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Tangle of Need (Psy-Changeling Series #11)

Tangle of Need - Nalini Singh Bittersweet The first word that came to mind after finishing the last page of “Tangle of Need”--Bittersweet. So much went on in Nalini Singh’s latest installment that it’s a struggle deciding where to start. I think I will start with the easy stuff.Arrows:We get some more insight to Aden and Vasic. I just adore those two and really hope they have an HEA in their future. There is a surprising introduction of new Psy in Venice. Judd is still badass, but he is also sweet and kind. He is a character that never gets tiresome to read about.Psy War:Henry is still leading the PurePsy. After his first attack, Nikita and Anthony turn to the Changelings for protection. Tatiana is after the Human Alliance. Ming is gunning for Sienna. These three separate story lines are representative of the fractured council and the Psy populace, but only one was had a partial resolution. Hawke and Sienna:I really did enjoy revisiting Hawke and Sienna. Instead of the courting, we got an insight to them as an alpha couple. They were very sweet and Sienna showed a maturity beyond her years, just reinforcing that her 19yrs age is not a indicator of her as a person. The mating ceremony, early in the book, was sweet but…eh. It wasn’t the most romantic scenario so I wasn’t terribly impressed.Riley and Mercy:I’m just going to say AWWWWWW and leave it there for your reading pleasure!Riaz and Adria:So this is the bit that is more difficult to discuss. Their story, although not prominent in book, is intended to be the main love story. Page for page, they probably had the same amount as Hawke and Sienna. The Mating or non-mating issue is a tough one for me. I admit being a die-hard Psy-Changeling series fan, so this plot is a blow to the gut. Riaz found his mate, Lisette. Adria just got out of 10yr bad relationship with Martin. The premise is a second chance at love story, but if you really look the details…it’s not. Riaz never loved Lisette, he and his wolf felt the magical pull to her recognizing her as his mate. Throughout the story you understand that Adria never really loved Martin like a woman or dominant female changeling loves their partner. With that in mind, I was upset knowing that when these two people find true love for the first time, they won’t be mates AND Riaz has a mate that he ‘chooses’ not to pursue. Nalini’s explanation of how or why Riaz can love Adria after finding his mate is actually not anywhere in the book. It is implied that because Riaz made the decision to reject his mate and Lisette chose to reject the bond by staying married, that was reason, but honestly if that is her point, then that sucks and doesn’t resolve any of the questions regarding mating. You can call this a new rule to mating, but I stand by what I’ve said in numerous posts…Nalini bent her own rule to within an inch of its life and as a fan am disappointed. As I’m reading the book, it is highlighted through the mated couples’ exchanges why a mating is so special and magical. Riaz’s and Adria’s own internal dialogues highlight why mating is better and Riaz is betraying his mate, not only by taking a lover but actually falling in love with her. But the last three pages of their story I’m supposed to ignore the previous 440pgs and think for one minute that their love story is comparable to the 10 previous stories. Even I’m not that dense. Riaz points to a loving human couple celebrating their 100yr anniversary, trying to compare their love to mating. Adria buys it, but I don't. They aren't human and there are hundreds of pages stating just that and long-term relationship from a human or changleling is comparable to a mating bond and there are hundrends of pages making that point clear too.Adria is worried about Riaz waking up one day and regretting his decision to be with her and not his mate. She is practical and weighs her options. Her feelings are the most believable aspect to this relationship. I don’t think Riaz is believable. There was a point when Lisette didn’t come up at during their courting. It was a like a complete 180 from his heart-wrenching pain to when she didn’t cross his mind. Then Lisette was there, literally and figuratively. She is on the verge of divorce and she feels a connection with Riaz making her able to open up to him when she hadn’t been able to speak about it with anyone else. So, Lisette is separated from her husband, before their life struggles even begin, she is turning to Riaz, who is her mate, and he makes it all better for her then and later. Riaz still feels the pull to mate just not as strongly. As the reader we are privileged to this information, but Adria is not. Riaz also states his feelings for Lisette are that of a 'cherished friend'. Great. He feels for her what Indigo and Drew felt for each other prior to mating. AND Lisette is now the liasson between the Human Alliance and the California packs, whom Riaz will now be working personaly with for as long as they both hold their positions. Also information Adria isn't privileged to. Overall, the romance they shared was wonderful and loving, but it just doesn’t work for me in this series. It wasn’t in line with the rules and the world shown to us to date. As a fan, I’m disappointed with the plot in the context of the series. The mating rules are more vague now then when I began and frankly the relationship Riaz and Adria have and the relationship Riaz and Lisette don't have negatively affects how I feel about mating and the mated couples.Overall Review:If I were a professional reviewer not invested in the characters or world I could give this book 4-stars. Nalini is an incredible writer and this book is well written. There was a bit too much going on this book, taking away some detail that would have benefited other storylines.I’m not a professional, I’m a fan and that is how I’m going to review. Even keeping an open mind, Adria and Riaz’s story just doesn’t fit. It isn’t a second chance love story and it isn’t in line with the rules of the world Nalini built. The subplots saved my rating from being a two. They saved the book for me. The other thing about this book is it reads like a transitional book. Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing was resolved in this book. I’ve tried not to cuss in this review, but no resolution if fucking annoying…there I said it. Because Nalini is so exceptional, I do hold her books to a higher standard than other authors, whether it is fair or not I don't care, and this book didn't meet my expectations.2- Bitter Stars: A love story that I can’t consolidate with the special mating bond and existing relationships. 4- Sweet Stars: Hawke and Sienna are great, Kaleb makes Judd look weak, and Arrows bringing more badassness to the Psy-Changeling world3- BitterSweet Stars