Saturday 5 June 2010

Review: Blood Lust (Kept, Claimed & Mated) - Zoe Winters

Blood Lust is the first book in the Preternaturals series by Zoe Winters and is being released in paperback this summer.  This book actually consists of 3 paranormal romance novellas that are currently available as ebooks.  Zoe recently sent me all 3 novella ebooks for review and I love the world that she has created - it is packed full of paranormal species but everything fits together really well and you can see how much thought has gone into it.  Just check out the website that she created for a store featured in the series & you'll see what I mean!

Considering the books are novellas Zoe has done a fantastic job of creating characters you can care about and I can't wait to see what she will do with a full length novel!  Please see below for information about each novella along with my reviews.

If you're impatient like me and don't want to wait for the paperback the ebooks can be purchased using the links below:
Kept - free PDF available on Zoe's website
Claimed - can be purchased for $0.99 at Smashwords here
Mated - can be purchased for $0.99 at Smashwords here

For more information visit Zoe Winter's website or blog

The Preternaturals Series:
Blood Lust (Kept Claimed & Mated novellas) - ebooks available now, print book with all 3 novellas publishing Summer 2010
Save My Soul - the first full length novel in the series is coming in Winter 2010

As a cat therian (shifter), Greta’s blood is already sought after to enhance spells and potions, but due to a quirk of her birth, her blood is potent enough to kill for. When her tribe plans to sacrifice her, Greta must ally herself with Dayne, the dangerous local sorcerer, and the only person strong enough to protect her.

My review:
I really liked Greta, she is a cat shifter who is on the run after she finds out that her tribe is planning on sacrificing her.  The only person who is strong enough to protect her is Dayne but she is wary of him as he is a dangerous sorcerer who previously killed members of her tribe.  I'm not usually a big fan of sorcerers but Dayne was a great character - he isn't a typical "good guy" but the more you get to know him the easier it is to understand why he acts the way he does.  By the end of the story I really wanted him & Greta to have their happy ending. 

This is the first glimpse at the world Zoe Winters has created and I read the whole novella in one sitting.  Although the main characters are a werecat and a sorcerer we are given hints at a wide range of characters and species that left me keen to continue reading the series.  I was impressed at the amount of detail Zoe managed to pack into just 86 pages, I would have loved to read a longer story but for a free introduction to an author this was a great quick read.  Although I love books where the sex scenes are more fleshed out I still felt the passion between Greta & Dayne but also connected to them on a more emotional level.  A great start to the series & I'd recommend this to any paranormal fan.

For a vampire, Anthony isn’t a picky eater, but he’s drawn to Charlee’s blood more than any other. Like a fine wine saved for a special occasion, he’s denied himself this pleasure. But one night, high from the potent magical blood of another, he claims his prize and loses control. Ashamed of almost killing the one woman who means anything to him, he wipes her memory of the event. When Charlee awakens with complete amnesia, Anthony is the only one who can clean up the mess he’s made.

My Review:
I loved both Anthony & Charlee when they were introduced in Kept so I was really pleased to see that they got their own story which continues the events right after the ending of Kept.  When Anthony is drunk on magical blood he almost drains Charlee when he feeds from her - not wanting her to remember and be afraid of him he wipes her memory of the event.  However, it soon becomes clear that he didn't just remove her memory of that night, she remembers absolutely nothing - not even who she is.  When he is trying to help restore her memory he unwittingly draws human Charlee into the vampire world and ends up having to protect her from other vampires who want claim her as their pet.

After enjoying Kept I was looking forward to Claimed and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I continue to be amazed at how much Zoe Winters can pack into a novella.  Claimed is full of action and I loved watching the relationship between Anthony and Charlee develop.  Charlee is a feisty character full of quick come backs that will have you laughing out loud.  She has every reason not to trust Anthony after what happened the night he nearly killed her and several things happen that cause her to trust him even less but everything he does after the first night happens when he is trying to protect her.  Being a vampire fan I couldn't help but love Anthony - he really is great hero material & I loved how everything was resolved at the end of the story.  I'd definitely recommend giving this series a try but I would recommend reading them in order.  If you're a fan of the paranormal I'm sure you'll enjoy this - Zoe has a great writing style that is full of humor, action and romance.

Because of the vampiric blood that has run through her veins since birth, Jane has been a target for vampires who resent a human being “kindred.” She’s forced to disguise herself as a vampire groupie to appease them and safeguard her life. When she’s abruptly given to Cole, the leader of the werewolf pack, to satisfy a gambling debt, she discovers the blood running through her veins has a far greater impact on her destiny than she ever imagined.

My Review:
Jane has been able to sense vampires since she was a child and this has meant she has lived her life in danger from the vampires who don't like the fact that she can see them.  She has been forced to become a vampire groupie in the hope that one of them will turn her so her life will no longer be at risk.  Abused and beaten by the vampire she had hoped would protect her it only gets worse when he gives her to the werewolf alpha Cole as payment for his gambling debt.  She knows the rules of the vampire world and knows how to survive but finding herself at the mercy of a werewolf she has no idea what will happen to her.  She has always believed that the werewolves are even worse than the vampires but can Cole prove she was wrong?  And what will happen if the pack member who wants Jane dead manages to get hold of her?

Although I loved the first 2 novellas in this series I have to say that Mated was my absolute favorite.  We were introduced to vampire groupie Jane in Claimed when she became friends with Charlee.  I didn't think she was a particularly interesting character but as soon as I got to know her better in Mated she quickly became my favorite heroine in the series. She has been to hell and back but is a survivor and desperately wants to find somewhere she is safe and accepted.  I absolutely adored Cole!  He is a strong alpha who quickly recognises that Jane is his mate and wants to protect her.  Understanding what she has been through he doesn't want to rush her or force her into anything so goes against all of his instincts by not immediately marking her as his mate.  He is so sweet as he tries to gain Jane's trust & I dare you not to fall for him yourself.

Overall I would definitely rate this as a must read trilogy for fans of paranormal romance.  Even if you're new to this genre I'd recommend giving it a try.  I love Zoe's writing style and having seen what she can accomplish with these novellas I can't wait to get my hands on the full length novel that is due out this winter.  I love the world she has created and am looking forward to immersing myself in it again in the future.  My only warning would be not to start reading unless you have time to finish the whole story - I've read each of these novellas in just 1 sitting and devoured all 3 in less than 24 hours!

Other Reviews:
Ramblings of a Book Bitch - Kept, Claimed & Mated
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. Thank you for the lovely reviews! And for posting the brand new super awesome cover for Blood Lust. (I love that cover. I can't look at it enough!)

    Kindle owners (Or those with a Kindle App for their computer, iphone, iPad, Blackberry, etc) can also get the novellas in the Kindle store.

    That's where I'm selling the most! I used to use Kindle for PC before I got my Kindle, which I really liked because the buying experience for Kindle books is so easy and Amazon is a brand a lot of people trust. So just thought I would throw that out there for people.

    Thank you again for taking the time to read and review my work.

    Oh, and so glad you liked haha. It was a lot of fun putting it together and I always wonder how many readers will actually go check it out. I'm thinking of adding a link to a store with swag like T-shirts and magnets with vamp-related sayings etc. We'll see where it goes. Merchandising for the win. :P

  2. Thanks so much for commenting Zoe - author comments always make me squeeeee & do a happy dance LOL. I think the cover of Blood Lust is beautiful! I can't wait to see it in the flesh so to speak (I'll definitely be adding the paperback to my collection LOL).

    I forgot to mention that the book is available on Kindle - I never really think of it being a UK Blogger. I wish we had Kindle over here though (I think we can get them but I don't want to have to pay for all my ebooks in $). I'm glad to hear you're selling well on Kindle - I'm sure this is going to be a really popular series! Thanks for using Smashwords too though & making it so easy for us international readers.

    I loved the fact you'd gone to the trouble of making the website. I'm a nerd about things like that & always end up checking things like that if they're mentioned in books LOL :o) You could tell how much thought has gone into it!

    I love the idea of T-shirts & magnets with the vamp/series related sayings (Don't forget Cole - LOVE HIM). What about bookmarks too? I seem to have a bit of an obsession with collecting bookmarks LOL

  3. hehe, that's all part of my evil plan. Hook people on the cheap ebook crack, then show them a cover so gorgeous for the paper version that they HAVE to own it. :D

    And no prob on Smashwords! I want to be as widely available as possible. Print will be available at also.

    Maybe we'll have bookmarks! If I merchandise it might be a little bit more in the future. I think I need a bigger fanbase for it or it looks like I think I'm more awesome than I am.

  4. LOL I think it will work Zoe - I like the ebook covers but the paperback one is definitely a WOW cover! I'd have to pick it up if I saw it in a store. I'm very excited that I'll be able to get it on Amazon UK too - it can cost a fortune in postage buying from the US.

    The fan base will definitley be building quickly - I'm sure no paranormal fans could resist this series :o)



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