WILD EMBRACE - Nalini Singh
Changeling , Book 15.5
Berkley
ISBN: 978-1-101-98971-8
September 2016
Paranormal Romance Anthology

Set in the wildly popular Psy-Changeling world, WILD EMBRACE brings readers four new novellas about some popular characters who have spent too long on the sidelines.

Echo of Silence

Alaris - 2079

Banished from her home and family, Tazia Nerif has found a place where she belongs at the deep sea station of Alaris.  Yet she still hopes for word from family, until the station's commander inadvertently crushes it.  Tazia knows that as a Psy, Stefan doesn't understand the emotions she feels or how much it hurts to have hope taken away.  In spite of being mad at him, she finds herself reluctantly attracted to her Silent commander.

In a world where the races don't mingle very openly, a human and a Psy fall into an unexpected and forbidden relationship.  ECHO OF SILENCE falls into the order of the Psy-Changeling series right after the second book, when two powerful and prominent Psy members have defected into a Changeling group, but before Silence has been affected to any great degree.  Stefan has been mentioned throughout the series; a powerful Tk (telekinetic) who chooses to live deep in the ocean.  Tazia is an engineer whose dreams were bigger than the small desert village she was raised in, and now she has no family to claim her.  Both are very alone in the world, and as they work together the attraction they share continues to grow.

Dorian

Dorian was born latent: a changeling leopard, yet unable to shift forms.  At a young age, he was told that he has a place in the pack, regardless of his inability, and he's worked just as hard at honing his skills.  But with the help of a beautiful Psy scientist, his life will change forever.

This story takes place in five parts, at different times in Dorian's life.  For those who haven't read the series in order (or at the very least, HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE, book 5), there are some aspects of DORIAN that will contain spoilers.  Fans will enjoy the chance to get a glimpse of a young Dorian, as well as Lucas, Vaughn, Mercy and Clay.

Partners In Persuasion

Snow Dancer Territory, the Sierra Nevadas

Felix may be a submissive wolf, but he's sure of his place in the SnowDancer pack, and just as sure that when he finds his mate, she will be submissive like him.  So why does he find himself captivated by the DarkRiver lieutenant, Desiree?  He was burned once before by a dominant wolf; he has no intention of getting involved with a leopard who is more dominant than he.  Desiree is just as intrigued by Felix as he is by her, but can they make a relationship work when there is such a balance difference between them?

Leopards and wolves mating is unusual enough, but when one of the people in the relationship is considerably more dominant than the other, it adds all sorts of complications in PARTNERS IN PERSUASION.  Felix was hurt once before and is understandably wary of getting involved with Desiree, but the more he gets to know her, the more he can't help but wonder if a relationship is worth the risk.

Flirtation of Fate


When a murder occurs in Garnet Sheridan's territory while Kenji Tanaka is visiting for a meeting, he finds himself unexpectedly working with her.  For the past seven years, Kenji has done his best to avoid being too close to his fellow lieutenant while being unable to cut himself off completely from her.  Working together to solve the murder brings up feelings between them that have never died, but will Garnet be able to get over their past?

Garnet and Kenji were childhood friends who turned into the promise of something more, but on the night of Garnet's twenty-first birthday, Kenji didn't show up, and broke her heart.  Fans of the series have seen the sparring between these two during lieutenants' meetings, and finally we get to see what shaped the relationship they have, and whether it has a chance of going anywhere in FLIRTATION OF FATE.

Readers unfamiliar with the Psy-Changeling world can get a peek into it with WILD EMBRACE, but some of the stories included are more impactful if you know the background.  While ECHO OF SILENCE takes place after book 2, Stefan is mentioned a bit more often in the later books, especially those that concern the Arrows.  DORIAN spans a number of years, showing glimpses of Dorian as a child as well as a mated adult.  In the timeline, PARTNERS IN PERSUASION falls toward the end of TANGLE OF NEED (book 11) and FLIRTATION OF FATE at the end of HEART OF OBSIDIAN (book 12).  A chance for just a little bit more of the Psy-Changeling world is always welcome, and WILD EMBRACE doesn't disappoint.

Jennifer Bishop