Review: The Claimed

Reviewed by Jen

I had a little trouble connecting at the beginning of this book. I have read The Lost, so I was familiar with how the world was set up.  But it’s been several months and the world-building was a little murky as I tried to get back into the series.  Our characters are a species similar to human, but more.  They can gather –and in some cases, distribute– energies from each other, from humans, and from nature.  There are two factions, the Light Hunters and the Dark, and they are at war.  The Dark take energies from humans and many years ago that energy infected them with a pox and stained their auras.  They are the bad guys… mostly.  Like I said, it’s kind of murky.

Our heroine is Victoria, a leader for her (Light) clan, who takes her energies from the water.  She was promised as a child to marry Adam, the hero of the last book who married someone else.   Victoria is ok with the fact that her arranged marriage isn’t happening. She wants a love match.  But her body is reaching its mating stage and she must find a suitable partner soon, to help ensure the future of her race.

Christopher is the son of Alexander, the last book’s villain.  He is working to heal his fellow Dark brethren by returning to the old ways of feeding for his race.  His group of followers does not feed from humans and almost all traces of the pox are gone.  He crosses paths with Victoria as they both happen across a boating accident.  They work together to heal an injured human and they are attracted to each other immediately.

Once we get into the romance part of the book, it really gets easier to enjoy.  There’s a great forbidden element to the growing relationship between Christopher and Victoria.  Both are leaders who want to protect their people, but neither can ignore their feelings and attraction for one another.  Each has someone in their own faction working against them, which ratchets up the tension and the danger.  But I really liked watching their tentative steps toward one another.  The sexual tension is great.  And I love the way the sex is done.  It’s hot in a regular sense, but with all the “extra” elements of their species, it goes a step beyond.

I liked both main characters.  They were really a great deal alike.  Both are dedicated to their people, but with visions for a better future.  There are also some strong supporting characters and I have my fingers crossed that the next book will feature Victoria’s friend Sammie and Christopher’s captain, Ryan.  And as for that world-building — the longer I read, the more I acclimated to it.  So that by the second half, I was firmly entrenched.  After the slow start, I ended up liking it quite well.  Once you can wrap your brain around the bigger picture, it’s a good story, filled with action and romance. I do recommend that you read The Lost first.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Claimed
by Caridad Pineiro
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review: The Lost

Reviewed by Jen

Adam Bruno is no ordinary man.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t know exactly what he is.  As a child, some traumatic event robbed him of his memories.  The only family he has is Salvatore, the adopted father who raised him.  But even Salvatore is wary of his powers.  Adam manipulates energy; he can siphon it from other living things; he can direct it outward; he can even shapeshift.  But there is a growing disquiet within him. Something is missing and he feels a void that he doesn’t know how to fill.

We learn early on that Salvatore is planning to betray his adopted son.  He cares for Adam, but he has big plans for his son’s gifts. Salvatore has made contact with Alexander, a man who has similar powers to Adam.  Both men, for their own reasons, want Adam to mate with a woman of his own kind in order to create a new generation of power.

While all these machinations are going on, Bobbie enters Adam’s life with the force of a hurricane. She is an Iraq war vet, who is recovering from serious injuries. But she still helps thwart a kidnapping attempt on Adam when she sees it happening. There is instant chemistry between these two.  And while Bobbie has never believed herself to be anything other than human, Adam sees more within her.

Both Adam and Bobbie are terrified of opening themselves up to anyone else.  Adam is afraid of his powers and the damage they can do.  Bobbie needs to hide all of her scars, both inside and out. Yet, they forge a fragile relationship… one that grows as the book progresses.

It took me a little while to invest in the story.  Several characters are introduced in a very short time and there is extensive world-building surrounding Adam’s people.  And honestly, I struggled at times to keep everyone straight.  But despite that, Caridad Pineiro created two main characters that were very sympathic and I found myself rooting for their happy ending.  It’s always a peeve of mine when a couple throws out the “L”-word after only a few days together –and unfortunately that was the case here. However, I did enjoy the love scenes and the way they transcend traditional sex.  Overall… I liked it, but I didn’t love it.  3 1/2 stars.

P.S. Check out the book trailer:

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

The Lost
by Caridad Pineiro
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Forever