Nalini Singh. Nalini has come a long way with her Psy-Changeling series. I can still remember the first time I picked up Slave to Sensation back in 2006, knowing I found an author I’d stick with for life. Nalini is an incredibly talented author, and if you’re not reading her books, you’re missing out on something special.
I read Kiss of Snow a few months ago and was on the fence whether or not I should review it. The reason is there are some things I enjoyed reading, while there were other things I found lacking. Kiss of Snow, from the overwhelming amount of reviews posted, is where everyone is head of heels in love with this book. It seems I’m in the minority here. Honestly, it’s hard to review Kiss of Snow because not only have I met Nalini and chatted with her in emails, but as I said before, I’ve enjoyed the majority of what she’s written. Kiss of Snow was missing something for me as a reader. At one point I had to put the book down and read something else, and then come back to it. I think my problem lies with expectation. This happens from time to time and Kiss of Snow is a perfect example of this.
Kiss of Snow is what the Psy-Changeling fans have been waiting for, especially those who adore Sienna, the young X-Psy refugee, and her love for Hawke, the uber alpha wolf of the SnowDancer pack. These two have been dancing around each other since the moment they met. Hawke’s desire for Sienna has grown to the point where he’s consumed with jealousy and incredible frustration. (The man has a serious case of mega blue balls) Hawke keeps his feeling bottled up inside because he feels Sienna is too young and fragile to take him on. (Sienna is 19 and Hawke is almost 30) Plus Hawke is dedicated to the memory of his mate he lost when he was very young. Very young is the key thing here as in Hawke and the girl he loved never connected on a level together as a grown man and woman. Because of this he feels he can’t mate with any other woman, most of all a Psy, like Sienna.
Sienna is tortured in every single way. We’ve seen this many times with past Psy heroines. She has the ability to be a true unemotional killer, a weapon much like her Uncle Judd once was. But Sienna is not cold and distant, or in control as everyone around her thinks her to be. Sienna is slowly breaking down inside and can barely keep up her defenses because of Hawke. She wants Hawke desperately and longs to be the one he turns to for intimacy.
These two can hardly be around each other without acting out. The way things have been between Sienna and Hawke has come to an end and new beginning is in store for them. Sienna decides to throw herself in Hawke’s face by acting as if she doesn’t need him. She goes off with her Changeling friends to bars and clubs, while Hawke broods and smolders, his inner beast fighting to break free to claim Sienna as his own. And then finally Hawke can’t take it anymore. All bets are off. Hawke unleashes his snarling wolf and Sienna no longer has a chance because Hawke is finished with the games and wants to play on his terms.
Sienna and Hawke’s passion for one another is combustible. Hawke doesn’t pounce on Sienna right away, but courts her with deadly precision. It’s like he’s going off to war. Sienna wants Hawke in all his forms, but is scared because of what lies inside her. These two take a long time to come together. Kiss of Snow is one big buildup of foreplay where I was frustrated alongside these two. But when they throw all caution aside, their love scenes will scorch your eyeballs when they finally share their bodies with one another.
The majority of the plot is dedicated to Sienna and Hawke, but we do see another, tender side with Sienna’s, innocent in the ways of intimacy, Uncle Walker and the SnowDancer healer, Lara. These two are the complete opposites from their counterparts and their interactions were lovely, so much so I was more interested in them at one point. Also Judd has a great deal of interaction, including Sasha and Lucas, whose happily ever after is in full force. These two are still my all-time favorite couple in the series and I was so happy to see them and their growing family.
With all these wonderful characters and their relationships, you’d think Kiss of Snow would be a perfect novel. It wasn’t for me. I found Kiss of Snow to be more surface reading if anything, the depth was lacking and the focus was off. Many sections were shortened and there wasn’t much action overall. There was a great deal of talking and internal musing, mainly from Sienna and Hawke. I was disappointed how Sienna’s relationship with Kit was played out. I felt that was as cop out, a way to get Kit out of the way so everything could be concentrated on Sienna and Hawke. I was expecting much more with Kit and Sienna, for him to be the catalyst to push Hawke into claiming Sienna, but their relationship was cut off abruptly.
The last fifty pages are explosive. If only this could have been occurred from the very beginning. There’s a secondary story with Judd, his Arrows and a big surprise thanks to the Ghost that you won’t see coming. I have a good idea the Ghost could be one of two characters, one who is obvious, the other way under the radar, and if Nalini decides to go with the one readers least expects, you can bet it will be shocking to the max.
There’s been a great deal of discussion about books being subjective, and for me Kiss of Snow is a perfect example. I realize I’m in the small minority with Kiss of Snow, and although I was less than astounded by what I read, I’m still very much dedicated to this series. Nalini has created a world and a group of characters I’ll never forget. I just wish Kiss of Snow had been that book I couldn’t stop thinking about. Unfortunately it wasn’t. I do look forward to even more Psy-Changeling books in the future and wait with baited breath for her announcement about Kaleb and his book.
You should all keep in mind that Kaleb is mine. *gets downs on knees that Kaleb gets his own book*
If you’re a die hard fan of Sienna and Hawke you’ll want to have babies with this book and will most likely re-read it many times until the next Psy-Changeling book is released. (Berkley)
Final Grade: B-
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