Review by Marta: Mine to Claim (Damaged Hearts #1) by A.C. Arthur Releases 8 April 2014

Mine to Claim - A.C. Arthur

I adore shifter stories so saw this and thought why not.?  I'm not such a huge fan of so called new adult stories though, I mean when did we decide we needed a new name for romance?  A whole new sub genre?  This is a story about two people who meet at college but to me it's still a romance.  I have to admit I'm kind of on the fence about this one. 

Aiden is in college determined to finally get his degree. Unfortunately, Aiden is at a crossroads in his life as he wants to follow his dreams but as a jaguar shifter his people have expectations for him.  Freedom of choice may not be his, but if that wasn't enough on his plate, the woman he meets one night at a bar takes his breath away!  Aiden didnt really think it was possible, but it looks as if fate just dangled his one perfect mate under his nose and unfortunately she's human!

Grace is the classic poor little rich girl.  She's always had everything she wanted except for the one thing she needs, unconditional love.  Grace is determined to stand on her own two feet but events from her past still haunt her.  Getting involved in a fracas in a bar one night changes everything though, she finds herself face to face with the mysterious and very dangerous Aiden.  He is unlike any guy Grace has ever met but he seems determined to avoid her.  The pull between them is magnetic but getting to know more about Aiden will change Grace's life forever.

I have to admit I am a little disappointed with this story.  I saw the cover and thought, wow that looks interesting and sexy and it really is not that sexy.  It's not an erotic story at all and there's very little actual paranormal content in it until nearly at the end.  Yes, Aiden has an inner beast, but I would have liked to read a lot more about it.  There is a plot and even bad guys but they just didn't really work for me I'm afraid.  It just felt a little rushed at the end.  Perhaps Ms Arthur is aiming at a young teenage audience?  Although with that cover, I would not have thought so. 

I did quite like the characters.  The heroine, Grace, has issues from her past affecting how she feels about men and I thought Ms Arthur covered it very well.  It's not easy to trust blindly particularly if you have been hurt,  It's something that affects lots of us in some way or another.  Aiden is written as a pretty intense young man but I loved his patience and the compassion he shows Grace.  The most interesting character for me though was Roman, who shows up near the end of the book.  I see from Ms Arthur's website Roman gets his own book which is full length so, I just might check it one out. 

Mine to Claim is well written and the first of a trilogy about three brothers.  It connects with another series from the author but is easily read as a stand alone, although obviously reading in order would be my choice.  It has wetted my appetite for more as I'm curious what will happen next but, it probably isn't a keeper for me. 

If you are someone who has read the other shifter stories from Ms Arthur then perhaps you will already have an invested interest in Aiden, which would bring this book even more to life.  He's clearly a very passionate and possessive male but it's very short.  I just wanted more!

This is an e-book and priced $1.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.