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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Book Review: Claimed: A For Her Novel by Alexa Riley

There are some really good parts to this book. Jay and Jordan’s adorably clumsy attempts at flirting and their fail dates are absolutely hilarious. There are some deliciously hot sex scenes and a good suspense sub-plot causing some conflict in an otherwise sweet romance. Though this is not the first in series, it stands very well alone. Characters who are obviously from previous books do appear, but in a minor way which will satisfy fans of earlier books while not confusing readers who have started here. The writing and editing is top-notch; I didn’t find any spelling or grammar mistakes in the text.

All that good stuff out of the way, I now have to explain why I absolutely hated this book. For the record, I’m in the “Fifty Shades of Grey is a creepy stalker horror show” camp, and if you got even a VAGUE sense of that, you’ll be WAY more horrified by this.

Jordan is a computer security expert at the same firm where Jay is PA to the boss. Obsessed with her from the first moment of their meeting, but stuck firmly in the friendzone, he spends all his time reading her email, checking her schedule and watching her on the company’s security cameras.

If that isn’t setting your Creepy Stalker radar off, I don’t know what to tell you. Just imagine for a moment that a male friend did that to YOU without your knowledge or consent. Even if you did feel an attraction for them, wouldn’t that kill it stone dead? I know for a fact the first thing I’d be doing was calling the police. Jay instead reacts by being delighted he cares enough to want to watch over her, which is just a deeply, deeply odd reaction.

Though it’s acknowledged, by both parties, that Jordan’s obsessive behaviour and Jay’s delight in it isn’t normal, I find the romanticisation of it deeply, deeply troubling. Even Jordan’s father (the most delightful character in the book, who deserved more than a side role) TOLD Jordan that he needed to back off, respect Jay and give her space to be herself. So… Jordan compromised by giving her a tracker bracelet, instead of insisting she be within his sight at all times.

And that’s pretty much when my head hit the desk. That’s NOT a compromise. That’s horrific, controlling behaviour and any woman whose boyfriend gives them a tracker bracelet should be figuring out how to get the damn thing off and then getting a restraining order. NOBODY should be looking at that kind of behaviour and thinking it’s in the least bit romantic.

I feel like there’s an entire generation of women who should be required to watch the Julia Roberts movie Sleeping With The Enemy, to learn what happens when that controlling behaviour just gets to be too much. (Hint: it’s a psychological thriller-horror).

Despite the good parts of this book, I’m too horrified by all the rest to give it more than one star.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.

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