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Genre: Adult | Paranormal Romance | Urban Fantasy | Shifter
Series: Psy-Changeling #3
Other Reviews: Book 1, Book 2, Book 4
Pages: 352 pages, Mass Market Edition
My Rating: 5 stars!! Of course 😄
Description: Nalini Singh explores new heights of sensuality, returning 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 he is a defector, and his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins – cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…
Brenna 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…
This right here is one of my favorite books in the Psy-Changeling series. I feel like I say that every time… but this time it’s really true. I love this one so much 😭😭
Caressed by Ice follows Brenna Kincaid in the wake of her attack, which took place in the first book, Slave to Sensation. After being abducted by a sociopathic Tk-Psy (in book 1), we now see Brenna as she attempts to pick up the pieces of her life after hell. But she didn’t come back the same person, and the only person she finds herself running to is the one you’d least expect: Judd Lauren.
Before I go much further, let me explain the basics. In this world, there are three races: Human, Changeling and Psy. The Psy are a race where essentially they have mind powers – a crude, basic explanation – and they can each connect to the Psy-Net, a kind of online internet only the Psy can access with their mind. The odd thing about the Psy is that they decondition their children to not feel emotion through a program called Silence. The price of showing emotion as an adult is a severe brain wipe, that leaves you able to wipe floors and not much else through what they call “rehabilitation.”
Judd is a Tk-Psy (telekinetic) who defected from the Psy-Net in order to protect his family, but who keeps a solid, unyielding grip on his Silence, unlike the previous two Psy we’ve followed in the first book and second book. Even living with the SnowDancer wolves in their den, and with his family starting to assimilate, Judd holds himself back, separate and Silent.
“I’m an adult with total control, but Silence is at the core of that control.”
The pure black of his eyes met hers, wouldn’t let her look away.
“I will never choose to fully breach it.”
But Brenna finds herself returning again and again to the insufferable male Psy who has never made her feel like less, even after her abduction. At first she doesn’t understand why she keeps returning, but finally accepts that she wants to break through to the Ice Man and show him just how full life can be.
One of the reasons I love this book so much is the interplay between Brenna and Judd. Actually, I KNOW that’s EXACTLY why I keep coming back. Judd is the Ice Man, arrogant, impassive and cooly logical. He will never get rid of Silence, because with out, he knows that his powers will get out of control and hurt the one he wants to hurt least: Brenna. See, Judd isn’t a regular telekinetic (Tk), but a Tk-Cell, meaning that he can literally manipulate and move the cells in objects and in people. A single stray thought could crush a windpipe, pulverize a heart, if only he got mad enough.
His conditioning means that his brain sets off pain signals each time he breaches Silence – for thinking or reacting to anything emotional. The pain builds exponentially with each occurrence, and at some point, it will turn lethal. This means that Judd and Brenna are on borrowed time, even as he doesn’t betray to her exactly what that means for him. Not to mention, Judd was trained as an Arrow, what people in the Psy-Net call the “death squad,” but it’s really more of a Ninja Badass Group 😂 But nevertheless, their courtship is so much fun!
Brenna is all animal passion and female determination to make Judd hers, and Judd tries his best to be an immovable, icy statue. HE FAILS 🤪 most of the time, at least I really can’t describe how much fun this is to experience.
“You don’t know what to do with me, do you?”
Admitting that seemed a bad idea. “If you were male, I’d simply throw you out with a few bruises. As you’re not, I’m uncertain how to get rid of you.”
“That’s just mean.” But she continued to smile.
I don’t want you going into this thinking that you’re actually getting a statue with Judd. That may be how he appears outwardly, but being inside his head and hearing his thoughts, I can promise you’ll fall in love. Judd’s just so fiercely protective so incredibly well-written. It’s not until I take a step back that I can appreciate the glory that Ms. Singh did with him. Brenna, too, is not just your regular changeling female, not stopping to pass go before collecting her man. She has scars, a lot of them. But Ms. Singh did her and her journey justice. She was a survivor and although she was broken, she started picking up the pieces as soon as she was able 💕
Besides the characters, perhaps my favorite thing about these books is the sense of community, and the in-your-face, ride-or-die family that is Pack. After her kidnapping, Brenna was broken. But we got to see her SnowDancer Pack really come in clutch for her and even for Judd. The pack dynamic is always super fun, especially watching with how they deal with an icy Psy that is now part of their family. Most people don’t know what to do with Judd, but it amazing to watch him build these connections with people while he attempts to manage and untangle his new life.
He only hoped he would be able to keep his promise… and that Brenna wouldn’t pay the ultimate price for choosing to give her heart to a rebel Arrow.
I remember the first I read this series, I was absolutely floored by the amazing and utterly unique world Ms. Singh has managed to craft. GUYS. The world building in this one… it may be completely unmatched. This being one of my favorite series, and with there being 18 books total (if you could the sister-series), I feel as if I know this world as well as I know my own bedroom. Each time I slide into one of these stories and into this amazing world, it’s akin to curling up in my chair with my favorite sweatshirt, slouchy socks and comfy blanket. It’s like I’m coming home. The world is just so incredibly well crafted, I really struggle to explain how much I love it.
Frankly, there’s no reason not to read this book. The characters and the world are so intricate and complex, and utterly unique. The plot itself is always interesting and suspenseful, the romancing flowing naturally right around the story, instead of just being dragged along, or vice versa.
Not to mention, the whole cast of characters are just such a hoot! When you read this one, you’re not just getting a hero&heroine to love and adore, but a whole community and crew of lovelies to root for. PLEASE, for the love of all that is holy, just submit and read this amazing series!!
Series Reading Order
Have you read this series? What are some of your favorite urban fantasy / paranormal romances? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!