Author: Nalini Singh
Date of publication: 5 Feb 2008
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifters
Author's links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Ibooks / Kobo
My rating: 3.5 stars
Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed...and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.
Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life--the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows...
Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past...or lose everything that ever mattered.
This is the fourth book in the series and for the first time the romance is between a changeling male cat and a human female.
I loved the crime/thriller aspect, but not so much the romance. It is a very intense romance sinse the characters have a painful back story and knew each other since they were kids. It's a kind of second chance love story. Clay and Tallin need to overcome a lot of guilt and resentment and distrust coming from their past and what they have done to each other.
I was not a big fan of Tallin at the beginning, I could accept her choices initially, but just like Clay I needed time to warm up to her (for him it was more of re-open his heart) but she was perfect for him and that's made like her more towards the end. I liked how loyal and dedicated she was to her children, she loved them with a fierceness similar to that of the changelings to their cubs.
Ms Singh creates some of the most fun and adorable children I've read in romance, and here Jon and Noor were no exception, though he is a bit older, a juvenile and there is an element of seriousness beyond his years to him, still he was a great kid.
As usual in this series, the main characters were complex, dealing with many issues. They both deal with a terrible violence in their childhood, how it changed them, marking them, making them who they are now, Clay's struggle to keep his humanity and Tallin's efforts to accept his violent side were presented in a captivating way.
Ms Singh continues the elaborate world building in this series, we see more of the Human race and a whole new player was introduced, the Forgotten - descendants of a mixed race between psy and humans.
I thoroughly enjoy this series and I appreciate the talent of Ms Singh to create a unique story for each couple. There are similarities, of course, yet every couple stands of its own. Even though Clay and Talin didn't turn out to be one of my favourites, still their story has its merits and contributes to the overall plot of the series.