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Beanbag Love

I read. I write. I talk about reading and writing. That is when I'm not driving kids somewhere or teaching them. Married, educated, domesticated. I really enjoy the friends I've met through a variety of different message boards and venues regarding reading and authors. I try to take a positive view when I write reviews but sometimes I can't. Those times are few and far between, but they do exist. I'm mostly an old softy, though. I think so anyway.

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Branded by Fire - Nalini Singh I read this book last week, but I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to review it. In fact, I've already read another two books since. Oh well, better late than never.

I really liked this installment in the Psy-Changeling series. I liked that the relationship took off early in the book ... oh boy, did it ever ... and that the couple was pretty open and honest about their nearly impossible future.

Mercy is a leopard sentinal. Riley is a wolf lieutenant. They've been partnered to watch over a particular zone between the two packs and they've been bugging each other ever since.

Poor Mercy is an alpha, which is very difficult for a female changeling. She would never be satisfied with a submissive mate, but also would never be able to be the 'beta' in a relationship. She's only attracted to alphas but they always want to run the show and a female alpha can't deal with that. It's a very real quandary.

One of the things I like about the changelings is that sex is a part of their lives. Touch, sensation, release ... they're all necessary for keeping a lid on their dangerous passions. They can easily lose their humanity if they don't 'git sum' regularly. Which, if you accept that context, takes care of a lot of baggage.

Mercy, however, hasn't been 'gittin sum' in far too long. Riley discovers her in the woods in quite a bit of discomfort. Even though they drive each other crazy as working partners, they've been driving each other crazy in a deeper sense as well. So, right there near the beginning of the book we get an explosive, erotic situation that sets the tone for their relationship for the rest of the book.

Best of all, it deviates from the template. *does happy dance*

Singh does a great job of showing the push and pull of an alpha/alpha relationship very believably. You know they're going to end up together, and you root for it, but you also can't quite figure out how much sacrifice will have to be made and by whom. It's an intriguing story line.

Yes, the inter-species love affair feels odd, but changelings mate with humans so it really isn't that far fetched. The problem is mainly two alpha personalities blood-bonded with two separate predatory changeling packs. Sparks do fly.

So, this has been my favorite of the series so far. There are some other story lines forwarded and more information is given about the Council so it's a very well rounded reading experience.