Play of Passion
I didn’t date many younger men back when I was doing the singles scene. For some reason, I was always attracted to older guys. But I’ll admit that in romance I find this scenario fascinating. Should an age difference like that affect the the dynamic of the h/h relationship? Does it stay equal? Is the older heroine more dominant? Is the younger hero ever treated like a child? In the case of changelings, who seem to forever be involved in hierarchy issues, it adds a whole new level to the game of love.
The only dominant female/less dominant male relationship Indigo has ever seen is a nightmare. All too aware that as a highly dominant female that relationship could happen to her as well, Indigo is careful what wolves she plays with. She has an image of the ideal man – one who matches her own lieutenant rank, can give as well as he gets, and matches her own level of physicality. But most importantly of all, Indigo needs respect. Respect for what she has achieved, and respect for the authority she wields within the pack.
Andrew Kincaid uses his charm like a weapon. As the pack’s tracker, the man sent to subdue or terminate rogue wolves, he is outside the pack’s hierarchy. He can choose to listen to Lieutenant Indigo – or not, if his judgment advises against it. He has, amazingly, turned a lone wolf, killer position into one where people can come to him when they first feel the problem approaching. It has made his job easier, and the pack is healthy and whole thanks to what hecan accomplish.
But while others in the pack see him as the dominant, strong male he is Indigo sees the slightly younger Drew as a fun-loving wastrel. She is amazed when her body responds to his overtures after a particularly grueling mission, but she shuts their play down quickly. She doesn’t want things to progress with this amorous, carefree pup. But as Drew begins his pursuit, will she really be able to keep a guard on her heart?
The last couple of Singh books have been psy and human, so it was nice to get back to the Changeling universe. I like the wolves’ (and cats’) playfulness, their warmth, their passion. And many of my favorite characters are members of their packs. Laced through out this book (but not dominating it) is the war heating up within the psy hierarchy. Nikita remains a primary target and SnowDancer is pulled into that because of their strong ties with her. It is interesting to see the battle lines being drawn not as psy versus others, but as those who want Silence at all costs against those that want to move forward.
And of all the wolves, I love Drew the most. Seriously. The relationship he developed with Indigo was just fantastic. He didn’t go the “growl louder and get the girl” route but actually engaged in courtship rituals which were fun and quirky. And the way he did his job – by being pro-active and trying to prevent things from going to the point that he had to chase some poor slob down in the rain – I really loved that. It would have been so easy to make him a tortured soul only healed by the little woman (blah blah blah), but he was so strong emotionally and mentally, so giving that he superseded all that. His strength was there, always beneath the surface, but he added brain and heart to the brawn. A truly fantastic alpha hero.
I was far less impressed with Indigo than she was with herself. She was indecisive, thinking through every little decision (at least it seemed that way to me). She also wasn’t really cognizant of everything going on in the pack. She didn’t, for example, realize just how alpha/dominant Drew was even though their Alpha, Hawke, did. And several other members of the pack knew as well.
And I couldn’t understand how her Aunt (the other female dominant in her family) was someone she admired. The woman was in an abusive relationship (emotional if not physical) and had no children to tie her to it. Why didn’t she leave? Knowing that would have explained a lot, but we never find out. While I understand why this happens and have tremendous sympathy for the women in such situations in real life, in this story it didn’t jibe with her being presented as a dominant changeling female. That particular scenario felt forced and fake, like it was there to present an obstacle between Drew and Indigo. In the end, it wound up not serving as an explanation at all.
What I did like about Indigo was that she learned from her mistakes. And when she was relaxed and just being herself around Drew, she was fun, sexy and caring. This made the romance portion of the book really work for me. When glimpses of her like this were revealed, you could see why Drew loved her and why they would make an awesome pair.
This is a strong addition to this series. While I wasn’t over the top about Indigo I liked her well enough, and Drew more than makes up for her shortcomings. I really enjoyed the romance here because the relationship was really built up well. We get to see lots of great encounters between them in which they are getting to know each other (versus bonding while beating the daylights out of an enemy). I recommend it to any fan of paranormal romance.