Play of Passion

By: Nalini Singh

Series: Psy-Changeling

Book Number: 9

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


SnowDancer lieutenant Indigo Riviere is the most dominant female in the pack. As such, it's hard for her to find a male who can handle being with her. Strongly aware of her role in the pack, she doesn't allow skin privileges easily, especially of the sensual kind. After being without a lover for a while, she finds pack tracker Drew's flirtations tempting, but with him being a less dominant male and four years her junior, she's reluctant to get involved with him. She's watched her aunt, who is equally as dominant as Indigo and mated to a less dominant male, struggle in her relationship, leaving Indigo with the certainty that if she goes down the same path, she'll have the same experience. But when Drew unexpectedly pulls out all the stops to woo her and prove that he'd do anything to be with her, even if it means reining in his own wolf, she'll find it all but impossible to resist any longer.

Pack tracker Drew Kincaid is the guy SnowDancer dispatches when a pack member has gone rogue. Dealing with wolves who've crossed a line is easy for him, but convincing Indigo to give him a chance is a whole other ballgame. He's been crazy about her for a long time, but she keeps trying to maintain a friends-only relationship with him. Although younger and less dominant than Indigo, there's no other woman he wants, so he decides to go after her with a full-on romantic and sensual assault that will leave her with no doubt about the sincerity of his feelings and willingness to compromise. Drew is gradually making headway, but before he can get Indigo fully on board, they, along with the rest of their pack, must deal with a rising threat from Pure Psy, the Psy faction that's determined to maintain Silence at all costs. The group has made an incursion onto SnowDancer land that could threaten not only the pack but also the newfound bond that he's finally building with the woman he loves.


Play of Passion is the ninth full-length novel in Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series. This one follows SnowDancer wolves Indigo and Drew. Indigo is a dominant female and a pack lieutenant, while Drew is the pack's tracker. Drew has been crazy about Indigo for a while, but she's been trying to keep their relationship friends-only. She worries that getting involved with a male who is both younger and less dominant could lead to disaster. But tired of waiting for her to come around, Drew pulls out all the stops to prove to Indigo that she's the only wolf for him. Meanwhile, the threat from Pure Psy, the Psy faction that's determined to maintain Silence no matter the cost, is rising, and Indigo and Drew discover evidence of a Psy incursion onto SnowDancer land. With the help of their alpha, Hawke, and the rest of the pack, they must figure out what the Psy's new game is and stop it before serious damage is done, but a climactic battle with the Psy could put Indigo and Drew's relationship in jeopardy before she's even had a chance to decide whether Drew is her perfect mate after all.

Indigo is the most dominant female in the SnowDancer den, and as a lieutenant, she's one of Hawke's right-hand people. The other wolves look to her for leadership, and cognizant of her role in the pack, she doesn't allow skin privileges easily. She hasn't had a lover for a while, so Drew's flirtations are tempting. But she's also keenly aware of the fact that Drew is four years her junior, and although as tracker, he's not in her direct line of command, he's a less dominant male. Indigo has spent the last several years watching her aunt, who is equally as dominant as Indigo, in an unhappy union with her mate who is less dominant. There's a constant push and pull between them that has soured any love they once shared, so Indigo believes that in order to maintain the health of the pack, she must mate someone who is her equal in the pack hierarchy. However, she didn't count on Drew pulling out all the stops to romance her and to prove that he's willing to do anything to be with her, even reign in his own wolf. Indigo is a female who isn't unlike human women who find themselves in powerful positions in a male-dominated world. She's respected by the male members of the pack, but at the same time, she places a lot of responsibility on her own shoulders for making sure the pack is a healthy, functioning group. She knows that if she's unhappy in her mating that could lead to disunity in the pack. While Drew is hard to resist, they do butt heads on occasion as they and their wolves try to figure out if they can fit together in harmony. Occasionally I felt just a tad frustrated with Indigo for being so stubborn, but I generally understood where she was coming from and the feeling usually didn't last long before she was finding a way to compromise. I also very much respected the fact that she was willing to make concessions in order to find true love and happiness.

As the pack's tracker, Drew hunts down Changelings who've gone rogue and also deals with some pack business outside their immediate area. As such, he reports directly to Hawke, so there isn't a conflict of interest with him getting involved with Indigo. Drew is also a real charmer who is popular with the ladies, both human and Changeling. But for a long time, he's only had eyes for Indigo. Drew may not be dominant enough to maintain a higher position in the pack hierarchy, but he's still a dominant male who finally decides to go after what he wants. Convincing Indigo that he's sincere about a serious relationship proves to be a major challenge, but one that he's more than up for. He screws up on occasion, making the female wolf snarl at him for his audacity, but he always more than makes up for it with a full-on romantic and sensual assault. However, just as he's starting to make headway and thinks that Indigo might finally be his, Pure Psy invades their territory, threatening not only the pack but also his and Indigo's future. Oh my goodness, I think Drew might be my favorite hero of the series so far. He may have a dominant side, but he's also a real sweetheart, who totally wears his heart on his sleeve for Indigo. I love a hero in pursuit and Drew definitely pulls out all the stops in his pursuit of Indigo, holding nothing back. His courtship of her is swoon-worthy romance at its finest. Even though he knows he could be risking a broken heart if both the woman and the wolf don't accept him, he's also convinced that it will all be worth it. And he's determined not to give up until he's won them both over. It also doesn't hurt that he's an incredibly romantic guy and a passionate lover.;-)

As is typical for this long-running series, Play of Passion has a stellar supporting cast with lots of characters past and future who have their own stories in the series. Pack alpha Hawke is the most prominent, and it's obvious that although he's fighting it, he's still carrying a torch for Sienna, one of the Psy they adopted into their pack and a young woman who definitely has a thing for him, too. These two finally become the hero and heroine of the next full-length book, Kiss of Snow. Drew's sister, Brenna, and her mate, Judd, (Caressed by Ice) are key players as well. Drew's brother, Riley, and his mate, Mercy, (Branded by Fire) are away on a sort of honeymoon, but show up near the end of the story. Pack healer Lara's skills are put to the test, saving someone's life. She and Walker, who appears briefly, become the hero and heroine of the novella, Texture of Intimacy. DarkRiver alpha Lucas and his mate, Sascha, (Slave to Sensation) show up at the end, too. Dorian (Hostage to Pleasure) puts in an appearance, helping with tech issues. Emmett and Ria (Whisper of Sin) share a scene with Drew and Indigo. Max and Sophia (Bonds of Justice) appear a couple of times, still working for Nikita. Lastly, Dev (Blaze of Memory) plays a small but important role while also trying to forge an alliance of sorts with SnowDancer.

Play of Passion was an awesome read, a great addition to the series, and perhaps my favorite so far. Indigo is a strong female whose love and sense of responsibility to her pack is admirable. She may have her doubts about Drew but bravely gives him a chance, gradually opening up and tearing down her walls for him. Drew would be impossible not to love. He's definitely one of the most romantic and passionate heroes I've ever read and totally lovable. I adored Drew and Indigo together as a couple and thought they complimented each other perfectly, while finding ways to compromise to make their relationship work. It certainly didn't hurt that there were plenty of smokin' hot love scenes, too.;-) With Pure Psy ramping up their efforts, the events of this book were also a nice addition to the greater story arc. By the end, it becomes very clear that the Psy Council has completely and irrevocably fractured. Things are definitely heating up, inexorably heading toward a probable climactic battle, and I can't wait to see where things go from here. It's left me very much looking forward to reading Hawke and Sienna's story soon.


Nalini Singh


Friends Before Lovers