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Mated by Zoe Winters

June 7, 2010

Because of the vampiric blood that has run through her veins since birth, Jane has been a target for vampires who resent a human being “kindred.” She’s forced to disguise herself as a vampire groupie to appease them and safeguard her life. When she’s abruptly given to Cole, the leader of the werewolf pack, to satisfy a gambling debt, she discovers the blood running through her veins has a far greater impact on her destiny than she ever imagined.

We first meet Jane in Claimed, where Charlee, the protagonst, views her (Jane) as a helpless, if spunky, vampire groupie. Goth clothes, make up and pink hair to boot. As Claimed heats up though, Jane’s true nature as a hardened survivalist seeps out of her little by little. And she was only a side character then.

In what I’m affectionately calling “true Zoe Winters’ fashion” Mated kicks off right where Claimed ends. Only, some things have definately changed since Anthony, the hero from Claimed, took  over as King. Paul, Anthony’s underling from Claimed, lets his true nature shine too. And it’s pretty damn ugly. I was thrown for a loop. I knew when I’d first read the synopsis that something must have happened to Paul for Jane to have been “sold off” as it were. After all, he’d (paul) been so affectionate with her (jane) in  Claimed and seemingly protective of her that I didn’t even think he’d been the one to do it.

But I’ve already established that Zoe Winters is a dark writer. Or maybe just a realist. I’m smart enough to know not to trust a guy who flirts with me on sight, but I’ve also already established that I am not the norm. And shit happens.

Shit happens to Jane a lot.

So, Paul, the little wanker, gets a little indulgent. Not because Anthony, his main man, is now Vampire King, but because he feels neglected by said King. And whenever something doesn’t go Paul’s way, there’s Jane. To be smacked around at his convenience.

You may have noticed I’m not a fan of abuse, but I love a writer who doesn’t shy away from it. And I love a heroine who overcomes it even more.

Of course, she has help.

Cole is the big sexy alpha of the local pack and Paul’s lost one two many poker games to him. Not usually one to be  led around by his neither regions, he can’t deny the fierce need to protect Jane when he witnesses Paul’s latest beating.

I think Dayne and Anthony had a few things in common while still remaining separate entities but Cole is …different. Gentler. But not a Beta by any means. He’s the Alpha wolf after all. You’d think after what I said about Anthony that Cole wouldn’t do anything for me.
WRONG.

Hello? Multi-dimensional here. I don’t have a “type”. Not in real life and not in my fictional one. And in case you missed my last review: Werewolves top Vampires for me. Blasphemy you say? You’ll get over it.

Of all of Zoe’s heroes, Cole was definitely my favorite. (Claimed is still my favorite book though.) And as always, Zoe totally delivers on the sex scenes. ..I may have panted a few times. *g*

Another thing I like about this author is that she always brings a new twist on the mythos of the creatures that go bump in the night. She laid out one DOOZIE of a new twist in Mated, that I’m totally not spoiling. But I’ll give you a hint as to what it entails. Ever wonder why Vampires and Werewolves really hate eachother?

And of course, I have to gush over the world building. The werewolves in Mated were tech savvy and I digged it. It was a nice departure from the norm. They still had reclusive ways, but on an upgraded scale.

There was a time during a scene that I felt it might have had more impact from Cole’s POV then from Jane’s but that’s the danger of being a writer and a reviewer. The scene still works (and no, I’m not telling any of you which), I just thought Cole’s turmoil during it would have been amped up as opposed to Jane, who seemed calm. But when I really thought about it, Jane’s calmness, I think, is what Zoe was going for. Up until that point, Jane had still been waffling in her trust of Cole and her fears. In this scene, she was in control. I think the character  and the storyline needed it.

Zoe also has a knack for ending her stories on an almost perfect note. I always smile at the charm of the last line. Or the wit. She does both rather well.

I believe the next book in this series hasn’t been finished yet but is being called Save My Soul. I’m wondering which side character is the heroine this time. I have suspicions but…I have making-an-ass-out-of-myself phobia so I’ll keep those guesses to myself for now. *g* Either way, I’m looking forward to it. Zoe’s proven that she’ll always deliver an entertaining and enjoyable romance…with a little blood on the side.

Just the way I like it.

You can find Mated at Amazon and Smashwords. It will be available other places soon. To find out more about Zoe Winters, check out her  blog. Go drool over her sexy new coverart. It’s to die for.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2010 7:50 pm

    Thanks for the awesome review! I know which scene you’re talking about. I really struggled with that section cause I really needed to be in both of their heads, but I didn’t want to head hop. So I chose Jane’s head for the reason I’d mentioned. We’d already seen Cole angst, and we needed to see Jane’s growth and overcoming this trend toward always running and hiding from everything.

    The heroine from Save My Soul you haven’t met yet. But you have met the villain, Cain. Luc, who Cain mentioned in passing during Mated, is the hero.

    SMS has been written, but it needs to be rewritten in places, so it’s definitely not ready for prime time yet. I always say I’m going to stop mentioning release dates but I’m “thinking” it should be out this winter.

    • Soleil Noir permalink*
      June 8, 2010 4:47 pm

      WordPress is trying to destroy me. So sorry I didn’t clear/see this earlier!

      Ah Cain, I kind of like him in the “oh he’s such a bastard” kind of way. 😉 What can I say? Antagonists need love too. Sometimes they end up being the most compelling.

      Ah yes! I remember the mention of Luc. Awesome. I had wondered if, because of the title, Rhonda might get a redemption of some sort in her afterlife. I don’t mind being publicly wrong in this instance. *g* Especially since it means we (readers) get to meet a new heroine! Which, hasn’t happened yet in this series. Though, Anthony and Charlee were both mentioned in Kept.

      Very much looking forward to SMS and to the release of Blood Lust book 1. Best of luck Zoe!

      • June 8, 2010 4:57 pm

        Thx! I have a very wrong crush on Cain. He gets his own book later. After SMS and after his “save the cat” book where I undo some of his villainy. 😛

  2. June 7, 2010 8:20 pm

    Um… the reason you’d mentioned. der de der, Zoe.

  3. Soleil Noir permalink*
    June 8, 2010 5:01 pm

    re: Cain Book , *excited inner-child hand clapping*

    “Save the cat”, nice terminology. I like that. *g*

    • June 8, 2010 5:02 pm

      hehe, that’s M.T. Murphy’s terminology. You might like his book Lucifera’s Pet also.

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