Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh
Berkley: August 23, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Free From Publisher
I’d go there again!
After reading the fantastic Allegiance of Honor, I was ecstatic to get my hands on Singh’s new novella collection. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to revisit some of my favourite characters from the Psy-Changeling series in Allegiance, but I did miss the emphasis on romance. Happily, Wild Embrace addressed exactly what I was missing from the novel. Each novella included in this collection offers readers a peak into the world, as well as answers to some questions that have been plaguing fans throughout the series. While all of the novellas are great, my favouite ended up being Flirtation of Fate.
Echo in Silence
In Echo in Silence readers are taken back to a point in the series when Silence is still in full effect. On an underwater research station Tazia, a human, works hard trying to fill the void left by her family’s lack of communication. Tazia left her small community after rejecting her family’s plans to marry a local boy due to her own ambitions. While Tazia still tries to contact her family, she is continually disappointed when they do not reciprocate. On the station, Tazia encounters Stefan, a member of the Psy race who both unnerves and intrigues her.
Fans of the series will recognize Stefan as one of the unofficial members of the Arrow squad. Stefan has been mentioned a number of times throughout the series, and it’s here that readers get the full story. Stefan is aware that he’s not quite like the other members of the Psy race and that point comes home when he experiences an awareness of Tazia. This attraction is something that both he and Tazia get to explore when they assist in an area that has been hit by an earthquake.
Since I am quite partial to the Psy stories in Singh’s series, I very much enjoyed Echo in Silence. I appreciated getting to know the character of Stefan after having read about him throughout the series. The characterization in this novella were great, and while it was on the sweeter side, it was a lovely little romance.
The second story in the collection is Dorian, in which readers are taken back in time to when Dorian is a kid dealing with the fact that he can’t shift. Dorian got his own story in Hostage to Pleasure and it was interesting to go back to see what Dorian was like as a kid. As an added bonus readers are also treated to some glimpses of other fan favourites like Luke, Mercy and Vaughn as teenagers.
Dorian is probably the quietest novella in the collection and really one that means more if you’ve read Hostage to Pleasure. It was a nice glimpse into the past, but wasn’t my favourite story in the collection.
Partners in Persuasion
In the third story readers are brought over to the Changeling neck of the woods in a sweet romance that features a dominant DarkRiver soldier and a submissive SnowDancer gardener. I wasn’t sure how this romance was going to work, but of course, Singh did a fabulous job of addressing the huge difference in dominance between the two main characters.
Felix as the submissive hero is concerned about starting a relationship with Desiree, having been burned by a more dominant woman in a prior relationship. Desiree for her part, is aware of the difference between herself and Felix, but at the same time, she realizes that this man makes her feel something that she has never experienced in a relationship before.
The contrast between Felix and Desiree’s dominance is a big hurdle for the couple and Singh handled it perfectly. As always, I appreciate the fact that Singh always demonstrates that submissiveness doesn’t equal weakness in pack hierarchy. In the case of Felix and Desiree, I adored how the author explored the power dynamics of the pack in a romance and demonstrated how both dominant and submissive shifters are important to the health of the pack. Very much a swoon-worthy read.
Flirtation of Fate
Flirtation of Fate is my favourite novella in the collection featuring characters that I’ve been curious about for a long time. Kenjii and Garnet have been caught sparing in various other books in the series and readers, at long last, get to find out if there’s something behind all that animosity (spoiler alert, there is!).
During a visit to Garnet’s den, Kenjii and Garnet are forced to deal with their attraction to each other, the source of their animosity towards each other, and solve a murder. There is a lot packed into this novella and Singh handles that content masterfully. Despite the compressed format of Flirtation of Fate, this novella gives readers a fully realized story. Both the romance and the mysterious death at Garnet’s den are explored; however, I will fully admit to being more invested in the romance aspect to the novella. Garnet and Kenjii were fantastic characters and I loved their biting and baiting relationship. Watching these two come to terms with their history and the reasons why they haven’t got together before this point is both lovely and heartbreaking. Quite simply, I loved this final novella in the collection. Perhaps its because readers have come across these characters in other books, but I found that out of all of the novellas, this one had the most fully developed romance.
Fans of Nalini Singh will appreciate Wild Embrace as a peak back into the world of the Psy and the Changelings. All of the novellas in the collection offers fans stories that we have been waiting for, and they are all lovely in their own unique way. Wild Embrace is not a collection to be missed for fans of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series.
For similar reads, check out my review of Allegiance of Honor.