Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous - aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.
Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take the form of either man or jaguar, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating, and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced -- and keep her from Vaughn.
I'm going to do this one in a different format than what I'm used since I don't think trying to put all of my mixed emotions into one attempt at coherency would justify the book.
What I liked: First, the concept. I'm sort of new to urban/paranormal romance, especially when it features shapeshifters, in this case, changelings. Vaughn's jaguar is so damned sexy, raw, and alpha that it's hard not to like him in VISIONS OF HEAT. Usually possessive men are a big turn-off for me, but in this case it works, given that his inner core and heart is a beast and it's the only way he knows how to live, love and protect. His human side is what tempers him from becoming 100% animal and engaging in full depth catastrophe, excuse the pun.
Faith was, at first, not up to par to what I thought would suit Vaughn, but she makes up for it as the story progresses. As an F-Psy, one who can predict, her Psy designation is more prone to mental insanity if her visions would become too much. Silence is the protocol that was created to prevent any Psy from emotions, since it was apparent from the start that this race could produce the highest percentage of killers. Already one has been eradicated, although that's not known to the general Psy populace (refer to SLAVE TO SENSATION for that story). With Silence, however, the Psy do not know the definition of happiness, sadness, devastation, or contentment. They simply don't feel. It makes for an interesting pairing when a changeling who's steeped in heat and emotion realizes that his mate is a Psy.
What I didn't like: Maybe I just don't like to think too much when I read. I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm a visual person, and trying to imagine warfare and destruction on a mental plane is a tough endeavor. VISIONS OF HEAT, just like its predecessor, SLAVE TO SENSATION, is a fascinating page turner with multi-faceted characters who will surprise you. But it's also an exercise in trying to stay on top of the author's story and how she's trying to blend fantasy, paranormal romance, and urban fiction all come together in one cohesive book that will singe your fingers.
Please, don't misunderstand me. When read between the lines, VISIONS OF HEAT is a sensual story, beautifully written, that features not only a fantastical cast of characters who think they know their way in life, but are really fledglings. That's really the core of this series by Nalini Singh. While they be higher beings of non-human origin, Faith and Vaughn, and the rest of the cast, are still as messed up as the rest of us lame humans when it comes to emotions and journeys of the heart.
That's why this makes me glad that I have the rest of the series thus far to catch up on. Sometimes it's good to have an extensive TBR.