Mated by Zoe Winters

Wrapping up my coverage of Zoe Winter’s Blood Lust trilogy, below lies my review of the third and final novella. On Monday I’ll wrap things up with a quick and fun interview with the author herself, in the meanwhile check out my review below!

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Blood Lust is made up of three novellas — Kept (free!),Claimed, and Mated — each serving as a teaser into the Preternatural series. Mated picks up where Claimed left off, and this time follows Jane, who was a pretend vampire groupie in the previous novella.

Plot summary:

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.


In Claimed, Jane was dating the vampire Paul, who seemed like an alright guy at the time. You soon find out how awful he is — at the beginning of Mated, Paul has incurred a load of debts and decides to literally use Jane to pay them off. Cole takes her as a hostage/guarantee and she ends up living with him for the duration… but Cole’s pack don’t make living arrangements simple.

As with the previous novellas, Mated was a fun and entertaining read, the kind of light-hearted fiction which you devour in one sitting. And it works great as a teaser: not only are the main characters different, but the kind of preternatural involved differs between novellas, meaning that you get new insight into Winter’s creative world. The werewolf society is rather different from any I’ve read about before — I love how they live in underground cave systems of a sort, and their magical protection (thanks to Cain the incubus) is pretty unique. Of course the usual pack politics remain, making Mated an instant hit with werewolf fans.

However, I have to say that — despite enjoying the story — Mated was my least favourite of the Blood Lust trilogy. For some reason, the characters and plot didn’t quite capture me as in the previous two, and I wonder whether it’s because all three novellas share a similar plot that, with familiarity, loses its effectiveness. In all three the female lead is in some way endangered by a preternatural force beyond her control. In all three the male lead, reluctantly at first, takes the female under his wing to protect her from said force. The two then proceed to live in close quarters, leading to misunderstandings, arguments, and sexual tension. They get together, solve the looming menace, and live HEA. It’s a formula that works, but I couldn’t help noticing the similarities when reading the three novellas back-to-back.

The other issue I had was with the characters. Now, I like Cole. He’s one of those dark and dangerous bad boys who’s actually a sweetheart inside, which as always is a great combination for a sexy male lead! But I actually wish he was darker, more conflicted — perhaps more like Anthony, the lead in Claimed.

Jane, on the other hand… Perhaps the fact that she annoyed me in Claimed biased me, but I didn’t really connect with her. She lacks the sparkle that Winters’ characters normally have, the snarkiness and clever wit. Yes, she’s got the worst background out of the three, and I admire her strength despite all the adversity she’s faced, but she just felt more passive as a character compared to Winters’ other heroines.

Despite my nit-picking, I must reaffirm that I did enjoy reading Mated — it was a fun, light-hearted read with great world-building. I especially liked the hell dimension, where Cain the incubus was, and look forward to reading more about that in the sequel to the Blood Lust trilogy, Save My Soul.

In sum, there is no doubt that Zoe Winters can write a good paranormal romance. It’s just the teasers aren’t enough any more — I want a full-length novel! Just as well Save My Soul is due for release soon.

This book is one of my 100+ Reading Challenge!


About A.M. Harte

A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the post-apocalyptic Above Ground and the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.
This entry was posted in Fantasy, Reviews, Romance and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Mated by Zoe Winters

  1. Zoe Winters says:

    Thanks for reviewing!

    Oddly, Mated is most people’s favorite (and probably mine, too). There are similarities in all three, but they are supposed to be thematically similar since they’re a novella trilogy, being packaged together as one book.

    What’s funny is I have consistently been paranoid that people won’t like how similar these three stories are, and you’re the first person to actually say anything about it!

    Though, you want Cole to be more like Anthony. :P

    If it’s too similar, people want it different, if it’s too different they want it the same. And in this review you want both things,simultaneously! LOL.

    Jane’s just been through too much to be any other way than she is in this story. I think to have made her too snarky would have been to cheapen her as a character. (And to make her exactly the same as other characters.)

    I think one place we differ is that I have more patience for a similar trope being replayed then I have for characters being exactly like other characters. But I understand if other people feel differently.

    I’m sorry you didn’t like it as much but am glad you were still entertained. Save My Soul involves close living quarters, but Anna owns the house and Luc is trapped in it by a curse. He’s sort of there when she gets there, and she doesn’t know it. Hopefully that won’t play too similar for you to enjoy it.

    Hope you like the upcoming novel!

    • a.m.harte says:

      I’m sure I’ll like it! I still enjoyed this one despite my contradicting complaints. :-P And besides, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the main character shares my name so that’s exciting!

  2. zoewinters says:

    Hehe! Well, awesome (on MC sharing your name!) I love it when an MC shares my name. :D

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