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Branded by Fire (Psy-Changeling Series #6)

Branded by Fire - Nalini Singh Duplicate Listing 1st read: 5 Jun 2010Re-read: 19 Jul 2012[Re-Read Review ~ Rating remains]What do you get when you mix Mercy and Riley? Branded by Fire! The story begins at Dorian & Ashaya's mating ceremony. Mercy (Melisande), DarkRiver's sentinel, is in heat. Which is a problem because she's a dominant female leopard in a pack where none of the dominant males push her buttons. One male does though ... Riley Kincaid, SnowDancer's lieutenant, Hawke's second. They've both been "noticing" each other for a long time. Impressed by each other's strengths, while also relentlessly teasing each other. They have been working together more and more, ever since Lucus and Hawke paired them as the pack liaisons. They give in to a hot romp, figuring it's a one-time only thing, just something to relieve the pressure. However, they quickly come to realize they won't be able to easily leave their feelings out of the mix. They each try to hide the marks from their night of "hot, monkey, freakin' wonderful sex" knowing that leopards and wolves don't easily mix. The two packs have an alliance and neither Mercy nor Riley want to anything that might jeopardize it. They each try to tell themselves it's only sex. Riley gets teased by his brother and sister because he's the "Wall", his control is legendary. While Mercy tries to deal by talking it out with her packmates. Mercy comes from a line of strong females, her mentor and grandmother is pack alpha in S. America. Knowing that Mercy is struggling, Juanita sends two of her sentinels to "visit" Mercy. She also has three brothers, Bastien, Grey and Sage, who can't believe she's found herself drawn to a wolf. Riley raised his brother and sister after their parents died. He's always felt he had to be the protector in the family, never taking time for himself, only thinking of what's best for his pack. When his sister, Brenna, was abducted and tortured by psycho-Psy Santano Enrique, a cardinal telekinetic, a piece of Riley died, even though she was rescued. He's been struggling with the memory ever since, believing after all he'd done for them in the past he wasn't there when she needed him the most.Outside the packs, there have been recent Psy bombings/killings/suicides. Seems someone, a puppet master, might be controlling Psy, implanting suggestions causing them to kill others, then themselves. At the same time, the Human Alliance continues it's push to prove they are not the weaker of the three. When a child, Willow, is found in animal form hiding in the woods, Mercy and Riley are paired to help her and find out what happened. Willow tells them her mother and father have been killed and her brother, Nash, has been taken. Together Mercy and Riley work to find Nash and figure out the reason behind his abduction while trying to ignore the fire building between them. Inside the pack, the mates among DarkRiver continue to pop up through out the story. I love that Tamsyn's leopard cubs have themselves a kitten named Ferocious! :) Ashaya and her twin continue to study the psy chip. SnowDancer alpha, Hawke, who lost his would-be mate many years ago, continues to struggle with Sienna, the psy teenage girl adopted into the pack along with Judd and their family. Sascha tries her best to help Sienna, who is struggling as her psy-abilities get stronger and her emotions harder to control. She's like Judd, possessing military abilities, so control over them is extremely important.Branded by Fire was a fantastic addition to the Psy-Changelings series. I loved the pairing of two alpha-strong instead of the usual psy/changeling match. There was serious chemistry between Riley and Mercy, felt throughout their story. Mercy's battle to accept a male who had always thought he'd have a mate who stayed out of harms way and Riley's battle to accept a female how would do anything but that. Their struggle for dominance and a balance of their wills was an exciting ride!This book was packed full of juicy goodness! Lots of teasing and witty banter between Riley and Mercy, not to mention some scorchin' sex.Riley asks Mercy, "Do you want to claw at me, kitty-cat? Come on." Her answer, "Sorry, I don't beat defenseless puppies."Mercy tells Riley, "I need a Stetson ..... So I can ride you like a cowgirl." ;)[Format Read: eBook]