Targeted (Brides of the Kindred Book 15) by Evangeline Anderson – A Review
Book length: 476 Pages
Published: July 2015
If you’re not familiar with Evangeline Anderson’s popular “Brides of the Kindred” series, you’re missing out on one of the best paranormal erotic romance series out there. Claimed, the first book in the series, was published in 2011, and we’re now up to book 15 and the series shows no signs of fading off into the sunset.
Unlike many erotic romance series, Ms. Anderson has avoided re-using the same plots over and over in her stories. Each novel in the series is a new adventure, with different characters and a new scenario. This keeps the reader guessing as to what’s going to happen next. This, combined with the white hot sex scenes make this an entertaining series, and one well worth checking out.
Note – While Targeted can be read as a stand-alone book, if you’re new to the series you might want to read Claimed: Brides of the Kindred Book 1 first to get some background on what’s going on in this fictional universe full of genetically-engineered traders and the women who love (and mate with) them. There’s quite a bit of science fiction world building going on here, with multiple characters in multiple locations.
I’ll start off my review by critiquing the main characters, who are well-drawn and believable. The hero and heroine of the story are Rivin Trager, a Beast Kindred, and Emily Brooks, a kindergarten teacher living on Earth. They meet in an unexpected and unusual way, and both undergo a startling transformation before the book is over.
Trager has a somewhat tragic backstory. Events in his past have caused him to lose his faith in the Goddess. His moral compass knocked out of whack, he renounces the Goddess and joins the Verrak and a team of assassins who are tasked to “take out” various citizens. Trager takes his job very seriously, and he’s never failed to complete an assigned kill. For this particualr mission, Trager receives his target: a woman on Earth named Emily Brooks.
Emily Brooks is a female living on Earth. She loves being around children, and works as a kindergarten teacher. Though attractive, she’s single. Like Trager, Emily has a dark past, and because of trauma from that past, she can’t stand the thought of being with a man. Emily was adopted at an early age, and she never knew her biological parents (or even what species they were). She can’t envision a future with a husband and children of her own, a fact that causes her much anguish.
There’s also something going on inside Emily that terrifies her. She feels as though she has an “other” living inside her. Sort of a suppressed alter-ego waiting to take over her mind and body. Emily is undergoing a profound transformation, which is brought to light when Trager arrives to kill her and realizes at the last moment that she’s a Khalla. A very rare species, Khalla are considered sacred by the Beast Kindred, who are sworn to protect them at all costs.
Needless to say, this will be the first mission where Trager fails to deliver on a kill.
Without giving away too much of the story, Targar decides to break from the Verrak and take Emily to Rageron. This will be a very difficult journey as Emily is undergoing a four-stage transformation as she gradually morphs into a Khalla. If this process is interrupted, or she breeds too soon, she could die. It’s Tragar’s task to keep her from going through this transformation until they reach Rageron.
For his part, Targar is deeply conflicted, as he feels unworthy of Emily’s love and affection. He’s undergoing a transformation of his own, and he begins to find his faith again, and realize how destruction his life as an assassin has been. He begins to forgive himself, and reconcile with his past.
Through their journey, a strong attraction develops between Targar and Emily. But Mother Chundra, a rather unlikeable character, refuses to allow them to mate. Emily is insistent that she must have Targar or no-one at all. This is a classic tale of two lovers kept apart raising the stakes and the sexual tension in the process.
Emily and Targar face many roadblocks throughout the story, and each of them learns a great deal about themselves – and about each other. You might want to keep some tissues handy as you’re reading, as many of the events will trigger a deep emotional response for even the most jaded readers. This is an amazing book about sacrifice, honor, forgiveness, self-discovery, and true love.
Although I enjoyed this book very much, I did have one small nitpick with the story. I realize that this is science fiction, and the reader has to take some of the strange happenings on faith, but the parts of the story where Emily undergoes various physical changes due to her transformation seemed a little unbelievable to me. I had a hard time picturing these events in my mind, and which sort of pulled me out of the story at different times.
Other than that, I would give Targeted a strong 4.5 stars. It’s my favorite book in the Brides Of Kindred series to date, and I look forward to seeing what Ms. Anderson has in store for readers in future installments.