Review posted on Kindles & Wine
I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on all things erotic. But I do know what I like in erotica, I know what I like in romance, and I can honestly say that I loved this book. This may have some erotic elements and more Sexy Time than your average romance, but I think that Claim Me is a book that will speak to anyone looking for an intense love affair.
Claim Me is an incredible book! It has such an intense relationship between the hero and heroine that I dare you not to fall head over heels into this story.
The heroine is Nikki Fairchild. She’s a grown woman that had a pretty crappy childhood, which has obviously shaped her adulthood. Nikki developed some unhealthy coping mechanisms, mostly cutting. She hasn’t cut herself in years but the thought of doing it is never far from her mind. Any time there is turmoil in her life, she thinks about it. Weirdly, that is one of the things that I like and dislike about her. It sucks that she used to do this, but the fact that she refrains from hurting herself now shows what strength she has and how much she’s grown. Nikki feels her emotions so strongly it’s no wonder this book is so intense!
Another reason I really liked Nikki is because she just keeps plugging away no matter what. Paparazzi hurling hurtful questions? Shove through the crowd and get inside or away from them. Her boss is a disgusting letch? Get a new job! Get laid off? Get a different new job! I mean, nothing keeps this chick down! I like seeing a career-minded woman in books like this, especially when her job becomes part of the narrative. We all have jobs, right? Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom and get paid in chocolatey kisses or you work outside the home and get paid in cold, hard cash, we all realize that our jobs have an effect on our home lives. So to write a story where a woman’s job isn’t clearly identified and fleshed out is just beyond the realm of my ability to set aside reality. Luckily, in Claim Me, Nikki’s jobs and, more importantly, her career aspirations are an important part of her story and she doesn’t set those aside because a man steps into her life. Oh, one last thing that I have to gush about Nikki: I really love how she’s swept away whenever Damien is around. I imagine it would be exhausting to be that amped up and horny all the time, but it seems to work for Nikki. It’s so much fun to be caught up in Damien along with her!
Speaking of Damien Stark…oh-la-la! I love this man! Sure, he’s a mega-rich venture capitalist and inventor. Sure, he’s an über-famous ex-tennis player with tabloids and legitimate newspapers tracking his every move. He is every man you’ve ever fantasized about and then some! But he’s also complicated and, well, just delicious! He’s so romantic and surprises Nikki with spur of the moment getaways, which are always fabulous.
Even if you didn’t read Release Me(Book 1), you’ll quickly realize that Damien has secrets. I think that his secrets are part of the reason Nikki isn’t quite sure where her relationship with Damien stands. This is a common theme in novels that have a hero who is beyond wealthy and has a complicated or dark past. Our heroine wants more, doesn’t know where she stands, and is hesitant to ask for more. Claim Me has this theme, but I think that this author does a better job than anyone else has with it. She humanizes Damien in a way that I haven’t read or experienced before with other damaged heroes. Somehow, you can feel that Damien wants to be closer to Nikki…he just has no idea how to do it. And the more that Damien reveals about himself, the more I liked him.
Overall, I loved this book! Nikki and Damien have some major breakthroughs but they also have some serious setbacks in their relationship. The Sexy Time is VERY plentiful but it’s pretty vanilla—no kink or whips and chains, so no need to worry about that. In fact, I think I enjoyed this story so much that the Sexy Time was just extra stuff. Can you believe I’m saying that?! I can’t, but it’s true! I’m so hooked on these characters and I’m invested in how they work through their issues. Plus, now I’m intrigued about what happens with a couple of minor characters – Nikki’s friends Ollie and Jamie (I think that Ollie is going to do something bad in Book 3, but that’s just my own paranoia coming out). One thing is for sure: I’m going to have a VERY hard time waiting for Book 3 to come out!
I hope I’ve made it clear, but in case I haven’t, I LOVED THIS BOOK! The combination of plentiful Sexy Time and characters that I’ve come to love has made this one of my favorite books (and series) of all time. You don’t really need to read Book 1 before reading Claim Me, but they both are amazing so why wouldn’t you?? If you liked E.L. James or Sylvia Day's entries in this genre, you’ll definitely like this one…except J. Kenner'sStark Trilogy blows everyone else’s out of the water.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley