3 Star rating
Wild Invitation
Psy-Changeling, Books #0.5, 3.5, 9.5, & 10.5
By Nalini Singh
ISBN# 9780425255131
Author’s Website: http://www.nalinisingh.com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

*Beware of Spoilers*

wild-invitation-psy-changeling-nalini-singhWild Invitation is an anthology that is a must for any Psy-Changeling fan that wants to devour every little story there is for these great characters in this entertaining series.  Wild Invitation combines two previously released novellas (Beat of Temptation & Stroke of Enticement) with two new stories (Declaration of Courtship & Texture of Intimacy).   All four novellas were written with the intent that they could  be picked up and be read at any time as stand-alones, but I’m a stickler for reading stuff in order so I read them in number order as I was reading the rest of the series.

5 star rating
Beat of Temptation
Psy-Changeling, Book #0.5

This is the story of how Tasmyn and Nate finally got together after Nate fought their bond for years!  I’m not getting to in-depth with it as I have previously reviewed this story when it appeared in the Christmas anthology, An Enchanted Season.  You can see that review here.

I found that this was an amazing novella and the fact that Singh could wrench so much emotion out of such a short story, I knew I was hooked to the series already!  This is a really sweet story that every Psy-Changeling fan should read.  If you don’t read any of the other shorts, read this one!

4 star rating
Stroke of Enticement
Psy-Changeling, Book #3.5

When Annie was a little girl and in the hospital recovering from a terrible accident one Christmas, she wrote a letter to Santa.  Her one wish was to have a friend that was hers to play with.

Now Annie is all grown-up.  She’s a teacher and when one of her normally good students hits another, she is determined to find out why.  But he adamantly refuses to enlighten her and tells her that he will only tell his Uncle Zach.  Annie’s world changes forever when leopard changeling Zach takes an interest in her.  And, she discovers she may finally be getting her wish!

I adored this short and sweet little story!  I absolutely loved Zach!  He was a bit on the arrogant side, but I think it added to his charm.

“Zach. You can only call me Mr. Quinn when you’re angry.”

I really enjoyed him and of course the changeling protectiveness.  I found their relationship to be a lot of fun and I hope we get to see glimpses of them in future Psy-Changeling novels.

I also loved the way Zach was with Bryan.  I especially adored the conversation about why Bryan punched Morgan.  It was just too sweet and funny all at once.

“Morgan said that his mother said that Miss Kildaire is sitting on a shelf.”

Zach had to think about that one for a few seconds. “He said she’s on the shelf?”

“Uh-huh.” An emphatic nod. “I don’t know why Miss Kildaire would sit on a shelf, but that’s what Morgan said.”

“I’m guessing there’s more.”

“And then Morgan said that his mother said that Miss Kildaire was too fat to get a man.”

What a load of horseshit, Zach thought. Morgan’s mother was probably some shriveled-up jealous twit. “I see.”

“And then Morgan said she was a cripple.”

Zach had a sudden urge to punch out the little rat himself.”

2 and half star rating
Declaration of Courting
Psy-Changeling, Book #9.5

This story takes us to a different SnowDancer den in the San Gabriel Mountains, where we learn more about the lieutenant in charge, Cooper, as he makes his claim on the new wolf on the block (she just transferred to the den), Grace.

I’m sad to say that I really wasn’t a big fan of this story.  I found myself pretty bored during the majority of it.

This was a different den then the San Francisco one that we’ve come to know and so all the characters where new.  Yes, Cooper had been mentioned before in the series, but we didn’t really know him and Indigo and Hawke are also mentioned in this book, but they aren’t present so it’s just not the same.

But that’s not really even the worst of it.  I didn’t like this romance at all.  Grace’s submissiveness, especially in the beginning, was overkill and, I just couldn’t ‘buy into’ her character.  I can’t believe that any woman is naturally that timid and skittish.  I could see if she had been in an abusive relationship, but she wasn’t…. she was just her natural self and I found her annoying.

Then, we look at Cooper.  He is on the complete other side of the spectrum being overkill on dominance.  He truly acted like the aggressor in an abusive relationship, even though he kept claiming to care and how he needed to do things slow with her.  He had a hair trigger temper, and yes he never hurt Grace, he was easy to anger.  Also, I found his constant descriptions of what he wanted to do to her more vulgar than sexy…. Seriously that’s how you expect to woo her?

The story does get slightly better toward the end, but I could just care less about this abusive relationship in the making.

2 star rating
Texture of Intimacy
Psy-Changeling, Book #10.5

Pure Psy just raged a war against the changelings with Councilor Ming at the helm of their military command.  The changelings not only answered the call, but defeated them and now they are setting everything back to rights and enjoying the newfound peace after the quick, but powerful war that raged.

Among all the chaos an unexpected mating took place between Psy defector, Walker, and SnowDancer healer, Lara.  Now that everything has finally settled down around them they can truly start to explore their newfound bond and transition themselves and the kids into their new family.

I loved the book before this, Kiss of Snow, but I was wondering if Walker and Lara had been jipped by having their mating squeezed into the same book as Sienna and Hawke’s relationship.  So I was excited to see that they were getting a little more time in the spotlight with this novella.  Unfortunately, if just didn’t live up to my expectations.

I’m still undecided about this couple.  I kind of liked them in Kiss of Snow, but felt the relationship was a bit rushed.  Now they had a chance to really draw me in with this story and, I ended up finding myself pretty bored throughout it.  They seemed to run hot and cold.  They *just* got mated and are already talking about trying for a baby now, which I’m thankful Lara didn’t get pregnant in this one with so many of the secondary characters having that same affliction (Ria & Annie).  But then they get in a fight over something as simple as his shields going up automatically.  She blows off steam at him and there was no true makeup as it really does seem she’s blowing things out of proportion and the whole things stems from her just not knowing her mate that well yet.  And, of course there is the ever-present shadows in Walker’s eyes from the horrors he faced in his past.  This story just really seemed to be all over the place and felt kind of like the show Seinfield ….. only it’s the novella about nothing.  There was no one obstacle for them to overcome and no clear outcome.  I was just hoping for so much more.

Overall Thoughts:

I thought the first couple stories in this anthology, Beat of Temptation and Stroke of Enticement, were really strong.  I loved revisiting Tammy and Nate’s beginning and I loved Zach and hope to see more of him and Annie in the future books of the series.  I’m holding out hope that Lucas will promote him to sentinel for that very reason.

Unfortunately, I thought the new stories; Declaration of Courtship and Texture of Intimacy lost something in their execution and just completely missed the mark for me.

But this anthology is definitely worth the read through for the first two stories alone and is a great addition to any Psy-Changeling fan’s bookshelf.