I almost skipped this book entirely because I was so ambivalent about the premise, but I was afraid that I might miss something from Hawke’s story. So, I decided to give it a go.
Spoiler Alert: THERE IS NO HAWKE IN THIS BOOK
I can’t say that this was my favorite book. It could be that it was because I’d just finished with Branded by Fire, which was my favorite to date. Or it could be because I wasn’t as familiar with the two main characters, Dev and Katya. Hell, I didn’t even know who Katya was when I read the description. And we only got glimpses of Dev in Hostage to Pleasure.
We begin as Katya is literally dropped on Dev’s doorstep. He doesn’t know anything about her except that she’s a Psy who’s obviously been tortured. She has no memory of whom or what she is, but for some reason, both she and Dev feel like she might be a threat to him and the Shine Foundation.
We find out that Katya is actually Ekaterina, Ashaya’s lab partner. And while Ashaya and Dorian offer to bring her to Dark River for safety and protection, Dev refuses to let her go because he thinks she’s a threat. But he’s also captivated by her for reasons he can’t really explain.
The first thirty percent is really slow for me. I like Dev enough – he’s definitely the dominant, protective, tender alpha male. And Katya impresses me by telling Dev that if she’s really a threat to him, he needs to kill her. But other than these two and their budding relationship, nothing really pulls me in. I was definitely missing the changeling clans and all those characters that we’ve grown to love.
Once the story picked up for me, I was engaged. I was definitely in it and enjoying it. There wasn’t a lot of action – a lot of the drama seemed to stem from the possibility of what Ming LeBon might do to Katya or might force Katya to do to Dev.
These two had heat, though. And I can’t lie and say I wouldn’t like to know what it’s like to share a bed – or a wall – with Dev. Because he’s quite yummy in the I’m gonna lick your pussy and fuck you until you have a hard time standing department.
We meet some other new characters, and learn quite a bit more about the Forgotten. Most importantly that they have powers a lot like the Psy. This could be really interesting as the seeds of discourse are continuing to be planted and taking root, and the inevitability of war looms in the distance.
The end of this was heart-wrenching. Like, choking back actual tears at the love and sacrifice of these characters. And I don’t know how Nalini Singh does it, but she managed to make me cry even though I was certain I’d feel nothing more than indifference.
There’s something to be said about being able to convey that kind of emotion with words.
PS: Noor and Keenan (the adorable bbs that they are) make me swoon all the swoons. And HOMG I cannot wait to see what’s going to happen with them (and the rest of this army of powerful misfits) as this series continues.
A solid read.