The Psy culture is breaking down, though. The war the Pure Psy wage in Kiss of Snow is as much to restore a even colder, more rigid group of Psy as it is to eliminate two Psy Counsilors and two strong Changeling packs.

The romantic reader in me cheers for Hawke and Sienna (finally!) as well as for the Changelings in the war. Besides, it’s hard to ignore slightly flawed, strong, hunky men and women who are just as strong and independent. The critical reader in me wishes the book was tighter. Overall, the romantic side wins. Singh’s novel is a paranormal romance that will please the reader of the genre. For a few hours of cool escape, check out Kiss of Snow.

Notice: Explicit sexual content, Graphic violence, Strong language

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