Review Revisited

Review Revisited: Holly’s Take on Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh (2007)

I started reading Nalini Singh’s psy-changeling series after Erin binge-read them all and then texted me every day about how amazing they were. I thought the first two were mildly entertaining, but I promised Erin I would read up through Book 3 before I gave up on the series. 

I think I’m giving up. So here are some notes on Caressed by Ice from someone who didn’t love it. 

First, I do agree that the worldbuilding is excellent, and I love that Singh expands out what we know about both psy and changeling politics in each book. If I were to read another book, it would only be to follow the continuing story of the psynet. (However, I thought the one-book mystery of who was killing pack members was underdeveloped—the villain wasn’t actually a real character, so I didn’t care when he was revealed.)

However, the gender essentialism in this series is…a lot. So if you feel your skin crawl when characters say things like, “Well, you know that women are more in tune with their emotions than men” (ugh, Faith Nightstar, ugh), then this book might not be for you. If you hate it when characters refer to “her innate female sensuality” or “his male dominance”, then this book might not be for you.

If neither of those things are dealbreakers, then read on for Erin’s enthusiastic take about how awesome this book is.

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Review

Review: Her Wolf in the Wild by Rien Gray (2021)

Heat Factor: kissy → grinding interruptus → date night on a blanket next to the lake

Character Chemistry: understated fated mated

Plot: Woman on the run from abusive ex falls in with a pack of rogue werewolf bikers

Overall: it’s enjoyable

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Review

Review: Wolf’s Instinct: A Day Care for Shifters by Elva Birch (2021)

Heat Factor: It’s not high heat, but it’s certainly sweet.

Character Chemistry: There’s not a ton of tension but it’s certainly an adorable romance.

Plot: Addison is a new resident of small-town Montana and gets a job at a shifter nursery where she meets single-dad Roderick. Roderick is also dealing with the arrival of his daughter’s birth mother, crazy town politics and presumably just being a shifter dad.

Overall: This book was a charming little palate cleanser. Not too tense, not too boring. Just lovely.

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Review

Mini Review: Prompted 2: 14 Flash Fiction Stories, Sweet to Spicy by Elva Birch (2021)

I’m going to do something a little different for this review, because these short stories are *short*—flash fiction typically clocks in at 1,500 words. None of these stories has much in the way of plot. They’re more like snippets in time, each showing a single moment in a relationship. 

The benefit, therefore, to reading a collection like this, is in getting a sense of the author’s voice, without the time commitment. The downside is that in stories this short, you will likely not get worldbuilding AND character AND conflict AND romance, so if you want a fully immersive reading experience, flash fiction is not a good bet. 

So what did I learn about Elva Birch here? She writes shifter romances. Her stories have a sense of wit about them, which I expect would translate into her other writing. I mean, the very first one in the collection is about a Dodo shifter, and the shame he feels about turning into such a lame animal (this one was one of my favorites, by the way—even in a small space, I got a great sense of the world, the Dodo hero, and his internal conflict about asking out his co-worker). She explores different kinds of shifters beyond your standard apex predators, and how people’s animal identities might impact their lives. The stories tended to lack tension, which is likely attributable, at least in part, to the form; but given how much I got a sense of the way she plays with shifter tropes, I would say that tension and conflict is either a weak point in her writing or something she chose to downplay in this collection.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon

Looking for something similar?

Anthologies!

Short Stories are tiny tasty treats of smutty delight!

Paranormal Romances means shifters galore (plus some vampires)

Tell me about Elva Birch’s full length books…

Recommended Read, Review

Review: Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh (2007)

Psy-Changeling, Book #3

Review of Psy-Changeling, Book #1

Heat Factor: Judd destroys furniture with his mind while banging because it’s so intense 

Character Chemistry: So, the drama of “he really wants to be with her but if he engages in their emotions one of them will die” (not joking) is AWESOME

Plot: There’s a lot going on with all the Psy/Changeling politics, but also Brenna is recovering from being kidnapped and tortured, and Judd is desperately trying not to break Silence and become a serial killer.

Overall: This book totally sealed it for me. I stan Psy/Changeling now.

Continue reading “Review: Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh (2007)”