Rating: 4.25 stars
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Claimed Beauty is the follow-up to Untouchable Beauty and is an ongoing series. Reading any part of this review will reveal plot points for the first book in the series.
After Daniel was abducted by the Cubi, he was classified as an Untouchable and was supposed to remain untouched for three years. But while at a party, an Incubus with wandering hands set a chain of events in motion that ended with Daniel being accidentally dosed. This led to Daniel learning that he is in fact a Changeling and will now become an Incubus. His libido is out of control and with Seldon on trial, Daniel is once again finding his way in this world he is now a permanent part of.
Seldon is stepping up and taking full responsibility for the dosing as ultimately Daniel’s safety was in his hands. When a verdict is handed down, Seldon and Daniel realize they have a long road ahead of them in close quarters. Seldon is beginning to feel more for Daniel, something that is completely new to him. When Seldon can’t keep up with Daniel’s feedings for a variety of reasons, Lord Caledon is all too eager to step up. Daniel’s change is progressing at a rapid pace and Seldon is conflicted at having to share Daniel with anyone. There’s a lot to navigate on Daniel’s journey and falling in love may be one more thing the men never expected.
Claimed Beauty opens up right after Untouchable Beauty ended with Daniel being accidentally dosed and Seldon being taken into custody. It doesn’t matter that Seldon was trying to protect Daniel; he was ultimately responsible for keeping him safe. While Seldon’s judgment certainly isn’t as severe as it could have been, it’s definitely a blow to his ego. It’s also keeps him permanently tied to Daniel for many years to come.
This book is mostly about Daniel coming to terms with being a changeling, as he will become an Incubus. He now needs to feed like the rest of the Cubi and being a “newborn” his appetite is ravenous. That is where Seldon and Lord Caledon come in. The primary focus here is on the sex the men need to survive as they feed off of the energy. There are again many, many intimate scenes and multiple partner swaps and a variety of locations and options as Daniel needs to be classified to see all of the ways that he is able to feed. Lyhne certainly knows how to write an erotic moment, but there may have been a bit too many erotic scenes here for me and at times I was looking for a bit more story as this led to some scenes and phrasing feeling repetitive.
We are treated to a few history lessons revolving around the evolution, as well as hierarchy of the Cubi. This was all interesting, but I still wasn’t given a sense of what else they did besides feed. There are Lords and Ladies and houses and a true hierarchy, yet everything revolves around their feeding schedule. I get that this is how they survive, but given the length of their lifespan, they didn’t seem to do anything with that longevity and I was expecting a little more in way of a storyline.
That’s not to say the world they inhabit isn’t interesting and when Daniel finds out even more about himself, the stakes get raised yet again. There is a relationship already in place between Seldon and Daniel, but the nature of it is changing at a rapid pace, yet they both remain tentative. Seldon has never experienced jealousy before and while it’s necessary as well as a way of life for them to be intimate with other Cubi, being with other humans is something the men are willing to sacrifice to keep their bond special.
It’s a unique world here where monogamy can’t exist because of how the Cubi feed and survive and it’s compelling reading to watch them try and sort through it all. While the ending here isn’t a specific cliffhanger, the story is far from over as Daniel’s fate is once again changing. The ending certainly hooked me back in and I’m anxious to see how Daniel will continue to evolve. If you are looking for an erotic, paranormal series that takes risks in its storytelling this would be a good choice.