Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hostage To Pleasure Review and Nancy Drew Week

I am just going to get this out of the way right now and say that Nalini Singh continues to astound me with her storytelling skills. Her Psy/Changeling books are one of the best fictional series, romance or otherwise being published. Earlier this year, Mine to Possess blew me away and now with Hostage to Pleasure, Nalini has done it again. If you are not reading Nalini Singh, you are seriously lacking in your reading material. Hostage to Pleasure is a near perfect book and is going down in my top 10 must read books for 2008.

Hostage to Pleasure is all about one of Nalini's most beloved characters, Dorian Christensen. He is DarkRiver’s best sniper, a changeling leopard who has one fault, he can’t shift into his leopard form. Even though he can’t change like his pack members can, Dorian is strong enough, more so than some of those who can shift at a moment’s notice. Dorian has some inner turmoil, mainly because his sister, Kylie was visciously murdered by a Psy serial killer. Dorian did get his revenge by gutting the Psy and watching him die. But it wasn’t enough, and Dorian blames himself over his sister’s death. He is entering into a dark place that he may not come back from and everyone who cares for him is worried. For the moment, Dorian wants to do the right thing and that is because of a four year old Psy child called Keenan. Dorian rescues Keenan because his mother, Ashaya Aleine was able to save some children who were being used in experiments by Psy scientists (this is all explained in Mine to Possess). Ashaya aided in the fight alongside the changelings and because of that she called in her IOU in order for them to save her son. Now that Keenan is free and able to break through his bonds of Silence. Ashaya will break free also, which in her mind means death.

Ashaya is a very interesting Psy because she does feel emotion and pretends to embrace the Silence that is forced upon the Psy when they become teenagers. Ashaya must keep all emotions at bay, not because of what she is, but because of her twin sister, Amara who becomes more enraged and twisted whenever Ashaya feels deep emotion. Amara has no moral compass. She doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong, she is an empty soul and it is up to Ashaya to keep her under control. If that isn’t enough responsibility, Ashaya has the final answer for bringing the Psy Silence to the rest of humanity.

Dorian’s inner leopard wants Ashaya badly. So much so, he wants to bite her and claim her as his mate. But Dorian is at odds with his beast because his human side can’t stand the fact that Ashaya is a Psy, the same type of being that killed his precious sister. Dorian saves Ashaya and as they come to terms with one another, Dorian comes to the conclusion that there is more than meets the eye with this cold scientist. She doesn’t hold back her emotions because of what she was made into, but rather it is to protect the ones she loves, which is her son, her amoral, unfeeling sister and eventually Dorian. Dorian wants Ashaya to let go and finally feel because she deserves it and owes it to Keenan. But again, Ashaya is all about sacrificing herself and she does this so everyone can be safe from the one person she connects with, and that is Amara. Amara is a ticking time bomb and if Ashaya can’t control her sister, the outbreak of the Silence will be the least of their problems.

Hostage to Pleasure is a major turning point in this series. The Psy culture we were first introduced in Slave to Sensation is breaking down. They are no longer the all powerful beings of the world. There was one such speech Amara gives Dorian that caught me eye:

“It’s the great irony of our race. Psy cling so hard to Silence because at the bottom of it all, they’re terrified, afraid that if they let go, the monsters inside their heads will start crawling out, reducing them to the level of you animals once again.”

And because of this fear and the eventual breakdown of the Psy, there will be an even more powerful enemy on the horizon where both Psy and Changeling may have to work together to stop them before they go too far. Former enemies will have to stand side by side together in the oncoming war that may change the world much like the Psy did when they founded Silence.

Dorian and Ashaya’s relationship is on equal footing with the other couples in Nalini’s past novels. These are two characters who suffer through their own personal hells. Dorian is on the cusp of becoming a renegade, a killer, because he can’t get over his sister’s death. Ashaya is a martyr because of her love for her family and of Dorian who wants to be a part of that. Their love is steamy and emotional; everything you would expect.

Nalini also gives us a small hint of things to come such as Hawke’s possible mate. Something also caught my eye about Kaleb. Maybe because I am a big fan of the mysterious Psy, Kaleb, I may be looking too much into one small scene in this book, but it did make me happy because I believe Kaleb has someone out there for him. (wouldn’t it be great if her name is Kate? :D)

What more can I say about Hostage to Pleasure that hasn’t already been said before? The proof is in the writing along with the wonderful characters that you find yourself talking about months, even years after you finish reading. Hostage to Pleasure has met all my expectations and Nalini has a fan and supporter of her books for life.

4 ½ stars out of 5 stars

Carolyn Jean from The Trillionth Page has something very exciting planned for this week. If you are a fan of Nancy Drew, make sure to stop by CJ's blog and check out NANCY DREW WEEK! There will be contests, giveaways, some surprise interviews and wonderful posts such as this one! *wink wink*

Katiebabs (KB)


16 comments:

Carolyn Jean said...

Hey! Thanks for the pimpage and the great review! Maybe Nancy can solve the mystery of your book, too.

Ana said...

Wonderful review Katie. This book is indeed everything you say. It is going down on my top 10 of 2008 too.

I cried in the end. Such a powerful, emotional story.

kmont said...

Awesome review! I so agree - HtP will definitely be in my Top 10 reads for '08 as well, probably Top 5.

Tracy said...

Such an incredible book! I absolutely loved it! Great review KB.

Nancy Drew - woohoo!

Katiebabs said...

Dorian and Nancy Drew. Double woo hoo!! :D
Now if we can just get Kaleb's story...

Christine said...

Great review, Kate! I think I've read every raving review of Hostage to Pleasure by now... and am wondering if I'm the only one who hasn't yet read it despite the fact that it doesn't hit the shelves till next week!? Anyway... I can't wait!

sayuri60 said...

I cannot wait for HTP! Eeek!

Aymless said...

Ooh... Great review. It also hitting my top 10 of 2008 as well.

Katiebabs said...

We all agree HTP should be in the top ten, but there is also Mine To Possess. So which comes first or closer to number one?? I can't decide! It will have to be a tie :D

little alys said...

HTP was such a wonderful book! You posted earlier than I thought you would. Heh. Another great review on a wonderfully fabulous books. :D

Nancy Drew!!!

CindyS said...

I loved Hostage to Pleasure and I'm sorry to admit that Mine to Possess was a DNF for me. I don't do well when there are missing children in a romance. It felt choppy and there was something about the human/Changeling match that didn't work for me. So HTP will definitely make the list - course it's the only book I've finished this year. Bad Cindy. Oh wait, Bad Slump!

CindyS

Katiebabs said...

CindyS: I really didn't mind the plot with the children in MTP. The way you felt about MTP is the way I felt about CBI. I think my problem was that I couldn't get an emotional attachment with Judd.
2008 doesn't seem to be your year for finishing books :( My problem is reading and loving too many! LOL

Ciara said...

I want to bite you. ;P

Funny though, I think I liked Mine to Possess better. But I'm not sure why, especially since HTP had a *hero being great with kids* which I'm a complete sucker for. Maybe it's because I liked the different spin of having a changeling with a Human. Or maybe it's because I love broken heroines and knight-in-shining-armor heroes. I shall have to contemplate the reasons...

Great review!

Katiebabs said...

Ciara reminded me, but I failed to mention how much Dorian wants to bite Ashaya. He thinks about this in almost every chapter. I think Dorian was more into biting than having sex with her! That gave me a good laugh.

Sarai said...

Must catch up in this series SOON!

Brie said...

I really want to get my hands on this book. Thanks for the review.