Branded By Fire by Nalini Singh

Branded By Fire by Nalini SinghBranded by Fire by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #6
Published by Berkley on July 7, 2009
Pages: 345 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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.

About Nalini Singh

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated frequently).

So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There’s no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

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  • It’s been a long time since I’ve read this one, but for a very, very long time it was my favorite. I LOVED the Riley-Mercy dynamic. I loved having two Changelings as mates (this was the first book for that). I remember I read this one back to back and then again the next year.

    • When I first read it I loved this book and their entire courtship but in reading it this time, especially in reading the series in order and trying to absorb everything each story had to offer, I couldn’t get over the intricate details of their relationship.

  • I was a little annoyed by Mercy’s obsession with the dominate female thing. It does pull something from the story. I’ve found that I like them better in later books after she’s figured out her issues. Great review.

    • Yes, I understand that Nalini Singh had to take the character through the process of getting to where she could accept Riley as her mate, but goodness was she annoying (but I still love her character lol).