This book was an unexpected surprise. I haven’t read any of Beverly Rae’s books and she sent this one to us with a warning (which I will discuss later) so I wasn’t sure how much I would like this book. I did enjoy it. It is a great romance, if unrealistic.
Erin Pierce is a college student working at an art supply store to make money to pay her bills and tuition. She is dating a popular guy, Mike. She has two great friends, Nina and Maddy. Life seems perfect if you don’t know that Erin hides a dark secret. When Mike learns of Erin’s secret and breaks up with her, Erin feels as though her world is going to end. But then, she and her friends get invited to participate in the Claiming Games. They have no idea of the adventure that awaits them.
Colter Quaid has put off participating in the Claiming Games for a while, but when he learns that Erin has been invited to participate, he knows this year he has to be there. Colter has secrets of his own, but he is inexplicably drawn toward Erin. He suspects that she might be his mate. He just needs to be with her during the games to make sure.
Colter and Erin embark on a journey of discovery. For Erin it is about discovering who she is and how strong she is. For Colter it is learning whether or not he can accept Erin for who she is and if they can be together. Each of them has so much to lose and so much to gain if they can only trust each other.
The warning that Ms. Rae issued (I mentioned it earlier) is about the sensitive nature of some of the discussions in this book. She discusses cutting, self-harm and suicide attempts as well as depression. Ms. Rae handles these topics in a way that make them part of her characters. She doesn’t glorify them nor does she sugarcoat them. People don’t magically overcome these deep seated issues in a few days and her characters don’t either. She acknowledges that these issues require help, support and strength to overcome and that there is a stigma about discussing them. I think the topics were handled in a respectful way, but the warning is needed for anyone who suffers from these difficulties or has been impacted by them. They do play a major role in the story and are mentioned frequently.
This book is also erotic so the sex scenes are graphic and explicit. If that is not your taste, you probably shouldn’t read this book. The sex scenes are part of the overall story and flow from the relationship between Colter and Erin. They are not just put in there for fun. The unrealistic part of the book is how quickly things happen. The whole relationship between Colter and Erin develops over three days. Hard to believe people can change their lives after only knowing someone for such a short period of time.