I received this book for free from Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Secrets at Midnight by Nalini Singh
Published by Penguin Genres: Paranormal
Bastien Smith is a financial genius for the DarkRiver pack. Lately, Bastien has been going crazy, because he has scented his mate, but when he tries to follow it, it just goes away. And then he found another scent that was different, but also seemed to point towards his mate and again, it just disappeared. But he found the answer after helping an elder packmate back to her apartment from his mother’s house.
Kirby has just moved into the DarkRiver territory and was hired as a kindergarten teacher. Kirby was raised by the State after being found outside a house fire that killed her parents and no relatives could be found for her. Kirby has always known the bare basics of her past, but after moving to her new house and her new job, strange things have been happening to her. Those strange occurrences just got worse after meeting Bastien.
Bastien knows that something is odd with Kirby, because her scent is split and when she suddenly starts having episodes of sudden pains, fevers and semi-shifting, he knows that Kirby’s past must have more in it than even she realizes. Together, they work to learn just what Kirby’s past is, while Bastien works to show Kirby that no matter what they find, she will always be his mate—human, half-blood, or whatever the truth reveals. As the facts come together, Kirby learns that she is a shifter, just not a leopard like Bastien. With the love and support from Bastien and his pack, Kirby is able to learn what the tragic past hid from her and finds that she isn’t alone in the world after all. Kirby is at another changing point. Will she go to her lost past, or will she go forward with Bastien into the loving future that awaits them?
A leopard whose human part is on the hunt for his disappearing mate, and a shy schoolteacher with a hidden past will discover just what the future holds for them both in Secrets at Midnight. I will say right away that this novella was in the anthology Nightshift, so if you have that you might not want this standalone or you might be like me and want this as a standalone for your psy-changeling library. I loved watching as Bastien gently showed Kirby that their attraction was so much more and then helped her discover the truth about her very being. I also have to admit to cheering for Kirby when she met Mercy the first time. It’s a part that I have read over a couple of times just because it’s so fun. Mostly I found that watching as Kirby and Bastien found each other and traveled through their mating dance to be a page-turner. There is nothing better than seeing a changeling find his forever mate and completing their mating dance. I can only hope that the future is bright and shiny for both of them. Secrets at Midnight is a perfect few hours of escape filled with love, passion, and discovery.