Slave to Sensation
- This advance excerpt is in two parts, the prologue, and Lucas & Sascha’s first meeting.
In an effort to reduce the overwhelming incidence of insanity and serial killing in the Psy population, the Psy Council decided, in the year 1969, to instigate a rigorous program called Silence. The aim of Silence was to condition young Psy from birth. The aim of the conditioning was to teach them not to feel rage.
However, the Council soon discovered that it was impossible to isolate that one emotion. In 1979, after a ten year debate over the millions of minds in the PsyNet, it was decided to change the aim of Silence. Its new mission was to condition young Psy to feel nothing. Not rage, not jealousy, not envy, not happiness and certainly not love.
Silence was a resounding success.
By the year 2079, when the fifth or sixth generation of Psy are being conditioned, everyone has forgotten that they had ever been any other way. The Psy are known to be icily controlled, inhumanly practical and impossible to push to violence.
They are the leaders of government and business, eclipsing both humans and changelings, races which allow their animal natures to rule them. With mental capabilities running from telepathy to foresight, telekinesis to psychometry, the Psy consider themselves a step up the evolutionary ladder.
In keeping with their nature, they base all their decisions on logic and efficiency. According to the PsyNet, their mistake rate is close to nil.
The Psy are perfect in their Silence.
Excerpt From CHAPTER ONE
Sascha looked up at the sound of her mother’s voice. And found herself within touching distance of the most dangerous male she’d ever seen. There was no other word to describe him. Well over six feet tall, he was built like the fighting machine he was in the wild, pure lean muscle and tensile strength.
His black hair brushed his shoulders but there was nothing soft about it. Instead, it hinted at unrestrained passion and the dark hunger of the leopard below the skin. She had no doubt she was in the presence of a predator.
Then he turned his head and she saw the right side of his face. Four jagged lines, reminiscent of the claw marks of some great beast, scored the muted gold of his skin. His eyes were a hypnotic green but it was those slashing markings that grabbed her attention. She’d never been this close to one of the changeling Hunters before.
“Ms. Duncan.” His voice was low and a little rough, as if caught on the edge of a growl.
“This is my daughter, Sascha. She’ll be the liaison for this project.”
“A pleasure, Sascha.” He tipped his head toward her, eyes lingering for a second longer than necessary.
“Likewise.” Could he hear the jagged beat of her pulse? Was it true that changeling senses were far superior to those of any other race?
“Please.” He gestured for them to take seats at the glass-topped table and remained standing until they’d done so. Then he chose a chair exactly opposite Sascha.
She forced herself to return his gaze, not fooled by the chivalry into dropping her guard. Hunters were trained to sniff out vulnerable prey. “We’ve looked at your offer,” she began.
“What do you think?” His eyes were remarkably clear, as calm as the deepest ocean. But there was nothing cold or practical about him, nothing that belied her first impression of him as something wild barely leashed.
“You must know that Psy-changeling business alliances rarely work. Competing priorities.” Nikita’s voice sounded utterly toneless in comparison to Lucas’s.
His responsive smile was so wicked, Sascha couldn’t look away. “In this case, I think we have the same ones. You need help to plan and execute housing that’ll appeal to changelings. I want an inside track on new Psy projects.”
Sascha knew that that couldn’t be all of it. They needed him but he didn’t need them, not when DarkRiver’s business interests were extensive enough to rival their own. The world was changing under the noses of the Psy, the human and changeling races no longer content to be second best. It was a measure of their arrogance that most of her people continued to ignore the slow shift in power.
Sitting so close to the contained fury that was Lucas Hunter, she wondered at the blindness of her brethren. “If we deal with you, we’ll expect the same level of reliability that we’d get if we went with a Psy construction and design firm.”
Lucas looked across at the icy perfection of Sascha Duncan and wished he knew what it was about her that was bugging the hell out of him. His beast was snarling and pacing the cage of his mind, ready to pounce out and sniff at her sedate dark-grey pantsuit. “Of course,” he said, fascinated by the tiny flickers of white light that came and went in the darkness of her eyes.
He’d seldom been this close to a cardinal Psy. They were rare enough that they didn’t mingle with the masses, being given high posts in the Psy Council as soon as they reached any kind of mature age. Sascha was young but there was nothing untried about her. She looked as ruthless as the rest of her race, as unfeeling and as cold.
She could be abetting a killer.
Any one of them could be. It was why DarkRiver had been stalking high-level Psy for months, looking for a way to penetrate their defenses. The Duncan project was an unbelievable chance. Not only was Nikita powerful in her own right, she was a member of the innermost circle–the Psy Council. Once Lucas was in, it would be his job to find out the identity of the sadistic Psy who’d stolen the life of one of DarkRiver’s women…and execute him.
No mercy. No forgiveness.
- “I LOVE this book! It’s a must-read for all of my fans. Nalini Singh is a major new talent.”
~ Christine Feehan
“Sexy, crisp, hard-edged and intelligent, SLAVE TO SENSATION is a terrific book…”
~Barbara Samuel for BookPage
“This book is a must even for those uninitiated in the paranormal genre. The story ends much too quickly, and the author’s magical writing conjures up sensual images and intense emotions that linger long after the last word is read.”
~Romantic Times, 4 1/2 stars
“Paranormal fans sit up and take notice, this author is one to watch… (Desert Isle Keeper)”
“…captivating from beginning to end…SLAVE TO SENSATION is a keeper on my bookshelf and a book that no doubt I’ll be picking up again to read. Don’t let it pass you by!”
~Julie from Romance Reader At Heart
“…one of the most convincing and beautiful romances I’ve read lately. It’s got it all, both sexual tension so thick and hot it will curl your toes (and the pay-off! Those love scenes, oh, my!), and a lot of feeling behind it…”
~Rosario’s Reading Journal
“SLAVE TO SENSATION is a sensual romance…with just a bit of mystery to keep readers flipping pages. Character-driven and well-written, it’s not easy to put down at bedtime; it kept me reading well into the night…”
~Sue Burke for Fresh Fiction
“… SLAVE TO SENSATION, Singh has created a fresh, intriguing and thought-provoking mythology and a very appealing cast of characters who harbor plenty of secrets…I look forward to the next installment from this talented writer.”
~Martina Bexte for BookLoons
“This book has it all: the paranormal aspect, the alpha hero, the strong heroine, the hot sexy romance, and external conflict…a book that fulfilled all my emotional needs as a romance reader…the beginning of a great series…”
~Jane from DearAuthor.Com
“SLAVE TO SENSATION is an electrifying collision of logic and emotion…Nalini Singh has penned an incredible world where fire and ice mix to create an unforgettable sensual eruption…a volcanic start to a new series that’ll leave you craving for…more.”
~Angela Waters for Romance Junkies
“…this story packs a very powerful punch!…One can only hope that a sequel is in the works as SLAVE TO SENSATION is easily one of the best books published this year in the paranormal genre. SLAVE TO SENSATION is highly recommended and this reviewer cannot rave enough about how wonderful this book truly is. Sascha is one of the strongest, most endearing characters to come along in quite a while…If you read only one book this year, SLAVE TO SENSATION quite simply must be that book!”
~CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
“…I was enthralled, totally and completely. I had to know what happened next…This is a book I will re-read again and again…”
~Gena Showalter, acclaimed author of Enslave Me Sweetly
“…SLAVE TO SENSATION is a fantastic story…I have to admit, I cried when I finished this story. Something which doesn’t happen very often and the highest accolade a book can receive. I just hope the author comes out with more books set in this very fascinating world!”
~Chere Gruver for ParaNormalRomance Reviews
“The sizzling sexual tension between Lucas and Sascha seemed to leap right off the page…”
~Romance Designs/Multicultural Romance Writers
“SLAVE TO SENSATION …has romance, danger, and intrigue….You could feel the heat between Sascha and Lucas and see how much they meant to each other…I think there should be several sequels to this book…”
~Debby Schultz for Writers Unlimited
“…The key to this superb…romance is readers will believe that the Singh universe is a plausible ecosystem…[An] excellent futuristic thriller…”
“…Lucas has a sensuality that will curl your toes [and] speed up your heartbeat. Sascha is a courageous heroine that you just know has an inner passion waiting to be let out and when it does, watch out. Together this couple is dynamite and you don’t want to be anywhere near when the explosion goes off..a story that readers won’t soon forget.”
~Angell Brewer for Romance Junkies
“With the feel of some of Anne McCaffrey’s work, this is an intriguing mystery and coming of age story as well as a romance. Sascha’s coming to life unfolds beautifully in this strange, yet familiar world.”
“SLAVE TO SENSATION is one the most outstanding, magnificently written books this reviewer has read in quite a while. Ms. Singh has proven what a wonderful writer she is. I can hardly wait to read her next book…”
“If you want a HEA romance with passion, you’ll enjoy it. But if you want romance plus – something that takes you to another world and lays down the possibility of so much more you’ll love it!”
– Big Little Sister
“It’s difficult to build a paranormal romance series because you have to create a whole new world, identities, conflict, and the list goes on. Ms. Nalini singh succeeded in giving us this world with great characters that take us on an amazing paranormal adventure that any reader will love to keep going back to. SLAVE TO SENSATION is a great way to begin this phenomenal series that a lot of readers fell in love with.”
– Sultry Steamy Reading
“This is world building at it’s best and delivered with understanding and flair that makes it a fine read.”
– The Romance Vault
“Action intense, burning the pages with explosive romance, and in my opinion topping the paranormal genre, Sacha and Lucas’ story is sure to hook you instantly.”
– Tome Tender
1. Slave to Sensation
1.5a “The Cannibal Princess” – free short story
1.5b “The Shower” – deleted scene
2. Visions of Heat
3. Caressed By Ice
3.5 “Miss Leozandra’s” – deleted scene
4. Mine to Possess
5 “A Conversation” – free short story
6. Hostage to Pleasure
6.5a “A Gift for Kit” ~ free short story
6.5b “Movie Night” – free short story
7. Branded By Fire
8. Blaze of Memory
9. “Christmas in the Kitchen” – free short story
10. Bonds of Justice
11. Play of Passion
11.5a “Wolf School” – deleted scene
12. “Clean and Dirty” – free short story
13. Kiss of Snow
13.5 “Stalking Hawke” – free short story
14. Tangle of Need
15. Heart of Obsidian
16. Shield of Winter
17. Shards of Hope
18. Allegiance of Honor (2016)
1. “Beat of Temptation” in An Enchanted Season
2. “Stroke of Enticement” in The Magical Christmas Cat
3. “Whisper of Sin” in Burning Up
4. Wild Invitation (featuring Beat of Temptation, Stroke of Enticement, Declaration of Courtship, and Texture of Intimacy)
5. “Secrets At Midnight” in Night Shift
6. Wild Embrace (2016)
Book 1: the Psy/Changeling series
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 co-existence, 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…
The Psy/Changeling series