For a clear and accurate understanding of Nalini Singh's characters, particularly the Changelings, this is the book to read. All of her Changeling characters display loyalty, affection and what most modern thinking people would term obsessiveness. In her first five books, we see Changeling males think and behave in a ways that most of us, if confronted with such a partner, would run the other way as fast as we could. With the exception of Caressed by Ice, we see all of the mannerisms (on display by these male characters) that spell obsession, not love. Yet, this one book puts Mercy (a wereleopard) and Riley (a werewolf) on equal footing both emotionally, and professionally. Riley is perhaps the perfect example of how dominance is tempered by love and respect. Mercy's response to him gives us a first hand view of Changeling males and why they behave the way they do. In this age, it would be easy to see the relationships that Changelings have as one-sided with dominance on the one side and submission on the other. This is not true in this book. This book shows us love, honor, compassion and most importantly, compromise. While expressing real understanding of Riley's dominant ways, Mercy never loses herself or her dominance. She can relate to Riley's insistent ways but at the same time maintain the position she set for herself. Together, this pair shows how being in love alone does not a relationship make. That dominance does not mean you get your way all the time, and if you love someone as much as these two do, you learn to give and take to make the relationship work. Anyone who wants to understand the mechanics of Changeling love and the deep seated loyalty to a mate, needs to read this book. In my opinion, if you ever read just one book of Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series, this is the one that will have you view all of her other books in the series in the proper perspective......Kudos to Nalini Singh, this was an awesome read.