Saturday, February 28, 2015

Claimed by Evangeline Anderson (Review)

Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1)
Adult, Romance, Sci-fi
Publication.Date  February 9th, 2011
Published By:  E.A. Publishing
WebsiteEvangeline Anderson

Claimed on Goodreads
My review copy:Bought

Where to get:

Brides of the Kindred Book One—Claimed

Olivia Waterhouse has just graduated from nursing school and has her whole life ahead of her—until she gets drafted. Problem is, she isn’t being forced into the Army, she’s been chosen as a Kindred bride.

The Kindred are huge alien warriors—a race of genetic traders whose population is ninety-five percent male. After saving Earth from the threat of invasion they demand a reward—the right to find brides among the population. The chances of being chosen are about the same as those of winning the lottery—guess it’s just Liv’s lucky day.

Baird is a Beast Kindred who recently escaped imprisonment and torture at the hands of the malevolent Scourge. Through the torment and pain only one thing kept him sane—the thought of finding and claiming his bride—Olivia. His need to possess her is a burning intensity that threatens to consume them both.

Angry at having her future and her family taken away from her, Liv vows to fight back the only way she can—by resisting. She has one month on the Kindred Mothership with Baird—their claiming period. If she can keep from having bonding sex with him during that time, she can go home and get on with her life on Earth.

But Baird isn’t going to make it easy for her. Every week he is allowed to touch Liv more and more intimately and according to the contract she signed, she has to let him. She’s determined to resist him but his touch sets her on fire. And just as she thinks she knows what she wants, a twist of fate and an attack by the faceless Scourge AllFather changes everything…


He's happy because he loves me whispered a thought in her head. For some reason it made Liv smile dreamily. It was true, he loved her. Out of all the women on Earth--and all the women in the universe--his mind had aligned itself with hers and hers alone.
Because in her new dreams the huge man with black hair and golden eyes was looking for someone--searching tirelessly. And somehow she knew that the person he was searching for was her.
"Easy, Lilenta." The deep voice from her dreams filled her ears and Liv told herself she had to be dreaming again. But was she dreaming the warm, spicy scent of his skin? Was she dreaming the long fingers that stroked strands of hair away from her cheek so tenderly?
"I pledge to you with my body and soul," he said, looking intently into her eyes. "I will live every day for you and sleep every night by your side. If need be, I will die to protect you. You are my heart."

The premise of this book is right up my alley. It's a fun, fresh take on soulmates--and goodness knows how I love soulmates. And not only are there soulmates, but the male MC looks like one I'd like, too. A warrior, but also a pretty big softy when it comes to his bride. All signs pointed to me LOVING this book. But...I didn't. I did, however, like this book. I did enjoy it. 

Liv is the female MC, and she's human. She's been "chosen" (not really chosen, because neither she or he have any control over this) by Baird to be his Kindred bride. Their minds aligned (through this thing called dream sharing that sounded like it could be fun...I think? More on this later) and then Baird claimed her. Liv, understandably, is incredibly opposed to this. She has a life, she has a sister and friends, and she does not want to just throw that all away to live with some random alien dude in space. Honestly, I found a lot of Liv's arguments valid (though a few of them were too much). She has a right to not be okay with the situation. I didn't have much problem with her arguments. Her personality, on the other hand, didn't always mix well with me. Sometimes she was fine. But other times, her jokes fell flat or I just...wasn't into her. She didn't get on my nerves and I didn't hate her, but I wasn't quite fond of Liv, either.

Baird, however, gets so much love from me. He's on the other side of everything. She's resisting, and he's wishing he wouldn't. She's doing her best to end the whole thing, and he's doing the best he can to make it work. I understand Liv's side, but I hurt for Baird's side. He wasn't arrogant and demanding--he was sweet and kind. He made it clear what he wanted, but he never took more than Liv wanted to give. Even though he could have bonded with Liv so many times, he waited until she was honestly ready. Because he does love her and respect her. And THAT makes me love and respect him beyond measure.

This story was written in third person POV, and it switches between Baird, Liv, Sylvan (Baird's half-brother), and Sophia (Liv's twin sister). I was totally on board for switching between Baird and Liv. Getting both their perspectives on things really helped me get a grand view of how they both felt throughout the story. But I wasn't a huge fan of Sylvan and Sophie's POVs being added in. They weren't too important--though some of the world info was given this way--and it was obvious set up for book 2. I don't mind one book getting ready for another, but I dislike when it's OBVIOUS. Because then I get taken out of the story I'm in. It's kind of distracting.

The writing in general was good. I was incredibly into the story. I got to know the characters well. And the parts that were supposed to be tense or hot or sad or...any other emotion were definitely portrayed in the way they were intended. What I didn't like, though, was some of the world building. We got lots of information on some things, a sufficient amount of information on other things, and then sometimes we'd get minimal information. Sometimes that was okay. I didn't really want to know more. But other times, I DID want to know. Dream sharing, for instance. I found that concept intriguing. I'd love to have actually seen a dream share. I would have loved to have gotten more information on the topic. But there wasn't too much in this book. For some concepts it was like that. There's so much cool stuff in the world and we don't have time to describe everything in detail, I know. But when it's something as integral as dream sharing... I really wanted to know!

The romance had its sweet moments and it had its...low moments. As a couple, I loved Baird and Liv. But they could play some serious hot and cold. When they weren't arguing, these two were great. Fantastic. Cute, sweet, smexy. I ship it all day every day. But when they WERE arguing, I just wanted them to stop. I don't feel like we got enough time with them actually together, Baird being charming and Liv NOT resisting. (Baird was charming most of the novel, Liv resisting is what I wished there was more without.) There were definitive moments where their relationship made my heart flutter. When Baird tried to make her pizza, for one. They had some cute moments that I loved. And the romance honestly wasn't bad. As I said, I ship it hard.

The ending... I'm not going to give anything away. I'm just going to say that it felt forced. Which it probably was, because it was trying to summarize things while setting up for the next book. But still, I noticed. I love how things turned out for the couple, and I so look forward to seeing them more as the series continues.

Overall, while Claimed wasn't as amazing as I'd hoped it would be, I still liked it. The book was enjoyable, the premise something I am definitely on board for, and I without a doubt plan to continue the series. If you like the soulmate idea and alpha males, I DO recommend this one. It truly is a fun take on soulmates, and the story is enjoyable even with its flaws. Definitely a series to pursue, in my opinion (and I plan to pursue it myself, so yay!).

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