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Genre: Paranormal Romance | Urban Fantasy | Shifter
Pages: 328 pages, Mass Market Edition
My Rating: 4.5 stars!
Description: Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed…and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.
Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life–the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows…
Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past…or lose everything that ever mattered
So at this point, I think you’re getting that I’m rereading one of my favorite series of all time: the Psy-Changeling series! Since this is the fourth review to come out in a very short amount of time, it probably didn’t take much guesswork. You caught me! The links to the other reviews are at the bottom of this page if you want to check those out.
In the meantime, I’m chatting about Mine to Possess today! I was looking forward to rereading this because, to be completely honest, I didn’t remember much other than it was one of the rare human-changeling relationships in the series (for obvious reasons. Humans are boring). But! In this case, it was quite the opposite. Talin McKade (the human) and Clay Bennett (the leopard changeling and DarkRiver sentinel) knew each other as kids. They were best friends and neighbors, although I believe at the time Clay was around 5 years older.
“You’re the female.” His teeth grazed her ear. “You have to be submissive.”
She was tempted to use her teeth on him in retaliation. “Does that ever work?”
“It worked when you were five.” That made her laugh, and though it hurt, it was also good
But Talin was his, and as a Changeling, even a mildly repressed one, it was important that he protect her. But one night, when he found out the magnitude of Talin’s abuse at home (that he wasn’t aware was happening in the first place), things got ugly and he had to get violent to protect her, sending him into the juvie system and her in the arms of foster care. Luckily she found a perfectly normal and happy family to live with, but she was scared of what Clay had done for her, but also didn’t want him to waste his life trying to find her, so she had her social worker lie, and tell him that she died.
It was nearly unforgivable, but let’s remember that she was very young. After Clay got out of the system himself, he was released into the custody of DarkRiver, the local leopard pack and was absorbed into Pack life, quickly moving up the ranks to Sentinel, and one of the most relied-upon members of the Pack. But he always held himself back.
But then his Tally returned, needing his help when, as a social worker herself, her kids started disappearing and turning up murdered and the Pay were suspected to be involved. OH-HO! That first meeting when Talin went to Clay is something else, let me tell you! Damn, she had some nerve and balls of steal, because he was one scary mother and did not make her apology easy.
“I’m no longer sure Icame to the right man,” she snapped back, reckless.
The air inside the car filled with a sense of incipient threat. “Why? Because I’m not as easy to handle as you remember? Your pet leopard?”
She burst out laughing, her stomach hurting with the force of it. “Clay, if anyone followed anyone, it was me tagging along after you. I didn’t dare order you around.”
“Load of shit” he muttered, but she thought she heard a softening of his tone. “You made me attend tea parties.”
(I’m not going to waste time explaining the Psy and the world further, because I’ve done it three other times in my review’s of Slave to Sensation, Visions of Heat, and Caressed by Ice. The information isn’t necessary for this review, but it might be nice to read up if you have further questions about the series).
Talin was an interesting character. To be honest, I was a bit put off by her in the beginning, she was so damaged it was frustrating. But then Ms. Singh worked her magic and Talin was laid bare and I admit… I definitely cried and raged over the unfairness of Talin’s stolen childhood. I can’t believe she over came those obstacles and became such a success story. Its as a beautiful journey, truly. And Clay was a different kind of treasure trove. His damage was deep-seated in his past with Talin and how he was forced to repress his leopard, but I loved their interplay and obvious nostalgia for their childhood. Even though it wasn’t a great one, it was something to look back on with fondness because they had each other. They had a pure, innocent trust and ughhhhhh my heart hurts even just thinking about it!
There were so many fun tropes to play with in this one, too. Friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, etc. Their story was super endearing and sweet and completely heartbreaking! Their story was tragic but inspiring, and though it isn’t one of my top favorites of the series, it deserves high accolades.
“You’re mine. Therefore, you’re perfect.”
That’s the difficulty of reviewing such an amazing series. These books are each, individually, above and beyond normal fiction. No joke, Ms. Singh writes like no one else. This book was far and away a lot of other books out there, but still, it didn’t completely match the intensity of some of her other books. It definitely it the mark, but I just felt that it could have been just a tad bit better. Granted, it was probably a very hard book to write, and I completely appreciate it. It’s rude of me to ask for more, I know.
I’ve waxed poetic about the community aspect of the Pack – amazing – and the world building of this series – truly spectacular – and I honestly don’t have much new to say on that front that I haven’t said a million different times in the other reviews. But again, it’s always wonderful to return to the Psy-Changeling series and see the interaction between Pack members and the dynamics of this world, because it’s just so vivid and real. I truly think that I could just reach out and touch it. Practically feel their fur as they run by me. Reading Ms. Singh’s books make me feel like I’m standing in the wardrobe’s open door, just ready to step through and into another world. I really can’t give this series enough praise. If you haven’t already, please please please give these books a read.
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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!