Goodreads: “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.”
This book was fucking silly, guys. I don’t know. It was the May (I think?) selection for the VF Hangout, and I was pretty excited for it, since I tend to enjoy paranormal romance (although I’m starting to wonder how much I really do like it, since most of the ones I’ve reviewed, I’ve panned?) Anyway, so we have Trehan, who is Dacian, which means he’s an Original vampire (stealing from TVD terminology here,) meaning he is of a pure bloodline and wasn’t a “turned” human. The Dacians have all of these strict rules about when and for what purpose they’re allowed to leave Dacia, but one of those times is when they’ve found their permanent mate. And they know they’ve met their mate when they get their first erection. No kidding! Because their hearts don’t beat and they’re not “blooded,” they can’t get a boner until someone makes their heart beat and gets the blood flowing and all that. No mention of how a Lady Dacian would react when blooded, probably because she’s supposed to wait around until a male Dacian points his wood in her direction, but I digress.
So Trehan meets Princess Bettina, and it’s less of a meet-cute than her thinking he’s someone else, which is a trope I would really love to see go away for a multitude of reasons. Anyway, he immediately recognizes her as his mate, and she’s not so convinced because she’s in love with someone else (OR SO SHE THINKS! NOT THAT YOU GET A CHOICE IN THIS, WOMAN!) So he enters a to-the-death contest put on by her guardians, and the prize is the crown, not to mention Bettina’s leash and vagina summoning charm, which is kind of what it sounds like: the winner can summon her at will.
Look: we all know where this is headed. It’s PNR. They’re going to fall in love and have sex, maybe or maybe not in that order, and he’s going to be dark and mysterious and she’s going to be plucky and deceptively smart. Bonus points for her — her hobby is making cool jewelry that doubles up as weaponry, which seems pretty badass and also kind of a handy thing for womenfolk to have. Ultimately this book gets two stars from me for being campy and entertaining, so it was too silly to merit an above-average score from me — even for the genre — but silly enough that it wasn’t dreadful and boring.