Tangle of Need

Tangle of Need - Nalini Singh 3.75 stars

Once again. I found the featured romance nowhere near as compelling as the rest of the events in the story. I absolutely love catching up with characters from previous novels, as well as the political/racial tensions. I am a sucker for soap operas, and this series rocks that.

I am trying to power through the last books in this series, so I'm ready for Silver Silence in June. The library is not cooperating. I think most of the other patrons are doing the same thing, based on the waiting lists! I am still glad that I discovered the Psy-Changleing series so late, because it's been fun grabbing a volume here and there, instead of having to wait a year between books for them to be published. I won't be saying that much longer, though.

Tangle of Need is the romance between Adria and Riaz. Frankly, I had a problem with both characters, Riaz more than Adria. I attribute part of this to having read and loved Kiss of Snow - I think that was my favorite installment of the series, so it's going to be hard for other couples to live up to the hype of Hawk and Sienna. I loved everything about their courtship. Adria and Riaz's? Not so much.

Riaz, a lone wolf, has just returned to the den after the shattering discovery that his mate is married, and happily in love, with someone else. Having returned from Europe to lick his wounds, he and Adria clash on every level. Both are dominant, and Adria is also dealing with heartache of her own. She finally tossed her long time lover, Martin, out into the cold, but not until after he made her question everything about herself. Martin, a submissive wolf, soon grew to resent Adria's more powerful wolf, and the fallout was not pretty. Now Adria is going to focus on what's important in life - protecting the pack, and finding herself again.

Riaz and Adria are at each other's throats from the moment that they meet. Then they start ripping their clothes off the second they are alone. Meh. I didn't find their relationship compelling, though when Riaz finally sets aside feelings for the woman meant to be his mate, as well as his broken heart, this part of the story picked up for me. Then it's Adria who needs wooing, to be convinced that she isn't making another mistake, and choosing a man who will grow to resent her. Sometimes the back and forth, the "let's be together" then "nah, I'm making a mistake" in the series grows tiresome, but it worked out for me here. The emphasis on falling in love, instead of giving into the fated mate syndrome, worked in the end, but it did take some convincing for me to accept that Riaz would give Adria her HEA.

Now, you might be asking by I keep reading these when the romances don't always work. Well, here's the deal. The political maneuvering and the racial tensions have me hooked. Revisiting characters from previous books has me hooked. This series is like a soap opera on steroids, and I absolutely love it. The splintered groups all vying for victory in their end game is enthralling. The villains are delightfully villainous, some of them have turned a new leaf, and some characters I can't decide whether they can be trusted of not. I love Kaleb, but whose freaking side is he on, besides his own. And Aden and Vasic - how I love thee both! It's also fun to see how couples from old books are faring, both with their chosen mate, and with the larger continuity of the series overall.

Highly recommended for fans of complicated world-building, with long, multivolume story arcs. And if anyone can recommend another series like this, please leave a comment.