Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh

Adria, wolf changeling and resilient soldier, has made a break with the past—one as unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a new territory, and a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer lieutenant already sworn to a desperate woman who belongs to another.
For Riaz, the primal attraction he feels for Adria is a staggering betrayal. For Adria, his dangerous lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It consumes her. It terrifies her. It threatens to undermine everything she has built of her new life. But fighting their wild compulsion toward one another proves a losing battle.
Their coming together is an inferno…and a melding of two wounded souls who promise each other no commitment, no ties, no bonds. Only pleasure. Too late, they realize that they have more to lose than they ever imagined. Drawn into a cataclysmic Psy war that may alter the fate of the world itself, they must make a decision that might just break them both.  (Synopsis from B&N.com)

Hardcover, Penguin, 432 pages
Reading Tangle of Need was a good/bad experience. Good in that it was an excellent book and bad in that it's going to be a long wait until the next one comes out. The main part of the book is about Riaz and Adria, both members of the Snow Dancer pack who have incredible chemistry between them. He unfortunately has a mate named Lisette who is married to and in love with another man.  Adria has ended a long term relationship with a submissive named Martin that finished badly. Riaz is determined to live life alone and Adria wants to protect her heart at all costs.  As the relationship develops between them, both parties have to re-evaluate what they really want in their future and what are they willing to do to make that future happen.  Unlike previous couples, this one would seem to be the easiest to get together because they are both packmates and changelings, but the obstacle of the mating bond is a constant sword over both of their heads.
One of the nice things in this book is how Ms. Singh has given the reader a look at the relationship between Hawke and Sienna and how it is progressing. The level of understanding between them, the perfectness of their mating is exquisitely portrayed in this book. There are glimpses of other couples in the book as well but Hawke and Sienna really stand out without overshadowing the main couple. So much more about the pack system and how it stands or fails is explained in this book.
The tension between the changelings, the Psy and the Pure Psy people is ratcheting up and there is a lovely little cliffhanger of an ending that makes you want to scream with frustration that the next book is not in your hand immediately!

A Night Like This by Julia Quinn

Anne Wynter might not be who she says she is...
But she's managing quite well as a governess to three highborn young ladies. Her job can be a challenge— in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play that might be a tragedy (or might be a comedy— no one is sure), and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he's the first man who has truly tempted her, and it's getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.
Daniel Smythe-Smith might be in mortal danger...
But that's not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family's annual musicale, he vows to pursue her, even if that means spending his days with a ten-year-old who thinks she's a unicorn. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril, he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending... ( synopsis from http://www.juliaquinn.com/)

Avon , Paperback, 384 Pages 

I have never read a Julia Quinn book that I didn't love and this is no exception. Daniel Smythe-Smith has come home after three years abroad. His exile in Italy was the result of a duel in which he accidentally shot and wounded his friend and the man's father swore to kill him. Now assured that the threat has been removed, Daniel returns home on the night of the dreaded Smythe-Smith musicale.
Anne Wynter is the governess of Daniel’s nieces and has been coerced into playing the piano for the recital after one of the girls fakes an illness.  Anne is mortified at having to perform in public, not only because she knows how horrible the group sounds but also because she does not like to be on public display. Anne has secrets in her past and she means to keep them there. Daniel spots her right away and is drawn to her but she has been burned before by the master of a house she works in and doesn’t want to lose her job.
Ms. Quinn has written a delightful tale of a man charming his way into a woman’s heart.  There is plenty of romance to be had and a good helping of suspense as well.  What always make me happiest in Ms. Quinn’s books are the little vignettes she adds that show the caring and good humor of the characters.  There is a scene where Daniel participates in a 12 act play that one of the girls wrote that is absolutely hilarious.
Daniel and Anne are both good people who have made tragic mistakes in their lives which they have paid a heavy price. Daniel has made peace with his past and is ready to move on but Anne is not there yet and has a lot of fear about her future and what could happen if she lets her guard down. As always love conquers all but it is a convoluted path to the end.  I am on pins and needles for the next Smythe-Smith installment.