Review: Claimed (Outlaws #1) by Elle Kennedy

ClaimedTitle: Claimed
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #1
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: science fiction dystopia romance

The bestselling author of the Killer Instincts novels โ€œknows how to write scorching sexual tensionโ€ (USA Today). Now she really sets it on fire in a new series about men and women living on the edge of violence, sex, and life and death.

After a devastating war decimated most of the world, Hudson Lane has only known the oppressive life under her own fatherโ€™s tyranny. She finally escapes, branding herself an outlaw and hunted by the Enforcers. Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.

As the leader of a band of outlaw fighters, Connor canโ€™t resist the beautiful stranger who asks for his protection. Despite his reservations, he agrees to introduce her to a whole new way of life. But when Connor discovers Hudsonโ€™s connection to the enemies of liberty, he wonders how far he can trust the woman who has abandoned all inhibitions to challenge every forbidden desire.

My Review:
When I first heard that Elle Kennedy was bringing out a new series that mixed dystopian with erotic romance, I was super-excited, and I’ve been hugely anticipating this book. While I definitely enjoyed it, and I will continue the series, I was a little disappointed in Claimed.

The book opened well, introducing us to the main characters and the world in a gripping manner. Hudson is a great protagonist, she’s sassy and gutsy,tough yet vulnerable. I loved how she bossed Con around when everyone else (excepting Pike) was afraid to. She had an interesting backstory and you just know the secret she is holding close to her chest is going to backfire on her at some point.

Connor is a controlling mutha-fucka. I know he’s hot, and he exudes this heated sexuality, and the sparks majorly fly, but he was such a jerk at the start. Now, I did warm to him over the course of the book as I started to understand his past and how it had impacted him, but it took a while. The other characters that make up the pack are great, and complex. I really liked Rylan and I hope the next book is his and Reese’s story.

The biggest issue I had with this book was the middle portion. The plot and worldbuilding were non-existent and it was literally just sex scene after sex scene to the point where I felt it was dragging. And boy is it steamy, with a capital S. I think I actually blushed reading parts of it. Lol.

Thankfully, it picked up after that. It was more exciting, and there was a bit of action to liven it up, but not as much as I would have liked. It was also fairly predictable – no major shockers or surprises.

Overall though, as a dystopian, it fell short of the mark in terms of worldbuilding, and the plot definitely needed beefing up

I can’t fault Elle’s writing style as she’s amazingly talented and it was delivered in her usual exemplary fashion. I’m a massive fan of her Off Campus series – those books are FANTASTIC – but this one is not up to her usual standard.

It’s still a very decent read and I would recommend it, probably more so to fans of erotic romance than dystopian fans.

Actual Rating: 3.75 stars

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