Mine to Possess (Psy-Changeling #4)

By Nalini Singh

29,063 ratings - 4.07* vote

Nalini Singh pulls away another dark layer of sheer desire, revealing passions unknown, in her latest novel about the world of the Psy. A ghost returns from a leopard changeling’s past, making him question everything—even his base animal instincts…Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling Nalini Singh pulls away another dark layer of sheer desire, revealing passions unknown, in her latest novel about

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Book details

Mass Market Paperback, 328 pages
February 5th 2008 by Berkley Sensation
Original Title
Mine To Possess
0425220168 (ISBN13: 9780425220160)
Edition Language

Community Reviews

Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession


This book was just slightly better than okay for me. I didn't really care for Clay or Talin. So their relationship was just ok for me. I did enjoy the plot and everything else it was just the couple that was meh.

Sophia Triad

Clay Bennett (Changeling) and Talin McKade (Human)

“Talin,” he said softly, surrendering completely to the madness.
Her spine stiffened, but at last, she turned.
And the entire world stopped breathing.

After the out-of-this-world Psy and the larger-than-life Changelings, in this book we meet...well...the average, boring, helpless, weak...humans.

Talin the human and Clay the leopard belonged to each other since they were children.

Clay realised that soon. So, when Talin was in trouble, he did not hesitate to kill for her and as a result he was locked away for years.
Talin, on the other hand, did not want to accept that she belonged to Clay. So, when Clay asked for her, he was informed that she died.

Nowadays, Clay is a powerful sentinel in DarkRiver pack. He has never overcome the lose of Talin and for this reason he has been always on the verge of being lost in his animal side.
Talin has grown up and has never stopped thinking of Clay – although she has never tried to find him and explained to him why she pretended that she was dead. But now she is in trouble. She is a social worker and her children disappear and die horribly. Only Clay can help her.

When Clay sees Talin again, he is absolutely sure that he will never let her go again.
Unfortunately a) Talin is sick and b) someone wants her dead.

“You’re mine. Therefore you’re perfect.”

I loved this book, not so much for the love story but mostly for the horrific side story of the missing children. I really wanted the children to survive, I was wondering for the reasons they were abducted and the reasons for the experiments.
I was satisfied with the answers and the solutions, but I think the way Talin's sickness was handled, it was a bit farfetched.

More interesting characters are introduced and basically this book is an introduction to the next book: Hostage to Pleasure.


Full review finally posted on 11/3/13


I was shocked at how much I LOVED this somewhat heartbreaking, humorous, endearing, and amazingly heartwarming story. This book's focus was about the main couple's complicated and enduring relationship rather than the world-building aspect of the over all story arc.

I won't lie, I struggled at first with the heroine and what seemed to be her weak behavior; however, once I realized why she reacted the way she did, I ended up her biggest cheerleader. I quickly came to realized because of all she'd been through, that Tally, a human, is emotionally the strongest heroine in this series thus far, and I loved her all the more for all she's been through. Her and Clay's tragic yet inspiring love story was simply phenomenal. My only grumble was how cruel and demeaning the hero was toward the heroine at the beginning of the story. Other than that, I loved this book.

It's been over a month since I read this story and I'm still thinking about it. If that doesn't deserve 5 stars, I don't know what does.

Giorgia ~ Reads

4 stars Long story short, I loved Clay. He was such a great guy and perfect for Tally. She took awhile to grow on me but I went with the “nobody’s perfect” rationale. I liked that we got the changeling-human pairing although the Psy make the most intriguing characters.


August 2016 re-read: Over the years since I've first read this book I've had many feelings about it. Some good, some ... well, not so good. For a long time this was my least favorite book - and I don't think it'll ever be one of my favorites. It's too ... uneasy, and hits an incredibly uncomfortable spot for me. But I have reached a new understanding with this book, and the characters that take the spotlight in it.

My biggest problem was always Talin. She had an incredibly hard childhood, filled with abuse - of many and varied kinds - and then, when she was barely old enough for school, she witnessed the very horrific death of her abuser at the hands of her best friend: Clay. Clay is Changeling, so you can imagine that it was messy and gory, and not at all something that is easily brushed past. I don't blame Clay for that. And Talin doesn't either. But it's still more trauma on top of the trauma she'd already been subjected to day in and day out.

I used to be irritated with Talin. Everything Clay did was for his love of her. His care and need to care for her. Why did she treat him with such callous disregard? Why did she disappear from his life, letting him think she was dead, for so long? Why cause him that pain? Honestly, I hated Talin for a long, long, long time.

Something new happened on this read though - and this is one of the reasons I love re-reading so much - I understand Talin now. She did what she had to do in order to survive. She'd been traumatized, lost, left, and forgotten. She was a child. And Clay, though he was only a few years older than Talin, was already growing into the personality that would one day lead to his being a Sentinel. The power differential between them was so great, and the pain that Talin couldn't forget was a barrier.

Talin needed to heal herself, become a whole person again, before being dragged under someone's strong personality. Clay wouldn't have done it intentionally, wouldn't have wanted to damage her - he loved her - but when someone is broken, it's hard to not subjugate yourself to a much stronger personality. It's hard to not become the person they, however subtly or unintentionally, push you to being.

So Talin took that time. And I get that. I finally understand that. I don't know if it's me growing, or if I just finally read what was always there....I don't know why I understand this now when I never did before, but I do. I also get the blame, and the hurt, the pain and the worry about being abandoned again. How could she feel any differently? I was still, slightly, annoyed by the fact that she basically laid claim to Clay, becoming possessive of him even with his Pack, when she didn't really trust him. But feelings are nuanced. A person can feel many things for one person or situation at a time. Just because there were doubts doesn't mean she didn't already love him.

What really surprised me this time was the anger I felt towards Clay. Talin, like many sexual abuse survivors, took to hurting herself with sex. I understand this in ways that I wish I didn't. When Talin lashed out at Clay that she'd 'been with so many men she couldn't remember all their names or faces' he became angry. Rage-filled anger. Not physically directed at Talin, but emotionally he became distant until she pushed him again to address it. His anger quickly became about the fact that she should have kept herself safe and cherished, but - initially - it was possessive. She was his and no one else should have had her.

Even if she'd never been abused. Even if there was never that trauma. She could have slept with whomever she so desired in her past. Like he did. Like he did. Argh!!

Look, I get it. This is the flip side of the Changeling possessiveness. He always knew she was his. But she didn't, and she was hurt - hurt beyond measure. For him to judge her....it enrages me.

In the end, Clay and Talin work through everything in their past and present to become a strong united couple. I feel confident in them, and their future. And while I don't love everything they did to each other, how much they hurt each other, I finally have a new appreciation for the choices each of them made, and can look at them without the level of irritation I carried before.

Review also posted at The Book Eaters

Original Thoughts
Talin irritates the hell out of me. If she hadn't spent the majority of the book afraid of Clay, I probably wouldn't have such an issue with her. But, as a friend of mine said, she comes off as a snot.

Thanks Anna for sharing this with me, it's perfect for Talin ;)

Their history with each other is fantastic, and full of depth. It really shows how Clay became the person he is. And I loved seeing more about this intensely shut off character.

To be fair, their history shows why Talin became the person she did as well. I could understand her issues with Clay for a good part of the book, but it just went a little too far for me. That's personal and may be different for other people that read.

The reason that Talin seeks Clay out - the "mystery" of the book, was really interesting, too. It moves things along in the overall storyline very nicely.

Overall, I enjoy this book, but it's mostly for Clay and the world implications. Talin just pisses me off.


*** 4 ***

A buddy read with my family at BB&B!

This is the fourth book in the series and I keep enjoying as much as when I started!!! It is a PNR with a new couple finding love in each book. The best part of the series, at least to me, is the amazing world building and the specifics which make up the differences between the three main races - the Psy, the Changelings (or animal shifters), and humans. In all the previous books we got to meet Psy and Changeling characters, letting us into the world of brain dominance and physical prowess, but we only heard of the humans, a bit like a filler for the background...

This time, our Leopard Changeling Clay is faced with a ghost from his past. Tally was the 8 year old human girl for whose safety he committed a murder and spend his youth in juvenile detention.... When he came out, he was told she is dead and he never truly stopped grieving for her... Now she is a woman, beautiful and alive, who has come to him to seek help. She has become a social worker and the kids who have been associated with the foundation she is working for, are disappearing, some of them found soon after disfigured, butchered, and lifeless... She wants to save the last one of them, a kid she cares for deeply... Her need of the over protective Leopard is greater than the shame and guilt she feels over lying to him .... But would Clay be able to put away the pain and hurt in order to help her? And could she hope that he could even forgive her???

Clay, however, is a hard sell, and the nature of his beast is not very forgiving... The enigmatic cat is going to have his pound of flesh!!!

I liked Clay a lot and had some issues with the unnecessary angst Tally liked to wallow in... What I loved were the cameos by the previous couples and seeing them grow into devoted lovers and strong players in the world's powers system. The little Cubs are adorable and I want to adopt them all!!! The Psy Council is still fascinating and the machinations behind the scene are intricate and engaging... After finishing this book I wanted to dive straight into the next one, but I had to remind myself to pace the good stuff and not to gorge on treats, which in my case means fun books:-)

I would recommend this series to lovers of romance and a setting of a world full of Fantasy and magnetic creatures! It is a pure pleasure meeting all the characters NS creates for us!!!

I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find pleasure in every book!!!

Beanbag Love

This installment of Singh's Psy-Changeling series was different in that neither of the two leads was a psy. I have to admit, I prefer that. The psy storyline always seems the same to me. We have to go through the whole 'awakening' thing and it always seems to present the same way. So this was a refreshing change and I liked the plot and story better.

However, the writing itself was weaker than the others. Singh reused several phrases to the point were I actually laughed a couple of times. "His leopard stilled" or "he stilled" or "he went leopard still" could have been a drinking game. I got this picture of a guy who would freeze in mid-conversation and it was actually pretty comical when of course it wasn't meant to be.

Then there were the inner arguments for Talin. "I love him but he can't love me but it will kill him if something happens to me but is he only with me for loyalty? No, damnit, he cares!" and on and on and on. Really it felt more like padding.

The mystery and the story itself was very good though. And I really liked the romance (even with the repetitive phrases and inner monologues). At first it seemed a bit squicky because he sees a woman with his childhood friend's scent and appearance, but thinks his friend is dead. The last time he saw her she was eight. But his first thoughts about this mystery woman are sexual. Huh? Doesn't add up for me.

Thankfully we move on from there and it doesn't feel squicky anymore because we forget that little tidbit, but it would have been nice if his first reaction had been a bit more chaste.

Clay and Talin were friends in a low income apartment complex. She was an abused foster child and he was a changeling living with his crazy human mother who demanded he suppress his leopard half. He's older than Talin by about five years. They meet when she's three and helps him after he's gotten hurt outside and nobody bothers to notice. She's not afraid of him and he immediately becomes her best friend and protector. Until he goes too far with the latter and they're cruelly separated just when they need each other the most.

There are several things that make this a really nice setup. One, they pretty much bonded as children without the romantic side to it. Two, they were separated by tragedy and violence that served to not only mark their destinies, but to bring them back together. Three, they haven't seen each other since childhood and so are getting to know one another while continuing to have this base of knowledge (regarding their past traumas) but also a store of good memories to draw from. It's a nice mix.

There's murder and mayhem and bad things happen to kids. Nothing with the kids is too graphic, but you are in no doubt about it's existence. Justice is served and the next book is set up nicely.

So far, all the Psy-Changeling books have gotten four stars from me. I have criticism of all of them, but they're all good solid reads.

(edited for clarity)


On the one hand, I like the world that is building in these books. It is extremely intriguing and different.

On the other hand, I didn't particularly like the female love interest in this book - Tally. She was a victim of childhood abuse, and that was portrayed really well, but she continued to live in that victim mentality with regular woe-is-me pity parties. Considering she got away from her abuser at 8, and she was 28, with a lot of counseling and loving foster parents in the last 20 years, she sure seemed to resist the healing that they offered. And, along with being very self-pitying, she would also be combative with the person who was trying to help her. It didn't make sense, really.

At the beginning of the story, Tally was so afraid of Clay that she was paralyzed by fear. And yet, she then started baiting him. If she was so afraid of him, why would she actively try to get him angry? It just seemed weird. Hadn't she ever heard the saying, "Don't poke the bear?"

and then have a refreshing drink of your own urine...

So, this was my least favorite book because of my dislike of Tally. But, I still love the world and am looking forward to Dorian's story in the next book.

Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️

I read this book years ago, but after just re-reading it for probably the 10th time I realized I had never reviewed it. This is one of my favorites in a series of favorites. I LOVE Clay and I loved Tally, and their connection is outstanding. I love that they have been connected since childhood and how that plays out into their adulthood. I can't gush enough about this book and series.

Lana Reads

So many things went wrong here mainly because the characters and the romance didn't make sense.

I had a lot of understanding for the heroine, Talin, deeply traumatized as a child, who had her reservations against the hero, Clay (who was part of her traumatic experience), after they reconnected. Yet I have no patience for Talin slut shaming herself after revealing how she used sex with multiple men to self-harm when she was younger.
Clay, being a shifter (and those consider touch and sensuality a HUGE part of their lives), had absolutely NO PLACE being a freaking hypocrite about the Talin's past and the fact that she "sold herself so cheaply" (his words). The hell?!

After that Talin insisted on having a purely non-sexual relationship with Clay yet hissed at ANY other female (single or not) who dared breath in his direction. Mmmokay.

Now to the romance.

While the pushy hero made sense in the second book, here it was just WRONG. Because Talin, who still connected sex with trauma, wasn't ready for Clay breaking her trust and pushing for intimacy. The heroine needed therapy more urgently than a sexual relationship.

So yeah, I couldn't really bring myself to care about them being or not being together...


Anyway, in the middle of book #5, I already feel like #4 never happened.
The main story continues to fascinate me and I'm looking forward to more.