Book Critique – Partners in Persuasion (Psy-Changeling #11.5)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

My Recommendation: Another good novella that would give the readers a glimpse into the Psy-Changeling world, filled with Psy, Changeling and Humans, who are living together, ruled by Psy but the other two races making the playing field even. Of course there is romance, passion, war, friendship, loyalties and betrayals along the line. 

Partners in Persuasion is the ninth novella in the long running Psy-Changeling Series by Nalini Singh, published in August of 2016, as part of Wild Embrace anthology. The primary plot revolves around Felix Grady - a SnowDancer submissive wolf - and Desiree "Dezi" - a DarkRiver senior leopard soldier.

Psy-Changeling series focuses on three races living side-by-side on Earth - The icy Psy who rule the world struggling with fall of Silence; the Changelings with natural mental barriers to fight the Psy invasion; and the Humans having decided to level the playing field. The series takes the readers through the downfall of Psy, their drawbacks, why all three races are needed for survival of each other, and above all finding mates across races thus disintegrating the walls further.

In continuing with the series that intrigued when I picked it's spin-off, Psy-Changeling Trinity Series, here is my take on the next novella in the parent series. The story is set sometime after Tangle of Need ends but before Heart of Obsidian begins.

In Shards of Hope, Nalini had concluded this arc of the Psy-Changeling series with a promise of four cute novellas along with one big plot of all the ensemble. We read and enjoyed the ensemble in Allegiance of Honor. Now on to the third one of those fun novellas that were published later in the same year as the big plot.

Our hero, Felix, had made his appearance first in Tangle of Need as the former model turned horticulturalist who helps the SnowDancers in reviving the forest region that got destroyed in the battle against Psy in Kiss of Snow. However, our heroine, Desiree had come to us way long before that, in the very first book as a junior soldier who later gets promoted to senior soldier.  And in Allegiance of Honor, Nalini mentioned that she was mated. I was wondering with whom and lo and behold, Nalini has her story for us with this treat of a novella.

Desiree has one look at Felix Grady and all she wants is to pounce on him and have him for herself. But they have not only the differences in packs, but also hierarchies. While Desiree is a dominant leopard, Felix is a submissive wolf. And they have to first get over those hiccups before they even can get to know each other.

Nalini had penned a dominant vs submissive partnered story with Cooper, SnowDancer Dominant Wolf Lieutenant, and Grace, SnowDancer Submissive Wolf Maintenance Engineer, in the novella Declaration of Courtship. But in that case the male was dominant while the female was submissive. I wondered if she would have a vice-versa situation.

While she did put in few instances of the vice-versa situation with couples that appear tangentially with the story line in some of her books. But, with this plot she pens a complete story, having the male as submissive while female as dominant. 

Although I wanted such a situation, it was a bit hard for me to imagine a submissive male. However, if we compare the changelings to humans, we do have couples where sometimes the wife wears the pants in the house and they work still fine and well together. That’s exactly the impression I got at the end of the novella.

This sweet little tale comes heavily dosed with love, courting and finding each other. She has very less of repeat paraphrasing and hardly any sub-plots or inconsequential details that she normally leaves.

Another sweet little tale that gives the readers more insight into of this fantastic series. A good novella that would definitely intrigue the readers to pick up the series.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Sub-Plots: 

a. For all Psy Designations mentioned in the series go here.

b. Psy terms:

i. Honeycomb Protocol - PsyNet connected by Empaths to all Psy; missing the human element with only three known Psy-Human bonds; disintegrating slowly unless humans join without coercion.

ii. The Consortium - headed by The Architect, formed of Psy, Human and Changeling power hungry people taking advantage of the fallen Silence at the cost of lives. The Architect plans to assassinate the top members of the Trinity Accord, including Silver Mercant.

iii. Trinity Accord - consists of Ruling Coalition; Devraj Santos; Bowen Knight; Lizbeth Shafer (head of a humanitarian group called Hope Light); Miane Leveque.

iv. United Earth Federation aka UEF

v. Emergency Response Network aka EmNet - The world-wide rapid response network as the first line in any critical situation; headed by Silver Mercant.

c. Various Psy:

i. Ruling Coalition: Nikita Duncan; Kaleb Krychek (mated to Sahara Kyriakus, an F-Psy, in Heart of Obsidian); Anthony Kyriakus; Ivy Jane Zen; Aden Kai; Lucas Hunter (rep. all Changelings)

ii. Empathic Collective - formed by 5 empaths including Sascha Duncan, Ivy Jane is President; Sahara Kyriakus as specialist; Alice Elridge as Consultant.

iii. Ex-Councilors: Ming LeBon; Shoshanna Scott

iv. Other Psy: Latham; Sione; Juniper; Gia Khan; Silver Mercant (Kaleb's sr. personal assistant, introduced in Caressed by Ice); Lenik (Kaleb's admin assistant); Samuel Rain; Keisha Bale; Tanique Gray (Faith's brother); Chang; Concetta; Teri; Dechen; Isaiah; Brigitte; Pax Marshall; Payal Rao; Ena Mercant

v. Psy Couples: Clara Alvarez & her human mate Patrick; Gwen Jane & Carter Hirsch (Ivy Jane's parents)

vi. Kaleb has a vision for the square beneath his official buildings. A short story perhaps. 

vii. Amara, Ashaya's twin, gets distracted by one of the males working in her lab in Tangle of Need.

viii. In Heart of Obsidian:

1) To avenge Sahara, Kaleb imprisons and tortures ex-Councilor Tatiana Rika-Smythe.

2) Nalini connected every knick-knack in Kaleb's home to a shared memory between him and Sahara except for one single piece of twisted metal. A short story for it?

ix. In Shield of Winter, Isaiah and Concetta seem to bond, although Isaiah is injured in that plot.

x. Since Shards of Hope, a relationship is brewing between Anthony and Nikita.

d. Arrow Squad:

i. Aden Kai - Leader. Mated to his Commander Zaira Neve in Shards of Hope.

ii. Commanders: Vasic Zen (mated to Ivy Jane, an E-Psy, in Shield of Winter); Cristobel Rodriguez; Amin; Axl (sparks fly between him & Tamar, financial genius, in Shards of Hope)

iii. Members: Gutierrez; Suhana; Alejandro; Sione; Ella; Tavish; Mica; Nerida; Beatrice Gault; Yuri; Pip; Carolina;  

iv. Other Couples:

1) Stefan Berg married to Tazia Nerif in Echo of Silence.

2) Marjorie Kai & Naoshi Ayze (Aden's parents)

3) Abbot bonded to Jaya, an E-Psy.

4) Bond seems to be forming between Cristobel and Amin in Shards of Hope.

e. Forgotten Psy - Introduced in Caressed by Ice:

i. Devraj "Dev" Santos is their leader, marries Ekaterina "Katya" Haas, an M-Psy, in Blaze of Memory.

ii. Members: Rangi; Dr. Glen Herriford; Jonquil "Jon" Alexi Duchslaya (a 14 year old rescued from Psy Anchors imprisonment); Noor Hassan (rescued along with Jon. Keenan, Ashaya's son want to marry her); Aubry; Aryan; Tag & Tiara; Cruz; Maggie; Dr. Connor; Eva; William; 

iii. In Heart of Obsidian, one of the female Forgotten assists the EmNet; who is mated to a DarkRiver male. Who is she?

f. Humans:

i. 18th Century Territorial (Changeling) Wars - Adrian Kenner had help draft laws that ended the war.

ii. Bowen "Bo" Kinght - Introduced in Branded by Fire. Human Alliance Security Chief; striving to make the Alliance a strong and powerful one along-side Psy and Changelings; 9 other men and women support him.

iii. Members: Sara; Lily (Bowen's adopted sister); Alice Eldridge (Introduced in Branded by Fire; Consultant to Empathic Coalition); Trooper Michel Benoit; Allie Livingston; 

iv. In Tangle of Need, Bo and his top aides get The Human Alliance Implant planted in their brains. In Allegiance of Honor, they find a fatal flaw that could give them only few more months to live.

v. Other Couples:

1) Max Shannon - Security Chief for Nikita Duncan, married to Sophia Russo, a J-Psy, in Bonds of Justice.

2) Father Xavier Perez & Nina

3) Lisette & Emil

4) Isaac & Jesse

g. Various Changelings:

i. DarkRiver Leopards (Territory: San Francisco)

1) Lucas Hunter - Alpha. Mated to Sascha Duncan, an E-Psy, in Slave to Sensation. In Kiss of Snow, they have a girl, Nadia "Naya" Shayla Hunter.

2) Packmates - Kit & Rina Monaghan; Zara; Tara; Nico; Cory; Jason; Nicki; Aaron; Mia; Sarah; Lysa; Cian; Jamie; Barker; Joe; Keely; Owen; Monroe; Nicki; Sage and Grey (Mercy's remaining brothers); Anu; Issy; Behali; Bryan; Sonal

3) Sentinels - Nathan "Nate" Ryder (mated to Tamsyn "Tammy" Mahaire, healer, have twin sons Roman and Julian, Story in Beat of Temptation); Vaughn D'Angelo (mated to Faith NightStar, an F-Psy, in Visions of Heat); Clay Bennett (mated to Talin "Tally" McKade, a human, in Mine to Possess); Dorian (mated to Ashaya Aliene, an M-Psy,  in Hostage to Pleasure); Mercy Smith (mated to SnowDancer Lieutenant Riley Aedan Kincaid, in Branded by Fire), have triplets in Allegiance of Honor (two male wolf pups Acton "Ace" Lucas Smith-Kincaid and Michael "Micah" Hawke Smith-Kincaid; one female leopard cub, Isabella "Belle" Maeve Smith-Kincaid)).

4) Other Couples:

a) Emmet, mated to Ria Wembley, a human, in Whisper of Sin; have an infant daughter, Mialin Corrina, as of Allegiance of Honor.

b) Zachary "Zach" Quinn, mated to Angelica "Anne" Kildaire, a human, in Stroke of Enticement, have an infant boy Rowan Kaleb Quinn as of Allegiance of Honor.

c) Bastien Smith, Mercy's brother & financial genius, mated to Kirby Rosario, a Lynx Changeling, in Secrets at Midnight.

d) Harry & Meenakshi (Desiree's parents)

ii. SnowDancer Wolves (Territory: California)

1) Hawke - Alpha. Mated to Sienna Lauren, an X-Psy, in Kiss of Snow.

2) Packmates - Dalton; Lucy; Kieran (a human); Joshua; Brace; Sylvia; Maria & Lake; Riordan; Simran; Ines; Mariska; Sam Baker (a human); Mack; Nell; Shawnelle; Ivy; Becca; Pierce; Vivienne & Todd (Twins); Daniel; Margo; Vitoria; Sebastian; Paul; Elizabeth; Diego; Revel & Pia  (siblings); Baker Family - Iain & Enid; son Nash; daughter Willow (Lynx family tied to pack); Heather; Dani; Madison;

3) Lieutenants - Judd Lauren (an Arrow Psy, mated to Brenna Shane Kincaid, in Caressed by Ice); Riley Aedan Kincaid; Indigo Riviere (mated to Andrew "Drew" Liam Kincaid, a Tracker, in Play of Passion); Riaz Delgado (mated to Adria Morgan, a SnowDancer Sr. Soldier, in Tangle of Need); Cooper "Coop" Shaw (mated to Grace Burke in Declaration of Courtship); Garnet "Jem"; Kenji Tanaka; Alexei; Mathias; Tomas; 

4) More Stories:

a) Kenji and Jem are fighting sparks.

b) Drew and Indigo are set to take over Alexei's sector in a month while Alexei to come back to the den as of Tangle of Need. 

5) Other Couples:

a) Walker Lauren, a Tp-Psy, mated to Lara Knight, healer, in Texture of Intimacy, is pregnant as of Allegiance of Honor.

b) Tai, dating Evangeline, Indigo's sister, since Kiss of Snow.

c) Elias, his mate Yuki & daughter Sakura

d) Greg; D'Arn & his human mate Sing-Lui

e) Spencer & Ava Stone, their son Ben (wanting to mate with Marlee) & daughter Elodie.

f) Shamus Lopez & his mate Emma

g) Tarah & Abel - Indigo and Evie's parents

h) Melina and James - Grace's adopted parents

i) Aisha & Mack - Lara's parents

j) Riordan dating Noelle, Zach's, a DarkRiver Changeling, sister since Texture of Intimacy.

6) In Texture of Intimacy, Lara and her assistant Lucy are looking for a dedicated admin person.

7) In Shield of Winter, Hawke and Sienna's plan to eliminate Ming takes a little detour in the wake of fallen Silence.

iii. BlackSea Changeling Coalition aka Conclave - First mentioned in Kiss of Snow. Members: Miane Leveque (Leader, introduced in Tangle of Need); Malachi Rhys (Security Chief, Introduced in Tangle of Need); Emani Berg; Olivia Coletti & her daughter Persephone; Leila Savea; Costas; Andres; Dr. Night

1) Approx 21 BlackSea water changelings are missing; the hunt for them would no doubt slip and slide to several future plots by Nalini.

2) Malachi Rhys is evolving as the series is progressing. And now Malachi is getting added to my list of characters that I want to read more and more about - Hawke, Kaleb, Aden, Bowen

iv. BlackEdge Wolves in Moscow. First mentioned in Caressed by Ice. Selenka Durev (Alpha); Gregori

v. RainFire Leopards in Smokies. Introduced in Beat of Temptation. Remington "Remi" Denier (Alpha); Finn (Healer); Lark, Angel & Theo (Sentinels); Jojo (with markings of an alpha); Jasper;

vi. WindHaven Falcons. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members: Adam Garrett (Wing Leader); Naia (healer); Jacques (second to Adam)

vii. Rats Changelings. Introduced in Mine to Possess. Members - Teijan (Alpha); Suyi; Zane; Aneca;

viii. AzureSun Leopards in Brazil. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members: Isabella Garcia (Alpha. Grandmother of Mercy); Eduardo and Joaquin (Sentinels).

ix. IceRock Lynx Changelings in Calgary, Canada. Introduced in Secrets at Midnight. Members: Kiya Teague (Alpha); 

x. PineWood Hyenas - First mentioned in Caressed by Ice. Members - Kevin; Mahal; Lou-Ann;

xi. Snake Changelings. First mentioned in Mine to Possess plot.

xii. Lynx Changelings. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members: 

xiii. SilverBlade Leopards. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members: Hamilton (A Sentinel)

xiv. WinterFire Leopards in North Dakota. First mentioned in Play of Passion.

xv. StoneWater Bears - First mentioned in Kiss of Snow.

xvi. WhiteSteppe Wolves in Siberia. First mentioned in Tangle of Need.

xvii. WaterSky Eagles in New York. Introduced in Shield of Winter.

xviii. SkyElm Ocelots in Texas. Introduced in Allegiance of Honor. Members: Monroe Halliston (Alpha); 

2. Grammatical / Character / Plot / Geographical / Historical / Mythological Errors:

a. On Pg. 173, Line 3, should it be "Nosey parkers" or "Nosey packers"?


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