Monday, September 1, 2014

His to Claim by Opal Carew

The Basics:
His to Claim by Opal Carew
St Martin's Griffin
Published September 2, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I read and enjoyed His to Possess which featured the brother of the male main character in His to Claim.


What if you could have everything you’ve always wanted, but it cost you the life you’ve always known?

Rafe Ranier was my boss and secret crush. A rock musician by night and head of a billion dollar empire by day, Rafe could have any woman he wanted. But I was just the shy secretary he never noticed. For years I obsessed over him, until I finally realized I had to walk away. I needed to leave my secure life behind to discover who I really was.

I never expected Rafe to follow me.

Now I’m on the road with his band, Savage Kiss, and all my secret fantasies are coming true. But I fear I’ve made a huge mistake, because if I get any more attached to a man I can never truly have, my heart will be broken beyond all repair.

My thoughts:

His to Claim was initially published as a six part e-serial, and now it's being released as a novel. I didn't realize that it was eserialized when I read it. It didn't have really obvious breaks (or possibly I wasn't reading closely enough to catch them), which is a good thing when you're reading a novel.

The book felt very similar to His to Possess. A lot of my critique of that book could be applied here. I didn't understand the appeal of Melanie, the main female character. She was a little blank - which I guess allows the reader to place herself in Melanie's shoes a little more easily -, but it made me less interested in her, and a little baffled as to why so many men insta-lusted for her.

There was so much wasted potential to leverage Melanie and Rafe's prior connection as employee/employer and friends. The 'discovery of self' theme (which was also present in His to Possess) was great for forcing them to see each other in new lights, but it neglected the potential of their history together.

The sex was well-written, and as erotica, that's obviously very important. Some of the encounters seemed familiar to me - there were a couple of references back to Rafe's involvement with a woman in His to Possess. I also felt like the climactic (ha, not what I mean) encounter was a 'one-upping' of what had happened in the first book. Generally, it was good, and I probably would have enjoyed reading it all more if I *hadn't* read His to Possess.

One thing I did really appreciate about this book was that Rafe was a very reasonable guy - or tried to be. I also liked that we see him in those initial stages of accepting his Dominant sexuality. So often we get a guy who is very experienced on this front - reading about Rafe's struggle was quite a nice change.

Bottom line:

I was a little disappointed that His to Claim wasn't a better *story*. As erotica, it's good - better as a stand-alone title than as part of the duology with His to Possess, in my opinion.

3.5 stars
For fans of Opal Carew, friends-to-lovers romances, BDSM erotica.

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