Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Also by this author: Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1), Rock Hard (Rock Kiss #2), Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, #12)
Series: Psy-Changeling #5
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Source: My shelves
Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy--cool, calm, emotionless...at least on the surface. Inside, she's fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.
DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard's rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian's agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules...
We got a tease of the Ashaya and Dorian romance near the end of Mine to Possess, and it does not disappoint. This was my second time reading Hostage to Pleasure, and it was really so much better than I remembered.
Dorian, we know well from all the previous Psy-Changeling books. He’s been in the series since the beginning, and I remember (im)patiently waiting for my chance to love him in his own book. He is a DarkRiver sentinel, and though he’s all cat, he’s also despairingly latent, meaning he lacks the ability to shift into his leopard form. Dorian has always served as a bit of comedic relief, especially with his nickname “Boy Genius,” a moniker given to him by Talin, the human heroine of Mine to Possess, in reference to his determination to succeed and master absolutely everything.
He’s the best sniper in the Pack, his excellent at hand-to-hand combat, since he doesn’t have teeth and claws to rely on like his brothers. He’s also a computer whiz and has a head for strategy. But Dorian also has a darkness in him, a pocket of unfathomable anger at his latency, and he’s spent his whole life working his ass off to close the gap and make sure no one can point to latency as a weakness. He’s full of hurt and revenge, but he covers it with an endearing charm that is Pure Dorian ✨
“His hands clenched. “Sugar, I’m this close to tearing off your clothes and teaching you exactly how badly I take you keeping secrets from me. Your choice. Talk or get naked.”
Ashaya Aleine was a Council scientist, forced to work on a secret project that would lead to the enslavement of the Psy race. In Mine to Possess, she arranged for her child to be kidnapped by DarkRiver, safe from the clutches of the council. But now, she has to fend for herself. And Dorian? He hates the Psy, as the race who protected the psychopath that killed his sister. Not to dismiss his concerns, but this is enemies to lovers at its prime, lads!! There’s a darkly sensual undertone to each of their interactions, which made this trope really come alive in this story.
Ashaya really surprised me in this one, which I remember her also doing when I first read this several years long ago. She doesn’t make a good first impression in the previous books, but I ended up adoring her. She’s an M-Psy, strong, smart and filled with love and an unexpected selflessness that just had me in tears, angry at her circumstances. It was a Catch-22 with Amara, but gosh I couldn’t help but cry at some of her circumstances. It was just so great to see a Psy mother openly care for her child, and her journal entries were awesome to read and added fun depth to her personality.
Overall, Hostage to Pleasure is the comfort food book of the series, for sure. It served as a springboard for the overarching story plot, and was more textbook PNR than previous books, especially where Dorian was involved, but it was so outrageously sexy – with a fun slow-burn aspect – that I just couldn’t help but love it. Ms. Singh’s writing is always so captivating, that if it takes place in the Psy-Changeling world, I’m certain to absolutely love it, no matter the plot. ? (My Review of Book 1 | My Review of Book 6)
Series Reading Order
More reviews to come as I continue with my reread of the series!