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August 5, 2013

Braine Reviews: Claimed by Stacey Kennedy

Series: Club Sin 1
Format: eGalley
Publisher: Random House Loveswept
Release Date: August 15, 2013
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: BDSM Erotica
Presley Flynn is ripe to experience her secret fantasies . . . and Dmitri Pratt wants nothing more than to fulfill them. Once inside the elite Club Sin in Las Vegas, Presley is nervous but excited—and determined to surrender to her every desire. Dmitri is her Master, and his touch is like fire. With each careful, calculated caress, he unleashes her wildest inhibitions, giving her unimagined pleasure.

Presley is different than the other submissives Dimitri has mastered. The BDSM lifestyle is new to her, and so are the games they play at Club Sin. From the start, Presley stirs emotions in him far beyond the raw purity between a dom and the perfect sub. For the ecstasy they share goes beyond the dungeon igniting a passion that claims the very depths of the heart.
READER'S DISCRETION:
Due to the strong sexual content of the book, CLAIMED is recommended for readers 18 and up.

Before I do my review, I want to say that I'm a little tired of BDSM erotica. Since this genre boomed, I feel like I've read my share of D/s relationships enough to last me a year or maybe more. With the exception of select books, most BDSM erotica novels are usually dark, scary and borderline porn and frankly I'd rather read about monsters than monstrous sex. Sadly not every erotica writer understands what good erotica is. But as I love Stacey Kennedy, I took a chance and really psyched myself to be receptive and appreciative of CLAIMED. I have to say that the mental preps were unnecessary because I breezed through this book!

CLAIMED, as I've mentioned, is BDSM erotica. Set in Vegas, Club Sin is an exclusive sex club ran by Dimitri. Recommended by her BFF and roommate, Cora, Presley Flynn, came to the Club to explore the lifestyle that fascinates and intrigues her. Under the tutelage of Dimitri, Presley explores the world of BDSM but she soon realizes that reading about it is far different from living it.

CLAIMED has the usual markings of a good BDSM novel. Charming sub, rich and handsome Dom, lots of sex with accouterments and tight emotional tension. What made CLAIMED a great read for me is the way SKennedy presented different angles of the lifestyle, from the perspectives of the practitioners to the observers to the clueless outsiders.

From Dimitri's POV we see a person who is managing the lifestyle comfortably. What appealed Dimitri to me the most was that we was only a Dom inside Club Sin. He doesn't go around town intimidating people, expecting them to cower in his glare and submit to his beck and call. Dimitri is a Dom I want to submit to, unlike other Masters, he didn't ask for total submission from Presley, outside the Club, Presley is still her own woman and Dimitri doesn't act like she's his property. No collars and leashes for this two which I love!

Presley straddles the world of vanilla and kink as she's initiated to BDSM. She reflects most curious reader's apprehension and eagerness to give the world of kink a try and as she fully surrenders to it, we see the blissful satisfaction she gets from being a submissive. At the same time I applaud Presley for not plunging blindly to the practice, stressing that she may submit her body but not her mind and soul. Communicating to Dimitri that trust is a big deal to her and it'll be a mistake to break it.

It's obvious from my rating that I love CLAIMED. It may be BDSM but it stayed light and realistic on the surface and I love the fact that SKennedy didn't shove it down our throats. Presley's initial encounter with live scenes in the Club cowed her, made her cringe, had her second guessing herself, normal reactions I think one would get as a first timer. Presley gave a wonderful portrayal of a woman whose has curiosities she wants to explore and her cravings sated. I hope that SKennedy will keep the flavor of the series like this, make BDSM a little more enjoyable and not the dark, scary and taboo that other series make it out to be.






“Master Dmitri doesn’t expect sex.” Cora grunted. “You’ll keep your clothes on.”

Presley Flynn scanned the foyer of the snazzy mansion and looked for something to hold on to as her roommate, Cora Adams, hustled her down the corridor. With a little shove, Cora added, “You wanted this, remember?”
“Clearly, I’ve lost my damn mind.” Presley pushed back against Cora’s hands, trying to hold her ground.

The mansion was pleasant, with thick dark wood on the trim of the doorways and gentle burgundy-painted walls, but it did nothing to settle her nerves. Beneath her feet, located in the basement, was the elite BDSM dungeon, Club Sin. “Maybe I need to go to a therapist. Or skip that part and go straight to the nuthouse.”

Cora stepped in front of Presley, and her big blue eyes, lined with dark makeup, sparkled. Her long chocolate-colored hair fell over her black blouse, and her red lipstick covered pursed lips. “You told me you wanted to join the dungeon.”
Presley snorted. “You said I was a long-lost submissive who needed the lifestyle. Which, apparently, is so far from the truth, since why am I on the verge of puking all over this fancy hardwood floor?”

Cora smirked. “Please don’t puke on Master Dmitri’s floor.”

“Okay, great,” Presley muttered in total agreement. “See, it’s best I leave.”

She turned to get the hell out of the place when Cora grabbed her arm, pulling Presley back in front of her. “One chance, Presley, that’s all you get. If you leave now, you won’t be allowed to come back.”

Cora walked forward, and Presley found herself matching her stride. They passed a grand wooden staircase on the left, leading to the upstairs. A huge wrought-iron balcony curved around the entire upper floor, which led to numerous doors used for God knew what.

They strode by an oval-shaped dining room, and Cora added, “There’s a reason why you read so many BDSM erotic novels. There’s a reason why it turns you on. And there’s a reason why you made the decision to come with me tonight.”
Stopping near the doorway to the office that Presley had been avoiding for the last five minutes, she inhaled. “You’re right. I did come here for a reason.” To surrender to her every desire. “I don’t want to walk out the front door, but—” She pointed toward the office. “I’m scared shitless to walk through that door.”
“Of course you are.” Cora grinned. “Your darkest, most secret fantasies await you in that office.” Without another word, she spun on her heel and headed down the hallway in the opposite direction.

“Do you plan on coming in?”

Presley started at the powerful low voice that seemed to draw her forward, giving the fearful butterflies in her stomach a flutter of excitement. Her feet moved without thought as she entered the office, which looked much like a library.

Books filled the shelves at the far end of the room, along with a grand wooden desk. A computer and telephone and other office accessories sat on top of it. A sleek black leather couch was situated straight ahead, under the bay window.
“Ah, she finally decides to enter.”

Presley froze, as time halted. The man never raised his head to look at her, but he didn’t need to. His presence filled the room, making her entirely aware of him. He sat at the desk, his head bowed toward the paper he’d been reading. With the slight curve to his mouth, he stole the air from her lungs. He was hot.
As the owner of Club Sin and the president of Las Vegas’s top casino, Dmitri Pratt matched the mansion with his wealthy exuberance. Hard angles defined his jawline and cheekbones. His lips were lush and sculpted and his nose straight-edged. The sleeves of his black dress shirt were rolled up on his muscular forearms, displaying a tribal dragon tattoo on his left arm.

When she didn’t move, Dmitri stated, with his eyes still focused on the paper, “Take a seat on the couch.”

Exhaling slowly, she shed the tension in her chest as she made her way to the leather sofa and sat down. The coolness of the upholstery against her heated skin came as much needed relief. She crossed her legs, doing her best to portray confidence.

In front of this powerful and experienced man, she didn’t want to show her apprehension. In fact, she’d never been this uncomfortable around men, but Dmitri wasn’t simply a man. He sexually dominated women, and as a Dom, he did the kinky things Presley had only dreamed of fulfilling.

He signed the paper, then he lifted his head. Presley forgot the world around her, absorbed in him. His piercing blue eyes gazed over her from head to toe before his focus returned to her face. The depth of those eyes pulled her in with the intensity of how he watched her. No, how he studied her. He didn’t give her a quick look but a long examination.

Under his stare, her body went mushy and hot. Flames flickered through her veins as he stood from his chair and approached. Her fingernails bit into her palms as her heart rate increased. His muscular frame didn’t fit his fluid gait. Each step he took exuded authority, like a lion on a hunt, but appeared graceful, with controlled power.

She scanned the thickness of his shoulders beneath his black dress shirt, and she noticed how the fabric clung to him, detailing the valleys of his muscles. Glancing lower, she found the rest of him to be more of the same—powerful and masculine. His black slacks, held tight by a leather belt hung low on his hips, hugged his thick thighs.

Stopping in front of her, he stared at her with impressively intense eyes, and a strand of his stylish blond hair hung across his forehead. “So, you’re Cora’s friend? Presley, right?”

The commanding nature of his voice made her breathing erratic. This man had the capability of making her feel giddy as a schoolgirl, as if he were her secret crush who’d noticed her at last. “Yes, that’s me.”

Dmitri’s mouth twitched, and he tucked a finger under her jaw, tilting up her chin. “Welcome to my home, Presley.”

She shivered at the stern yet gentle hold. “Thank you.”

He slid a finger along her jawline, cocking his head, and his study of her touched the center of her soul, awakening her body in a foreign way. As if, for the first time in her life, a man looked at her and truly saw her. His examination made her bare, totally exposed to him, and unusually vulnerable.
Locked in a stare she couldn’t break free from, she wiggled in her seat, unable to stop herself, then she froze. After another shift, she couldn’t ignore the damp silk between her thighs. How was that even possible—nervous one minute to undeniably turned on the next?

Dmitri’s eyebrow arched, and that sexy smile returned. “Pretty little thing, aren’t you, doll?”

He removed his hold and she quivered, and her body hummed with desire. The memory of his touch remained. The path his finger had taken was scorched into her skin, and the heat within only intensified as she drew in his masculine scent, edged with sandalwood.

Watching the twinkle in his eyes increase, she cursed herself for being entirely too obvious. Or maybe she should curse him for being so talented at reading people. To calm down, she glanced around the office, looking for something to take her mind off of her response to him.

It was hopeless.

The home seemed like a fairy tale all in itself. Along the dark taupe wall across from her were four huge canvases forming a solid picture of a lone tree and a moon, reminding her that she was out of her element. “That painting is beautiful.” Enormous and expensive. “Did you pick it out?”

Dmitri followed her gaze for only a moment. “Do I look like the type of man who’d know about art?”

She licked her dry lips, staring at his sculpted mouth that held the mysterious smile, and she admitted, “Kind of.”

“No, doll, I couldn’t care less about it.” He winked. “That’s what interior decorators are for.”

Dmitri deftly turned and strode toward the watercooler in the corner of the office. Presley frowned at his back. Perhaps she had misread him and he wasn’t as fancy as she’d thought, since he seemed amused by her response.

After filling a tall glass with water, he returned to her and offered her the glass. “Here, drink this, love.”

“Thanks.” She accepted the glass, and settled the cool glass on her lap, not sure she’d get the water down her dry throat.

Dmitri leaned in and gazed into her eyes dead-on. “I didn’t give you the glass to hold. I gave you the water because you need it. Drink up, Presley.”

The stern set of his jaw indicated he wouldn’t relent, so with a shrug, she sipped the water. The cool liquid rushed through her mouth and down her throat, easing the tightness as she swallowed. Maybe she needed that more than she’d thought. He gave a firm nod. “Better.”

As he sat next to her on the couch, his thick thigh brushed against hers, and a spark blasted through her, causing her cheeks to warm. The side of his mouth once again curved as he stared at her blush before those intense eyes zeroed in on hers. “Now, then, tell me a bit about yourself.”

“Well—” She focused on their conversation and away from how incredible his body felt against hers. “My parents are still together and have a good marriage. I grew up in Apple Valley my entire life, but I moved to Vegas about four months ago to live with my ex.” She took another sip of the water and realized she’d almost opened a door she didn’t want to go through. Gathering her thoughts, she looked at her hands, clenched around the glass, and continued. “That’s a story not worth repeating.” No way in hell would she tell him about her ex-boyfriend, Steven Moser, on whom she wasted eight years of her life. 

“Let’s see . . . I’m twenty-five and have no kids.”

Dmitri raised his ankle over his knee, drawing her focus to him, and she noticed his body shaking in silent laughter. Maybe, with Steven on her mind, her defenses were already on high alert. Or perhaps Dmitri made her feel way too inexperienced and even too nervous in this erotic adventure she’d entered, but her glare came fierce and instant.

He frowned. “Would you like to try that again?”

“I have nothing else to say.” She shifted against the couch, realizing now that she deserved his mirth. In this place, she might as well have a halo over her head. “That’s all there is to know about me.”

“No, Presley.” His eyes were dark, firm, and cold. “In my house, my guests don’t glare at me.”

Had he honestly noticed her glare? Most times when she glared at Steven, he didn’t see it or didn’t care enough to ask what had upset her. “I—”
Dmitri’s eyes narrowed. “If I’ve upset you, tell me, so I can address it. Don’t give me nasty looks that I don’t deserve, considering I’ve hardly said a word.”

The authority in his voice made her insides quiver. It was the meaning in his statement that spoke to something deep inside her—I see you. Even if what she’d done bothered him, he didn’t overlook any of her actions. For the first time in a long time—possibly ever—she wasn’t a shadow, a person everyone passed and never truly looked at, and that made her speechless.

However, at his firm look urging her to continue, she took his advice and asked, “What did you find so funny?”

He dropped his ankle from his knee and turned to face her. “Your little rundown there.” His stern expression melted away to a charming smile, drawing her full attention to his kissable mouth. “I didn’t mean for you to tell me everything about yourself, as if I were hiring you.”

Just kill me now!

His eyes softened, as did his voice. “I meant for you to tell me why you want to join the dungeon, considering you look incredibly nervous.”

She almost rolled her eyes but stopped herself. “Right, I guess that’s what you’d want to know.” Shoving her embarrassment away to fret over later, she put on a brave face and lifted her chin. “Well, I read a lot of erotic romance books and . . . um . . . Cora has told me about the lifestyle, and you see, it . . . ”

With a gentle hold, he gripped her chin, tilting her head downward. “Arouses you?”

He dropped his hand and she nodded, and the water in the glass rippled in waves from the tremble of her hands. Gripping it tightly, she bit her lip, which didn’t ease the flickers of mortified tremors.

“What about BDSM arouses you?”

His intense study reached into her soul. She squirmed against the leather couch, and her skin flushed wicked hot. “Err . . . the sex stuff.”

One sleek eyebrow lifted. “The sex stuff?”

She followed the line of his brow along the masculine contours of his face. While his eyebrow arch looked simple enough, it portrayed a statement of curiosity, and he was beautiful. “You know, being tied up, dominated . . . and um . . . other stuff.”

Dmitri considered her in a way that made her feel as if he noticed every flaw on her face. “I’m going to be blunt with you, Presley.” Before she could inquire what he meant by blunt, he added, “I’d appreciate if you stay quiet while I talk. After I’m done, we can discuss what I’ve told you.” He waited for her nod, then he continued. “A Club Sin submissive can be restrained with ropes, cuffs, chains, or anything that can be used to bind a person.” His grin became devilish. “Doms enjoy being creative.”

Sweet Jesus!

“In a scene, you might be flogged, paddled, whipped, spanked, or caned. You could find yourself tied to a Saint Andrew’s cross, tossed over a spanking bench, or attached to any other device located in the dungeon.”

Damn her body for flushing at those choices, and damn his wicked expression declaring enjoyment. She took a big gulp of the water, which this time didn’t help the dryness in her throat.

His eyes twinkled. “If it’s within your limits, you might have intercourse in the dungeon or be asked to give oral sex; if your Dom is especially pleased, you could find yourself climaxing in front of a crowd.”

Her mouth dropped open, but he seemed not to realize or care. He added, “This isn’t a sex club meant to have vanilla sex. At Club Sin, you are the submissive and are treated as such.” Drawing in a deep breath, he allowed her a minute to process before he said, “There are no slaves at Club Sin. We have submissives who, outside of the dungeon, are equal in every regard. In the dungeon, you are the bottom in the relationship and will need to accept that. You don’t make decisions. You don’t ask questions. You do what your Dom tells you to do.”

A shiver slid down her spine. Not at what he said, exactly, but how he said it. The heated look in his eye and the stern tone portrayed a confidence that her lower half appreciated. Which had been part of the battle, excitement at the thought of a man controlling her, yet she’d been raised to have a voice and thoughts. Meshing the two desires and wants was confusing at best.

His head tilted. “Submissives at Club Sin are expected to be submissive only while in a scene. Meaning you’re not expected to be in high protocol at all times in the dungeon, as in kneeling at your Dom’s feet and avoiding eye contact. These are the rules I’ve put in place at Club Sin, because they’re what I prefer. To be a member, everyone must follow that rule.”

He once again let her process it all before he said, “Of course, you are to respect all Doms with proper address; mind your manners; and be respectful to other submissives. But we are not a club that expects high protocol, unless that’s something your Dom requires of you for a punishment.” That ridiculously sexy eyebrow arched again. “Do you understand?”

Presley nodded and wiggled in her seat, trying to ignore the heat swirling between her thighs. All of what he said were things she’d read about, fantasized over, and the idea that she’d play the submissive role made her burn.

“Some submissives like things others don’t, and that’s why you outline your limits when you sign the dungeon’s agreement. That part of play at Club Sin is nonnegotiable. Your limits will never be broken. If you want to change a limit, you’ll have a sit-down with me to discuss it. I may agree without hesitation, or I might request that I watch you in scene first if the limit change is drastic.” He casually picked a piece of lint off his pants. “What you do in your private life is your business. Here, in the dungeon, what you do is my business, since I’m the owner of Club Sin. All clear?”

She nodded, managing to close her parted lips, but she was unable to look away from his eyes. There, in their depths, she found something so intoxicating, so centered. Dmitri appeared to be the most put-together man she’d ever met in her life, so sure of himself and his choices, and that was even sexier than his muscular frame and gorgeous face.

He flicked the piece of lint onto the floor. “If you don’t follow what has been asked of you, you will be punished. If you refuse your punishment, you will be escorted from the dungeon and not allowed to return.”

Her breath became trapped in her throat, and as if he read her concern, he added, “A punishment can be a spanking with a hand or a paddle, a night spent wearing a gag, or whatever the Dom thinks is appropriate for your disobedience. But no punishment would ever exceed your limits. One thing you can count on is your punishment will be fair.” He tucked her hair behind her ear, smiling gently. “Now tell me how you feel about what I’ve told you.”

“It’s . . . well . . . I . . .” She swallowed, shifting through all the confusion coursing through her veins. Her body burned so hot that she wanted out of her skin. Her mind warned her how insane it was to agree to something that could, in fact, lead to a punishment.

After a moment, she realized the winner of the internal battle was glaringly obvious, because it was why she’d come here tonight. “God forgive me, I liked it.”

Dmitri gave her a long look before he threw his head back with laughter. Her embarrassment quickly turned to anger, and she stood so fast that the water spilled on the floor. “Stop laughing at me! This isn’t funny.”

He slowly looked at her. His eyes had darkened. He rose to his feet with a powerful grace, taking the glass from her hands, and slamming it on the end table with a clunk. “To your knees.”

In a swift move, she dropped to her knees, cringing when she connected with the hardwood floor. The second the pain eased, she realized what he’d asked and what she’d done.

Had she honestly responded to Dmitri without a single thought? Was she seriously kneeling for the man at his feet? And why had he told her to kneel? Because she snapped at him, or maybe she’d glared again? Her mind raced to understand what had happened in the last couple of seconds, but failed miserably.

Dmitri’s shiny black shoes rested in front of her, and his rich masculine scent wrapped around her. He didn’t move, nor did he say a word.


She did the only thing she thought would be appropriate in this extremely awkward moment. She whispered, “I’m sorry.”







Witty characters, dominant men, danger, action, romance and hot sex―oh my!

My urban fantasy romance novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll find fast paced action, emotions we can all relate to, life threatening moments and a big bad villain that needs to be destroyed.

My erotic romance novels are just that…erotic. There is nothing better than taking the dominant men I love and watching them do wicked things to their women. I make the stories as hot as I possibly can and usually the characters take it a step further to even make my cheeks blush. But I just can’t write without a little humor added into the mix so that’s always a must have in my stories. And of course, what’s a story without a big dose of emotional characters, too.

I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband who gave me my happily ever after. We have two small children who keep me on my toes and can always make me smile. But we also have basically a zoo at our house with one dog and three cats. I love the outdoors, camping, curling up with the latest flick and simply enjoying life.


Fan Girls & Boys Welcome



28 comments:

  1. I agree with you Braine, BDSM novels are starting to get to me as well. Kinda like how after twilight, everyone wanted a vamp love story *cue eye roll*

    I'm glad this one doesn't have the brooding macho wannabe DOM who wants everyone at his beck and call and that the heroine wasn't a spineless twit who CLAIMS to have a backbone. Trust is key in every relationship, but especially BDSM because of the power play.

    I believe this one is already on my tbr, but I'm still double checking and bumping it up. ;)

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    1. After this I've realized that the thing that bothers me the most about BDSM novels is that they treat their women like property and romanticize how cool it is. No disrespect but it's not for me. I can't wrap my head around being someone's "possession", prized or not.

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  2. I also agree! Too much erotica stories have the same plot and sometimes it's murky.
    But Stacey Kennedy was able to bring me inside the atmosphere of a dungeon and I really like the book for that.
    Lucie

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    1. Yes, I can't believe she made a "light" BDSM story LOL

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  3. The cover looks great. It gives the feel of a dominant man with a heroine that staking her claim. Of course, I also have a weakness for tats. I enjoy BDSM books and am looking forward to this one.
    Mel

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  4. I like the cover! The tattoo is a nice touch.

    I'll be honest *looks ashamed* I haven't read all that many BDSM books. This one looks interesting so I'll have to give it a try.

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  5. Lovc the cover....this is on my TBR list!

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  6. Light and realistic is good as well as the seeming mix with kink and vanilla :)

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  7. Very sexy. Love the abs. Looking forward to reading. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  8. HOT COVER!!! Love the splash or red in the title and the girls nails!! Thanks for the chance in the giveaway!

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  9. Cover is HOT! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  10. I really like the cover! He has a great bod. ;)

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  11. I thought this was a good story too & I did like the fact that Dmitri didnt have her cowed by him...he was a very likable Dom. Presley was a little annoying, but for the most part I did like her.

    My only issue with Bdsm novels is these virgin like females getting with Master doms...not appealing at all

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    1. Virgin in the ass! LOL Yeah that can be off putting too. Like you know you want it so please stop playing coy.

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  12. Love it the cover! Very hot! Thanks!

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  13. I love the cover!! Sexy sexy sexy! Lol. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  14. I like the face is left up to our imagination. Eye catching cover. I must read this. I am looking for a BDSM that steers away from what has started becoming quite the recipe :D

    Mich

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  15. Thanks for sharing Claimed and the giveaway. I enjoyed this book and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do. evamillien at gmail dot com

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  16. Helloooo sexy cover! I've heard good things about Kennedy, and Claimed does sound great. I like the different perspectives on BDSM. I'm always interested in books that explore the thoughts more than the actions.
    Great review!

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  17. Love the cover!!! Very lickable ;)

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  18. Love the cover!! Started reading "Claimed" late last night and absolutely LOVING it. I will be finishing it today and will put up a review on Amazon & Goodreads when finished.

    AWESOME story... can't wait for more!!

    Gayle
    gayle2b74@gmail.com

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  19. The cover got me to read the blurb, the blurb got me to read the excerpts, and the excerpts got me to enter into every contest I could find giving out this book so I could read it -- in other words? I love the cover.

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  20. OMG abs! Absolutely love the cover

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  21. this cover is very hot and sexy. just imagine whay awesomeness awaits us inside.8}

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  22. I really like the cover!! It's SEXY!!

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