Color me amazed...

Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, #12) - Nalini Singh

Let's face it, any book from this series that I actually consider keeping is amazing. I mostly don't care for all the resistance to the mating that seems to go on - along with the somewhat formulaic H (or h) getting badly wounded and the resistant mate suddenly panicking and giving in to the bond. One book this happens, I'm ok with it, but every book? Yeah.

 

Anyway, since this is a review of the book, not the series… Kaleb is one of those characters that you find…interesting…in spite of his apparent lack of personality or Evil Overlord vibes. The other character she's written that was this fascinating was Judd - the only other book I'd reread. (the changeling males aren't that different from any other shifter and have the added negative in that they resist any attraction to a Psy by thinking of killing her. Ick) So… at the end of the last book, there was a chapter where he found her, whoever her was. We knew then that this book would be his, what we weren't sure about was this: was he the Ghost? I actually didn't ponder that much. I wanted v. much to read his story, but he didn't have to satisfy that bit of curiosity.

 

What we discover about Kaleb is, he's not really Silent; he's just got an extreme amount of self control (faking it 'til he made it I guess). The h, well, she was never really Silent either. For that matter, I get the feeling that maybe all of the Nightstar clan may just be very good at faking it - her father was affectionate, for crying out loud. We also discover that Kaleb was more than a protege of the serial killer offed in the beginning of the series; he was his son. And…Kaleb considers himself to be as bad as dad (em, if you're afraid you're a psychopath, you probably aren't). Sahara is equally convinced that the only thing he shares with that monster is DNA. Frankly, so am I. He has a conscience. It may be in the form of WWSD?, but it's still something that makes him hesitate, makes him do things like close a dead child's eyes.

 

There was a sense of calculation in his initial moves to initiate seduction, but he was very much unprepared for his own reactions to her. He might have planned on using her need for tactile stimulation to bond her to him, but it was his loss of control of his powers that startled her into ending the first kiss at "just a kiss". I got the sense that unnerved him more than a little, but once started, he needed/wanted as much as she did, so even the threat of earthquakes and the house imploding couldn't keep him away.

 

Bonus - they didn't fight the bond. It may have been because neither expected it, but I'll take it. I hate the ol "I don't care if you are my mate. I don't want to be tied to you" bit that permeates so many of the books in this series.