My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/play-of-passion-by-nalini-singh
Drew Kincaid is charming, funny, and completely laid-back…or so you’d think if you didn’t know the wolf changeling was the SnowDancer pack’s tracker. But though his position is that of a lone wolf, Drew is anything but. He does, however, occupy an odd position in the pack’s hierarchy, in that he’s both part and apart of the top ranks. This never bothered him, until he fell for Lieutenant Indigo Riviere. Four years older than him and one of the most dominant members of their pack, Indigo refuses to see Drew as anything other than a slightly less dominant wolf. One she may be attracted to, but would never even consider taking as a mate. However, Drew has a surprise coming for the beautiful lieutenant: his stubbornness is every bit a match for hers, especially once he puts his heart on the line. Can he make Indigo see that the passionate “playing” between them is the beginning, not the end of their relationship?
Nalini Singh continues to enchant readers with Play of Passion. Drew and Indigo are two hard-headed wolves who have to learn to bend and see things from one another’s point of view before they can find the elusive happily ever after. The sexual tension between them is red-hot, keeping Play of Passion smoldering even though the pair takes two steps forward, three steps back before they begin their actual mating dance. I was excited to read Indigo’s story. She’s a dominant female, which doesn’t make it easy for her to find a mate both she and her wolf would accept. Drew doesn’t fit her idea of what will work for a mate and so she pushes him away even as she falls for him. She doesn’t do it out of meanness, but rather as a kindness, honestly believing she’d only be hurting them both by “dancing” with him. This frustrates Drew, but it’s logical from Indigo’s part, as she’s witnessed firsthand how awful a mating could be when the female is more dominant than the male. Drew has his work cut out for him, but the roguish wolf is up to the task. I am sorry to say that the back and forth between them didn’t capture my interest as much as the romances in Ms. Singh’s books normally do. For all their passion, Drew and Indigo were missing that indefinable spark that I’m used to seeing between Ms. Singh’s heroes and heroines. That left me slightly disappointed, but I will admit that the bar I set for Ms. Singh’s romances is higher than what I normally set because she generally blows me away.
My favorite bits of Play of Passion were actually not related to Drew and Indigo’s romance. The overarching storyline that has built from the first book in the series fascinated me. I am continually in awe of Ms. Singh’s incomparable talent for world building and Play of Passion is no exception. I don’t want to spoil anything (the temptation is almost too great to resist), but in Play of Passion, Ms. Singh has set the world of the Psy-Changelings to explode and I can’t wait to see what happens next! Fans new and old will also delight in exploring the world of the SnowDancer pack as they never have before. I admit, there was some separation anxiety on my part with the DarkRiver pack that I’ve come to know and love so well not being very prominent in the Play of Passion. But getting to know the SnowDancer pack even better helped me overcome said anxiety. I love the SnowDancer pack and watch out when reading Play of Passion – any anticipation you’ve had for the SnowDancer alpha’s book will be ratcheted up. The scenes with Hawke, both with his future heroine present and without, had me practically climbing the walls for the next Psy-Changeling book, Kiss of Snow.
Play of Passion is the twelfth story (ninth full-length book) in the incredible Psy-Changeling series. Drew and Indigo’s romance stands completely on its own. As for the world, Ms. Singh provides enough information (without dragging down the story) that new readers won’t get lost. However, it felt like the importance of what happens, the logic behind what goes on (especially regarding the Psy since both protagonists in Play of Passion are Changelings) can’t be fully understood without reading the other eight novels. I recommend reading Slave to Sensation, Visions of Heat, Caressed by Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, and Bonds of Justice before reading Play of Passion. Trust me, it’s worth it. Ms. Singh’s Psy-Changeling series is simply amazing.