I love the books in this series but really don't see reading any more of them after this. I started the series with Silver Silence and thank God cause of I'd started with this one I would have never read another. With a very few exceptions, every book seems to follow the same script - guy meets girl, guy decides girl is his"mate", guy treats girl like she can't do anything without a man to take care of her, girl allows guy to be in charge cause "he's dominate and dominant always take care of other", girl accepts "mating bond" and becomes good little "stay behind and do what she's told" mate. Hay here's an idea - how about just once have an actual strong women character who doesn't NEED a man, "Tangle of Need" has one of the best relays how about some more stories where people who actually just fall in love and leave the mating bond out of it, or how about a story with a strong dominate female who doesn't turn into a worthless twit when a guy shows up. The story in these books are awesome and I can read them again and again but dang! The relationship carp sucks!
Visions of Heat is written in third person with moderate to heavy amounts of sexual content (not erotically graphic but tactfully detailed) and adult wording throughout with a HEA ending. As this world is very different from reality and set in the future, all the series stands up over time, no matter when you pick up these books, it doesn’t feel dated at all, making each story enjoyable for rereading, because we all know we reread our favorites several times! Although this book came out second, chorological order has this story as forth, the first two stories are short stories years before this one and the third, Slave to Sensation, taking place maybe a couple months before this story. That said, Visions of Heat can be read as a standalone, but would be more enjoyed as read in order with the series. Vaughn we meet in Slave of Sensation (He also shows up in Beat of Temptation & Whisper of Sin) So we understood some things about him already. Faith we had not previously meet. Given the uniqueness of Faith and Vaugh’s past, I found they work well together. The chemistry is very heavy and only grows as the story does. I love that we are shown part of past people from different books and a glimpse into future stories and hints are dropped. Those glimpses don’t take or give anything, you don’t even notice them until you have reread the story after the future books. With each story, people grow and develop further. I highly recommend this story and all the others from the Psy-Changling series.
Where I loved the first book in this series the second left me hoping Ms. Singh never writes such a male lead again. Vaughn spent more than half of this book pressing his advantage, which would be the polite way to phrase it, upon our reluctant and sheltered heroine. He did so even when it meant harm towards her and even when she begged him to stop. It wasn't attractive and it wasn't sexy. In fact his behavior made it hard to like him at all and in fact I didn't. I found Faith's character to be tender and endearing as much as I found Vaughn's chauvinism appalling. He didn't even stop when another Psy warned him who obviously had vastly more experience and insight into Faith's experiences. Also deeply disturbing to me is that somehown this couple formed a bond before Faith gave her tacit consent or even accepted her feelings for Vaughn in her heart. As such I found the development of her feelings and acceptance of Vaughn's violent nature completely forced and unnatural. After the horrors Faith experienced seeing violent visions it just didn't sit quite right. This is the first book by Nalini Singh I've read that was so dissapointing. I think I'll be sticking to the Archangel series from here on out.
--One Sentence Summary-- When Faith begins to see visions outside her boring business predictions she knows she needs answers from someone outside the Psy race.
--What are the Issues-- Faith has only ever known her protected and sheltered life among the Psy, and DarkRiver leopard Vaughn challenges everything she's ever believed. Vaughn wants Faith's loyalty and love but he's an aggressive Sentinel leopard and being patient isn't easy for him.
--What I Liked and Didn't Like-- A Deeper Understanding of the World -- As things are revealed to Faith it's heartbreaking to see just how much the Psy race has lost their humanity and crippled their growth. The reader sees some of this in the previous book as Sascha realizes her empathic abilities, but to see how coldly the Psy have restricted their foreseers in order to make money is sad.
Strong Emotional Connections -- Singh, as usual, writes so much emotion into her story and her characters. You really feel like you know them and want to be with them on this journey. Faith was initially much colder than Sascha because emotion wasn't her gift. But her inherent curiosity and her trust in her instincts leads her to grow and develop as a character. I liked seeing her explore what life was like outside her compound and realize just how strong she was.
Uber Dominant Hero -- Vaughn was a very dominant male who's animal half is much closer to the surface. I thought Singh did an amazing job showing how the changelings truly are a balance of human and animal. Often times, authors will have the two halves at odds or conflicted but these changelings celebrate what they are. Vaughn might have a stronger animal side than most but he embraces what he is. Sometimes he could be a little too alpha but he apologized the few times he stepped over the line. There is true beauty in the harmony Singh has given her changeling characters.
--Final Thoughts-- This was a fantastic sequel to Slave to Sensation that takes the reader deeper into the Psy-Changeling universe.