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Psy-Changeling #1

Slave to Sensation

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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...

356 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 5, 2006

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About the author

Nalini Singh

268 books24.8k followers
I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,768 reviews
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,828 reviews29.1k followers
April 12, 2022
***Updated for book 20***

This is the kick starter for one of my FAVORITE UF/PNR series of all time.

ALL TIME, people.

If you love paranormal romance and/or urban fantasy, look no further than this series.

Look no further than Nalini Singh.

Her writing is flawless.
Her world building is incredible.
And her characters and story lines are in a league of their own.



Anybadjoke, back to this book and Nalini Singh's awesomeness.

This book is the beginning of a true PNR saga of legit proportions.

In this book, you are introduced to some changelings (shifters) and what I think is a truly brilliant and utterly original people (at least I had never read about anything like it before):

The Psy race and the thing they call "Silence."

Will it blow your PNR mind?


Not only that, but in this book, we are introduced to one of my favorite book husbands of all time:
Lucas Hunter.

Seriously though, I love this series so much, I am LEGIT pimping it out right now.


I just can't say enough good things about it. And ya'll know I'm not one to gush too much.

If you haven't read it, you should.


On a series setup side note:

After reading this one, some people get concerned that EVERY book will be a Male Changeling / Female Psy coupling - because both Book One and Book Two both are - and since I've been asked numerous times by various friends (who are just starting out in this series) if such is the case, I decided to list a breakdown of the coupling types for the series up to its current point (I try to update this review/list as new books are released).

So, for those interested:

Book 1 (Psy-Changeling) - Male Changeling (DarkRiver Alpha)/Female Psy
Book 2 - Male Changeling (DarkRiver)/Female Psy (Visions of Heat)
Book 3 - Male SnowDancer Psy/Female Changeling (SnowDancer) (Caressed by Ice)
Book 4 - Male Changeling (DarkRiver)/Human Female (Mine to Possess)
Book 5 - Male Changeling (DarkRiver)/Female Psy (Hostage to Pleasure)
Book 6 - Male Changeling (SnowDancer)/Female Changeling (DarkRiver) (Branded by Fire)
Book 7 - Male Human / Female Psy (Blaze of Memory)
Book 8 - Male Human Cop/Female Justice Psy (Bonds of Justice)
Book 9 - Male AND Female SnowDancer Changelings (Play of Passion)
Book 10 - Male Changeling (SnowDancer Alpha)/Female SnowDancer Psy (Kiss of Snow)
Book 11 - Male Changeling (SnowDancer) / Female Changeling (Tangle of Need)
Book 12 - Male AND Female Psy (Heart of Obsidian)
Book 13 - Male AND Female Psy (Shield of Winter)
Book 14 - Male AND Female Psy (Shards of Hope)

Book 15 (Alleigiance of Honor)- NO focal couple. This books acts as a bridge between season one of the story arc (books 1 - 14) and season two (books 15+). While this book doesn't focus on any particular couple, it's a must-read for the series.

Book 16 (PC) (Trinity Book 1) - Male Changeling (StoneWater Alpha)/Female Psy (Silver Silence)
Book 17 (PC) (Trinity Book 2) - Male Human/Female Changeling (BlackSea) (Ocean Light)
Book 18 (PC) (Trinity Book 3) - Male Changeling (SnowDancer)/Female Psy (Wolf Rain)
Book 19 (PC) (Trinity Book 4) - Female Changeling (BlackEdge Alpha)/Male Psy (Alpha Night)
Book 20 (PC) (Trinity Book 5) - Female Psy/Male Psy (Last Guard)

I don't know if this helps anyone out, but I thought I'd share.

Plus, I just like making lists...


Anyway, like I said, if you haven't read this, go.

GO already.
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.2k followers
May 13, 2011
This is a romance novel. If you're unfamiliar with the romance formula then I'm about to spoil every single romance novel ever:

They all end on a deliriously happy note with an abundance of perfection.

So whilst I won't discuss the actual end to this book, I don't think I really will be spoiling everything if I discuss the TYPE of end this book has and why it means that I just wasn't really meant for the romance genre.

There was a lot to enjoy about this book. For starters, considering it is billed as a romance novel, its world building was rather impressive. The "Psys" (people with specialized psychic/mental abilities), "Changelings" (shifters of various animal varieties) and humans all live together with Psys generally occupying the higher echelons of society.

The Psys are supposed to be completely unemotional and rational.

Which generally means they live long and prosper!

While Changelings are moving up the social ladder leaving the humans in the gutter... where presumably they belong. I'm not sure - they don't feature much in this novel and I must say, as a human, I find this pretty offensive. The sole token human in the novel barely has a part!

Okay - so emotions are forbidden which makes things kind of awkward for resident Psy, Sascha Duncan and Alpha Changeling hunk, Lucas Hunter.

Luckily, it's a romance novel so they naturally work through it.

or else...
Or else...

My issue is that I just obviously wasn't really meant for the romance genre because I was perfectly fine with this book up until the last couple of chapters. I don't want a super happy ending. Not if it doesn't make any bloody sense and just comes out of nowhere.

happy endings

Also, I have more issues with paranormal romance and that is because most of them have a "mate for life" policy in which the paranormal creatures actually CAN'T mate with anyone else - even if their spouse dies.

Look, this isn't even true in nature. First of all, not all wolves mate for life in the wild - usually only an alpha pair. And you know what - if one of that pair dies, the other one will probably find another mate!

It's kind of a sick thing to romantizice over too, when you think about it. "He loves me so much, that if I died, he'd rather abandon our children and the world to come join me."

I don't think that's romantic at all. In fact, I think it qualifies as a very unhealthy relationship!

There were definite dominance and control issues in this story that annoyed me as well. Because, you know, the man is always right and a woman can't choose to make a sacrifice for something she believes in. That's just not right. She should listen to her man. She needs permission to do these things.

What is it with that in today's literature? Do we still want a man that's going to knock us unconscious just to retain control?

Okay, story time with Kat:

I'm pregnant and am therefor clinically insane. Mr Kennedy arrived home from work a few weeks ago to find me in the backyard tilling the soil.

"What the hell are you doing?!" he exclaimed angrily.

I glanced up from my hard labour, puffing but excited. "Look, honey! I'm making a veggie patch! Now we'll have nice fresh veggies to eat!"

Mr Kennedy looked at me with a special kind of horror as he began to mentally tabulate exactly how many more weeks this madness was likely to go on for.

"You hate gardening! Why would you want a veggie patch? Why, Honey? Why??!!"

I laughed at his silliness. Everyone needs a veggie patch. Silly, silly man! "Oh! It'll be fun! I'll just finish tilling this soil and then we can go out right away and buy some seedlings! We'll have nice fresh veggies by the time the baby comes!"

Mr Kennedy now has a Pavlovian upchuck reflex to any sentence that ends in, "...by the time the baby comes!" There is a certain manic way pregnant women say that, which instantly informs the rest of the world that reason and logic no longer hold any value.

I then began furiously churning up the soil with one of those pick-axe-like things that you use to do this kind of work. I don't know really, I found it in the shed and it looked like it'd do the job. I think I've seen someone use it in a movie.

"Will you stop that! You're pregnant!"

"Don't be silly, I'll be done soon, darling!"

Mr Kennedy groaned before stripping off his work shirt, snatching the pick-axe from me and saying, "Fine, I'll do it! You just go sit down over there!"

It was at this point that I could KIND of understand why my female ancestors traded some of their freedom and rights if it meant getting to watch a man like him work in the field every day.

the sexy
Because frankly, he looks a lot like this. And he was very, very impressive... with that pick-axe...

But I'm crazy, and pregnant and hormones are what they are.

The fact is though, that as crazy and pregnant and hormonal as I am, I still don't want a caveman who thinks he can threaten, control, dominate and bully me. Though I have consistently made sure I'm doing heavy work around the time Mr Kennedy gets home so that I can watch him do it instead, no man is hot enough to be ordering me around and stomping all over my free-will, damn it!

Thus the three stars! Because I can't enjoy a story where the final lines go something like this, "And so I learned that my husband was right all along..."

Seriously, people? I'm married. My husband hasn't been right since he signed those papers! It's a fact of life.

Married men are never right.

The end.

Profile Image for carol..
1,537 reviews7,876 followers
July 29, 2022
#2 in my chain-smoking. I don't know what's happened, truly I don't. I probably have QB™ again.

At any rate, now I understand why Singh is so popular and has approximately ninety books in this series. First, brilliant set up: a race of highly emotion-blocked psychic people finally getting in touch with their emotions and the physical sensations in their bodies (we'll set aside pain at the moment, but if Singh is any type of erotic scene writer, I fully expect it). Second, combine them with an adversarial people, a race of changeling people that are in tune with instincts and sensation. Third, she's an above-average writer who can actually sustain a plot, unlike Laurel Hamilton, who started phoning it in somewhere after book six. Sure, there are tropes--lots of damaged childhoods, animal natures, etc--but at least they are smoked over with competent writing.

This does have the feel of first book about it, relying a little more heavily on those tropes than I would like, particularly lots of focus on dominant structures of changeling society--it's basically boilerplate. Singh, get a clue: real wolf packs have lots of females and the great cats are almost universally solitary. But I assume it'll get better, because Val said it's her most favorite series ever.

I thought the growing attraction between the leads was well done, the danger to the psychic was palpable, and the sex scenes decent. What more can one ask for?

I mean, thank heaven these are books, and not cigarettes, because I'm definitely inhaling.
Profile Image for Kristen.
832 reviews4,736 followers
September 13, 2013

I honestly don't know what to say about this book that hasn't already been said numerous times other than it's easily become my FAVORITE paranormal romance thus far. There wasn't a single thing about this story that I didn't absolutely and completely love.

I won't go into detail about the plot, the characters, or the writing; there are plenty of fantastic reviews already written that fully express my feelings, thoughts, and sentiments about this fantastic book (series). I will say, though, that Slave to Sensation had the perfect mixture of world building, character development, story depth, intrigue, action, eroticism, and romance. Not once did I become frustrate or annoyed with the plot or the characters. Nope! I spent the whole book captivated, fascinated, and enthralled. I was unable to put it down. In fact, much to my family's dismay, I was so absorbed in the story that I read it in one sitting.

I'm not sure why I waited so long to start this series because I knew it would be right up my alley. Now I understand why so many of my friends consider the Psy-Changeling series one of their favorite paranormal reads. If the rest of the books are anything like this one, there's no doubt this series will become my favorite in the paranormal genre.
Profile Image for Phuong ✯.
617 reviews5,130 followers
October 26, 2021
– 2.25 stars

Do you ever start a series, because you want to read the 12th book in the series? No? only me? Okay. 😔

I was super excited to start Slave to Sensation , because as I said, I can't wait to get to Heart of Obsidian. I heard SO MUCH praise for Heart of Obsidian that I knew I needed to read that book and my brain dictates me to read the series all in order starting with Slave to Sensation . And oh boy did that not go well. Usually, when I go into a book, I have a pretty good feeling about how I will like it and I had a good feeling about Slave to Sensation and my gut feeling betrayed me. 😭

The world building is easy to follow, but I couldn't connect to any of the main characters at all. Therefore, maybe Sasha and Lucas had chemistry and I couldn't see it. Additionally, plots that revolve around murder mysteries are the equivalence to sleeping pills for me. If I wanted to see someone solving a murder case, I'd would read mystery/thriller and not a romance. 🥴

The second half was more enjoyable and I appreciate Sasha's character development. A Psy has to suppress all their emotions all their life and to see a heroine who started out as "emotionless" break out of the restrictions and developed new abilities was pretty cool.

Only eleven books more books in this series to read until I can read the book I'm actually here for. Yay. 🤡


#1 Slave to Sensation – 2.25 stars
#2 Visions of Heat – tbr
#3 Caressed by Ice – tbr
#4 Mine to Possess – tbr
#5 Hostage of Pleasure – tbr
#6 Branded by Fire – tbr
#7 Blaze of Memory – tbr
#8 Bonds of Justice – tbr
#9 Play of Passion – tbr
#10 Kiss of Snow – tbr
#11 Tangle of Need – tbr
#12 Heart of Obsidian – tbr
November 6, 2017
4 Feels for the first time stars

Slave to Sensation is my first book by Nalini Singh and I really enjoyed it. I know I have had this baby on my kindle for a few years now and I sit here and wonder why I waited so long to start this series. I loved the whole world set up. The Psy being all mind with great psychic powers, and no feelings , the Changelings being shifters that feel greatly, and of course the boring humans. I do wish there would have been a bit more paranormal world development as I would have liked to known things like..... how long do the para live, how do they know when they found their mates? How do go about mating? All these things were touched on in a glossed over kind of way.

Lucas was sexy as hell and full of life and passion, which made Sascha seem like a lump by comparison. I did end up warming up to Sascha as the book went on but at first she was so flat it was hard to connect to her. I loved Lucas and Sascha together. Although I did wish Lucas would have figured out she was his mate a little bit sooner. I also really liked the others in Lucas' pack and I liked Hawke and I really hope he gets a book. I sure he will since this series is so long. Slave to Sensation was a great start to the series. It got me hooked on the world and the secondary characters. I can't wait to start book two!
88 reviews1,105 followers
December 4, 2013

A short conversation between me and my conscience-





Oh God.Stop reading Visions of Heat for a second.Shouldn't you be writing a review for this book, instead of starting with the next one immediately?

All right!!!

Readers, this is one of the best PNR I have ever read.Excellent writing.Excellent characters.And a world in which you'll lose yourself.If there is anyone who has not yet read it, please do it ASAP!


Huh.Fine, just do not forget that you have Chemistry to read too, or you'll flunk your exam.

Go hang yourself!

Profile Image for Giorgia Reads.
1,010 reviews1,959 followers
January 2, 2021
3.75 Stars

One of the things that I liked most about this story is the world building. It wasn’t necessarily intricate nor was I blown away by the concept BUT I have never read anything similar.

There are 3 kinds of people in this world. The Psy, the Changelings (who are basically shifters - so nothing new there) and the Humans who didn’t really make an appearance in this book but I think we will have human characters in the next instalments.

It’s the first category- the Psy - who give flavour to this world. Firstly because it’s an entirely new concept (at least to me it is) and secondly because their power structure, their abilities and their personalities are intriguing. They are supposed to be machine-like in their actions and they are also supposed to be emotionally emancipated. The ones who do start to feel anything at all (ranging from fear, jealousy, happiness, anger or worst of all love) are considered flawed, defective, and they are at risk of getting what is the equivalent of a lobotomy which would leave them able to exist in the most rudimentary form.

That is the most basic knowledge we are given in regards to the Psy society and throughout the book we get to discover more through the heroines journey of self discovery. (Her - Sascha- being a Psy who has started to feel too many things and runs the risk of being discovered).

The hero, Lucas, is an alpha changeling (a panther) who gets involved in Sascha’s life as a means of getting information about a serial killer who is Psy and is being protected by the highest Psy authority. (Because Psy are supposed to feel no emotion they cannot be killers, it would sort of tarnish their reputation for something like that to be public knowledge)

I was drawn into the story from the start. I found both main characters to be interesting but more so the heroine. There was the element of the unknown in regards to why she is unraveling and why she’s exhibiting all sorts of “weird” behaviours for a Psy.

The plot was a bit predictable only in that it followed the usual trajectory and there wasn’t really a high stakes feeling to it. It was a bit flat in the emotional department but it did keep me entertained enough.

As to the romantic relationship. I think those two are good together and they had chemistry. But there wasn’t anything extraordinary to set them apart from other typical fictional couples. Definitely not a great love story, but a solid one I’d say.

I’m definitely going to continue with this series. And I’m glad it has 15 books because I love discovering a good, promising series knowing I have so much to look forward to.
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,052 reviews49.1k followers
September 2, 2020
tragically, this is gonna be a dnf for me

i really wanted to like this because i really like nalini's writing and while the guild hunters series is not my favorite i figured maybe psy-changeling might be a game changer. and this is a first book in a series so i don't want to judge too harshly... but i don't think this is going to work for me. it's almost the antithesis to everything that paranormal is in my eyes: passionate, fated mates etc. with psy characters... they're emotionless or at least are supposed to be.

and i guess you could argue that could make for some good tension but it just fell flat for me. i didn't like the heroine and the hero was very... basic alpha type. idk. maybe i'll try again with this series someday but i can't be bothered at the moment.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,077 reviews13.3k followers
March 15, 2021
I FINALLY picked this book up after it's been on my tbr years. This is a book that you definitely have to pay attention to because of the unique world. I am still a bit confused about how the whole network and mind stuff works and I do wish we got a bit more of the changelings in here. But the romance was AMAZING and I really loved Lucas and Sascha's relationship. I am such a sucker for fated mates and loved how deeply they fell for each other. I loved the dreams they had together and how Sascha slowly learned to release control and fall for Lucas. I'm definitely interested in continuing on with this series!
Profile Image for Blacky *Romance Addict*.
465 reviews6,257 followers
November 6, 2016
This book goes to one of the best pnr's I've ever read. The writing is phenomenal, so great that I knew just with the first book that I'll be reading all the others :)

I first heard of this series a few months ago, and my reaction was like this: O.o Psychic people devoid of emotions and shape-shifters as couples Photobucket . I decided I definitely wasn't going to read something like that.
I was VERY, very, very, very stupid. Photobucket Photobucket

The story very much remindes me of the movie "Equilibrium", in which the hero lives in a society where all humans are without emotions, he is a member of the highest authority, and he deals with extinguishing everything that might trigger an emotional response (great movie btw, one of my favorites, Christian Bale is awsome Photobucket )
Here the heroine is part of the Psy society, they are genetically modified humans with some amazing psychic abilities, but no notion of emotion. She was born different, and forced to hide her nature from everyone. Lucas is a changeling, a species of shifters, able to turn into animals at will. He is wild by nature and ruled by emotion, and he finds her irresistible. Being able to sense she's not the usuall Psy, he sets on seducing her for information Photobucket

Their chemistry was off the fu*king charts! I mean, wow! Sascha was constantly trying to keep her facade of calm and emotionless, and Lucas was constantly trying to break it. The touching, caressing, the dreams Photobucket simply HOT. I wanted to pet him myself Photobucket the fact that he's a shifter - didn't really bother me, in some books that part has an icky feel to it, but here it was perfectly ok :)

And so I have to say, this book is a beginning of an obsession, I can already tell Photobucket I love the style of writing, the world the author created has me in it's grip and I don't think it will let go untill I reach the final book.

BTW, Hawk was in this one, the alpha of the wolf pack, I sooo want to read him Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,963 reviews294k followers
June 13, 2011
This book receives so many rave reviews that I guess I was just expecting a bit of something more. In fact, I was fully convinced before I started that I would probably give this book a 4 star rating, it just shows that I should stop making predictions - I'm usually wrong. I will say that I liked it enough to take a curious look into the rest of the series, it's not as if they're particularly difficult to read so I don't mind as much suffering through them.

The thing about this novel was that I found the first half to be at complete odds with the second half. I thought the story focus shifted, the strong heroine became weak and whiny, and the male love interest who I had previously thought was sexy to death became a misogynistic control freak. Yeah, he did somewhat recover what I'd liked about him towards the end... but I felt that he could never be the character I originally thought he was after he pushed Sascha (the aforementioned heroine) around for trying to decide something for herself. What is with romance novels today? Particularly paranormal romance novels, it seems as if they all contain a relationship where the man completely controls the woman and her lifestyle. Please say it's not just me who thinks these kind of relationships are stomach-turning?

I get the alpha-male attraction. I get the bad boy attraction. But that's all a sex issue... a guy playing mr dominant in the bedroom is one thing, but it's something else entirely when he thinks he can say who the woman is allowed to speak to, where she goes, what she wears. It makes me cringe. The point is that Lucas (mr hero guy) started off as sexy-in-a-suit, he identified Sascha as a powerful woman from a powerful and dangerous race that should not be taken lightly. They start off as equals and their flirtations and attraction to each other is hot to the point where I was on edge all the time and wondering where we would go next. But...

The exact minute that Lucas discovers that the attraction is mutual, he has sex with her and, from then on, attempts to completely take over her life. That's what I hated. They went to bed together (admittedly - very hot!) and the next morning he woke up an entirely different character. And not only him, but her too. She is from the Psy, a race of creatures that are just as powerful, if not more so, than the Changelings but as soon as he takes her virginity she turns into a dithering mass of patheticness. Aside from being annoying, it also didn't flow or make any sense at all.

The story that formed the bigger picture was fairly good. You can sort of imagine a future where a superior race has been developed, each member completely immune to the ultimate weakness: emotion. They are programmed to be this way and let only facts and logic rule their minds... then, of course, amongst the ranks of this new race is one with the unforgivable defect - Sascha, who is starting to feel. This is a good idea and I was loving it until everything turned upside down halfway through. It's bad enough to be let down by any book that you were expecting to be good, but it's even worse to be let down in the middle of said book when the first half had been so promising. Ah well, I'll still see what the other books in this series bring and I hope they don't all fall into the same pattern.
Profile Image for Maya.
858 reviews428 followers
May 28, 2016

So... I've heard a lot of good things about this series and since I'm already a big fan of this author's Guild Hunter series, I knew there would come a time to read this series. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME IT WAS THIS FREAKING GOOD SOONER!!! It's what I've been waiting my whole life for! And now I've finally found it! Thank you, Nalini! THANK YOU!!!


Annnnd on to the next book it is!!!

Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,456 followers
June 8, 2018
Sascha Duncan (Psy) and Lucas Hunter (Changeling)

This was about murder… and the greatest lie that had ever been perpetuated by a race upon its own kind.

This book is an impressive start to a series that I have a feeling that it will become one of my favourite PNR series.

Psy-world is an interesting different new world. I haven't read anything similar before to be honest. The Psy have great psychic powers, but not feelings or desires.
They basically live in two worlds:
1. The real world which also includes Changelings (shifters) and humans.
2. The PsyNet which is like Internet, except it’s made up of minds, not computers. I would also compare it with the movie Matrix. It is actually a place where Psy “meet” and “socialize”.

Shifters are the normal shifters that we meet in most PNR books. They can transform into animals and they live in packs. We learn about two packs:
1. The DarkRiver leopard pack
2. The SnowDancers wolf pack
These two packs coexist in neighbourhood grounds.

In terms of mating, there can be only one lifemate for each Changeling.

Lucas Hunter is the Alpha of DarkRiver pack and he is a black panther. He will meet Psy Sascha Duncan , while he tries to find the Psy killer who keeps butchering Changeling females. When another girl is taken, Lucas runs out of time.

Sascha lately is not well. She is scared to death and she tries to hide it before she is locked away in a “rehabilitation facility”. Her main problem is that she has started having feelings, emotions, physical reactions in these emotions. This is not normal for a Psy. She is defective. The fact that she needs to work so closely to Changelings that they are overflowed with feelings and they are so close to their animal side, does not help.

Gradually we will learn that Psy have secrets. Their own lack of emotions is a deception imposed to them in order to make them less dangerous.

I enjoyed the writing style and the way the story and the world building is exploited. The mystery with the serial killer has a obvious solution, but I really did not mind this. I wad satisfied with everything else.

January 10, 2016
I'm not usually a fan of romance and I'm pretty new to PNR so I didn't really know what to expect from this book. I've had the whole series on my Kindle for some time but wasn't planning on reading it until Sarah and Angela ganged up on me. Ah, good old peer pressure never fails! So I decided to give the series a try despite the cheesy titles and ridiculous book covers. Well, I have to say, thank you so much ladies because this was fun!

I expected silly romance but what did I get? Complex, well thought-out, refreshingly original world building. I've always been a shifter fan (what can I say? I can't resist domineering/possessive Alphas who need taming^^) and the idea of mixing them up with the Psy (a race with psychic abilities) was just pure brilliance. Cold, analytical Psy vs emotional, tactile, unpredictable Changelings? This is one world with huge potential. I can't wait to see what Singh comes up with in the next instalments. There are so many possibilities here that I can't see how this series could ever get boring *crosses fingers* If I wasn't feeling so lazy I'd give more details about the world but I am so if you want to know more about just go read the book:p Trust me when I say that this is good. Really good.

I think the main weakness of the book is the plot. Hold on, no that's not right. It's not the plot, it's the resolution. No, that's not right either. The plot is fast-paced and pretty good but its resolution is disappointing because of the culprit's identity. I guessed who it was very early on. I kept hoping there would be a twist and it would turn out to be someone else but it didn't happen. This is part of the reason I didn't give this book a 4. It was still a very entertaining story though. Singh's writing flows effortlessly despite the changes in POV. They can ruin a book when badly handled but here they only add to the story dynamics.

The characters? Sascha is great. I just love how complex her character is, the way she constantly fights with herself and struggles with her arising emotions. She's very straightforward, strong-willed and isn't easily pushed around. That's my kind of girl! Lucas is the designated possessive/stubborn/sexy Alpha. I have to admit that he's a bit on the light side as Alphas go and not as aggravating or overbearing as I expected. It doesn't mean I didn't like him though and I wouldn't mind having this particular cat to tame;o)

As I said before I'm not very big on romance but I have to say this one was handled fairly well by Singh as it wasn't too overwhelming. It's more insta-lust than insta-love which fits the story perfectly. The relationship between Sascha & Lucas slowly evolves throughout the book and although you know from the start where it's heading Singh manages to keep things interesting until the end. Okay, so it takes a while to get to the steamy sex scenes but the dream trick adds just enough lust and sexual tension to make it worth the wait. And yes, the sex scenes are pretty hot^^

Now the ending of the book is a bit too HEA for my taste but I guess it's pretty much a requirement in this genre so I'll try to get over it.

A surprisingly good read which leaves me wanting more. Next please!
Profile Image for Nicole.
731 reviews1,837 followers
May 14, 2021
Every once in a while, I feel like reading a romance book as a “guilty pleasure”. It's no guilty as much as a mindless/fun book. Since even then I can no longer stand NA, I find paranormal romance to be the most suitable choice. Having read Angel’s Blood and enjoyed it, I started Slave to Sensation knowing how famous it is among the fans of this genre.

The first half was rather enjoyable but the second was very predictable (saw most of the “twists” coming) and it became a bit boring. Angel’s Blood was better yet I rated it 3 stars too so I might lower my rating of this one later. When will GR add the half-star rating?!

Most of you know of course by now, what sets this series apart. Even though I found the Psy interesting and innovative, the book itself wasn’t impressive.

I might read the other books in this series of the characters I liked, like Hawke, later on when I want to read some sexy romance. Other than this case, I won’t be continuing this series unlike Guild Hunder which was interesting and more promising.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,827 reviews2,187 followers
November 12, 2022
Slave to Sensation has been on my tbr shelf as a paperback and ebook for YEARS. I always meant to get to it and never did. And then it became a book club book and I got so dang excited for an excuse to bump this one up.

I’ve read a few Nalini Singh books throughout the years and she truly is one of the best writers we have in the romance genre, especially paranormal romance. Her worldbuilding is top tier and reading this book I was full engrossed in the psy-changeling world.

Slave to Sensation is about Sascha, a Psy who is assigned to work with a Hunter changeling on a business project. Sascha has been hiding from the entire Psy community her entire life what she truly is: broken. For if they found out she could feel, she would be eliminated. Lucas is drawn to her right away, but most importantly he needs her to help track a Psy serial killer.

I really enjoyed this book and I am glad there are already so many books in this series because I can just dive into all of them if I want to. I love in shifter romance when we get a possessive yet loving hero and Lucas was just perfect. Mostly I loved Sascha’s journey of discovering what her life could be and letting go of her toxic community and background. I think a lot of this book was a metaphor for leaving toxic home situations and a new life with a found family. I absolutely loved it and I am excited to read more.
Profile Image for Mara.
1,560 reviews3,769 followers
February 24, 2021
4.5 stars - I remember enjoying this one the first time I read it, but this time? I could not put it down. I laughed, I cried, I stayed up until like 3am and am now a zombie. Cannot wait to talk about this on the podcast!
Profile Image for Bhavya Marya.
75 reviews66 followers
May 26, 2021

The word buliding in this book is honestly SO GOOD. I just kept on wanting to discover the world. I was hooked to the book from the begining. Seriously, I could not stop reading it. I read it in one single sitting. Sleep is overrated anyways.

Nalini Singh's writing is just fantastic. The story and the world she came up with is so amazingly unique.
Along with everything else, this book had a great romance and so much action.

Discovering Sascha and how her mind works was probably the best thing I've done all week.
Lucas was the perfect hero to read about. No bad things to say about him. I just want to add that Lucas calls Sascha 'kitten' and I've loved that nickname ever since Daemon from Obsidian.

This just blew my PNR loving mind. How do authors even come up with these great new worlds ?

I'm honestly not even mad that I have so many books to catch up on because this just means I have more books to devour. I'm gonna wait a while to jump into the next book though. I know it's gonna be good but I want to savour this world so I'm gonna take breaks while reading this series.

I definitely recommend this to any paranormal romance fan out there who hasn't read it !!
Profile Image for Beatriz.
831 reviews706 followers
November 12, 2017
La novela empezó requete bien. Me tenía atrapada el universo que creó la autora, con estas razas que conviven con los humanos y me gustó como las introdujo, ya que a las pocas páginas era muy fácil entender las características e intereses de cada uno, y cómo lo anterior se transformaba en juegos de poder. También me tenía muy interesada y expectante la relación que comenzaba a desarrollarse con la pareja que protagoniza la historia.

Peeero, avanzando un poco más, la narración se vuelve bastante repetitiva: me quedó muy claro que Sascha tenía que rearmar sus protecciones mentales a cada rato y que Lucas le debía lealtad al clan (estas ideas se repiten por lo menos dos veces por página). Pasada la mitad del libro, lo anterior se vuelve realmente cansador.

Argumento: Bueno, original, pero se cae estrepitosamente en un final que se resuelve en forma muy precipitada y sin ninguna vuelta de tuerca llamativa.

Romance paranormal: mehh, hay libros muchísimo mejores en este plano. No conecté con la relación. Me gustaron los personajes, pero más cuando actuaban solos que en las escenas juntos.

Estilo narrativo: Mejorable si evitara tanta repetición de ideas y no intercalara pensamientos extensísimos entre los diálogos de los personajes; varias veces tuve que devolverme en una o dos páginas para recordar qué era lo que se había dicho/preguntado antes.

Destaco eso sí la idea de la PsiNet. Me recordó algunos relatos de ciencia ficción con esta concepción de conciencia colectiva.

De todas maneras, como ya me han advertido que la serie mejora en las próximas entregas, probablemente les de una oportunidad más adelante.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,164 followers
March 14, 2017
The cover of this book? The name of this book? I was like no-way-Jose. But, then Jose said to me, "jilly, stop being a snob. Your friends all loved this book for a reason. Now, go read it." That Jose is so freaking smart.

and a cheerful mofo too!

Anyhoo, the world-building in this book is fun. We have humans (boooring), Changelings (shapeshifters), and people called "Psy's" who are psychically gifted and connected to each other through a network in their brains. The Psy race undergoes a treatment from youth to erase all emotions from them. They are supposed to be walking computers, basically.

This story is about a Psy with all the feels. And, that's just wrong! She needs to keep her feels to herself or the other Psy's will kill her. No broken Psy's allowed.

But, our broken Psy girl meets a Changeling guy and all the feels break loose. They have to work together AND solve a murder-mystery before the next girl is killed. Duh! Obviously there is a murderer loose that only our broken Psy girl can find.

Oh yeah, and this is all set in the future, so hovercars!! Yeah baby! Finally! I've been waiting my whole life for a freaking hovercar. They'll probably come out the year after I'm dead, so I'm all about the hovercars in books. I guess you could call me a hoverhead.

if they do come out in my lifetime, this is what I'll be able to afford!

I think this is the start of something good.
Profile Image for Becca & The Books.
312 reviews6,349 followers
September 18, 2022
Probably one of the best written paranormal romances I've ever read, set slightly in the future with an intriguing and seemingly complex political landscape and a heroine that actually possesses brain cells.

The characters and dialogue did fall slightly flat for me, hence the mediocre rating but I'm definitely interested in reading more from Nalini Singh and possibly continuing the psy-changeling series to see how the world-building progresses.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,200 reviews2,585 followers
March 17, 2016
*** 3.66 ***

A buddy read with the Paranormal Romance friends at BB&B!

The world is divided. It is populated by Psy and Changelings, and human races, all different in their ways of life, mores and codes, things they hold dear. We learn nothing about the humans here, unfortunately. The Psy have been bread out of emotions, which are considered as weaknesses and flaws, a hurdle keeping them away from perfection. The Psy hold power by "linking" into a network of all Psy individual minds, feeding their mental state and supporting as well as spying on all of them. If a Psy is detected to "feel", they are either "rehabilitated" for life, or killed... The Changelings on the other hand, OWN their emotions, experience all the levels of closeness to each-other, and live to what they see as the fullest. With the severe differences between them, it is easy to see how hostile the two can be to each-other. It gets even worse when women from the packs of Changelings began being found dead, obviously killed by Psy, but a murderous Psy should not exist... What has happen??? This is what the Alpha of the Panther pack Lucas has determined to find out and avenge!

Sasha thinks she is dying... She is a Psy, a daughter of one of the high Counsel, but she is broken... Something is very, very wrong with her - she FEEL!!! (the horror!!!) She has been trying to hide it for a while, trying to belong, but lately it has been getting harder and harder... She has a chance to prove herself to her mother by working on a business deal with the Changelings on a building project with DarkRiver. This is when she met Lucas and her life changed for ever more...

This is a love story. A Changeling (shifter) and a Psy find out about each-other and their different worlds. But even more than a love story, this is about the human attributes we put value to and what devoting to one extreme or another can do to our way of life. It is the constant battle we live between the thinking of our minds and the urges of our hearts... It is about the conflict of being who and what we are...

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Yes, it is a typical Paranormal Romance, and yes, it has many of the tropes this genre relies on, but after all, isn't that why we come back for more??? Why fix it when it works, right?:):):) I am planning on finishing this series, so this is the best recommendation I can give:)

I wish you all happy reading and many, many good books to come!!!
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 47 books128k followers
January 21, 2009
Ok, trash trash trash. And this cover is utterly awful, someone get the Barbie Hookah out of there, the pink smoke kills me! But actually, I really enjoyed this book. This is WAY more romance oriented than I usually read, but I was interested in the characters, the world was interesting with the Psy aspect, sci-fi angle something new (Vulcanish perhaps). Whatever, I read it in one sitting, satistfyingly indulgent! I might read another in the series. Maybe.
Profile Image for Kate.
2,072 reviews311 followers
May 4, 2020
1st read - 27th March 2016, 2nd read - 29th May 2017, 3rd read - 3rd May 2020

One of the best series in PNR out there.

5 Unfortunately I can’t give it more as Goodreads won’t let me Stars.

When you read a lot of pnr/uf you need something that stands out of the mass otherwise you think that you are reading the same things. Finding something as exceptional, unique and remarkable as what I read with a Slave to Sensation is rare.

I worship the ground that Ms. Singh has walked on since the Guild Hunter series. Admittedly I read both a sample of Angel Blood & Slave to Sensation a couple of years ago and I wasn’t impressed but now I am and I freely admit when I am wrong.

With a first introduction to a new world it is hard to not overwhelm the reader with too much information. But then there is also a lacking in the world that you want the reader to picture in their imagination. Ms. Singh feeds enough to keep us sated but keeps us curious about the world that we have entered and that we want to continue reading without food, drink and going for a pee.
Imagine a world with no emotion, no rage, no jealousy, no envy, no happiness and certainly no love at all.

Sascha Duncan a Psy cardinal is different to the other Psy. For years she has been protecting her shields not to expose her flaws to her mother, the council and all other Psy beings. She is beginning to fail. Sascha is a fantastic main character, she is strong, sassy but still has a certain vulnerability about her that you just can’t help but not like.

Lucas Hunter a changeling and an alpha to the DarkRiver pack, he is the youngest alpha, strong possessive and I loved all of his character. He is interesting, we see what he sees and what he feels.

The Psy and the Changeling are entering a business deal and Sascha is going to be Lucas associate. Lucas as well as his animal are fascinated with Sascha as she acts like a Psy but there are signs that not all is what it seems. Sascha feels even more then she should when she is around Lucas. Fear, Amusement, Hunger, Lust, Desire, Need.

Changeling women are being kidnapped and murdered and that other a certain period of time. One of his pack died and they want to find the killer. Sascha & Lucas start to trust one another and Sasha has such a strong character development.

They are great together, Sascha & Lucas have something special. Their sexual encounters occur in dreams to begin with but they have such a strong connection in such a short time span and it didn’t feel forced. On top of that there was attraction but never instalove.

They complement each other. They have sparks, fireworks the whole shebang.

“We’re way beyond skin privileges, darling”

But there were also times where there seemed to be the possibility that it wouldn’t work between them.

“I wish I’d been born in another time, another place. Then maybe I could’ve escaped fate… maybe I could’ve been your darling.”

There are funny moments in the book as well.

Her eyes narrowed. “We’re going to have to talk about this dominant streak of yours.” “It’s not a dominant streak. It’s all me.”

Sascha goes against the system and is willing to pay the consequences for her desires. What makes Sascha special will most likely get her killed.

There were twists and turns to the book and my main concern was how it was going to be pulled off with the Psynet etc. Colour me surprised I loved that frigging ending.

I see so many possibilities for this world and one I can’t wait for is Hawke from the SnowDancers.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,468 reviews9,629 followers
August 18, 2016

Well I think the Psy's are jerks. Except for Sascha and a few others!

Anyway, Psy's are made to feel no emotion, void, nothing, zip, zilch. But . . . Sascha has feelings and if they find out she is "broken" they will rehabilitate her or kill her. REALLY?

Because I'm broken. And the Psy don't allow borken creatures to live.

The Changelings are the shifters and they are cool and then there are humans but they don't take on a big role in the book.

Sascha is sent by her mom who is on the Psy Council to oversee some business dealings they are doing with the Changelings. Sascha is going to be spending a lot of time with the alpha of the DarkRiver leopard pack, Lucas and he's yummy. =) And they are also working with the SnowDancers pack which is the wolf changelings.


And Lucas has some kind of feelings for Sascha that he doesn't understand because they all hate the Psy. As I have said, Sascha isn't like the others, she's "broken" and I hate they think of themselves that way when they are actually normal. But I digress! Lucas and his panther self start having feelings for Sascha, he wants her as his and Sascha has feelings for Lucas.

I felt really sorry for Sascha because she was having so much fun being away from the Psy. She didn't know what it was like to touch someone. She didn't know what CHOCOLATE tasted like because they have not need for that, only balanced meals. It would suck to be a Psy and have actual feeling like Sascha and be scared to death at all times that they will find out and kill you!

But for now she is having a wonderful time with the changelings. Then she finds out about this serial killer that has been taking changeling women for quite some time and they are Psy. She refuses to believe this at first because it never showed up in any of the networks. The changelings finally convince her that is is a Psy because they could smell them around the mutilated bodies. Sascha decides to help find out who the killer is and she does and I knew who it was :-D

And all the while Sascha and Lucas fall in love with each other and have some passionate moments if you know what I mean.


The ending was good, the book was good and I look forward to more of the series.

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Somia.
2,051 reviews130 followers
June 19, 2022
A book I have read so many times, the first book in Singh's Psy-Changeling series is an absolute gem. Singh has created a world that grabs your attention and never lets go. We get well rounded three dimensional characters, and an enagging narrative/plot, all of which ensures you'll want to read it again and again.

The lead characters have been wonderfully formed - alpha male and pack leader Lucas and Psy Sasha, watching their interactions and their relationship develop was fab. This book also introduces us to a number of interesting secondary charcters, all of whom add to the story Singh has created.
Profile Image for Karla.
986 reviews1,093 followers
January 23, 2013

5 Stars!!! Fantastic! What took me so long to read this?!?!

Out of all the paranormal creatures, shifters are my favorite, and Slave to Sensation, captured the true nature of these sexy human/beasts!!! RAWRRRRR!! The merging of the unfeeling, emotionless citizens of the Psy community, and the touchy feely, possessive Changeling pack members, made for a very sensual, fascinating, and extremely gratifying read. Amazing world building, memorable characters...that got under my skin, terrific dialogue, and a detailed, yet interesting storyline, make this book a stand-out! I did a combination of reading and listened on audio, doesn’t matter the format you choose, it’s well worth your time.

Thank you to Jayne, Kris, and Autumn! They pointed me in the direction of this series, and have been encouraging me to read it! I took the plunge girls…I’m totally immersed in the Psy-Changeling world! I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,707 followers
September 10, 2017
It's been a little over a year since I read this the first time. I wasn't really impressed, but I just finished the Guild Hunter series (LOVED it), so I decided to give Singh's other series another shot.

I'm glad I did.

I might have been in a reading slump the last time I read Slave to Sensation, or maybe I just couldn't get past the cheesy (and let's be real--it is cheesy) title and book cover. Whatever it was, second time was the (a?) charm.

Sascha is a Psy. That means she's been trained to be a Vulcan. But Psys, unlike Vulcans who as a race eventually "evolved" past emotional reactions, are born with emotions and are brainwashed out of feeling them. Or at least they're supposed to be. If a Psy is resistant to the brainwashing, they are rehabilitated. And by "rehabilitated" I mean lobotomized.

Lucas is a Hunter and the Alpha of the leopard pack in California. He is Changling. Changlings and Psys do not play well together. They have nothing in common. Psys are cold, emotionless robots while Changlings are vibrant and passionate and alive. Even the smell of a Psy stinks to a Changling nose.

Until Lucas meets Sascha. He immediately senses she is more than the average Psy.

But he can't think about that too much b/c he's using their business arrangement to gather information about the Psy race in order to catch a Psy serial killer.

Romance and havoc ensue before the token para-romance happy ending.

That's what I love about para-romance. No delayed gratification. A happy ending is coming and soon.
June 12, 2009
Boy, I am so glad that I had read one of Nalini Singh's Silhouette Desire novels, and was searching for some more paranormal romances to read and finally picked this one up by her. I kicked myself for having waited so long. I loved this book. Lucas is to die for. He's totally yum. I loved the combination of paranormal with science fiction. I typically find science fiction a little bit dry at times, since I am more of a fantasy person. But there is a perfect mix of science fiction and paranormal fantasy in this book. I love how Singh created this future world where there are three types of people: Psy (completely cerebral with enhanced psychic abilities, reject emotions), Changeling (part human/part animal, embrace emotion), and Humans. This story focuses mainly on the Psy and Changeling dynamic. In Singh's Psy/Changeling world, race is not an issue. Most of the characters are of various ethnic backgrounds and interracial relationships have no stigma. I found this very refreshing. Singh's worldbuilding is so plausible that you don't doubt that in the future humans can reject emotions and build their psychic abilities to the penultimate. It takes a leap of faith to believe in changelings (shapeshifters), but if you don't have that, then you shouldn't be reading this book. If you do, then hang on.

Lucas doesn't care for the Psy. To him, they are soul-less, conscienceless beings. But for the sake of business, he deals with the Psy. When he meets Sasha, he is drawn to her. She doesn't have the stink of Psy (they have a cold, deadly metallic smell to the Changeling breed). The Psy are hated because they have ruthlessly gained control of society and are not above killing those who stand in their way. So at first, Lucas is off-put by his attraction to Sasha. Not for long though. It doesn't take this very confident cat to recognizes she is his mate, and he doesn't wait much longer to claim her as his. Their relationship was blistering hot. I was fanning myself during the love scenes. Sasha has had issues with her powers, having blackouts and feeling scary losses of control of her emotions that she has been hiding from her parental units, because Psy who lose control and break Silence (the lack of emotion) are sent for rehabilitation, eventually becoming mindless vegetables. Lucas inspires violent passion in her which is unheard of in a Psy. She has no idea how to deal with this, yet she is required to work with him. Lucas seems to enjoy teasing her and inspiring sensual feelings in her. I loved their interactions.

I am a big fan of shapeshifter stories, and I loved the descriptions of the pack of big cats of which Lucas is the alpha. I also enjoyed reading about their new allies, the pack of wolf shapeshifters, who is alphaed by the enigmatic Hawke (can't wait for his story). Really, I cannot recommend this series enough. If you are like me and typically get a little bored with hard science fiction, but want to expand your horizons, I would suggest this book and the Psy/Changeling series. The romance is the focus, and the science fiction elements teamed with paranormal is like marshmallow sauce on chocolate, just the right touch. Singh is a gifted author who has won my devotion as a fan.
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