Branded by Fire

Branded by Fire  - Nalini Singh 4 stars

Riley and Mercy are the featured couple in Branded by Fire. Both are dominant and rank high in their packs. Mercy is a leopard, and Riley is a wolf. I have to admit that I have a thing for the ShadowDancer wolves. I just love them. While I like the DarkRiver leopards, they can't hold a candle to the wolves, so I'm always happy when they are prominently featured in the stories.

The romance is fiery, and as both characters are stubborn and tough, there is a lot of headbutting between them. Both Mercy and Riley are hard wired to protect those weaker than them, and this leads to a lot of conflict. Riley has always imagined a future with a submissive mate, while Mercy has resigned herself to never having a mate, as she fears her leopard will refuse the mating bond. Then there's the question, after it looks like she and Riley might have something special between them, about which pack they will be a part of. They are each deeply bonded to their packs and pack members, so again, there's a lot of justified strife over this.

The Human Alliance is up to no good, along with the Psy Council, adding suspense to the story line. This was a very enjoyable installment of the series, and again, I loved revisiting past characters from the previous books. This is a very fast read - throw it in your beach bag for a fun summer read.