I chose to read it at this point in time as the first book in my personal Blood Lust challenge, in which I am reading four books with the same title back to back. It was, however, an awkward place to start as it turns out it’s a compilation of three books, Kept, Claimed, and Mated.
While the writing was passable (though the editing could use a little attention) what the author considers a satisfying romance differs significantly from mine. In fact, I’m fairly sure they’re diametric opposites. As a result, I hated the female leads in each of these stories and was wholly disgusted by the situations the author placed them in to be rescued by the heroes. They’re all victims who can’t seem to control their own impulses. These are the sort of ‘romances’ I think do nothing more than support an abusive romanticisation of patriarchal norms and expectations, i.e. normalizes control and subjugation of women. Yuck. To each their own, of course, but not at all for me. I’ve gone ahead and written individual reviews for Kept, Claimed and Mated.
… The enemy of my enemy is my lover. Is that how it goes?
No one should have to be on the run from their family. Family is who you can trust, right? Dark magic users are the ones on the don’t trust list. Yet, when Greta learns the werecat tribe plans to sacrifice her on the full moon to steal her potent magical blood, she ditches common sense in favor of running to the one man who can protect her. Will Dayne kill her as he has so many others of her kind, or is his grudge against her family strong enough to save her?
This book is gross. Instead of a review, I’m just going to post my Kindle highlights here. You’ll have to excuse the grammar, as typing on it is a pain in the behind, but I think my opinion of this work will come through.
Greta leaped off the table and scurried out the cat door.
Note: She shifts into a house cat. how lame.
He had to restrain himself as Greta took the milk from the fridge and drank it straight from the carton.
Note: She wouldn’t do that in a stranger’s house, let alone someone she wasn’t comfortable with.
A few drops of the creamy white liquid dribbled around the sides of the carton and down her chin and long neck. She arched back, and some of the milk dripped down to dampen her shirt.
Note: too cliche and cheesy to be believed
The next day he’d caught her in the basement rolling some of his herbs in rolling paper and smoking them. Then he realized it was catnip. He’d wanted to be angry. He had a few spells he needed that for and the good stuff was expensive, but she’d rolled around on the stone floor giggling like a maniac.
Then he’d grown hard as he’d watched her shift and sunbathe nude, still cursing the missed catnip opportunity.
Note: Why is she so free with her nudity in a house she’s supposed to not be comfortable in? She is otherwise shown to be modest.
She was in heat.
Note: oh, isnt that convieniant for moving the romance along? rolling eyes.
“I have to sleep with someone now,” she said. “If you don’t do it, I’ll have to find someone who will.”
Note: because women have no control over their sexual urges. isnt that why men always have to control their bodies and sexuality? rage
The kitty didn’t want foreplay.
Note: of course not, ’cause what woman would? proximity to a dick has always bern enough for women to be satisfied. -disgusted sarcasm
Instead, he went to the adjacent room, came back with rope, and tied her wrists to the bars.
Note: of course, not only does she beg and not expect foreplay, he’s going to take away her ability to even participate or protect herself. Bet all he has to do is shove it in and she’ll be happy. every MAN’S fantasy. too bad it’s a book predominantly for women. gag
He wanted to take it slow, not just rut like two mindless animals, but she wouldn’t let him.
Note: See, how is this appealing to WOMEN? This is like male directed porn. No need for emotions or effort on his part.
slid inside her. In that moment he felt one thing. Possession. This belonged to him. He felt it in the same primal way he felt magic when he’d followed the proper formulas.
Note: because having sex with a woman means you own her. so gross
She lurched off the bed as her orgasm took her, and he joined her.
Note: all he did was enter her!
When it was over, Greta’s face telegraphed equal parts shame and fear.
Note: of course, a woman must be ashamed of her own desire. could we hit one more detested cultural belief about women? and how do hormones dissipate so quickly from the body?
Without that crucial knowledge, he could have had a magical boo-boo of pyrotechnic proportions.
Note: boo-boo? no, just no
“Greta, look at me. You had a nightmare. There’s nothing here.”
Note: now she’s a child afraid of the bad dreams? This author really hitting all my rage buttons.
The pills had stalled the immediate need of the heat, but the adrenaline from her fear had caused her to weaken when his hands were on her.
Note: Of course, she needs an excuse. No woman is allowed her own genuine desire.
“Forgot what?” He didn’t know what she was apologizing for until he saw the signs of the heat. “I was supposed to take it after breakfast. And then you came in and distracted me.”
Note: again with an excuse for her own sexuality and would it really hit so fast after missing a dose by less than an hour?
She had no illusions he wanted to keep her around, and she didn’t want to sleep with him again if it was going to be just another meaningless ritual biology had set up as a physical act with no feeling.
Note: speaking of biology, wouldn’t being in heat mean she was also ovulating and fertile? don’t remember mention of a condom.
Anything so she wouldn’t have to make the choice to throw herself at him. Let him be the one on a conquest, not her.
Note: So she doesn’t even want to be responsible for her own actions.
Now her heart hurt to leave the man she kept finding herself in bed with.
Note: now TSTL jumping to conclusion and endangering herself so he can save her from her own stupid move. i hate that trope.
Tears teased the corners of her eyes. She wished Dayne hadn’t turned out to be evil. She could have imagined living here with him in his quiet cottage in the woods. It felt comfortable, like home.
Note: Of course, they had sex so she’s in lurve. Blerg.
And he and Greta fit together perfectly, in the carnal way.
Note: how would she know? Rutting seems all they’ve done.
“Okay, that’s enough,” she said as the strength in her voice returned.
Note: how did that strengthen her? she lost more blood.
She felt revulsion at the kindred feeling flowing between them as they shared not only blood now, but power.
Note: a little world-building to explain things like that would have been nice.
“Damn, woman, how many days does this go on?” “Couple of weeks sometimes. Was in a cage. No pills.”
Note: STILL with an excuse for wanting sex
She was sure she’d been a nice diversion, but he’d only agreed to let her stay until after the full moon, and she wasn’t about to show her naiveté by hoping for more.
Note: because obviously communication is a no go. Who would do that?
Practically every sexual encounter they’d had had amounted to pity sex. She couldn’t handle further pity or possible rejection. She’d become stupidly attached to him.
Note: based on what if she thinks it was just pity sex?
His hands started to stroke over her flesh and she relaxed and allowed her legs to fall open. A contented purr began to rumble through her chest. This was how Greta became kept.
Note: Yep, apparently a man just needs to touch a woman to have sex with her and once he has sex with her he owns her and she’ll be pleased about that. so gross a theme.
Anthony is cold, ruthless, undead, and hard to like. Yet, all it takes is one human with amnesia, to soften his heart. Ever since being bitten, Charlotte hasn’t been the same. More than anything, he wants to return to a time when she saw him for the man he is, instead of the monster she’s discovered. A time before she feared him.
In the midst of a power struggle for vampire king, it soon becomes clear that the only way to protect a fragile human in his care is to claim her as his mate. Meanwhile, his deepest wish is to have his lover awakened from the memory loss that took everything… not just the memories he meant to erase.
This was better than book one, Kept, in that I wasn’t totally disgusted by it. That’s an improvement, yeah? I still wouldn’t say it was very good. I can give a brief synopsis of the romantic plot. It goes something like this: “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. No, I don’t, I love you and want to be with you for eternity.”
It is exactly that well developed, with that much growth of feelings and emotions. I honestly have NO IDEA what Charlee is supposed to have fallen in love with in Anthony. He’s actually kind of sweet from his POV, but from Charlee’s he pretty much just stole her life and then, in the end, she decides she loves him for it. It makes no bloody sense at all.
My other big complaint is that, though the writing is ok, it’s just amazingly cheesy. The tournament was especially bad. There was no tension in is, just cheese. I actually like B-Rated sci-fi sometimes, but this wasn’t the sort that comes across as so bad it’s good. It was just basically weak.
There is also no sex. So if you’re looking for an erotic novel look elsewhere. This isn’t erotic and I think it fails as a romance too.
Be small. Be invisible. It’s an odd life mantra for a human woman in a world of monsters. But Jane’s blood contains a touch of vampire magic, making her their victim over and over. With her faster-than-normal healing time, she’s an ideal punching bag for the abusive vampire she’s been living with, the one she thought might protect her this time.
Paul owes a debt to the werewolf alpha, and Cole doesn’t care how he gets paid: flesh or coin. $10,000 or Jane? The human is a small price for the vampire to pay to be debt-free.
Cole is attractive and warm—so different from the coldness and death Jane has grown used to. If the werewolves didn’t have a worse reputation than the vampires, being taken by the alpha might feel like rescue, but Cole’s growing possessive nature, makes Jane fear he’ll only abuse her like the others. If he doesn’t, could becoming an alpha’s mate free her from the vampires for good?
Of the three books in the Blood Lust anthology, this was the best. But that’s not saying much. It still simply wasn’t very good…for most the same reasons as the previous story. There is simply no emotional development. Jane is being kept essentially hostage, she is angry about this and afraid of Cole and then from one paragraph to another she’s suddenly in love. Of course, you see it coming, because that’s what happens in this sort of book. But it’s still far from satisfying.
Also, there still isn’t any foreplay in the sex. She’s hot and bothered, begging, by virtue of simply being close to the man and all he has to do is shove it in for her to orgasm. So lacking in the erotic department.
But worst of all, the only character development that exists is in highlighting how very victimised Jane is. Nope, that’s not the sort of thing that makes me happy with a book. Even worse, Jane does all the cliché and predictable TSTL shit that I hate. All in all, she, and therefor the book, is a fail for me.