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Duncan (Vampires in America, #5)
D.B. Reynolds
Slave to Sensation - Nalini Singh Fear.

I’m so gonna continue with this series and do a complete Psy-Changeling marathon. I remember having this in my Kindle years ago, but left it DNF after the first chapter because it there is so much lust-filled moment from the beginning. I thought the hero and heroine are going to jump each other bone once they were alone. Is one of my pet peeves to read about insta-love or what we call it insta-lust. Now that I tried to see past the awkward start of the story, I found out how wrong I'd been, I wanted to punch myself for not continue this book earlier.

This can be consider both a paranormal and dystopia at the same time. The story was set in the distant future of 2079, Psy is the advance community that felt no emotion. They are cold, distant and efficient. Imagine clones. The black sheep among them is Sascha Duncan, who unable to manifest any great Psy talent besides of the menial telekinetic capability. The fact that she felt some minute emotion at all is a great risk to her life. Damaged or Psy that doesn't conform to the norm will be sentences to Rehabilitation, a situation worse than death itself. Sascha is used hide her emotion behind the walls she erect around herself to keep herself safe from scrutiny.

Lucas Hunter is the alpha of Dark River’s pack. They are a group of tight-knit leopards that value family, love and loyalty. Is a direct opposite of Psy’s believes. Lucas met Sascha when both party decided to collaborate for a real estate project. Both sides have their own ulterior motives for the collaboration. Obviously, the real estate job is just a front. The pack is investigating on a serial killer case that is targeting the changeling’s women. They believe the killer is a Psy and the Psy Council is harboring the killer.

During Sascha’s time interacting with Lucas and his pack, she grows to understand the changeling way of life. She envies the changeling that can freely show their emotion and emulates imperfection. They love, they care and they will die protecting each other.

Lucas knew that Sascha is different from other Psy. He doesn’t understand why he felt drawn to her and wanted to get to know the woman behind the facade. While Sascha is trying to maintain her cold bitch exterior, Lucas is trying to crumble her defenses and worm his way into her heart.

To say that their relationship is doom from the start is an understatement. Their people hate each other and the fact that the Psy killer targeting the changeling women doesn't help the matter. The Pack want blood and justice and Lucas wants to keep her safe. Meanwhile, Sascha felt her faith torn. Should she help the Pack or the Council? She is a Psy, she needs to stand by her own people. There is no way she can escape her fate. No one able to leave the PsyNet and live to tell the tale.

“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.”

Lucas is exactly what an alpha should be. He is fiercely protective of his people. He rises to the top by sheer determination and admirable strength. We learned about his background, his relationship with his Pack members; how he became who he is today and why he is so determine to keep Sascha despite everything stood against their union. Most of the time he appear carefree and playful as a cat should be with Sascha, he is an overall people person, but when threats surrounds them he is an alpha to the core.

“You belong to me. End of story.”

The world building is simply brilliant. There is a mixture of paranormal element with the presence of changeling that is very similar to shapeshifter that we used to read. Then there is the presence of Psy, the community that embraces perfection and neutralizes imperfection among their people. The way the PsyNet portrays make me think of Matrix, where their minds travel within the intricate web of information.

Besides the all consuming and self sacrifice romance that we witness blossom between Sascha and Lucas, the mystery behind the death of the changeling women is also part of an engaging suspense that kept us guessing till the end. This is such a great start for of a new series. Now that I had an understanding of all the parties involves I can’t wait to read about every single one of them in depth. The character that fascinated me most is Hawke, the alpha of the SnowDancer. I can’t wait for his story.

Leaning forward, she brushed her lips against his, wishing for just another hour, another minute, another lifetime. “Thank you for teaching me how to live.”