Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review: Kiss of Snow

Kiss of Snow
Nalini Singh
Paranormal Romance
Psy/Changeling/Book 10
Berkley/May 31, 2011


From the inside cover ~

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…

She's finally grown up enough to handle the alpha of the SnowDancer pack. Was the wait worth it? Definitely! This is not only a well written book but it is well balanced. There of course is the romance between Sienna and Hawke but there is also the continuing and equally important political and physical threats to the packs. And a secondary romance that was both sweet and tender. I don't think I could have wanted more or less of anything - it was just right.

Kiss of Snow starts off with Sienna in trouble, with Hawke, again. It's stressful for both of them and Singh adds just the right amount of tension between these two. They both feel the attraction and Hawke has been fighting it tooth and nail. Sienna is trying to but you can tell she's getting tired of fighting. I thought I might have a problem with Sienna's age, she's nineteen. But it turned out her age wasn't really a factor for me. Her character was developed in a way that I would forget how young she was chronically until it was mentioned. She has never really been young, her life hasn't allowed her to be. Her powers are what brought her to the attention of Psy Councilor Ming LeBon at a young age and put her through hell. It's those powers I had a little trouble with and the resolution of her powers not ending her life. That part of the story I had to simply "go with it".

Hawke is stern, strict and not one for smiling but we get to see a different side to him and it is a beautiful side. We've seen glimpses in previous books, most notably when he would flirt with Sascha, mate of Lucas the alpha of the DarkRiver pack. Now we get to see not only Hawke's dare I say, softer side but also his relationships with his closest friends. I loved seeing this in Hawke. It allows us to get closer to him which engenders those deep feels towards him. If I don't get to know a character, why should I care what happens to them? By the end of the book I not only cared what happened to Hawke, I felt invested in the outcome.

The Psy Council is up to their dirty tricks but who is behind the attacks on the packs is still undecided. We get to learn more about the Council members as the series arc continues with some of the Councilors' final goal of the implementing of PurePsy. But that's not the only goal, the enemies of SnowDancer and DarkRiver want them eliminated. The fighting was intense, coming right into pack territory. This fight has been a long time in coming and Hawke and Lucas had both been preparing for it. I love how they have joined forces and we continue to see that bond strengthen. The series is not only paranormal romance but it also has that sense of strong community that I enjoy in small town romances.

The secondary romance is of Lara, SnowDancer's healer, and Walker Lauren who defected from the PsyNet and is now part of the SnowDancer pack. I loved this soft, sweet romance. There is one scene after they've decided to be 'just friends' (Walker's choice) and Lara has gone on a date. Walker basically confronts her, in the way only a Psy could confront someone and asks her how her date was. When she tells him that her date knew how to make a woman feel good, oh boy does Walker feel some strong emotions.

"An icy calm came over Walker's mind, cold intent spearing through his veins. He was a telepath trained to work with children, his touch subtle, but he measured at 7.8 on the Gradient. It meant he had the capacity to kill without leaving a mark." page 106

Interesting how he thinks about the fact that he can kill. Walker, you are so gone!

The main romance of Sienna and Hawke worked well. Hawke takes his time with her. It's like she has the wild animal inside her and he has to gentle her to his touch. They are funny and tender, sweet and frustrating together. Hawke still thinks his one and only true mate died and therefore he will never mate. Sienna is also dealing with her Psy powers playing some wicked tricks on her and making her rethink what she really wants. Hawke shows such tenderness towards Sienna but that doesn't mean he turns into a total wuss. He's still very much pack alpha. They get to know each other, opening up to each other and sharing their past. They both need to deal with their pasts before they have any chance of creating a future together. There is one scene when Hawke gifts Sienna with a toy, he collects mechanical toys, and she refuses it.

[Hawke] "Don't you like it?"

"You know I do." She touched a careful finger to the detailed face of a black horse with a blue and gold saddle. "But it's yours."

He put it on the grass beside them. "I'll just leave it here then."

Stubborn, stubborn man. She knew he'd go through with it, too. "Why?" she whispered. "Why are you giving this to me? Why are you here when you're angry at me?"

A long, quiet breath, his arms hugging her against the muscled breadth of a chest she'd ached with missing last night. "I don't want to hurt you, baby. Never would I hurt you - but I can't give you what I don't have to give."

A single tear trickled down her cheek at that solemn statement raw with tenderness. Her heart, her damned vulnerable heart, had been his from the day she understood what it was he incited within her. She had no true shields against. Never had. Never would. "Then give me everything else," she whispered, because while she could fight a ghost, she couldn't fight the truth in his voice.
page 313

Sienna is such a strong, resilient woman. Even in love, especially in love, she is willing to be strong for both of them. To be the one to accept what Hawke can give instead of giving up on them. Hawke, so stubborn as Sienne pointed out, will eventually see the light but he is a male so we have to give him some slack. I do love how he calls her baby which is saying a lot since this term usually irritates me. But when Hawke does it, it doesn't feel in any way derogatory but only a sweet endearment.

I don't want to forget Judd Lauren and the role he plays. He is there watching out for Sienna and also working closely with Hawke against the threats to the pack. I liked seeing how far Judd has come in the relationships he's made within the pack. There is also one relationship he has outside the pack that is proving very critical. Judd is in contact with a rebel known as The Ghost. There is much speculation by readers who The Ghost is. Psst - I know who it is. Okay, I don't know for sure but after reading Kiss of Snow I do have a strong opinion of who it it. :)

Kiss of Snow proved to be an emotionally fulfilling story. It has romance, mystery, action and even some humor. A wonderful addition to the series.

Rating: A

Books in this series ~

Slave to Sensation
The Cannibal Princess (free short story)
Visions of Heat
Caressed by Ice
Mine to Possess
Hostage to Pleasure
A Gift for Kit (free short story)
Branded by Fire
Blaze of Memory
Bonds of Justice
Play of Passion
Kiss of Snow
Tangle of Need (2012)

Novellas in the series ~

Beat of Temptation in An Enchanted Season
Stroke of Enticement in The Magical Christmas Cat
Whisper of Sin in Burning Up


  1. Absolutely! Yes, yes, and yes! I loved it too! Sigh... I loved the courtship that went on this book between Hawke and Sienna, instead of just a mating. I thought that was different, sweet and it made the romance SO much more.

    Great review, Leslie!

  2. I'm glad the book did it for you :) There's no denying that the book delivered and Ms Singh did a great job... but I don't know, I still had issues with it. Yes, I know, I'm picky... what can I say?

    Just loved, loved, loved Lara and Walker!! and you're right, he is sooooo gone LOL. I wonder if it wasn't for the children, if he would have gone after Lara faster?

    Oh and Walker and Marlee? Awwww.

  3. Hils ~ It was a courtship which made it much more believable. They both brought something to the relationship.

    Nath ~ I loved Lara & Walker's story. I would have been happy with a full book for them. :)

    Yes, the scenes with Walker & Marlee. You can see how far he's come and that he's not this cold psy but a loving father comfortable with showing that.

  4. I LOVED this book... very sigh worthy romance AND a compelling, thrilling story arc with the war between the Changelings and Psy. Love how the series is coming together. Love Sienna and Hawke... I think I want to read this one again!!! *sigh*