I like me some smexy shifters and Jennifer Ashley’s series totally delivers. Mate Claimed features the Alpha of Shiftertown, Eric. I’d been eagerly awaiting Mate Claimed after the ending of Wild Cat and Mate Claimed didn’t disappoint.
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 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.
Eric is completely and totally Alpha. He just exudes power. He cares a great deal for all those under his care. Iona is only half shifter and has been passing as human since birth. In Ashley’s world, shifters are known, but are feared by humans and wear a collar to help “tame” them and are forced to live in communes. Iona and her family have hid what she is in an attempt to let her live a normal, human life. But, Iona’s shifter side isn’t being as cooperative, a fact Eric takes notice of. He’s bound and determined to keep her safe.
Now, Mate Claimed would be pretty boring if all we’re reading about is Eric’s attempts to convince Iona to come live in Shiftertown and be his mate. So of course there is more to the story going on. Ashley throws in some twists and turns that keeps the pacing quick. There’s some other weird things going on–a bit of a mystery to keep interest piqued. While this new mystery doesn’t really add much to the action within Mate Claimed, I would venture to say it is important for the next installment of the series. These things are happening to just Eric at the moment. Iona is the only one who can help soothe Eric when these “things” happen. But they have to find out the source of what is going on before Eric is in a position that could kill him. So, I’m wondering if the only one who’ll be affected will be Eric or will these things start happening to the other shifters as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mate Claimed. I know it may not seem like it since I tend to gush and gush when I really enjoy a novel. But, Mate Claimed has so much going on that either I’m just going to give you a re-cap (and that’s no fun) and spoil the whole book or well, give you boring facts about Eric and Iona. I will say that at times Iona kind of grated. I get it, she grew up human and has seen how crappy shifters are treated by non-shifters. I’d be really reluctant to be on board with just uprooting my entire life, potentially putting my family in danger for keeping a secret and entering a life where you’re second class, if that. But, her stubbornness and hesitance sometimes seemed kind of melodramatic. I can get wanting some space and time to figure things out. But outright denying how much you were changing…well these are not changes that are so easily ignored since they’re quite physical at times. Not to mention the paradigm shift in how you perceived the world (enhanced smell, strength, hearing etc).
If you’re a fan of the series, I promise you will really like Mate Claimed. If you’re new to the series, I’d probably suggest at least reading 1 or 2 of the other novels/novellas to get a feel. By this time the world building is complete and you’ve met most of the characters (though a bunch of new ones are introduced here). It is a PNR so you could probably get away without having the rest, but why deny yourself some really hot shifter men? *G*