Thursday, July 14, 2011

Arrington's Claim

Title: Arrington's Claim
Author:  Frances Stockton
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 9781419934339
Genre: {M/F} Shape-shifter Historical Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx  

Nicholas, Duke of Arrington is a widower and doesn’t wish to remarry but when he meets Miss Regan Saunders while visiting friends, he’s ready to change his mind. As the second oldest member of the ancient Panthera race he knows instantly she’s his destined mate. While it should be a time of great joy, due to a woman’s prior betrayal, Nicholas is reluctant to open his heart or share his secrets. It doesn’t help that Regan, an Abcynian Guard, is highly independent and determined to become a doctor, which isn’t appropriate for a female. When a killer strikes down two Guards, Nicholas knows he’ll do anything to keep his mate safe, including marriage. There’s a lot going on but these two soon open their hearts to love, but it’s not long before they learn danger isn’t always from a stranger but sometimes, it’s much closer to home. 

Arrington’s Claim is the fourth release in Frances Stockton’s Panthera series and while it would be helpful to read the others, it can be read as a standalone. 

This one’s a mix of mid-Georgian England, set in 1784, and a look into the lives of the Pantheran shifters and how they fit into the nobility class. I admit I’m not real familiar with this time period in English history but from what I do know, there seems to be some inconsistencies in behavior. I don’t know if that’s a case of literary license or if it’s a result of the characters being of the Panthera race. Whatever the case, know that it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading about the growing relationship of these dynamic people. 

Nicholas and Regan are two strong-willed individuals with unique and interesting personalities, struggling to live within society while guarding their secrets. The author did a nice job creating both their characters, easily making them into people you can care about. Nicholas is not only physically imposing but with his social status, he’s used to getting his way. Regan is a likable young woman and she’s dedicated to those she loves and what she perceives as her calling in life. What I found troubling about her was her stubbornness. Despite knowing Nicholas was her destined mate, she dragged her feet through most of the book, refusing to give up something out of her reach. It was a plot device allowing other things to occur around it but went on far too long, making her a little annoying. 

By the ending scenes the plot speeds up, an old enemy returns and violence strikes. Here is the only time during the story the reader gets a glimpse of any Panthera in their shifted form. It’s a dramatic rescue and a satisfying conclusion that ends with a long awaited happily-ever-after. Enjoy.

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