Friday, November 29, 2013

ARC Review: Unclaimed

Unclaimed (The Amoveo Legend #5)



Tatiana Winters, from the Timber Wolf clan, is a spirited veterinarian who wants nothing to do with the Amoveo—the ancient race of shape-shifters who live secretly among humans. But when the Amoveo Prince's horses fall sick, Tatiana reluctantly heads to his ranch to help.
When she meets Dominic Trejada, a handsome warrior from the Tiger Clan, they instantly clash and sparks ignite. But when danger stalks near, they will have to find a way to trust each other if they want to stay alive.


Once again the animal natures that we have come so far from and deny we even have are brought to the forefront in this magical story of two shifters that fate and circumstances have pushed together allowing them to find the undying and abiding love that we all search for: a true mate for eternity. The Amoveo series is one that has captured my attention from the very beginning and one that I am thrilled to know will keep my attention until the very end. Sara Humphreys brings to life the animal shifters that fill our imagination and show us the more human side of animals while revealing the animal natures that all humans still have deep inside them.  The story of two people, brought together by fate, but unwilling to allow the fickle nature of fate to dictate how they live their lives.  Can they overcome the nature of their fated mating to see the uniquely special chance they have to find love and happiness in each other’s arms?  If you haven’t read any of the previous stories you might be a bit lost on the overall storyline, but you will enjoy this book alone and you won’t be disappointed by Dominic and Tatiana’s story.
Tatiana's reluctance to immerse herself in the Amoveo world begins her story, and is ultimately the one factor that could make or break her future.  Tatiana’s beloved sister, Layla, contacts her on behalf of the leaders of the Amoveo, requesting she travel to their stronghold to assist with an emergency medical insult to their beloved horses.  Though she is more than reluctant, she can’t let her sister down.  She travels  to their ranch in the mountains, determined to just get the animals taken care of and then get the hell out of town. But once again Fate decides to play with her life, placing her directly in the path of her destined mate, the one being she never wanted to cross paths with.  Dominic is a sexy man, and the attraction between them is immediate and terrifyingly intense.  When he expresses his own desire to forgo mating, to maintain his position as a Guardian, Tatiana believes she has cheated fate, but in the end the desire and emotions wrapped around them become too much.  When their feelings become entangled, leading them both down a road they never wanted to travel, Dominic and Tatiana have to decide if the happiness they find together is worth the compromises to their desired paths or if they will live apart, denying the instinctual need to be together.
Tatiana is stubborn, hardheaded and determined to thwart destiny at every turn.  Though she understands the concept of fated mates, she refuses to acknowledge that it has any role in their choice of who to love, marry, or build a life with.  Resisting the connection between her and Dominic is difficult, but her willfulness is one of the very things that attracts Dominic to her in the first place.  I loved how strong she was, but at some point I just wanted to tell her to grow up and get real.  Though he is her destined mate, the emotions they feel for one another are real and the fates cannot force love to blossom—more it just allows the one person who is most perfectly matched to find you and gives you undeniable hints to allow you to find that mate.  Dominic is a wonderful man.  Though he has his moments of pigheadedness as well, he comes to tryst in his feelings much more quickly and gives his heart to Tatiana wholly, determined to show her in the only ways he knows how deep that love really goes. At turns he is sweet, dangerous, brave, and cowardly; while his own emotions often terrify him, he will not allow Tatiana to hide from his or her own, forcing her to accept their connection and showing her just how great they could be together.  He also has some wickedly sexy uses for his magic, a few that I would love to experience firsthand.
The romantic and sensual connection between mates is well portrayed by Tatiana and Dominic’s mating.  While their minds tell them repeatedly to stay away, that desire for one another runs too deep to be denied.   The passion that pulls them together leads to heated arguments and ever more sizzling make-up sessions.  As their bodies and animal natures tell them they are meant to be together, pushing their bodies to the brink and making their animals crazy, neither seems willing to give up the path they have traveled all their lives, just for a relationship.  And as the sex gets more intense, bringing with it a deepening of other emotions as well, both of them learn more about their own natures and discover that having a perfect mate might not be so bad after all. Seeing their friends and the connections they have to their mates, brings conflicting feelings to the forefront too, making them both wonder if having a life together might well be worth the sacrifice of their previous plans.
The overall storyline that has moved through the entire series came to some interesting and unexpected conclusions as well, and I fear that since most of the loose ends have been wrapped up, soon the series will come to an end—unless there are some drastic new developments. The purists continue to plague the Amoveo, leaving the Loyalists to clean up the mess left by the demolition of the Purist breeding program.  That gave this story some heart-wrenching drama that will probably be the focus of the next book in the series.  On the other hand are the human hunters out to kill the Amoveo, ones that are finding new and terrifying allies, but thankfully this seems to be a longstanding problem. Hopefully this will allow for future drama to provides continued stories in the series.
Unclaimed is a story about love, fate, betrayal and fighting the circumstances that often leave us fighting out own natures to the very end.  Dominic and Tatiana have a tumultuous and fiery courtship, one that leads them through treacherous water and teaches them both that sometimes changing their plans is necessary to find their true path to happiness. The dangers around them intensify their emotions and make it even more imperative that they learn to trust one another and with trust they might well develop love. I cried a bit near the end when a startling truth about one of their friends was discovered, one that I’m sure will be looked into in more depth during the next book (HOPE HOPE HOPE), but sometimes the beliefs we hold must be painfully shattered before the truth can be faced and true happiness discovered. Sara Humphreys is rapidly proving herself to become a true force to be reckoned with, bringing her Amoveo shifters to life and allowing us into the world she created for them.  Cannot wait for whatever happens next, and hopefully the series will last a long time.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Rose Rating: 

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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