Overall Rating for anthology: 4 stars: Enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)
Review originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
1) Beat of Temptation Psy/Changeling 0.5
This romantic tale first appeared in An Enchanted Season anthology (2007). It tells the origin story of Darkriver's healer Tamsyn and one of Lucas's (then future) Sentinels, Nate. Chronologically, the story is set well before the first Psy/ Changeling book, roughly two years after the murder of Lucas's parents.
On the night of Tammy's 15th birthday the pair realized they were mates. But Nate, 10 years her senior, needed to give Tammy time. Four years later, Tammy is ready to mate, but fears over mating too young founded in his parents’ bad relationship keep Nate away, convincing him it’s what is best for Tamsyn.
What a sweet and tender tale! It is still my favorite Psy/ Changeling novella. It is a wonderful story for both those that know and love the DR pair and for newcomers to the series. For those that have experienced frustration of love, this story rings true. My heart breaks along side of Tammy’s when Nate just doesn't get it. The emotions poured into Tamsyn's character and the couple’s poignant journey is superbly written.
2) Stroke of Enticement Psy/Changeling 3.5
Originally published in The Magical Christmas Cat anthology (2008), Stroke of Enticement features the romance between DarkRiver soldier, Zach, and human teacher, Annie.
At the age of seven, Annie was in a terrible train wreck that left her leg all but destroyed. She spent a very lonely year in the hospital, wishing for a friend of her very own. Her mother was too protective and distant. Her father was too busy with work. Now Annie is a school teacher to young changelings, including some from the DarkRiver pack.
“Uncle” Zach walks in to find out why his nephew Brian has been held after class. As soon as he sees teacher Annie, he realizes she is his mate. He flirts and charms, but is worried about frightening his beautiful human away.
This is another charming tale of love and mating. Once again Ms. Singh gets enough character development in a short space to create an emotional connection. The story is simple, without any unnecessary major conflicts... just the budding relationship from both POVs. Ms. Singh understands romance and is able to capture emotions on the page perfectly.
3) Declaration of Courtship Psy/Changeling 9.5
Fast forward in time, and we come to the first of two new novellas featuring the Snowdance wolf pack. Cooper is a SD lieutenant in charge of a satellite den. He is a very dominant wolf. Grace is a submissive engineer who is fairly new to the satellite locale.
Ms. Singh turns the heat factor up in the third story of Wild Invitation! Yet another unique love story, I especially enjoy how she explores with great detail the gentle time needed to develop trust between a pair that are so far apart on the wolf dominant--submissive scale. Both human halves of the pair desperately want the other; however they need to work to ensure that their wolves accept love without falling into their respective dominant and submissive roles. As their trust builds, they grow closer. The romance has a slower pace, which sometimes made the story drag a little, but ultimately succeeds in drawing out the sensuality and making the scenes so hot!
4) Texture of Intimacy Psy/Changeling 10.5
Although we witnessed their budding relationship during Tangle of Need, Texture of Intimacy provides readers with an in depth view of the mating between SD healer, Lara, and Psy refugee, Walker Lauren. The story runs concurrent toTangle of Need, when the pair realized their love and mated. When Texture of Intimacy starts, the mating bond is only a day old.
The final tale of Wild Invitation has a different feel than the first three, which were stand alone “slice of life” love stories. Texture of Intimacy forwards the overall story arc and contains some plot spoilers from the first eleven novels.
As far as plot development... we learn a little more about Aden, an Arrow Psy who is in communication with Judd and was at one time a student of Walker. Aden was prominent in Tangle of Need.
Texture of Intimacy is a excellent story with lovely insight into Walker and Lara - two important SD characters. This novella fills in the “gaps” of their mating and relationship that weren't included in Tangle of Need. We witness the pair deal with the potential issues of their mating - she's a changeling, he's a psy with baggage and trouble opening up. I admired and adored their honesty, once again... so true to life. It was also enjoyable to witness their interactions with pack mates and their children, since the pair have strong connections to the pack youth and healing/caring.
In conclusion, while none of the stories found in Wild Invitation are critical for readers of the series, they each provide superb emotional insight and give a better understanding of pack functions and interactions and changeling behavior. Excellent read!