• Characters
  • Plot
  • Writing Style
  • Heat

By Cammie Eicher
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Release Date: April 2012
Length: 48,800

Chiana McFain is a tough as nails, no-holds-barred senior agent with Guardian Security, assigned to trace and dispose of hell rats, rogue vampires and other paranormal creatures. But she goes from hunter to hunted in a matter of seconds after a ghostly apparition touches her and brands her arm. Forced to face the reality that she’s only half-human, she reaches out to the only other person who knows she’s the daughter of a Valkyrie, the doctor who has developed a unique serum to hide her heritage from Odin himself.

Creed Davies cares about only one thing in life: Work. A free agent taking covert assignments from Guardian, he’s committed to protecting Chiana from the spirit warrior stalking her — or killing her himself to keep Odin from this world. Desperation leads him to use a Sumarian binding spell to keep her near and keep himself safe from the mood swings of a new, untested serum. A fierce dedication to duty drives him to take any means necessary to save Chiana and his own soul.

I really, really wanted to love this book. It has a great premise and the promise of a kick-ass heroine, lots of action, and a unique paranormal world. And to some extent, I really did like to book. The characters are pretty well developed and the actual story line was pretty interesting. The thing that held me back from loving the book though was the constant ping-ponging back and forth between different characters points of view. I was constantly just getting into a section of the story and the action was starting to get rolling, when the author would switch the channel to another character and a different story arc. This back-and-forth kept jerking me out of the story and my brain just got fatigued after the first 1/2 of the book. After that, I just could never really get into the story because I was constantly getting pulled out by the different points of view. If the POV weren’t so totally contrasting, I think it might have been more effective.

As for the promised high-action drama–it just sort of fizzled. There was a lot of hurry up and wait in this story. And my kick-ass heroine turned out to be more of a foot stomping diva. She was constantly just caving in to the alpha hero. Yes, he’s alpha, but that doesn’t mean she just has to shut-up and accept everything he says and does. And it certainly doesn’t mean that he gets free rein to run her life with no input from her. When the author does let her speak for herself, it comes across more as whining that she can take care of herself (although she shows no evidence of that for most of the story). And as far as the romance between the two of them, I really didn’t believe any of it, especially after his little spell trick. There is little to no sexual tension between the two of them. You know, the kind that makes you want to just yell at the book—”Just kiss her/him already!” That doesn’t exist for these two. It’s almost as if they got together because they were thrown together, but without any of the pull that makes you think they will stick it out.

The actual story line itself had some pretty interesting world-building and the paranormal twist with Odin and the Valkyries showed a lot of promise. But the shifting POV and the fizzling action and romance just detracted too much for me to love the book they way I really wanted to. All-in-all, Claimed turned out to be more promise than delivery.

Reviewed By: Breezy