AnHeC (I'm too fucking busy and vice versa)

Hi! My name is Anna, "You'd really like me if you got to know me. I've known me for years and I love me."

Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Changeling, #5)

Hostage to Pleasure  - Nalini Singh
Read in July, 2013

Word count: about 106 000
Rating: “I’ll have what she’s having”

*still 3,75*(?) Almost 4, but not quite.
Oh hell, my standards got too high because of the awesomness of Nalini Singh.

EDIT: Yes, I'm undecided, but thanks to Cory's comments I've had an epiphany. 3*. My least favourite book in the series so far, even though it lacks major faults.

Fate at large. That about sums it up.

I am confused. (like that’s something new)

So what do we have here? Book starts with an awesome action sequence that made me really optimistic. And then spits magical-love-connection at my face. I’m not a fan. It’s not my cup of tea, but it works and can be forgiven in certain genres (like here, anything paranormal/magical makes it bearable, but it’s still an easy cop-out). The concept was nicely executed; attraction was immediate, but for it to develop into a relationship we had to wait a while. Characters had to get to know each other, Ashaya had to drop her shell and Dorian his prejudice. She doesn’t trust people, so she constantly lies/lies by omission. It got to the point when it just annoyed me. She couldn’t open up no matter what; every single piece of information had to be painfully extracted. I mean really? No matter how trustworthy Dorian proved to be she still didn’t budge (I’m not annoyed with writing, only with a character. Some people are just that dumb).

It all ends well (that’s a shocker)

For some reason I’ve always liked Dorian (a bigoted prick).
I honestly am not sure why. It’s probably his charm. Ashaya was an interesting character, because of direct entanglement with the main plot; she worked for the council (as we know from previous books) so everything that happened to her had a direct connection to the big picture. There are also other things that make her a unique character, but that would be a spoiler. All you need to know is that she’s different from our previous Psy. (view spoiler)Her sister, Amara, adds dimension to the story. I loved her. The book would be dull without her. Many emotional layers would cease to exist.

Humans begin to play a bigger role (and not in a good way). But at least they’re here. I think that was one major missing factor. Humans are practically absent in this world. They should at least get mentioned from time to time.

Drama is present, especially in dealings of this particular couple. Dorian is emotionally compromised. There are many levels of tension present between them. It’s not a ‘one issue’ thing. They both don’t want to betray their race/believes, he can’t stop thinking about his dead sister (yet even her memory is unable to manage his raging erection), Ashaya has different priorities apart from her luv(unlike some other heroines that freely and gleefully drop EVERYTHING and run into the arms of a man. They didn’t have much choice, of course, but it’s still nice to see a heroin with a child and a twin sister that matter to her. She’s also involved in politics, which makes her cautious about choosing her way.) Dorian has a serious problem with anger management and Ashaya seems to push all his buttons just by existing. We also learn more about Dorian’s latency (yep, he has a lot of pain going for him), sister, parents and childhood. In other words we get back-stories of both characters.

So when does the confusion make an appearance? About now, I’d say. I just didn’t care about them. There. I’ve said it. They could as well die, and I’d be fine. Let’s make something clear, Dorian didn’t immediately catch my heart. I liked him, I felt for him, but I also wanted to hit him in the face with a chair. I don’t like bigotry and I HATE people blinded by they own drama so badly, they miss the fact that ”Everybody huuuuuuurts, soooomtiiiiiimes” *singing* He is pretty selfish. At first he just wants to fuck Ashlaya to alleviate pain in his throbbing cock (which would be fine except for the fact that he vehemently hates her and wants the whole Psy race to die. Talk about complicated clusterfuck of emotions.). He’s self-righteous, bossy and prone to outbursts of pure rage (I don’t’ know if I could fall for a guy constantly angry at me, yelling, throwing insults... It’s not passionate, it’s disconcerting).

It’s not action packed (like some say) or complicated (I don’t even want to know your IQ). Yes, there is a fair share of things happening, but they’re pretty straightforward and few. The whole story could be summed up in one sentence. A REAL SPOILER! WARNING! (view spoiler) Well, two sentences. There are about 5(?) sequential events there. It’s not much.

The story is more focused on lead characters. There is minuscule amount of jumping between scenes. Other couples’ (in fact other people’s) involvement is marginal. EDIT: "There was too much of 'things between them'. Up till now other characters (either from previous series or just the Psy council) were more prominent. It allowed the world to develop and acknowledged previous books. Here the main big plot HAD to be connected to them (and consequently their emotional turmoil). Too much. Everything has to be connected at the hip to their relationship drama. Almost nothing exists outside of it." (Yes, I'm quoting myself. thanks to Cory my epiphany about what felt wrong (aside from me not really liking the characters) is complete.)

It’s as focused on couple’s emotional turmoil as Mine to Possess , but where Clay & Talin head to deal with the resentment stemming from the past, here we have people getting over themselves, reaching out, opening to each other.

A nice addition to the series. Yes, I know I should say something about her son. What positive could I possibly… Oh, he’s not annoying! I almost liked him, even. On a serious note he matters and makes the story better, less simplistic (just like Amara).