Review: Claimed – Alexa Riley

Review: Claimed – Alexa RileyClaimed
by Alexa Riley
Series: For Her #3
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: March 28, 2018
Genres: Romance
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne Star

From New York Times bestselling author Alexa Riley, a friends-to-lovers romance that will bring you the happily-ever-after you've been waiting for

Jordan Chen is the man behind the screen. As part of the elite security team for Osbourne Corporation, he has an iron grip on protection, all without having to make close connections with people. Until he meets the beautiful Jay, and suddenly his quiet life doesn't seem so perfect anymore. He needs more. He needs her

A workaholic to her core, Jay Rose doesn't have a lot of men in her life. Smiling in the face of her enemies gets her the results she wants at work, but doesn't exactly project a warm, welcoming vibe. So she's surprised when the enigmatic security expert strikes up a friendship with her—surprised but flattered, and maybe a little bit turned on. 

A company as powerful as Osbourne Corporation has powerful enemies, and when Jay becomes a target, Jordan realizes there's nothing he won't do to bring her home safe. 
This book is approximately 95,000 words 

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!

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2 stars icon contemporary icon romance icon

I’d heard good things about Alexa Riley before, so I wanted to try one of her books out, and this friends-to-lovers sounded right up my alley.  Unfortunately, I’ve come to conclude that her books are just not for me.  This is also the third in a series, but the first I’ve read, so picking this up at the end of the series may also have made me miss other things.

“Computers have always made sense to me. Women, not so much, and the problem with that is I’ve never tried to figure them out. Now I’m obsessed with Jay, and I have no clue how to go about it. I’m not the type of guy that sits around and talks about my feelings. Hell, I don’t really talk much at all. I consider myself the strong, silent type, and it’s seemed to work for me so far. I wouldn’t say I’m shy, but I have no clue how to approach asking Jay out on a date.”

Jay is the executive assistant to the head of the Osbourne Corporation.  She’s great at anticipating her boss’s needs, and she has a bit of a reputation for being a bulldog at getting things done.  Because of this, pretty much her only friend at work is Jordan from the IT department.  He’s a weird mix of nerd and alpha overly-possessive caveman.  Despite the fact that he doesn’t usually talk much around her, they’re best friends and eat lunch at the cafeteria nearly every day.  Jordan’s head over heels in love with Jay, but feels stuck in the friend zone.  He loves doing nice things for her, like learning when the cafeteria is serving her favorite soup and going out of his way to bring her a muffin from her favorite cafe.  Which, in itself, is super sweet, but then things started going off the rails for me.

Jordan’s pretty much a stalker – he uses his IT admin powers to check her work calendar to see what meetings she has scheduled and whether she’s free for lunch.  He’s actually recorded her rambling on at lunch so he can play it back later.  He’s so focused on meeting her every whim, that at about 20% in to the book, he impersonates a cop so he can get some work files Jay needs from a guy who’s, to all appearances, on medical leave caring for his sick wife.  I nearly put the book down at this point, because, seriously?  When Jay’s sister pops up out of nowhere, declaring she’s moving in, rather than helping Jay stand up to her, he just starts packing up her things and tells her she’s moving in with him.  The cherry on top was when, half the way through the book, View Spoiler »

“‘I don’t want you to think I’m moving too fast, Jay. I’m terrified I’m going to scare you off. It’s taken me a while to get you here.’
‘How long has it taken?’ I ask, truly puzzled.
He stares at me for a moment, as if he’s debating his words. ‘Since the moment I saw you, I wanted you to be mine. And only mine.’
I smile at him and lay my head back down on his shoulder. I like the sound of that. Because I’ve wanted him just as long.”

Don’t get me wrong, I can see the appeal of the alpha possessive caveman hero – lots of orgasms, tucking her in to bed for naps, and bringing her food.  And at no point in the book is the consent even questionable.  But Jordan also seems incapable of letting Jay handle anything on her own, whether it’s work- or personal-related, and that’s way too over controlling for me.  Jordan sees Jay as this perfect, beautiful thing, almost, that needs to be protected and cherished, and while I think that hits a lot of people’s buttons, it reads as smothering to me.  Jay comes off as really passive, bordering on TSTL during the completely out-of-left-field kidnapping twist, and I really just prefer a more active heroine with an equal partnership.

Overall, while this is quite sweet and sappy, this was just not my cup of tea.  If you like possessive alpha heroes and passive heroines, then this book would probably be more up your alley!

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