Title: Caressed by Ice
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #3, Psy-Changeling Season One #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters
5th sentence, 74th page: Most changelings hate the Psy.
Explore new heights of sensuality in this return to the world of the Psy – where two people who know evil intimately must unlock the good within their icy hearts…
As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins – cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…
Breen Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted – and had her mind violated – by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives.
I’m really enjoying how every book in this series follows a different couple – they are all interrelated and have been mentioned in passing in the previous books, but it is a totally new love story, with all of its own challenges and difficulties. Singh manages to weave these seemingly unrelated tales together into a glorious whole that not only makes you fall in love with the world of the Psy-Changeling again and again and again, but also continuously furthers their battles and tale in a completely natural way.
There’s something about seriously damaged beings finding health and solace in one another that has always appealed to me – and Brenna and Judd’s story is the perfect example of this. Although Brenna’s plight is introduced within Slave to Sensation, it is so satisfying to revisit her in Caressed by Ice. The very real consequences of abuse and victimisation are investigated, and her strength, but also vulnerability are beautifully unpacked. She isn’t perfect, and there are lasting damages from what was done to her. Singh doesn’t sugar coat the serious consequences of her violation, and it just endears her work to me all the more.
The overarching plot and consistently intensifying friction between the Psy and Changeling also begins to gain traction. There are more sections which investigate the Psy Council’s reactions to the goings on in the world of the Changelings, and a sense of trepidation and suspense is slowly being built. Not only does it make me itch to pick up the next book in the series, Mine to Possess, but it also ties the storylines into one another. Instead of feeling like a series of books that are simply based in the same world, Singh pulls together the stories so that one tale can’t exist without the other.