Damn, I love this series. I fell in love with the DarkRiver cats and SnowDancer wolves from the beginning, devouring each book as they’ve come along, and with this sixth book in the series, not a thing has changed; I’ve only become more enamored and enthralled the more I read. In fact, BbF has now become my favorite of them all.
This is the first book in the series that showcases a changeling/changeling romance, and I have to say Ms. Nalini definitely spices it up beween Riley, the SnowDancer wolf lieutenant, and Mercy, the DarkRiver leopard sentinel. We’ve gotten to know these two throughout the previous books, so by this time not only are we ready for them to be together, but they are too. And from the first chapter when they finally share total skin-to-skin privileges and then some, the pages burn up with passion, lust, anger, tenderness, sensitivity, claws, teeth and all when these two interact in and out of the bedroom.
Oh, yeah, there’s an underlying story in this book. Lemme think. Right. The Psy. They’re the ones being targeted this time by a group of humans who are determined not to be left out of the power struggle on the planet. Mind control and kidnapping, among other things, is their MO, which pulls the two changeling factions closer together in their alliance, as well as bringing Riley and Mercy, hissing, spitting, clawing, and loving, closer together.
Riley. Sigh. He’s now up there with Dorian as a favorite. He’s always in control, responsible, and deadly when it comes to protecting those he loves. We see a new side to him when it comes to Mercy and what he’s beginning to feel for her. Everything he’s always wanted in a mate is thrown out the window when he can’t get that cat out of his system. The scenes between them with growling and snipping and snapping and biting and digging in of the claws are some hot, hot, hot scenes. Branded by Fire is almost an understatement for this book.
Mercy is the one to hold out the longest when it comes to a relationship with Riley. She knows he is one of those dominant males that will demand her submission and there’s no way on earth she will ever submit. She also doesn’t need his protection; she can take care of herself, sentinel that she is. But when they each cause the other pain, the scenes when they go to each other to apologize are tender and moving, showing us the exact opposite of those intense, fiery scenes.
There’s also the issue of which of them will undergo the break with their pack once their mating is complete, and Mercy is afraid it will be her since Riley is the more dominant, and that’s something she knows she just won’t survive. That’s another draw of these books for me, the family, the pack, how they’d die for one another if it came down to that.
In between all of this, of course, Riley and Mercy and their packs are trying to figure out what the hell is going on with Psy dying, changelings being kidnapped, and all kinds of other things. But for me, this book is about the romance. The mystery this time around is totally secondary. I hope Ms. Singh has more changeling/changeling romances in mind for future books. All that biting and clawing is simply addictive.
Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to possess her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons; the problem is that he’s a wolf, she’s a cat, and they’re both used to being on top.
But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped from DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together to track the young man—before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it’ll leave them both branded by fire…
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: