My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed (no spoilers): http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/tangle-of-need-by-nalini-singh
Adria Morgan is a dominant wolf changeling and a senior soldier in the SnowDancer pack, but she’s also a woman – one who has had both her heart and confidence damaged by a relationship gone sour. She’s returned to the heart of her pack to heal and rebuild her life, and with the escalation of tensions among the Psy, she has plenty to do to keep her distracted. Then Adria’s composure is knocked off balance by Riaz Delgado, a SnowDancer lieutenant with scars of his own. The attraction between them is hot enough to burn, but both know Adria can never be Riaz’s mate. Still, they can’t resist the pull of desire and soon they enter into a cautious relationship, one with no promises of forever. But it’s not long before Riaz and Adria realize that what’s between them is more than either will be able to walk away from. Will they be able to overcome the shadows of their past to fight for the future they could have? With the very real danger stemming from the Psy war never far away, Riaz and Adria might not live long enough to find out.
Enter the explosive world of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changelings in Tangle of Need. The fourteenth installment (eleventh full-length book) in this wholly unique series is packed with so many intertwining plots it takes a master like Ms. Singh to keep them from, well, tangling.
Riaz and Adria are both dominant wolves who have their heads on straight in every part of their lives except love. Adria’s been bruised by a long-term relationship that ended badly; her lover was less dominant and simply couldn’t handle the real Adria and Adria’s wolf recognized that she needed a changeling like Riaz. Riaz, in turn, has already found the woman who should be his mate, but she’s already taken. Ms. Singh sets these obstacles up at the forefront and it definitely made me wonder at times how a relationship between Riaz and Adria would ever work, as their dynamic is, in many ways, wholly different from any previous couples in the series. I adored Adria and Riaz together and I also really liked them as individuals, which made it easy for me to become invested in their love story. Quite simply, their strength and warm personalities made both impossible to resist. The only downsides to the romance in Tangle of Need were (1) Riaz and Adria seemed to be in the background for the first half of the book and (2) neither they nor their relationship had the energy of other couples in the book (Hawke and Sienna or Mercy and Riley, for example), so they were frequently overshadowed by other characters.
Speaking of other characters… Wow. Tangle of Need is not a book that should be read as a standalone. Readers new to the Psy-Changeling series should at least read the previous book, Kiss of Snow, before reading Tangle of Need. Reading the ten full-length novels set before Tangle of Need (Slave to Sensation, Visions of Heat, Caressed by Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Bonds of Justice, Play of Passion, and Kiss of Snow) would be best. Many characters from previous books play strong supporting roles, which was wonderful for a fan of the series like me. In many ways, Tangle of Need was just as much Hawke and Sienna’s (Kiss of Snow) book as it was Riaz and Adria’s. Perhaps more so, as Hawke and Sienna are intimately connected to the overarching series plotlines, whereas Riaz and Adria are more on the periphery in that respect.
Over the course of the series, Ms. Singh has woven the tapestry of the Psy-Changeling world in such a way that every single overarching plotline now affects every other. There is so much that happens in Tangle of Need that I simply cannot write about for fear of providing spoilers. Readers will be pleased to know that Ms. Singh raises the stakes in the Psy war to the point that you will likely spend a great portion of time on the edge of your seat while reading Tangle of Need. The connection among the SnowDancer pack members also makes for some wonderful scenes in the book and the pack’s increasing power and responsibility is a major storyline. And don’t think Ms. Singh leaves out the DarkRiver pack, Kaleb Krycheck, the Arrows, Alice Eldrige, the Human Alliance, Ming LeBon, the Ghost, Judd Lauren… You can see why I said there are a number of plotlines, can’t you? Rest assured, Ms. Singh weaves them together with such seeming effortlessness that you’ll feel immersed in the world rather than jerked around. Ms. Singh’s writing has made me feel like I have such a connection to the world she has created that I didn’t even notice there were so many threads until I made a list in my mind.
Tangle of Need is a strong addition to a phenomenal series. It’s engaging, surprising, sweet, and sensual all at once. I grinned, I might have even gasped, I read late into the night, and, ultimately, I finished Tangle of Need a well-satisfied reader. Bring on the next Psy-Changeling book!