Claimed (Outlaws, #1) by Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #1
Published by Signet on October 6th 2015
“Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you can’t always get what you want? I think someone even wrote a song about it once.”
“I don’t care. I still want to come with you.
“Sorry, sweetheart, but this is a boys-only club.”
Her agitated expression gave way to indignation. “Wow. So you’re rude and sexist.”
FINAL DECISION: A mixed bag that started out slowly but won me over by the end with its intriguing characters. By the end of the book, I liked this book enough to want to continue to read the series.
THE STORY: In a dystopian future, the world consists of an authoritative government which tightly rules cities and outlaws which exist without rules and without resources hunted by the enforcers of the government. Hudson Lane, a privileged woman from a city, runs when an unwanted marriage is going to be forced upon her. In the outlaw world, she finds Connor Mackenzie who leads a small band of men. Hudson begs Connor to give her refuge. Despite his reservations, Connor agrees to show Hudson the ways of the Outlaw world which is violent and intensely sexual. Hudson, however, has secrets which will cause Connor to distrust her.
OPINION: This book was mixed bag. Sometimes a first book of a new series that involves world building can feel uneven as too many things have to be accomplished in the first book. That is true here. For me, the book started out slowly as the numerous characters from the series are introduced and the highly sexual, violent world is introduced with its particular rules. During these pages, I found it difficult to get connected with the characters — especially Connor. In a way, the beginning mirrored some of the worst of erotica, with sexual encounters more about titillating with body parts and multiple partners rather than any emotional connection. By the end of the book, I decided that some of the emotional disconnect is purposeful as it reflects the emotionless sexual encounters that are common in the outlaw world.
Once Connor and Hudson began to emotionally connect, the book got much better for me. I genuinely began to care about the characters and their journey. The pace of the story also began to pick up at that point as the drama of Hudson’s secret became more relevant.
Women and men in the Outlaw world are fiercely independent and both have sexual autonomy without moralistic constraints or restrictions. Just about everything goes in the Outlaw world.
I also liked that this first book leaves some questions about what is going on with the enforcers and what the future holds in this world. I especially like that the series seems to be created with an overarching storyline. I prefer my series to truly be connected rather than just having completely separate storylines.
By the time this book ended, I wanted to read more about Connor’s men and this world.
WORTH MENTIONING: There is a lot of sex combinations in this one. MMF with depictions of MFF. The hero and heroine have sex with other people during the book both with and without the other present.
CONNECTED BOOKS: CLAIMED is the first book in the Outlaws series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.
NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher at the RT Convention. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.