SETTING: Alternate Reality
TYPE: Paranormal Romance
SERIES: 4th book in Psy-Changling series
REASON FOR READING: This is my favorite paranormal series so picking this one up was a no-brainer.
SUMMARY: [from Publishers Weekly]
Earth of 2080 continues a cold war with the chilling aliens the Psy in Singh's fourth fierce installment of the Psy-Changeling series (after Caressed by Ice). Half-human, half-leopard changeling Clay Bennett is shocked when lovely Talin McKade, wracked with illness and similarly half-changeling, returns to his life, having disappeared from his childhood 20 years before. Talin works at San Francisco's Shine Foundation, dedicated to helping gifted but needy children, and a growing number of her missing charges have been turning up sans brains. There's plenty of purring passion to keeps things hot as the Leopard shape-shifters Clay and Tally fall breathlessly in love, while the Psy continue to use children as guinea pigs for developing a hive mind. While this is paranormal romance at its best, newcomers are advised to check out the earlier adventures first.
This book captured my attention from the very first page. In all the other Psy/Changling books, the h/h were either Psy or Changling. In MtP the hero, Clay, is a changling leopard and incredibly yummy. But the heroine, Tally, is just a plain ordinary human so I was a bit leery about how strong a character she would be matched with such an alpha male. The previous heroines in this series have been matched with alpha males and have been very strong and alpha in their own right. But I had no reason to worry. Tally was a good mate for Clay.
Clay and Tally were childhood friends who became separated after an extremely traumatic event. Tally was an abused child and when Clay finds out, he mauls and kills her abuser right in front of her. Tally associates Clay with fear and blood and death and when he tries to find her after the incident Tally has her guardians tell him that she is dead. This was the only instance in the book where I wasn't sure if I would like Tally. But she was just a child when this happened and I think her reaction was understandable after such a traumatic event.
It is now 20 years later and Tally works with street kids. When several missing kids turn up dead, she knows she needs Clays help and goes looking for him. Clay has never forgotten Tally and is haunted by his memories of her. When he finds out she is alive he is understandably angry and one particular scene was incredibly intense and emotional. But he is also very loyal and protective of Tally so they pair up and discover some very sinister motives by a group of Psy. While they work together along with the Changling packs to rescue the children, Tally and Clay must face their past and confront their feelings for one another. Tally must learn to overcome her fear and trust Clay. And Clay must learn to forgive her for her deception and her sexual past.
This is another highly emotional, sexy, and fascinating addition to this series. Singh writes the best alpha males... and really, who would not love a leopard for a mate! They are highly possessive and protective without being overbearing. Tender, sweet, sensual and just plain sexy. OK, I'll stop now. I'm looking forward to Hostage to Pleasure (love this title) due out in September 2008.