Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh, deserves inclusion here for its powerful mix of sharp-edged world-building and intense romance. In a near-future San Francisco, where rigidly unemotional Psy and animal-ruled Changelings have come to an uneasy alliance, passion in the mind-linked Psy is forbidden, and horrifically punished. Sascha Duncan, a highborn Psy, is struggling against the emotions she is not supposed to feel, emotions that will be brutally punished if they are discovered. When she meets the devastatingly sexy Changeling Lucas Hunter, both man and panther, the danger skyrockets. When a serial killer begins to prey on Changelings, the two are thrown together to track down the Psy murderer. Sexy, crisp, hard-edged and intelligent, Slave to Sensation is a terrific book that begins a new series from Singh. Colorado writer Barbara Samuel won a 2006 RITA Award for her novel Lady Luck's Map of Vegas (Ballantine).

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