Wow. Just Wow.
Caressed By Ice delivers.
Now three books into the series, Singh’s Psy/Changling world is familiar, comfortable—a recognizable character from which I expect more. I wonder at its fate and want to know more of its secrets. This world is not a simple construct built to support a handful of romantic pairings. It has a pulse of its own. And a future.
Singh’s Psy-Changling romance is another that finds its uniqueness in character. Even though traits inherent to each race factor heavily, Singh delves deeper into individual character for inspiration. Readers tumble head first with Judd and Brenna, not the Psy and Wolf. Their feelings for one another stem from a bond neither can avoid nor explain and Singh delivers this age-old “meant for each other” theme in such a way that readers come to the edge of their seat every time this destiny is threatened. I don’t think I relaxed once until I started seeing others refer to Judd as “her Psy” and Brenna as “his wolf.” Really, the emotion riding beneath each scene was palpable.
Caressed By Ice also qualified as a “can’t put down” read. When the action began to unfold, food and sleep went the wayside. Singh’s pace, underscored by prose that is clean and concise, held me firmly in place until I turned the last page.
Moving beyond world building, romance and pace, Caressed By Ice worked for me in a couple of other ways. First, there is Judd. Unerring calm, quiet intelligence, infinite patience, intrinsic self-control—packaged to present both danger and haven for the heroine. This is by far my favorite setup, my ideal alpha. I’d easily put Judd—with his whisper-soft lethality—in the company of Roberts’ Roarke, Low’s Jed O’Neil and Janzen’s Superman.
Singh brings this tantalizing duality to life through Judd’s rigid posture, cool expression and soft-spoken commands. Everything about him conveys power. The glimmer of something else—something akin to a trigger—comes in the form of a heroine brassy enough to provoke his ire, yet vulnerable enough to elicit feelings of protectiveness. Not a new scenario necessarily, but an especially interesting one given that Judd should experience neither anger nor possessiveness. A twist afforded by Singh’s world and one she turns on its head later, following one of Judd’s flameouts.
And there is the second item, the unexpected. I wait for it in Singh’s books. It’s always there in the way hero and heroine ultimately come together. In this one, Judd’s unforeseen ability following his flameout was the perfect respite from the mounting tension.
Singh’s talent wows, no question. She creates a complex world crisscrossed by strict hierarchies, archrivals and untold subversives—then sparks romance that defies all of it. Caressed By Ice—very aptly titled, BTW—is another must read from Singh.