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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Claimed by Elle Kennedy

Seriously, only Elle Kennedy could get me to dip into the Dystopian sub-genre of romance again.

Format: Bound Copy (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: October 6, 2015

After a devastating war decimated most of the world, Hudson Lane has only known the oppressive life under her own father’s tyranny. She finally escapes, branding herself an outlaw and hunted by the Enforcers. Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.

As the leader of a band of outlaw fighters, Connor can’t resist the beautiful stranger who asks for his protection. Despite his reservations, he agrees to introduce her to a whole new way of life. But when Connor discovers Hudson’s connection to the enemies of liberty, he wonders how far he can trust the woman who has abandoned all inhibitions to challenge every forbidden desire

Hudson Lane has only known what it’s like to be oppressed by others. Her father was a tyrant, her once kind brother may be headed down the same path and now because of her father, Hudson is left with no other choice to escape the compound she lives in and brand herself an outlaw. With Enforcers ruthlessly hunting her in order to bring her back, Hudson’s only chance to survive in a war torn world is Connor Mackenzie, a man just as dangerous as those hunting her.

The reluctant leader of a band of outlaws, Connor doesn’t trust anyone, much less a secretive woman who is all but begging for his protection. It isn’t long before the two are fighting and losing to the intensely wicked attraction between them but when her secret comes out, it shakes the unstable connection that Connor and Hudson had barely begun to acknowledge.

I’m not really a Dystopian romance reader but dang did this one hook me! But I shouldn’t be surprised since Elle Kennedy excels as character driven stories.

This book is merciless. Much like the hero Connor Mackenzie. Connor oozes sexual energy. He’s the kind of character you sit up and take notice of. Connor’s raw masculinity is hard to ignore, much less contain and he is a woman’s man so innocent little girls need not apply here. He’s what dirty dreams are made of ladies. But he’s also a fiercely protective leader underneath all that “I don’t give a sh*t” attitude. He’ll fight to the death against the oppressive forces that hunt them all but he also walks around wearing a cloak of grief so thick it seemed impossible to penetrate.

Hudson was in a difficult position. She had no choice but to flee the only life she’d ever known and now she found herself drawn to a man that should be her enemy. Worse, she started to believe in his cause and became attached to his motley crew of outlaws. She never really began to live until she joined Connor’s group. She really found herself outside the city and that put her at odds with what she knew growing up. Between her and Connor, I felt she had the biggest internal battle and she stood to lose the most. I was on pins and needles for the whole book wondering when the figurative sh*t would hit the fan and when it did, whoa. Poor Hudson.

Claimed is a very sexual book so I wasn’t surprised that Connor and Hudson’s relationship was pure sex in the beginning, including some light ménage scenes with another man, but the romance was strictly M/F between Connor and Hudson.

This was also Hudson’s sexual awakening and journey from an oppressed woman to a woman who enjoys what life has to offer, when it is offered because there’s no guarantee of a tomorrow. Lust seems to be the main motivator for all the characters. Whether it’s a lust for freedom, power, money, or sex, it takes all the characters on one hell of a journey and by the end I was left wanting to know more about all of Connor’s group but most of all, Hudson’s brother who isn’t quite the monster he’s believed to be.

Connor’s motley crew has plenty of potential to be lead characters if this series becomes a long running one. I sincerely hope it does too because it’s an addictive world with emotionally damaged and dangerous characters which means they’re really interesting characters.

Final Verdict: Claimed is a journey into a dark world filled with blood, sweat, tears and hot, filthy sex. The faint of heart are warned, there are no “closed doors” or “fade to black” scenes here. Elle Kennedy makes no apologies for her characters’ sexual antics and she shouldn’t either. This is an adult book with adult scenes that will stay with you and leave you breathless.

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