As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins—cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…
Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…
First, I have to say that I am SO HAPPY that Nalini stayed true to the person that she created Judd to be. That was my fear with this book, that to make Judd into hero material, she would have to change things about him that shouldn't have been changed. That didn't happen AND he was still a great hero. So much so that I want him for myself. Just like I wanted Lucas. And Vaughn. *sigh*
Obviously we learn a lot more about Judd's life in the PsyNet and his time as an Arrow. His Psy designation is Tk-Cell which is one of the most deadly designations out there. Apparently the Psy Scientists think that for every child that is born of this designation, there was some sort of mutation in utero. So not only can Judd move things with his mind, he can also regenerate cells or stop things from doing what they're supposed to do. Say like the heart. He can stop the heart from beating. With no more than a thought. Judd is one deadly mofo. The good thing about that is that he knows it. So when he starts to actually feel things for Brenna, he pulls waaay back. Too bad she's a wolf who won't take no for an answer.
I really felt oh-so bad for Brenna in StS. I still cry when I re-read it and Sascha is trying to talk her into coming out of unconciousness. So even though I totally felt for her, I had doubts that she would be a strong enough heroine so soon. Why do I even doubt the genius that is Nalini Singh? I mean, really. She portrayed Brenna as the victim who wouldn't give into fear. The fear that Santano Enrique did something so vile to her that she was now like him. After a particularly horrific nightmare, Brenna soon finds out that she witnessed the murder of her own packmate. Not only that, but in her dream, she enjoyed every bloody minute. Needless to say, this freaks Brenna out a bit. The only person she feels she can turn to for the truth is Judd Lauren. After being coddled for months by her brothers and her pack, Judd is the only one that doesn't show her sympathy. Though she is somewhat turned off by his emotionless facade, she is also strengthened by his belief that Enrique didn't turn her into the same monster he was.
I loved the build up of Brenna and Judd's relationship. While Sascha was literally silenced by Silence, it was different for Judd. Silence enables him to keep his emotions completely contained so there are no oopsies. Oopsies like people dying. Stuff like that. So even though Judd wants Brenna, he's not willing to sacrafice her life for his wants. *sigh* Awwwww. Actually imagine a man that wouldn't put himself first. Judd is physically attracted to Brenna, but he literally can't touch her without causing himself pain. That pain is supposed to remind him who he is and what he can do. See, if he has an orgasmic orgasm, he could actually kill Brenna in his excitement. So you see why he would be a little leery of sex. Oh and did I mention he's a virgin? LOL. Even though I technically figured that (yes, I actually figured that out), it still was a surprise because he's soooo alpha. Oh and when they actually do make it to bed, he's like an 11 out of 10.
Of course there was more to the story than the romance between Judd and Brenna. Though Judd and his family defected, Judd is still loyal to the Psy race. He really believes that there is a need for Silence for some Psy, but not for others. When he is contacted by a Psy he only knows as "The Ghost" and told about Protocol I (yes, it's as bad as it sounds), Judd agrees to help TG destroy the lab and research that would take Silence to a whole new level. There's also some insight into the new Councilor, Kaleb K-somethingorother. It seems that he's as evil as they come, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was The Ghost or some other double Psy agent.
Nalini did such a fantastic job with this book. It's days later and I am still thinking about how great it was. Six months really isn't that long, but it can't get here soon enough.
5 out of 5 stars.