I was more than pleased to get to stay in Dark River for Hostage to Pleasure. And I was exceptionally excited for this book to focus on Dorian, AKA the latent changeling who couldn’t actually shift into his leopard form, AKA the fuckhot sniper who was equally badass to all his Sentinel brothers.
Once again, Nalini Singh wasted no time in getting right into the story. We picked up during the extraction attempt of the M-Psy, Ashaya’s son. This rescue, and the following scenes, were some of my favorites in the book. And I was immediately no longer just intrigued by Dorian… I full-on loved him.
I liked the themes in this book – love, family, acceptance and responsibility. And one of the reasons that I enjoy shifter stories is the idea of mating. I love, love, love the connection, the passion, the absolute need to be with someone. Even when everything tells you it should be wrong.
Dorian hates the Psy. We learned in book one that Enrique tortured and killed his little sister. And his hatred for their race eats away at his soul – it’s a darkness that he can’t escape. And he doesn’t want to. But we find out that he had a very strong reaction to Ashaya the first time he saw her…and almost assassinated her.
“No, the sole reason he had almost put a bullet through her was because the instant he’s caught her scent, his cock had gone hard as a fucking rock.”
How hot is that?
And I really loved Ashaya. Yes, she was Psy, but she fucking loved and sacrificed for her child. She was willing to – and basically did – die for him. And watching Dorian fall in love with this selfless woman, when he considered her and her race to be selfish, power-hungry and psychopathic… Well, that was kind of amazing.
I was invested.
This love story was intense and emotional. They fought each other and themselves along the way. And the sexual tension was amazing.
“He tended to like his sex slow and intense, but right now, with this woman, his body wanted hard, furious, a little rough.”
“Her eyes traced his lips and his entire body grew taut with the caress – she might not call it that, but that’s exactly what it was.”
So, yeah. That connection…they just couldn’t fight it forever.
There was a lot going on outside the love story in this book. We saw more from the Council, learned more about Sascha, and were introduced to some new and potentially problematic characters. The intensity surrounding the Psy revolution is heating up. And even though I willingly admit that I’m mostly in this for the love stories, I find that I’m drawn into these side stories, as well.
The end of this book made me cry. I can’t even lie. And in the best possible way. And beyond that – it made me fall even more in love with Dorain and Ashaya. And of course their little cub, Keenan. It’s an amazing thing when opening yourself up to love (with the right person) can give you everything you ever hoped for…and even those things you’re scared you’ll never get.