New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to a world devastated by change in her award-winning Psy-Changeling Trinity series, where two people defined by their aloneness hold the fate of the Psy in their hands…
Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless.
For Canto Mercant, family and loyalty are everything. A cardinal telepath deemed “imperfect” by his race due to a spinal injury, Canto cares for the opinions of very few—and ruthlessly protects those he claims as his own. Head of intel of the influential Mercant family, he prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen. But Canto is also an Anchor, part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. Now that critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it.
To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful Anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet…or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.
We received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
Jessica’s Rating: 5 Stars
When I found out that one of my FAVORITE people in the world shared a love of Nalini Singh and her books with me, I knew I had to ask her to buddy read with me and write a guest review! If you follow me on Instagram, you’re most likely familiar with my friend Jessica (@ireadtorelax). Below is her guest review of Last Guard, which we both absolutely loved. If you aren’t obsessed with Nalini Singh and her books, you’re definitely missing out!
While each book in the series can be read alone, when read in order there is a larger story that builds fleshing out the amazingly imagined alternate world where shifters, Psy (those with psychic abilities) and humans coexist. In Last Guard, we continue to learn that the PsyNet, a mental network that connects all psy is dying, and if it ceases to exist, so will they. Our main characters, Canto Mercant and Payal Rao, are two of the most powerful anchors, psy who maintain the substrate layer that the PsyNet relies upon for a base, in Asia and they have come together to represent “designation A” in the worldwide discussions about healing the PsyNet.
When Canto and Payal meet to discuss the substrate, they realize they’ve met before; as children they were both sent to an abusive school for “defective” psy children. Canto, who is physically impaired and now relies on a custom wheelchair, was saved from almost being murdered by a teacher by a then ferocious and brave Payal. Their shared trauma created a deep bond, though they only knew each other as 3K and 7J for the briefest time.
Now, as adults, Canto and Payal struggle to work together. Though they are fiercely attracted to one another, each has deep emotional scars from their abandonment and abuse as children. Their trust in each other builds to unwavering loyalty and fierce love. And their bond begins to reveal new connections to and within the substrate, something that may just save them all.
Oh, how do I love this series. Every time I think Nalini Singh couldn’t possibly make me as fully invested in one of her romantic pairs as she did in previous books, I am proven solidly wrong. Singh is truly a master of paranormal romance. I have laughed, I have cried, I have smiled while tears rolled silently down my cheeks. This book was no exception. Canto and Payal broke my heart into teeny pieces and then glued it back together again.
My absolute favorite part was that their story intertwined with tidbits about Canto’s cousin, Silver Mercant, her mate and the Russian StoneWater Clan bears from the first book in the series, Silver Silence. I adore that book and it was so amazing to hear more about those beloved characters.