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…
In a possible future the people of Earth have discovered that there is indeed intelligent life in space and unfortunately not all of it is friendly. The Scourge is a race that seeks to conquer and their enemy the Kindred has offered to help protect Earth with their advanced technology, but there's a catch! The various types of Kindred each search for that one woman who would complete them and their terms are simply this...all single young women agree to meet and spend thirty days with a Kindred warrior who wishes to claim them and if they bond, then the female is claimed.
As this story begins, we meet Olivia who keeps dreaming of a huge male but gets the shock of her life when she is drafted as a possible bride. Oh yes, you've guessed it, the man of her dreams is Baird, a Beast Kindred warrior, who has only just recently survived the Scourge and their torture. Olivia has no intention of staying with Baird but reluctantly agrees to spend the allotted thirty days aboard his ship getting to know him. The Kindred have a uniquely erotic way of discovering how compatible they are and Olivia's willpower is about to be put to the test. Baird has no doubt they belong together but the fiercely independent Olivia struggles against all her instincts to resist, but sometimes resistance is futile!
I first read this book a couple of years ago and it got me hooked on sci-fi romances. I've seen many others who write in this genre but somehow they never quite compare. Claimed started my personal erotic journey and listening to it now that it's finally available on audio, was quite a revelation. I'd always thought maybe Olivia was a little irritating at times, but hearing the spin the narrator put on it just confirmed how much growth she went through as the story progressed. It was clearly a huge dilemma for Olivia, as on the one hand she has a twin she loves back on Earth, not to forget also a career as a nurse. Then she also has the very real connection with Baird, who let's face it is one very tempting hunk of manhood! Baird is both patient and yet exasperated by her at times and yet his primary focus is always Olivia's comfort and safety and you know what, he is a bit of a sweetie! Add in alien technology, unusual food and of course the odd (make that very odd!) creature and this is a very entertaining story.
Now this was my first ever listen to an audio book so I should say a little about my experience. I knew it would be a female narrator but it still took me a little while to get used to the voice. I think that's possibly because I am English and not from the other side of the pond, but once my ear adjusted, shall we say, I was fine. I thought she did a very good job on distinguishing between the various characters voices and enjoyed the way her voice range altered as needed. I do read fast so listening to the spoken word was a much slower experience than I had anticipated but I found myself able to enjoy the story whilst going through my daily routine and chopping vegetables has never been so pleasurable! I think I must be somewhat sheltered though as when certain words were spoken initially I found myself shocked and that surprised me. I'm used to reading all sorts of colourful language but just not hearing it! My reaction is quite funny really and maybe an indicator that I should keep trying to broaden my horizons and try more audio books.
If you seek a passionate story to make you tingle then Ms Anderson always delivers in spades. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and always recommend this series to my friends who enjoy a little sexy escapism. Whether you read it for yourself or listen to it, if you want a journey you will not forget then get this book!