Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Kiss of Snow

KISS OF SNOW (Psy-Changeling #10)
Nalini Singh
Paranormal Romance
415 pages
Berkley Sensation/Penguin
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.

Rating: 5/5


  1. Wow Jenny! Amazing review. Your fangirl love is shining bright.

    This whole Psy-changeling world sounds so intense and interesting. I wonder if it might be too "smart" for me. The terms alone baffle me. LOL

    I love passionate yet vulnerable characters. The fact that Hawk and Sienna's romance was a long time coming just makes the story seem more special.

    *licks cover one last time before bed*

  2. I skipped the review because I wanna be surprised but I'll come back and read it. I'm so dang jealous you got read a ARC. Lucky you! I feel like I've been waiting for Hawke & Sienna's book since forever. I've loved their chemistry right from the start. I love me some Hawke. I can't wait to read it. Not long now ;)

  3. After reading your wonderful interview with Singh last week and now this amazing review, I am sorry I have not read any of these books. Hawke sounds like a real hottie and the relationship between Sienna and him sounds like it just had to happen. Great reivew!

  4. Missie - I know, I rambled and gushed a bit. I couldn't help it! All the terms are really easy to understand once you read the first one, I was never lost or confused:)

    Tyraa - I love me some Hawke too:) Not too much longer until release day!

    Jan - Hawke is delicious. I loved him from book one even though he was only in it for a few pages. I have a thing for the damaged heroes, and he's pretty damaged but still so very alpha:)

  5. Fabulous review. I adored this book. Hawke and Sienna are perfect together and watching them get there added to the excitement.

  6. Book 10?!? Hmm I think this will be the next big series I'll dive into. It sounds great!

  7. What a lovely review. Thanks!

  8. You make this author and this series sound soooo good!!

    I have not read anything by her, but...that cover is *ahem* nice.. :)

  9. Tori - I adore it too, I could read it again and again:)

    Paranormal - Please do! I love this series so much:)

    Kylie - Thank you:)

    Tina - I adore Nalini, she writes such great characters:) And doesn't the cover just make you want to pick it up (and maybe pet it;)?

  10. Wow, I can't wait to read this! Thank you so much for a spoiler free review, Jenny. Really looking forward to Hawke's book. 14 days and counting!

  11. Thank you for such the sweetest review of Kiss of Snow that I have read (and I've read a whole lot of them!)

    You are so obviously in love...


  12. Another series I will need to my must read list since you praised this book so highly.

  13. Rummanah - You're welcome! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:) I'm pretty sure I read it 3 times the weekend I got it, I couldn't get enough Hawke and Sienna.

    Elaine - I'm very in love, thanks so much for your kind words on the review!

    Jenny - I just love these books. There are of course some better in the series than others, but this one is definitely my favorite of all of them:)

  14. Want! :D I have been waiting for these two to get together for such a long time now

  15. Well you know... I'm not even going to say it! I'm adding it to my TBR. *scowl*


  16. Oh I love the way you described their relationship! Beautiful! I want to get into this series so bad and I love it when secondary characters get to shine. Oh yes... I need this series!!!

  17. First off Jenny, do you just pick books based upon the lovely manliness of them? ;) Secondly, the tenth book in the series? :O! Clearly this is a pretty good series if it is up to book ten (errr.... maybe that isn't a good assumption actually, considering series like the Morganville Vampires and the House of Night are getting pretty high up there too... ;) ). Rest assured, I trust your review completely and will have to check this out!

  18. Blodeuedd - It's so good, I hope you love it!

    Ashley - Do it. Start with book one though, then you can book stalk Hawke like I did:)

    Melissa - They are definitely one of my all time favorite couples, I just adore them:) I love when two characters have danced around one another for a while and then finally get together. It was torture waiting, but so worth it:)

    Avery - HA! Maybe I do, can you blame me? He's just so pretty:) This series is one where each book focuses on a different couple, and sometimes I think that works better when the books get into high numbers because there's always a fresh story and fresh relationship:)

  19. Oh I loved this one too. Hawke is just so fine. Sienna held her own - Loved her!!

  20. I have got to pick up more adult books! I feel like I am missing so much! Nice review!

  21. Your reviews of adult books always make me feel like I need to expand my horizons. I think I need this one, and preferably stat. When you give something five out of five, I know it's deserving. Fabulous review, Jenny :)

  22. Oooh...sounds good. I like the contrast between an alpha male and someone who treats a girl so gently. Although I hate the word "baby" or "babe." I don't know why it grates on me so much.

  23. Mandi - He is, I adore him. I hope we still get lots of them in future books like we do Lucas and Sascha:)

    Savy - You should! This is a great series:)

    Melissa - You read the Cat & Bones books right? I think you'd like these, she's creates really memorable characters like Jeaniene Frost does:)

    Alison - Normally I'm not a fan of any kind of pet name either, but coming from Hawke, it just works:)

  24. Okay KOS is a "gift" you gave me goosebumps with that one Jenny! I am so looking forward even more to reading this, I still have to wait almost a month to get my copy though, I know it is well worth the wait too!

  25. Nalini is one of those authors that I must find a moment to read though I have a feeling that the second I do, I will read the whole series! I am hoping for July and her to be my series read :)

  26. Your review acutely heightens the unbearable need I have for this book. ;o)

  27. Team Owen, YES! Enjoyed the blog, and I love great reviews like this one. A 'pinch' of spoiler whets my interest.

    remmons at gmail dot com

  28. Wow, your review almost made me pass out! I can't wait for the 31st!! *swoon*

  29. Okay, I'm sooo glad I didn't read your review before I wrote mine because this is truly awesome work. You did such a wonderful job of explaining why this book was so satisfying--both as a romance, and the most fervently-awaited installment in the series.

    I love the baby stuff. I want Hawke to call me baby. Like, right now.