Wild Invitation by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling #0.5, 3.5, 9.5, 10.5)

Wild Invitation by Nalini SinghAvailable: March 5, 2013 Amazon/B&N

Type: Novella Anthology – Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

In Beat of Temptation , innocent Tamsyn has always had a place in her heart for Nathan, a blooded DarkRiver sentinel. But is she ready for the fierce demands of the mating bond?

In Stroke of Enticement , a wary young teacher, skeptical about love, arouses the man—and the animal—in an aggressive leopard changeling who must prove his affections are true. 

Plus 2 NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED NOVELLAS

In Declaration of Courtship , Grace, a shy submissive wolf, finds herself pursued by the last man she ever would have imagined: a SnowDancer lieutenant said to be “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” 

In Texture of Intimacy , SnowDancer healer Lara discovers the searing joys—and unexpected challenges—of being mated to quiet, powerful Walker, a man used to keeping his silence.

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I’m going to start out this review with a confession. I had never read a Nalini Singh book. I know…shocking right? Sure I had heard people rave about her work and when she released the cover for her newest upcoming book, I swear my Twitter exploded with people gushing about it and speculating over everything she said in an attempt to figure out who the character on the cover was. So….yeah….readers everywhere love her. I’ve met her…had my picture taken with her….but I had never read her. Until this anthology landed in my hands and I thought, novellas are always a way to tell if I’d like an authors writing voice or not so I figured I’d give it a try.

Wild Invitation has four novellas, two of which have never been released. I enjoyed three out of the four novellas included and thought the world Singh has created is both interesting and unique. The Psy are a race who have no emotion and instead make decisions based entirely on facts. They don’t “love” seeing that as a weakness that has doomed every other race. Changelings are animal shifters. I loved the idea of the Psy but strangely enough the novella I didn’t like was the only one with a Psy as a main character in Texture Of Intimacy. I found it hard to connect to a person who had such a hard time experiencing emotions. If I’m to understand it correctly, they have been poke of in previous books and so this was more of a re-visit to their story. Perhaps this would have struck a chord with me had I read that first.

In Stoke Of Enticement, a human school teacher, Annie, finds herself falling in with with a wolf shifter who makes her see herself in a completely different light. Scarred from a childhood accident, Annie walks with a pronounced limp and has been told her entire life what she can’t do. Zack believes her able to do whatever she wants to do and it enables her to stop living in fear of the life her mother leads. Giving up her fear of abandonment is hard on her but Zach is determined to make her believe herself worthy. I liked the idea of a heroine who had limitation she wouldn’t bow to. Of course, a hero such a Zach would love her regardless, but still heroines that never give up always linger in my mind on a high note.

Beat Of Temptation follows Tam and Nathan, both feline shifters. They have known they were fated mates for years but Nathan wants to give Tam an opportunity to live before he shackles her to him for life. His attempts fall flat because Tam wants nothing more then to be with Nathan. I felt for Tam simply because Nathan had such a hard head and he simply couldn’t cave to his feelings until she actually leaves and he realizes how much he needs her to be near.

My favorite of this book was Declaration Of Courtship, Grace and Cooper’s story. This one appealed to me because of my soft spot for scarred alpha males and submissive female shifters. I loved how Cooper treated Grace with both gentleness and just enough rough around the edges hotness to keep her submissive side in check while also making her hot. He was incredibly patient with Grace so he wouldn’t scare her wolf off before he even got a chance to court her. Grace was a pleasure to read as well because she refused to let her wolf rule her completely. Her wolf and her human side argued constantly but in the end Cooper won both sides over.

I will say Singh spends more time on the evolution of the characters relationship then on actual sex. There is much more lead up then I am used to and I wonder if this will be the case in her full length books as well. They are more sensual then hot, focusing on flirting and fanning the flames to build a bigger fire. The actual sex scenes, even after all the lead-up, are tame and not overly explicit. They are more sweet then hot.

Since I hadn’t read the series I did find some of the aspects and history hard to follow as this seems to be a very complex series with a ton of characters and many monumental moments. Will I go back and read this series from the beginning? I may, in the future because I already own book one. I enjoyed Singh’s world building and thought her characters had a lot of heart. I’d be interested to see if my enjoyment holds true for a full length.

I give Wild Invitation by Nalini Singh 4 stars! 

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