An ARC is an advanced reader copy, a copy of a book that is given out before it is officially released for public consumption. Late last week I got an email from a friend saying that an author I like, Nalini Singh, was holding a contest on her blog where she would give away 5 ARCs of Caressed by Ice, the third book in a paranormal romance series that is due out in early September. I adored the first two books, so I entered the contest without hope or expectation. I never win anything...
...until the next day!
I got an email from the author that was simply a reply to my entry email, so I thought it was just a confirmation that I was in the running. But the first words I saw were "Congratulations! You won..." Then I got a little lightheaded and giddy. Got the giggles. Bounced up and down in my chair. Fired back an email to Nalini thanking her profusely. One of the things she asked all her winners is to read the book and review it in a blog, at MySpace, on Amazon, etc, a couple weeks before it's release. I'll be reviewing it in a number of places in late August.
This is a great series. There are no vampires, no faeries, no hinky magic. There are three races: humans, the Psy, and the changelings. The Psy are conditioned from birth to push back and eliminate all emotion as part of the Silence Protocol. Long story behind that. The changelings are those who can, of course, change forms. There are wolves, leopards, wildcats, and others. They spend most of their time in human form, though.
The first book, Slave to Sensation, was about a Psy female, one who already feels because Silence didn't work on her, who fell in love with the alpha of the local leopard pack, the yummy Lucas. The second book, Visions of Heat, was also about a Psy female and leopard male, but this Psy, Faith, did have her emotions dampened by the conditioning and Vaughn, one of Lucas's elite bodyguards, had to work to draw out her emotions. The third book, Caressed by Ice, is about Judd, a Psy male, and Brenna, a changeling (wolf) female who was abducted, tortured, and rescued in the first book and is dealing with some unexpected effects of her kidnapper's cruelty.
There is a larger story arc beyond the individual romances that is starting to take form and promises to get really interesting very soon. I will talk more about it after I receive and read the ARC of Caressed by Ice. I'm so excited for this I'm bouncing in my chair again!
If you are not already a fan of Nalini or paranormal romance and/or roll your eyes whenever I go on about the hot vampires I'm smitten with, this is a good series to read if you're getting curious. The premise is very original, which is hard to come by in paranormal books, and Nalini accomplishes her worldbuilding with concision when she needs it and flourishing descriptives when they are called for. She is a rising star in romance and many of us fans have high hopes that this Psy-Changeling series will put her on the map.