Review: Claimed by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze

Where did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher

Release date: Out now

Blurb taken from Harlequin’s official website:

Following a dream brought Josie Keller to Shoshone, Wyoming. Following her heart brought her plenty of great sex with good-time cowboy Jack Chance! She was head over heels for him… until he left her.

Stay with one woman? Not a chance! Then why does Jack miss Josie like crazy? Had their relationship been more than just incredible sex?

Little do Josie and Jack know that a plan’s afoot to get them back in the saddle…together. And once there, it’s not long before they’re burning up the bedsheets again!

But the past is never far away. Before it catches up with them, Jack has to decide if he’s going to stake his claim on Josie, or lose her forever….

Josie and Jack were a couple that were in the full throes of passion and fun before everything changed. When Jack’s father dies in a car accident, Jack leaves Josie because of the overwhelming guilt he feels, because instead of agreeing to go with his father to pick up a new filly, Jack tells him no so he can stay with Josie.

10 months have passed since Jack left Josie, and she still hasn’t gotten over the heartbreak as she was very much in love with him. Her big brother, Alex, arrives and is staying with her as he has relationship troubles himself after divorcing his wife.

To Josie’s surprise, a very inebriated Jack turns up at her place after his brother’s urging. Jack gets all territorial when he thinks that Alex is Josie’s new boyfriend, and proceeds to punch Alex in the face. Josie – after getting over the surprise and stops her protective brother from beating Jack black and blue – offers Jack a ride home when she sees he has no lift. But this is not the last time they will see each other. Jack’s brother is getting married, and he’s asked Jack to be the best man. There’s one slight problem though: Josie is the maid of honour, and she needs to learn to ride a horse for the wedding. And who else is best to teach her other than Jack with his meddlesome family’s urging.

I found Claimed to be a light hearted and pleasant read, but there’s not a lot of emotion in the book, and there’s no oomph in this story that made it stand out. Josie acted very nicely towards Jack and she was pretty decent to him – even though he behaved like such a jerk – and she never behaved other than in a dignified manner towards him. The problem I had was after hurting her the way he did, and professing to not get involved with Jack again because there would be too much hurt, she sees one look at his sexy body, and she’s back having sex with him despite knowing that he hasn’t changed at all, and he still doesn’t share his emotions and feelings.

The sex scenes were written well, and the time when they were sneaking out with one another while learning to ride were light fun sexy scenes, but I don’t think that the plot device was strong enough to carry the story through. I also didn’t understand Jack’s misplaced guilt of his father dying because no way could he have for seen what would happen.

Josie and Jack have their sexual relationship with both not thinking about where it would be taking them, and it’s not until Josie realises this and suddenly tells Jack that unless he opens up, she won’t be in his life any more. This jarred me because she knew beforehand what he was like, and knew that he had not changed.

The ending of the story does pick up, and Jack finally lets his guard down, but it was done too quickly for my taste. He declares his love to Josie, and it’s a happily ever after. Claimed is a quick pleasant read, but it’s not an exciting story packed with emotion. I was more interested in Alex’s character, but I’m not sure I would be tempted to read his book if it’s in the same tone as this book.

I give Claimed a C-.

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