I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole
Published by Pocket on 2012-11-27
Genres: Fantasy, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal
Reviewed by Jo
#1 New York Times bestseller Kresley Cole introduces The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist, a new paranormal series following the royal bloodline of Dacia, a vampire kingdom hidden within the Lore of the Immortals After Dark. Shadow’s Claim features Prince Trehan, a ruthless master assassin who will do anything to possess Bettina, his beautiful sorceress mate, even compete for her hand in a blood-sport tournament— to the death. HE WON’T BE DENIED Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people—striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains. SHE’S BOUND TO ANOTHER Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she’s lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure. A BATTLE FOR HER BODY AND SOUL Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever pitch. . . .
Princess Bettina of Ababbon sought the freedom to learn and live the life of a normal teenage girl. When that freedom almost costs Bettina her life and did cost her gifts, she agreed to marry whomever her guardians approved if by doing so her guardians could return those gifts stolen. However, now that the time of the tournament for her hand and her kingdom has arrived, Bettina is having second thoughts about that agreement she was bribed into.
Prince Trehan Daciano is known as the Prince of Shadows. Actually he is the assassin of his people, the Dacians, and he is very, very good at that job. One of Trehan’s jobs is to make sure that anyone who could tell about the shadow people never have the chance to. So when an outsider breaks his promise to never leave their land and returns to his home, Trehan is commissioned to find and kill the outsider before he can say anything. For Trehan it is just another day, but then he meets Bettina and learns of the tournament for her hand. The one rule that all Dacians live by is that they can never allow themselves to be known. Trehan immediately knows that Bettina is his mate and yet how can he claim her if the only way is to enter and take part in the massive tournament.
Bettina tries one last time to get someone in the tournament that can win over all others – a man she loves but that love is questioned when Trehan shows up and Bettina can’t take her eyes off him. As the tournament goes on and the contestants dwindle, Bettina is ready to accept her feelings for Trehan and hopes for his victory. But when the final match in the tournament comes down to Trehan and the man that Bettina begged to enter, how can she allow either to lose? Lives are on the line and mischief and deceit are thrown into the mix just when Bettina and Trehan almost have the future that their passion turned into love has promised. When the dust settles, can Trehan and Bettina find a way to get around the biggest obstacle between them and their love?
A man from the shadows must come into the light to claim the mate he has searched for. Shadow’s Claim brings Bettina and Trehan together in a way that makes them test the passion between them when they have barely met. While I could understand why Bettina’s guardians forced her hand into their idea of a safe marriage, I wondered the entire time if all the promises made could be kept. As I read on, it became very apparent that the only way those promises were met was because of Trehan’s participation and his talents. Every time that Bettina and Trehan were together, I was amazed that the area around them didn’t go up in flames, so strong were the feelings between them. By the time I turned the last page, I loved just how much both Bettina and Trehan had grown into their love and that both had shown that love by doing acts that could have destroyed them. I really hope now that the Dacian’s are in the open and the other immortals know about them that they find a way to have an open society that will allow them to grow. Shadow’s Claim takes suspense and passion, combines them and swirls in a ribbon of humor and a gripping plot that will keep you turning pages until the last one is turned.