This was not the best romance the Psy-Changeling series has to offer. Not by a mile. But I really still enjoyed the book. There were so many other really great things going on, mostly with the characters we have already grown to know and love.
OK, let's talk about the romance first. We first met Riaz back in Andrew & Indigo's book. His life sucks in a big way, since he met his mate and she is already happily married to someone else. He's come back to the den to lick his wounds and take solace in the pack. Our heroine is Indigo's aunt, Adria. She has finally broken up with Martin, her longtime partner in a highly dysfunctional relationship. She was too dominant for him and he made her pay for the disparity with passive aggressive cruelty. Now she is starting over, but is afraid to risk her heart.
There's an attraction between Riaz and Adria right away, but Riaz feels like being with another woman is a betrayal to his true mate. He punishes Adria for his attraction to her and constantly tries to put distance between them. It made him hard to like. Eventually, they go the "friends with benefits" route, but feelings start to creep in, which ends up terrifying the both of them.
Riaz isn't a bad guy. He's stuck in a miserable position, but he treated Adria like garbage for a good chunk of the book. It didn't make me a fan of their relationship. She was always trying to guard her heart, and who could blame her? She KNOWS another woman was meant for him. It's also hard for the romance lover in me to know these two can never mate, even with the poignant reminder that humans have love without mating all the time. Even though you know they'll end up together, it was just kind of a bummer for the most part.
Where the book shines, though, is when it puts its focus on the secondary characters. We get to see a lot of Hawke and Sienna as they enjoy mated bliss. Their mating ceremony was amazing. It made me cry! We also get a healthy dose of Mercy and Riley --another one of my favorite couples. And we get to see them all come together as friends. The scenes with Riley and Hawke are among the best in the book. I laughed a lot. I felt so connected to these characters and their lives. It was great storytelling.
And my review wouldn't be complete without a shoutout to the ongoing Psy storyline involving Kaleb, the Arrows, Pure Psy and the ghost. The ending was phenomenal and I can only hope and pray that Kaleb's book is next! I can't wait.
P.S. "Pupcub" is now my favorite word. Ever.