Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #1
Publication date: September 5th, 2006
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
THE HOT NEW NAME IN PARANORMAL ROMANCE.
Nalini Singh dives into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind-and none of the heart.
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation" - the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was...
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion - and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities - or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation...
I bought this book from my local used bookstore for Books, Food, Friends (B.F.F.s) Book Club.
When our book club was trying to decide what book to read next, Nalini Singh's name came up quite a bit. It seems that almost everyone in the group had read something by her and had fallen in love with the worlds she has created. It was an obvious no-brainer from that point forth. I was curious how a race of non-feeling robotic psychics could ever find any sort of common ground with shifters, or changelings as this world calls them. How could one forge a loving relationship with an inability to feel. I was anxious to see how this all played out.
Sascha Duncan is flawed. She's different and that difference is something that must be hidden every moment of her lives. Thoroughly skilled at shielding her defects, Sascha continues her daily routine working for the Duncan family. It is she who is chosen to work closely with the leopard changelings in a business venture to create changeling houses to be sold for an obscene profit. Sascha only has one problem and it comes in the form of the devastatingly handsome, Lucas Hunter.
Lucas has goals. He is not only determined to work efficiently in his business with the Duncan corporation, but also to weasel his way into finding out who the Psy murderer is who has been taking changeling women and murdering them heartlessly. Lucas knows that the only way to find out who is behind the gruesome murders is to get in bed with the enemy... possibly even literally. Lucas sees Sascha as an opportunity to find a killer at large and exact revenge. But there is also some sort of draw his animal side cannot ignore. Sascha makes the black panther beneath his skin purr and growl for more, but he can't understand why. What is it about this supposed robot of a woman that makes him feel more than ever before.
While Sascha battles her overwhelming attraction to Lucas, he nurtures it. Both are risking their hearts and lives as they try to understand the differences in their races and the love that is starting to bloom between two unlikely lovers.
I now fully understand why so many people are in love with Nalini Singh's writing. She is eloquent with her wording, her romance flows, and the obstacles put before her protagonists are believable. Sascha completely pulled at my heartstrings. She so desperately wanted to belong... to anyone really. She was always told she was a disappointment and an outsider. To watch her finally find a home with the help of Lucas made my stomach flip-flop in joy. Everyone feels like an outsider at times and finally finding a place that simply fits who you are is monumental. It is fascinating that the author took such a prevalent social dynamic and twisted it to fit a paranormal world.
Slave to Sensation is the extravagant introduction to a world where cold calculation and passionate loyalty coexist and come together in hot sex appeal and everlasting love.