Series: Psy-Changeling #6
Published by Berkley on July 7, 2009
Pages: 345 pages
Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to possess her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons; the problem is that he's a wolf, she's a cat, and they're both used to being on top.
But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped from DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together to track the young man - before his shadowy captors decide he's no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it'll leave them both branded by fire...
I found the first portion, the first 25%, of Branded by Fire really hard to get into. I can’t really say if it was Mercy or Riley’s character that made it so dang hard to get into this story, but it could very well have been a combination of both. Even though I did end up enjoying Branded by Fire it was a long and tumultuous road getting there.
Before I read Branded by Fire, Mercy and Riley were characters I neither loved nor hated and in previous stories they just weren’t characters I paid much attention to. Yeah, we learned a little more about Riley’s motivations and past in Caressed by Ice but not so much that I clamored to read more about him. The same can be said about Mercy’s character in Hostage to Pleasure.
So was it my lukewarm feelings towards both Mercy and Riley that made it hard to connect with Branded by Fire? No, it was the dominant female verse the dominant male scenario that made the earlier part of this story a chore to get through. Even though Mercy claimed that Riley was pushy and not willing to respect her as a dominant female, Riley time and again bent over backwards to accommodate and placate her and that irritated me to no end. Now while Mercy didn’t play games with Riley she had no problem falling into his arms and still warning him off at the same time.
Branded by Fire wasn’t a horrible story it was just filled with a character, and sometimes characters, that worked on my nerves. I give credit to Nalini Singh in sticking with the realness of her characters and not changing them to come off as more appealing, or as unauthentic.