Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh


Title: Branded by Fire
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #6
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal romanceShapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: “I think you’re fine, now.”

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I’ve always been a stronger believer in the idea that opposites attract, so it was a pleasure to read a story about two characters that were oil and water, cat and dog (literally). Mercy and Riley are the perfect example of how opposites are able to work together to become better versions of themselves, and help their other half become what is needed. Riley’s rigid, unyielding, ruled nature is offset by Mercy’s firey, free and spirited attitude. Yet, it is their ability to work together that is the most admirable and enviable.

Although there is heat and passion from the beginning of Branded by Fire, there is a lot more resistance to the idea of Riley and Mercy tying their lives together. Partly it is due to their reluctance to pursue someone so contrary to their expectations, in spite of the physical attraction. But it is also partly due to their inability to completely submit to one another. Where the past Psy-Changeling stories have focused on female characters with a spine of steel, they have also been softer, and more submissive than their counterparts – a good balance to the pushy dominance of a male who is used to being in charge. However, Mercy is herself a soldier and incredibly pushy, and unwilling to give up her identity for the sake of a man. Which is why she is by far one of my favourite leads in the Psy-Changeling stories.

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Image source: Open Book Society

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