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Clay Bennett is a DarkRiver sentinel, but he hides the scars of a traumatic
childhood where he lost control and in a bloody rain of fury took a life and
lost his only friend as a consequence. Clay has spent years believing Talin
died, tempted to surrended to the darkness, until Talin reappears in his life.
Talin McKade barely survived her childhood and has become a mentor reaching out
to children in need as an adult. Now those children are disappearing and when
bodies begin to be discovered, Talin has no choice but to turn to the strongest
person she knows...Clay.
This is the fourth in the awesome
Psy-Changeling series (after Slave to Sensation, Visions of Heat and Caressed by Ice) and it is unique from the other books in that it features a changeling-human pairing. The plot moves a bit faster in this book as Talin's desperation to find the children she cares about really shines through. The narration is mainly from Clay and Talin's points of view, but like Caressed by Ice it does jump to other perspectives where necessary to continue the story.
It took me a while to warm to Talin as a lead character. There are lots of hints and leading statements as to how she was abused as a child, although no graphic details ever reach the page, and it's difficult to identify with someone who has survived that kind of trauma. Clay has always appeared as dark in previous books so it was no surprise to learn his childhood was less than perfect, but it was great to see how he became a member of DarkRiver. On the whole the romance was well developed and believable.
Again, the entire world of the books has been further developed. The Psy society is beginning to crumble under the continual assault of the Ghost, the Council are struggling to hold on to their power and Protocol I (to turn the psy into a completely controlled hive mind) is gaining priority. This book covers the human angle, as while humans have been mentioned in previous books their role in the psy-changeling-human world hasn't really been explained before now.
All in all, this was an incredible read that has set up Hostage to Pleasure perfectly. I can't wait to read it!
All reviews state the origin of the book. The majority of my reviews are for books that I have purchased for myself. Some are borrowed from libraries or friends, others are given as gifts. Any books received for review are given in exchange for an honest review. I do not charge for reviews and receive no monetary dispensation from Project to be Read.