KISS OF SNOW (Psy-Changeling #10)
Available May 31st
Received from publisher for review
This review contains NO spoilers.
Sienna Lauren and her family defected from the PsyNet and came seeking sanctuary with the SnowDancer wolves fully expecting they would be killed. They all hoped the wolves' love of children might save Sienna's younger brother and cousin and would only end up destroying the three eldest Laurens. Thoroughly shocking them all, alpha Hawke spared all five of them and brought them into the changeling way of life, and her impossible attraction began.
Sienna's relationship with Hawke has always been difficult, both stubborn personalities clashing on a regular basis, but now that she's reached an age where a relationship with him is plausible, she finds her dreams of being with him as impossible as ever. While her feelings for him are no secret, he refuses to see the woman she has become, seeking instead to keep distance between them even though it hurts them both to do so.
While Hawke struggles with his decision to romantically pursue Sienna, an enemy of the changelings is getting closer and closer, threatening to repeat a bloody history Hawke has no desire to live through again. To his dismay however, his greatest weapon against them might just be the woman who is becoming vital to his existence.
Kiss of Snow is a story that both sates and feeds our hunger for two characters who hold pieces of our hearts already despite being only secondary characters up until this tale. Every interaction between them mollifies a desire to see them together so powerful it has become a ravaging need reached its breaking point after nine long books, but those same moments of quiet communication also throw kindling on the blazing fire of attraction we want to see fulfilled with a shocking intensity. Hawke and Sienna's story has been one of haunting incompleteness and unresolved tension, and while we have watched those around them find peace and happiness, we've been tormented by the emotional vacuum into which they've swept their feelings–wondering when, if ever, the truth of what they have tried desperately to squelch will see the light of day. Finally though, finally, our voracious appetite is whetted and the electric storm that has been brewing between them is unleashed in all its stunning fury, emotions and bodies stripped bare as two people with infinite physical and psychic power engage in a complex dance of courtship; one comprised of innocence and flirtation but also of unrelenting need and searing passion.
Sienna is a young woman whose strength of feeling for Hawke holds us captivated given her unfathomable history with the Psy council and her strict adherence to the Silence protocol prior to her arrival in the SnowDancer den, her defiant nature creating an instant camaraderie with us as she continually challenges a man few dare to push. While she behaves very much as a teenage girl whose love goes unrequited might behave in the beginning, she quickly matures, refusing to allow Hawke to afford her less substance as a result of her young age. Where their relationship has previously been adversarial, lust and affection masked by wickedly sharp tongues and deliberate antagonistic provocations, Sienna now chooses not to don her emotional armor, approaching Hawke with an admirable openness and denying him the option to fall back on his position as alpha to push her away. When he tries to retreat in a misguided attempt to protect her feelings, she follows unerringly, and when he spouts convenient excuses that reduce their relationship to less that what it could be, she beautifully argues her counterpoints and forces him to admit to the lies he's told himself so convincingly.
Hawke, for all the immensity of his alpha personality, treats Sienna with exquisite care, almost reverent in his respect of her innocence as a young woman denied the gift of emotion and physical contact under Silence. He gently introduces her to the joys found in simple touch with a slowness that is both deliciously frustrating and sinfully tortuous–each heated moment leaving our skin pulled tight over bodies suddenly too big, muscles held rigid in anticipation as we bite our lips in decadent agony with each newly discovered sensation. His use of the endearment "baby" is one that incites a powerful reaction in us, the word at times rumbling from his mouth infused with such a blatant dominance and possessiveness our own eyes skitter away from the pages as though that ice blue gaze can see us clearly, holding us in the thrall of his power as if we belonged in the Pack hierarchy ourselves. At other times those same four letters are spoken with a warmth and tenderness of which we wouldn't have thought such an imposing man capable, and we luxuriate in the drugging heat of it as Sienna does, sighing in contentment as an alpha wolf both claims what is his but also allows himself to be claimed in return.
Kiss of Snow is a gift to fans of the Psy-Changeling series, the development of Hawke and Sienna's relationship written in magnificent detail and their progression from adversaries to lovers so euphorically satisfying we can't imagine how we've made it this long without their story in all its glorious completeness. Ms. Singh has written the ultimate romantic pairing–characters both immeasurably powerful yet extraordinarily vulnerable who challenge, test, and ultimately accept the other, coming together with such combustible force they will forever be burned into our hearts and memories. We read each page with with a grin that simply cannot be contained as a dominant wolf teaches a Psy stripped of any semblance of a childhood how to play, and a woman teaches a man to embrace both the fears and joys that accompany a true and unbreakable bond.