Favorite Lines: “He took a step back, shed his jacket, and stripped off his shirt. “Feast on me,” he said.” (p. 192, e-galley)
Eric Warden knows that half-Shifter wildcat Iona is passing for human, living without a Collar in the human world. He also knows that if she does not acknowledge her Shifter nature and her mating hunger, it could kill her. Iona finds the mysterious and dangerous Eric, a wildcat and leader of his Shiftertown, haunting her dreams, but she vows never to “come out” and take the Collar, fearing backlash against her mother and sister for hiding the fact that she’s Shifter. But Eric is a compelling Shifter male, and Iona’s hunger calls to him.
Jennifer Ashley is back with her paranormal romance series which often features well endowed male shapeshifters. Along with full length novels Ashley has published a couple of novellas that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Book four, Mate Claimed, in her Shifters Unbound series follows Eric Warden, the leader of a shiftertown who has found a half-wildcat shifter posing as human. That shifter is so much more though. She is his potential mate if she can let go of her human disguise long enough to take a chance at happiness.
Love:One of the things I enjoyed about Mate Claimed was watching the heroine try to avoid the happily ever after trap. She knew she lusted after a man to the point where her body throbbed around him, but she didn’t want it to mean more. She fought the insta-mate connection in a world where she would have been stigmatized. No it wasn’t love that would do it, but the revelations that love would bring about. Iona’s was never registered as a shifter and shifters are being threatened. People often change in love, unfortunately revealing a secret to the world isn’t the easiest thing to do.
Characters: Old and new characters emerge in this new installment. Readers of Wild Cat get to see its couple as time passes and we get to meet a new type of shifter, as well as some pretty killable bad guys. The villains aren’t the evil bad guys that I normally love to hate, they’re the bureaucratic type that I can’t seem to get away from lately. Both the hero and heroine are stubborn yet steady characters.
Plot: The government is merging shifter towns while purposely ignoring the issues that come with a society set up upon dominance. This is an issues that touches on more than money and the shifters will have to keep their noses clean to scent the hidden agenda.
Overall: Mate Claimed is a passion-filled, solid romance book and a nice addition to the paranormal romance world. However, don’t see myself re-reading often, if at all. I read the story quickly without forming any emotional attachment to the characters. There was only one character I wanted to know more about and I’m happy to get my way as he is book five’s, Tiger Magic, hero. That book will be released in June of 2013. In the end, I liked Mate Claimed, but I enjoyed the novella Hard Mated better.