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Smart Girls Love Smut

I'm a lover of all words. I'm just partial to the dirty ones.

Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh

I need collect my thoughts before I flail all over this review in the most embarrassing way ever.




So, that’s not happening.




Because I fucking loved this book!


Like, it was my favorite in the series yet.


Like, I’m having a hard time wanting to read the next because HOMG, I was not expecting to love Mercy and Riley so much!  And I did.  I loved them!


Mercy is a Sentinel for Dark River.  And we learn that she’s ready to mate.  She wants it, she’s eager to have the kind of connection and love that she’s surrounded by in her pack.  But unfortunately, Mercy is also a strong, dominant female.  She wants someone equal to her in every way, and now that the rest of her comrades are paired off with other women, it doesn’t look like she has any viable options for a man in her future.


Enter Riley.


Riley, whom we kind of got to know in book three, is Brenna’s brother.  A wolf in the Snow Dancer pack.  And not just any wolf.  He’s the liaison between the two packs along with Mercy.  We know he’s protective, based on how he dealt with Brenna after her attack.  But what we don’t know is why.  What drives it?


Chapter one finds us with Mercy after the mating ceremony for Dorian and Ashaya.  She’s alone deep in the woods – mistly feeling sorry for herself and frustrated at her lack of options.  And what do you know…Riley walks out of the trees.


They trade insults and awesome banter.  And like his name, he knows how to rile her up.


“Got an itch, kitty?”


“You want to claw at me, kitty-cat?  Come on.”








It was like the best Christmas present ever!


Being the predatory animals they both are…they fight for dominance.


“You’re still trapped under me.” He nuzzled at her throat.  “And you smell all hot and wet and ready.”


“Talking’s not what I’m interested in right now.” Releasing her hands, he let her twist onto her back…only to push apart her thighs and settle his erection snugly against her.


Riley won.


Mercy didn’t care.


What she didn’t know was that Riley would suck on her nipple like it was his favorite treat before he sank those strong teeth into her delicate flesh… All she knew was that she had gorgeous male flesh under her hands and oh it felt so good.


“Now” – he thrust against her, letting her feel the heavy, dark heat that she could have – “what’s my fucking name?”


“I yield.”  Everything stilled.  He couldn’t believe he’d heard right.  He’d expected a grudging acknowledgement of his dominance at most.  But this… His wolf wanted to nip at her, pet her, make sure she knew he’d take care of the gift she’d given him.




Writing this from the grave.




Their love story was filled with several different obstacles.  The most important being that they were both from different packs.  But here’s the thing – Riley never stopped pursuing her.  He never stopped telling her what she meant to him.  And even though they both knew that mating would cause the least dominant of them to have to leave their pack, he knew that what they had together was worth it.


“I’ll try, Mercy.  I’ll give it everything I have.”  It was a raw promise, from the heart of a wolf, from the soul of the man.


He thrust a hand through his hair, and when he looked at her again, any hint of vulnerability was gone, replaced by steely determination.  “I’m keeping you.”


“You ready for a full-time man?” Hard words.  “Because I don’t do part-time.”




But Mercy knew she couldn’t walk away.  She knew that ‘having a mate was a gift, a brilliance of being.’  And she knew that her mate had to come before her pack.  Especially after she remembered the words Riley’s brother, Drew, spoke to her.


“He’s got a heart as big as Texas – he’ll die for you without blinking.  But he doesn’t expect anyone to do the same for him.”


Excuse me while I cry.


There were a lot of other side stories in this one.  Big news (in a couple ways) on the Sascha and Lucas front.  And of course, my new obsession, Hawke.  I will die when I finally get to his book.  I think it might actually kill me.  So much so, I don’t know if I can wait to read it after the three books I still have left before it.


I’m very impatient, Nalini!  Don’t you understand?


And the conclusion to this story was – as you might expect – wonderful.  Riley had always been the protector, the one who people needed…until he met Mercy.


“I need you.” He hadn’t said those words since the day his parents died.

And then, there was this.


“You make my heart beat, Mercy.”


Simple words.


Beautiful emotion.


I fucking loved this story.


Read it.


Read it immediately.


5 stars!