In Beat of Temptation, Tammy and Nate both know that they are meant to mate since Tammy’s fifteenth birthday. Now, she’s nineteen and Nate – afraid that he’ll make Tammy feel locked in and rid her of her youth – still keeps his distance. Which drives Tammy absolutely insane.
In Stroke of Enticement, Annie is a (human) teacher, Zach is the uncle of one of her students and a changeling. When they meet, passion flares. But Annie is determined to only have a fling, while Zach knows that she’s his mate.
In Declaration of Courtship, Grace is one of the most submissive wolves in the den. So when dominant Coop decides to court her, both of them have to be extremely careful with each other.
In Texture of Intimacy, Walker and Lara only recently mated and are now building their lives together. But being mates doesn’t necessarily mean that having a relationship goes without a hitch.
There are a few years between Singh having written Beat of Temptation (the oldest of the stories) and Texture of Intimacy (the newest) and it is rather interesting to see how her world has changed in details, while her writing barely changed at all. But overall the book is exactly what you expect and want for an easy, entertaining read on the beach.
When you read the stories back to back like I did, it’s easy to see some incongruities that have gotten in in the seven years since Singh started writing these series. And in this anthology it becomes especially clear that the mating bond changed some: Tammy and Nate’s mating bond only snapped in place after Tammy turned 15 and was at least kinda adult. And they both knew about it. With Zach and Annie, Annie doesn’t know (though I can make excuses for that because Annie is human). But Grace doesn’t know with Coop either. And there it suddenly seems that it’s some general sport for changeling males to keep the women from knowing that their mates. Which is weeeeiiird. (You know, I’m not a huge fan of the whole mating thing anyway [which makes my devotion to this series a little weird]).
And the whole thing with Hawke losing his mate when he was little is also kinda weird if the mating bond only makes itself known when both are adults.
But let me say a few words about each of the stories in turn:
Beat of Temptation was really good, even re-reading it. I almost cried again and I was completely caught up.
Stroke of Enticement I like a lot, still. Especially Annie is really cool. Even if everything goes really quickly.
Declaration of Courtship sheds a whole lot more light on the whole dominance-submission in the pack thing, which I appreciated. And I did like Coop, apart from him keeping the mating dance from Grace. That was a dick move.
Texture of Intimacy: I love Walker. I do like Lara, too, but Walker just reaches levels of hotness that she doesn’t, for me. And I liked the perspective that they were already mates but that they still have to work on their relationship. It also made for a nice change.
Summarizing: really nice and maybe a good entry point if you’re thinking of getting into the series.