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Genre: Adult | Paranormal Romance | Urban Fantasy | Shifter
Pages: 334 pages, Mass Market Edition
My Rating: 5 stars!
Description: 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.
Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series – which I adore! The book follows Sascha Duncan, a cardinal Psy. I’m not going to go into specifics, because the book can do it so much better, but there are three races in the world. Human, Psy, and Changeling. Sascha Duncan is a cardinal Psy, meaning she has some pretty deadly mind powers – and that’s putting it simply. What makes the Psy so interesting, or horrible, is that they brainwash their children to not feel emotion through a program called Silence. And the price of showing emotion as an adult is steep: they get “rehabilitated,” or lobotomized.
Lucas Hunter is alpha of the leopard pack DarkRiver in California, but Changelings and Psy don’t play well together. Psy’s are cold, emotionless robots, and Changelings are vibrant, aggressively passionate and alive. But when Sascha and Lucas find themselves working together on the first 50/50 Psy/Changeling business deal ever, sParRks iGniTe!! A little hate-to-love romance, anyone?
Well kinda. Sascha is very much still Psy, but broken. She’s unable to hide that she’s can’t keep her emotions in check all of the time, and when Lucas notices the crack in her shield, he’s intrigued. Especially considering that she’s the only one who can help him catch a murderer.
These Psy-Changeling books are serious fun. Lucas was a great character, completely at ease with himself and proud of his packmates, sweet, patient and understanding (yet still very dominant) with Sascha. And Sascha herself was a strong, selfless female lead, willing to sacrifice herself to save a girl she doesn’t even know. I loved both of these characters individually, but I loved them together more. They made me laugh, and cry and cringe and swoon, even though they were emotionally scarred, it was amazing watching them heal each other and find their way to happiness. Watching Sascha come out of her forced-upon shell into emotion was an amazing and heart-wrenching journey.
She wished he’d stop touching her. Not because she didn’t like it but because she liked it far too much. It made her hunger for things that could never be hers. And if someone went hungry for too long, they started to starve. Started to hurt.
I can’t review this book without discussing Nalini Singh’s writing style. The writing itself is absolute perfection – beautiful, unique and completely fluid. This series is like nothing I’ve read before, and even though I’ve made my way through this series (all 15 books) once already, I can’t help but want to do it again a second time after this read-through. Ms. Singh writes such vivid characters and oh my god her utterly unique world-building is undeniably top-notch. We don’t get it all in the first book, but it builds and it builds and it builds throughout the series into a masterpiece. She has a true gift for crafting an amazing, one-of-a-kind world, all without you realizing it. There aren’t pages and pages of explanation, but you gain an understanding as if there were.
Plus the side characters? It’s my biggest pet peeve when the book is all Hero&Heroine with no exciting side characters to rally around to add depth. And the adorable little leopard cubs!! Oh my, my heart melted. The sense of community in this one is wonderful. I should also like to address how this book appears. It looks to be an over-sexualized cover and title, and it seems to be a very fluffy, sexy book. Slave to Sensation, even the title reeks of erotica. I’m not going to lie, there’s some sexy times in this one. But please don’t turn away from this book because you think that’s all there is.
Slave to Sensation is one of my all-time favorite reads. With a hate-to-love romance, dynamic characters, and the best damn world-building you’ve read in a while, I really can’t recommend this to you enough 💕 I promise you’ll be sucked in. (Check out my Review of Book 2)
Series Reading Order
Have you read this series? What are some of your favorite urban fantasy / paranormal romances? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!