Claimed, by Evangeline Anderson

(Credit: Evangeline Anderson)

Now that I look back at this series, I wonder how I ever stumbled onto it. I think I must have been hastily trawling through the “Recommended for you” section on my Kindle at Frankfurt Airport in Germany just before my husband and I took off for Sydney. I like to have a wide selection of books on a plane, because when you’re cooped up in a tube of metal thousands of feet up in the air, you need variety to keep you distracted from the fact that if there’s a problem with said metal tube you’re probably cactus.

In this case, my entertainment system wasn’t working (it’s actually surprising how often this happens to me) so I was glad I had so many novels on my Kindle. It wasn’t until I made it a couple of pages into Evangeline Anderson’s Claimed, the first in her Brides of the Kindred novels, that I realised that I’d bought an erotic novel.

Erotica isn’t normally my scene and when you’re physically browsing for books, it’s easy to discard the ones with pictures of half-naked men on the front. However, it’s not so easy to see what is on the cover of a book on the Kindle (too small and black and white); when I sped read the description of Claimed, it sounded interesting — a sci-fi romance.

This series begins on earth with Olivia, who is having breakfast with friends when bureaucrats knock at her door and tell her she’s been “drafted”. Earth has been saved from an alien race called the Scourge by another alien race called the Kindred. In return for protection, all the Kindred ask is that some female Earthlings be provided as their brides. The race is 95 per cent female, which is why they’re so desperate for women. They’ve done the same thing on three different worlds before, which has created three different types of Kindred — beast, blood and twin Kindred. Each of the types is different, although we only really hear about how they’re different when they’re having sex. It is an erotic novel after all.

These brides are lifted to the Kindred mothership, where they remain for a month without contact to the planet. Each week, the Kindred who has chosen them as a bride will subject them to sexual temptation until they break and have bonding sex with the male, at which point they’re stuck with that man for life. Resisting the sexual temptation  is made particularly hard by the Kindred’s pheromones, which are specially tailored to the female in question.

Olivia doesn’t want to leave her life on Earth, so is determined to resist the Kindred who has come for her — Baird, one of the Beast Kindred. He, meanwhile, is head over heels in love with her and, although willing to give her space, is also desperate to get her to accept him. He’s had a hard time in his life, being captured by the Scourge and tortured on their fathership. The only thing that helped him through the experience was the thought of her (he had started to dream share with her on the ship, which is the start of a courtship for the Kindred).

Of course, Olivia’s resistance gets complicated and it all very nearly ends in disaster after a Scourge attack. It turns out that Olivia’s family are involved in some sort of Scourge prophecy, so the evil race want to capture her and her loved ones.

The other three books in this series (Hunted, Sought and Found) revolve around similar stories for her friends and family, who also have Kindred  fall in love with them and are troubled by the Scourge prophecy. I read them when I was sick in bed and wanted something formula.

I have to say that even though I’m not a huge fan of this genre (and if you can’t deal with terms like cunt honey, don’t even think about reading these), each book had a plot with suspense and action which went along with the sex. And although the excuses for sex scenes were sometimes so flimsy they had me laughing in my sick bed, the whole series was an entertaining romp that I don’t regret picking up.

I’m split on what to give this series, given my lack of experience with the genre. From a female’s point of view I’d give it a 3/5. I think the reason I gave it 3 instead of 2.5 was that I really believed the characters when they acted the way they did in the books, even the male sex objects. There’s also a good dollop of humour in the books, which I really enjoyed.  From a male point of view I’d probably give the series 0.5/5.

Evangeline has said that there’ll be two more books this year and I’ll probably pick them up some time when my brain needs a break. She said her plan until then was to take a break and write some young adult books under a different pseudonym. After all, we wouldn’t want those young impressionable minds stumbling on the erotic novels…