Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling, #1)
This topic is about Slave to Sensation
271 views
2012 Archives > Mar 2012: *Spoilers* Romances with Mental/psychic Connection

Comments Showing 1-28 of 28 (28 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Shawna (last edited Feb 29, 2012 01:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shawna | 4 comments This isn't the first book I've seen were the main romance in the book is centered around a couple destined/mated and have a strong psychic connection.

One specific example I've seen is Ascension by Caris Roane (not as well written as this book imo but Slave to Sensation reminded me of it). While I love reading stories like this, I don't understand why it's appealing. I have a strong connection with my husband, but I wouldn't like to be connected to him on a psychic level (especially not during sex).

I wonder, is it maybe appealing because we crave to have that sort of connection with another person? To connect with people in our lives and our significant others on a deeper level? And what about psychic connection being so prominent in love scenes?

I just think it’s an interesting topic and would love to hear some feedback, as well as other books that have this type of story.


message 2: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber (englishyew) I run into this ALL the time. I was pretty sure that all romance novels had to have this in order to be published. On rare occasion that I don't see this, it's a relief. I think it's a plot mechanism in a lot of cases. People in trouble being able to contact their mates for back up, people being able to find their lovers when they've gone missing and the like. I pretty much HATE it. The one time I saw it's usage was in a sex scene where the couple was able to feel what the sex act was actually doing the other and I think that level, it was kind of hot. It was just one doing and the other being done to. I think at one point or another we all wonder what it might feel like to someone else. I think on another level, it also removes the stupidity of constantly questioning if it was really 'meant to be'. So many couple I know are plagued by that. The whole idea of being connected to a soul mate on a completely ethereal level, I think it what attracts the writers. Either that, or the idea that someone could be your soul mate and you fight against it, or fall in love despite the biological leanings. I think Nalini Singh does the fight/giving in to the bond in just about every book. I read a book recently called Unearthly where characters buck that 'meant to be' to be with others. It was very interesting.


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Wynde (wyndes) I actually saw that the book this month had that component and decided I'd be skipping it. I HATE the whole "destiny" thing! Where is the interest in a story where the lovers are forced to be together whether they like it or not? And the fight against it always seems artificial and creepy to me. I mean I think the soul mate thing is boring as hell, but if I found some guy and knew he was my soul mate, I'd just be relieved that I never had to date again.

In the book I'm currently writing, the hero and heroine are psychic and it's a problem for them, because she gets pissed off when she hears him thinking things that annoy her -- as one would, I imagine -- and yet, how can you stop yourself from thinking? They haven't seen each other for a decade because the last time they were together, they had huge miscommunications from misunderstanding what they were reading in each other's minds. Hmm, now that I think about it, all their problems come from them being psychic -- which is the way I think it'd work! I definitely don't think being psychic would be much fun, no matter how intriguing it is to write about.

I'm going to look for Unearthly, Amber. You don't mention, though, whether you liked it. Was it good as well as interesting?


message 4: by Canoe (new)

Canoe | 13 comments I like this trope, and I do think it is because I think it would be fascinating to have such a deep connection with a person. Though I do agree that it would drive me crazy if I could hear every single one of my partner's thoughts. Generally, I think this is worked around by people being able to shield their mind or even completely block the other out if they want to.

When it comes down to it I am a romantic idealist in my books and love the whole soulmate thing.


message 5: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber (englishyew) Sarah wrote: "You don't mention, though, whether you liked it. Was it good as well as interesting?"

It was as good or interesting as any YA book about teenagers can be. It was an easy read. The concepts were interesting. I'd like to see a more adult take on it, though.


Alex (piratebug) This could just be me, but I didn't get the impression that this romance was necessarily a soul mate situation. Everything from the dreams, to the easy mental connection they seemed to have I attributed to her being such a powerful psychic herself and his Psy ancestry.

I had the impression that his big feelings for her kind of snuck up on him, but he ultimately chose her. Once he realized the strength of his emotion for her, he realized he actually wanted to mate. Like when an animal chooses a mate, there were some instinctual elements to it but I never saw it as 'destiny'. Her, on the other hand, I saw as the book's title: a slave to sensation. As long as he would lavish with her attention, she'd be his because she'd been repressed for so long.

The weird cord-like connection to them I just took to be an almost tangible, supernatural form of the emotional bond we already describe as existing between people. I don't think I would have enjoyed the book if I'd picked up on the soul mate theme, though. So if I'm the only one that felt this way, I guess I'm good at tricking myself. lol


Rune | 43 comments I agree with Alex, I didn't get the impression of the romance being a soul mate situation. The fact that she was different than the rest of the spy he had know made him feel drawn to her.

I also got the impression that his big feelings for her snuck up on him, but he did ultimately chose her. Her "flaw" called to him. I liked that.

On the whole a great read.


Karo | 38 comments I just started Wanderlust and the whole psychic connection between March and Sirantha Jax is bugging the heck out of me. It wouldn't be so bad if it was sparingly used, but it seems like it's referenced on every other page in this book.


Tina (tinabluebee) | 28 comments Agreed w/ Alex and Rune - there doesn't seem to be any "destiny" involved in the story line... nor in the next book (and so far not in the 3rd book :P).


Mandy | 22 comments I inhaled this book. I really enjoyed the writing style. I think I might get into this series (as apparently there are several books in it)

I liked the sexual themes - I also didn't pick up on the "soul mate" theme. At least it wasn't explicitly described that way. I thought the characters were highly attracted to each other rather than destined to be together. For example, I wouldn't call my husband my 'soul mate' - he doesn't believe in the soul for starters - I would, however, call him someone I'm highly attracted to and someone that I dream about. When my husband and I first started dating, we found it difficult to sleep in the same bed. We would find ourselves waking up during the night and going completely crazy over each others pheromones. (I don't care what science says, humans have pheromones). Maybe it was just my personal experiences but the kind of attraction the author describes was realistic for me.

In the novel, I felt the sex was appropriately placed and also it wasn't gratuitous. There where fantasies in the right place, I liked that she was exploring - with good reasons to back up her behaviour and reactions - and wide-eyed and innocent with well fleshed out reasoning.

There are blow jobs in some of the Merry Gentry series (Laurel K Hamilton) - the later books - but they are not as well described as this one. This seems to be written by someone who actually enjoys them.

I really liked how there was large chunks of the story from Lucas' perspective. I liked that there was sex from the male perspective.

The characters are well rounded I really enjoyed the language around the pack, I thought it was well done.

I quite enjoyed this one. Thanks for suggesting it.


Teresa (teresafied) Some of the narrative around Lucas hinted that it was destiny. He didn't want to even -meet- his mate, b/c he knew once he was found he was stuck with her. But then at the same time, it didn't feel like it was destiny when they met. There was some initial attraction - but no one was saying "you are mine, you are the one!" right away.

I loved this book! And I loved that they were cat-people. The only thing that bothered me was that they kept calling their group a "Pack" - which makes sense for the wolf group. But shouldn't leopards be a "Prowl" ?


message 12: by Jes (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jes (tiaama) | 110 comments Wow. I chewed through this book in every "spare" (not so spare) minute I had in the last couple of days. I found the sci-fi world against fantasy world aspect well put together (Psy vs Changeling). It was well integrated.
I wondered constantly what the inspiration as behind the Psy world (take the worst psychologist you know and give them way too much power? :)). The emotional progression throughout the book was well done. I would definitly recommond this read, which for "smut" is an odd one for me!


message 13: by Jes (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jes (tiaama) | 110 comments Perhaps a "cuddle" - lol!


Mandy | 22 comments Jessica wrote: "Perhaps a "cuddle" - lol!"

Maybe an ink of panthers... a leap (or lepe) of leopards.


message 15: by Felicia, Grand Duchess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Felicia (feliciaday) | 740 comments Mod
Later in the series the whole pack "soul mate" thing is even stronger, and yeah that whole idea in romance novels of some biological "one" is kind of lame to me, because it takes a whole complication out of relationships that humans ACTUALLY DEAL WITH. It just seems to shortcut plotlines in a way that gets rid of inherent conflict. That said, i do like this author's series the best of the ones I've read with this idea of "destined mate". Her writing is just good.


Claire | 2 comments I really love the idea of having sex with someone else in our mutual dreams. That in itself was relly very sexy :)


Shawna | 4 comments Claire wrote: "I really love the idea of having sex with someone else in our mutual dreams. That in itself was relly very sexy :)"

That was pretty awesome! lol I agree


Madison E. (madiemartin) | 231 comments Alex wrote: "This could just be me, but I didn't get the impression that this romance was necessarily a soul mate situation. Everything from the dreams, to the easy mental connection they seemed to have I attri..."

I'm actually with you on this. I can see how this could easily be interpreted as a destiny/soul mate novel. It is on some level. I guess I just didn't really notice that so much as I read it, I was more distracted by the overly possessive nature of Lucas. I'm not a huge fan of the "she's mine" thing. I think it's just something that I would absolutely HATE in a significant other, so that would explain why I don't really like it in novels. Now that I think about it, the one overly possessive person is a common theme paired with the destiny/soul mate theme. They could be mutually exclusive themes, but I have read several books with these paired together.


Madison E. (madiemartin) | 231 comments Mandy wrote: "In the novel, I felt the sex was appropriately placed and also it wasn't gratuitous. There where fantasies in the right place, I liked that she was exploring - with good reasons to back up her behaviour and reactions - and wide-eyed and innocent with well fleshed out reasoning."

That was an excellent discussion! I agree with you on this point. I'm not really a big romance reader, but I after watching the last hangout I thought I would give it a try. I was nervous since Felicia seemed to suggest this book was really smutty. But after having read it, I would disagree. I would say it was definitely sexy, sensual but not smutty. There was more to the book than just sex. I think you brought up a good point. The sex scenes were appropriately placed. Even the progression of the fantasies mimicked a first sexual exploration.


Madison E. (madiemartin) | 231 comments Teresa wrote: "The only thing that bothered me was that they kept calling their group a "Pack" - which makes sense for the wolf group. But shouldn't leopards be a "Prowl"

I was bothered by the same thing but I was more bothered by the fact that leopards are solitary so I wouldn't make sense for them to form a pack at all. The whole pack thing makes sense for the wolves but not the leopards. I did notice that they talked about wildcats as if they are the token solitary cat-changeling. With that said, it's a fiction book so the author can set up the world as they like. In this world, leopards aren't solitary and form packs.


Stormfury | 9 comments anyone that liked the psy-changeling books will also like celta's heartmates series by Robin D. Owens. they are very similar in a lot of ways.


Werner (tinymrv) I have to say I'm with Alex and Rune on the 'soul mate' feel of the book. I didn't get it once.
I also agree with Alex that Sascha's need for this new-found feeling/emotion made her as the title says, a Slave to her newly found Sensations. I think it just happened to be Hunter that she felt the sensation with thus leading to her attraction to him.

I also think that the mating/soul mate feel even came into play Hunter's fascination with the Psy was the fact that she wasn't like any other he's met before, maybe in a way his obsession with figuring out why was what got him to the point of wanting to mate with her.

I'm also not one that likes the constant psychic connection between to people but I think what made this book different for me was that the connection took place on two different levels. Psy experience the connection on a conscious level with the PsyNet whereas the Changleling experience it through emotional/instinctive loyalty?

Regardless I must say this was truely a very fun read that I simply could not put down after the first 10 pages. After all, I did end up finishing the book at 3:30am!


message 23: by Mell (new) - rated it 1 star

Mell (melldresden) | 24 comments This contains major long ramblings and spoilers.
I have just finished the book and decided to share my decidedly askew opinion of the book, figure why not what with this being a book club and all. First off minor disappointment that I got a non-misty eyeball wateringly disturbing book cover on the copy from my library but that has no real bearing on the review just wanted to share.
So I am going to start with the points that made me rage or at least irked me enough to want to shred the book and feed it to my next door neighbour’s cat(my cat has a delicate constitution). First point, if you are a bunch of emotionless or Vulcan like logic machines why would you use phrases like “I would be happy to help” or “I am afraid not” “my mother wouldn’t like that” really? Really? In over one hundred years you don’t think that language would have evolved into something more efficient? Secondly this is basically porn with plot which is fine but if I am going to read porn with plot I want it to be really good plot like the awesome Kushiel’s series in which the sex can seem secondary to the story at times, is tastefully done and the world building is exquisite. Not that I am prudish about sex in books. Minor irritant oh I wonder what E-Psy could be gee lets think about that for a chapter or two, hmm… so far I have been able to take peoples pain away, I feel things and oh yes it begins with E, could it be electric? Nope that’s not right, am I and elephant? No trunk that’s out, huh? I digress, RAGES at book throws it at wall!!! Anyway final thing could the only othere member of the Psy community that we see the character interact with be the killer? That would be too easy right, but wait Dum Dum Dum oh it is… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!
The good points, the general premise is actually rather interesting, slight echoes of equilibrium and many other urban fantasy but done in a way I have yet to read. The food experiences were actually well written I enjoyed the reaction to the first taste of a chocolate cookie. And it did make me laugh out loud at one point the idea of chocolate flavoured penises I was all “I’m cured gotta go find me a man!” The final thing and this would be a like and dislike was the characters some of them were actually well developed and interesting and others were almost faceless drones I couldn’t pick apart and I am not talking about Psy characters, the more developed characters were intriguing.
Out of ten I would probably give this a four . I find that there is not a huge array of LGBT fiction out there (I promise I am not about to get preachy) 96% of books in the fictional market is targeted at the heterosexual market so if you like vamps, werewolves, witches and other paranormal genre you generally get the kinky stuff too. Granted there are more books out in the past ten years targeted at a more bendy audience making it mainstream but it is at times tentative.
Ramble over :-p


message 24: by Mell (new) - rated it 1 star

Mell (melldresden) | 24 comments balls posted this on the wrong feed


message 25: by Anna (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anna | 42 comments Felicia wrote: "that whole idea in romance novels of some biological "one" is kind of lame to me, because it takes a whole complication out of relationships that humans ACTUALLY DEAL WITH. It just seems to shortcut plotlines in a way that gets rid of inherent conflict."

YES!! ARG!!


Melissa (melzorz) | 3 comments Especially with very bad violations of this "destined/fated true love" is that it has recently been spoiled by Twilight. It's hard to look at any "we *must* be together because our minds/fate/destiny demand it" without getting concerned about personal agency. Is it bad when you accept it because "at least it's not a newborn being imprinted on?" :)

There was really only one part in Slave to Sensation that really bugged me, where it stressed that he would be tied to her forever, even if she died. I kind of rolled my eyes at that. I was able to overlook it in this book at least because both characters had obvious chemistry before hand (and it wasn't out of the blue, it wasn't without mostly-full consent).


message 27: by Molly (last edited Mar 21, 2012 05:06PM) (new)

Molly (mollyrichmer) I'm not much on the whole mating bond idea, but a few of the comments on here confused me a little. I feel like real soulmates wouldn't be annoyed or upset that they were forever bonded because they're soulmates...so they actually really love each other and want to be together forever. I didn't see the mate bond in this book as quite akin to the whole 'imprinting' concept in Twilight because Sascha and Lucas weren't bonded at first sight. It only triggered after they got to know each other better. If Sascha hadn't kept in contact with him after their first meeting, would they still have ended up together? I don't think so.


Sylvia | 14 comments Stormfury wrote: "anyone that liked the psy-changeling books will also like celta's heartmates series by Robin D. Owens. they are very similar in a lot of ways."

One of the things I like about Owens' approach is that her characters have bonds with more than just their heartmate (equivalent of soulmate). They have bonds with family members and close friends too (Singh's characters do as well but it gets a lot less attention). The heart bond is a more powerful connection, but not everyone has a heartmate and some people actually have to grow or mature in their mental outlook before they are psychically ready for a heart bond to be possible. Not only that but there are rules in the society, so if a character has figured out who their heartmate is, they are not allowed to tell that person because it might breach free will. Consequences for breaking that rule can be serious. And yes it is possible to reject a heart bond and refuse to allow the connection to form. This psychic connection is as much about recognizing and choosing to accept a good match as it is about destiny. I like this approach and it seems quite rare to me.


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Wanderlust (other topics)
Unearthly (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Robin D. Owens (other topics)